1972 July: Toorbul (Qld). Widespread Spraydrift. Pesticides: 2,4,5-T, 2,4-D

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Queensland Parliamentary Debates [Hansard] Legislative Assembly Thursday, 10 August 1972

p 104 Questions Upon Notice [10 August 1972]

Damage by Aerial Spraying, Pine Rivers, Caboolture and Landsborough Shires

Mr. Frawley, pursuant to notice, asked The Minister for Primary Industries, –

(1) Is he aware of the widespread damage in Redcliffe, Narangba, Deception Bay, Burpengary, Caboolture and Toorbul areas to the fruit and vegetable crops and beekeepers’ apairies, believed to have been caused by aerial spraying of 2,4-D Amiene and 2,4,5-T Ester by Cropair Aviation Pty Ltd.?

(2) Are these hormone sprays being supplied to Cropair Aviation Ltd, by A.C.F. Austral Fertilizers Pty Ltd, the company which supplies fertilizers to the district’s fruit and vegetable growers?

(3) As Cropair Aviation Pty Ltd has or intends to spread these dangerous hormone sprays over thousands of acres of land in Pine Rivers Shire, over the adjoining boundaries of the City of Redcliffe, what guarantees can he give that there will be no effects from it to thousands of residents living in these areas and to the wild life, both flora and fauna, and the fish and prawn-breeding areas of Deception Bay?

(4) Will he take immediate steps to have all operations stopped until all complaints have been investigated?

(5) Will he give his assurance that he will have the matter of misting machines and aeroplanes spreading hormones with in these
areas delayed until a thorough investigation has been made and will he also consider making it law that only after the issue of a permit by the local D.P.I. officer may any person be allowed to use hormone sprays?

Answers:-

( 1) “Crop damage in these areas has been reported to my Department but the extent of the damage and its cause has not yet been established. The possibility of the damage resulting from spraying operations, other than aerial spraying, cannot be ruled out. The Standards Branch of my Department has a number of complaints of damage under investigation.”

(2) “My Department does not have direct knowledge of the supply of chemicals from one company to another. Our responsibility is to ensure that any chemical used is registered and is used according to directions.”

(3) “When 2,4-D and 2,4,5-T are used in accordance with registered directions there is no danger to humans and   any effect on wild life and non-target flora would be minimal. Any such effects must be considered in relation to the necessity to control major weed pests.”

(4) “An officer of Cropair Aviation Pty. Ltd. has advised my Department that no further aerial spraying will be under-taken in the area while investigations are under way.”

(5) “Current legislation provides control over the operations of aerial agricultural pilots and weed control operators on the ground. It is considered that these controls are adequate.”