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Farmers do their bit to help stop chemical terrorism

26 July 2013

The National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) has welcomed a new National Code of Practice aimed at preventing potentially dangerous chemicals, including farm chemicals, from ending up in the wrong hands.

The initiative, launched yesterday by the Attorney General, aims to prevent terrorists from accessing chemicals that can be used to manufacture explosives.

NFF CEO Matt Linnegar said the Code contains practical tips for businesses to asses and prevent chemical security risks, including identifying and addressing any security gaps where chemicals could be taken.

“Farmers rely on having access to safe and effective chemicals as they help control pests, weeds and diseases that would otherwise threaten animals, crops and potentially risk our food safety system,” Mr Linnegar said.

“There are very strict laws governing the handling, use, transport and storage of chemicals on farms, and the NFF has worked closely with the Government on this new initiative to ensure it aligns with the existing tight regulatory arrangements for agricultural chemicals.

“This is not about making it harder for farmers to access chemicals, but rather, about farmers keeping an eye out for anything suspicious and reporting it to the National Security Hotline on 1800 123 400,” Mr Linnegar said.

As part of development of the Code, the Australian Government has assessed a number of chemicals of security concern; many of which are important to farmers, helping them to sustainably produce food and fibre.

“As one of the largest users of chemicals in Australia, farmers already play a crucial role in ensuring they closely monitor the security of chemicals on their farms, including keeping them stored in dedicated, lockable storage areas,” Mr Linnegar said.

“Farmers are also encouraged to report anything suspicious, including unauthorised access to private property and any chemical theft, to the authorities.

“Farmers, like all Australians, can play a role in helping to keep the country free from terrorism,” Mr Linnegar said.

For more information, visit www.chemicalsecurity.gov.au.

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