Water is one of the most precious natural resources in Tasmania and Tasmanian catchments support a variety of biodiversity and threatened species as well as industries.
In 1999 water legislation was amended to provide greater protection to waterways, water bodies, wetlands, and groundwater, as well as to protect a farmer’s need to irrigate. The majority of crop irrigation in Tasmania is sourced from streams, waterways, bores and dams.
Irrigation and the spraying of crops is a seasonal farming activity, often with intense production at specific times throughout the year and can happen day or night depending on the harvesting season. This activity can affect noise and traffic around a farming property. Where an irrigation spray affects a public road, warning signs should be seen on the property boundary fences advising of irrigation spraying onto a public road.
The Australian Pesticides & Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) is the regulating body for farm compliance with regards to chemical use and storage. Farmers, small landowners and hobby farmers should always store chemicals in accordance with the relevant Australian Standards. Farmers do need to ensure that spray drift or run-off from pesticides do not enter adjoining properties.
The main legislation in Tasmania that regulates the use of agricultural chemicals is the Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals (Control of Use) Act 1995 and the regulations under this Act.