1996: The Pocket (NSW). Child’s birthday party sprayed: Pesticide: 2,4-D

REPORT OF PROCEEDINGS BEFORE STANDING COMMITTEE ON STATE DEVELOPMENT
INQUIRY INTO THE USE AND MANAGEMENT OF PESTICIDES IN NEW SOUTH WALES
At Lismore on Wednesday 4 August 1999
p 328 Mrs VAIL:
Mr SCANLON: Yes. I would like to bring something to your attention, if I may, as
an example of an incident that occurred in 1996. One Sunday afternoon in 1996, in an area
known as The Pocket, which is located in the northern part of the Byron shire, parents and
young children were exposed to spray drift as the landowner and his contractor sprayed the
pesticide 2,4-D in close proximity to a child’s third birthday party.
When approached by a concerned parent about what chemical he was using, the
contractor responded by saying, “Hippy killer.” The Environment Protection Authority in
this case successfully prosecuted the persons responsible. It is important to note that the
contractor involved in this particular incident held a pesticide handler’s certificate.
CHAIRMAN: Are you saying that the Environment Protection Authority successfully prosecuted the persons responsible?
Mr SCANLON: Yes.
CHAIRMAN: We have been told that the Environment Protection Authority has
successfully prosecuted only one person in the last 20 years. So that must be the person.
The Hon. I. COHEN: No. There was one in Dorrigo as well – and aerial sprayer
in the Dorrigo area.
Mr SCANLON: May I expand on that by saying that if individuals are applying for such certificates, such as the pesticide handler’s certificate, then it is important that they be
licensed. Let us be optimistic and say it is a one-off case where an individual may have been
negligent, but the fact is that the frustration and concern of the parents of the children at that party was quite unnecessary.
CHAIRMAN: Was that 2,4D amine or ester?
Mr SCANLON: I think in this day it is amine.

 

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