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Pesticide Pollution, Australia

Australian Pesticides Map: “We are concerned Australians worried about pesticide contamination. Isn’t it odd that almost all of the information on this website has not been made easily available to members of the public in the past?”


Chemicals in Australia are approved federally by the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicine Authority. Thereafter, pesticide monitoring and impacts are managed by states for commercial and environmental impacts and local governments for individual impacts. Pesticide pollution across Australia has resulted in water pollution, spray drift, accidents, industrial pollution and impacts on fauna. The most commonly detected pesticides are the triazine herbicides. Atrazine and Simazine. A lot of people are suffering from pesticide exposure in isolation as legislation and the legal system are inadequate to protect them and bring justice. The following interview provides insight into pesticide pollution in Australia and the Australian Pesticides Map.

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Pesticide Pollution, Australia
Accuracy of locationLOW (Country level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Industrial and Utilities conflicts
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Chemical industries
Specific commodities:Chemical products
Project Details and Actors
Project details

There are a range of chemicals causing pollution across Australia. The chemicals included in the Australian Pesticides Map are:

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Start of the conflict:01/01/2015
Relevant government actors:Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicine Authority (APVMA)
State and local governments
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:- Australian Pesticides Map community,
- Friends of the Earth Australia,
- Multiple Chemical Sensitivity Network,
- National Toxics Network
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityLOW (some local organising)
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups mobilizing:Local ejos
Forms of mobilization:Community-based participative research (popular epidemiology studies, etc..)
Creation of alternative reports/knowledge
Media based activism/alternative media
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Air pollution, Food insecurity (crop damage), Soil contamination, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation
Potential: Genetic contamination
Health ImpactsVisible: Accidents, Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…), Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide
Potential: Malnutrition
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Loss of livelihood
Project StatusIn operation
Conflict outcome / response:Strengthening of participation
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:As described by Anthony Amis, there aren’t laws to protect people, the process impedes justice, and people are often suffering in isolation. At this early stage the website plays mainly an education role. It essentially accumulates information that often can’t be easily accessed by the community or people in other regions of Australia.
Sources & Materials

[1] Pesticide map
[click to view]

2001: Warringah Golf Course 10,000 Dead Fish (Chemical: Azinphos Methyl)
[click to view]

1987-1988: The Dieldrin Contamination Issue: Gembrook (Vic)
[click to view]

1949 – 1986: Union Carbide owned Rhodes (Homebush Bay)
[click to view]

1960 – 2015: Gunnamatta Outfall Melbourne Water
[click to view]

Other comments:Other weblinks:
Meta information
Contributor:Australian Environmental Justice Project, Lisa de Kleyn, PhD Candidate, RMIT University, [email protected] and Anthony Amis, Campaigner, Friends of the Earth Melbourne
Last update18/08/2019
Conflict ID:2711
Legal notice / Aviso legal
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