Background to the working party

In March 2010, a broad-based industry technical working party, the National Working Party on Pesticide Applications (NWPPA) was established to consider the potential outcomes of policy changes and spray drift reviews being undertaken by the Australian Pesticide and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA). As a result of the policy changes new pesticide product labels now contain statements that describe mandatory no-spray zones (buffer zones) in the downwind direction at the time of spray application.

The Working Party is a collection of interested stakeholders, including grower groups, chemical companies, spray applicators and research and development corporations, working to provide the scientific data to underpin a science based regulatory system.  To achieve this the Working Party has developed an integrated research program.

The NWPPA was established to assist stakeholders to work with these changes and outcomes resulting from proposed reviews of existing chemical products. At a meeting in April 2011, stakeholders agreed that the role for the NWPPA is to:

  • Facilitate targeted research that supports the use of practical downwind buffers.
  • Support and facilitate the development of a national training framework for pesticide application that would, for example, support the implementation of drift reduction technologies (DRTs) (lower buffer distances), best management practices and improve product efficacy.
  • Provide a forum to assist growers and other stakeholders understand current APVMA policy and work with regulators to provide realistic and practical risk management.
  • Seek and facilitate investment from stakeholders and affected parties in support of a national coordinated program that supports the use of practical downwind buffers.

The vision of the working party is that the regulatory system is science-based and recognises the use of drift reduction technologies, better education and practice to enable the use of smaller, practical buffer zones.

The NWPPA Executive Committee, comprised of technical representatives from spray manufacturers, grower groups, spray applicators and research and development corporations, across viticulture, horticulture and broad acre agriculture, guides the work of the NWPPA.