The use of chemicals such as herbicides is regulated by different bodies in each state. For example in NSW by both eg NSW WorkCover and NSW EPA. The relevant legislation in each state must be understood and followed by all chemical users.

The primary control document in NSW is the WorkerCover Code of Practice: Safe Use of Pesticides, Including Herbicides, In Non-Agricultural Workplaces. This document provides clear guidance and sample templates for the safe use of pesticides and herbicides.

Always follow the directions on the label of the herbicide you are using. This is a legal requirement for all users unless there is a ‘minor use permit’ from the APVMA (see below). Have an up-to-date material safety data sheet (MSDS) available for all users. They are available on request from the supplier of the chemical and from the manufacturer. A job safety analysis of the chemical application must be undertaken with reference to the MSDS and in consultation with users.

Note that there are specific training requirements under the state legislation governing pesticides eg in NSW, the Pesticides Act 1999, the WorkCover Code of Practice and EPA Guidelines.



“Who must be trained?

“If you are a farmer, market gardener, flower grower, ground rig operator, parkland or green keeper, landscape gardener, nursery operator, marina operator, wood preservation operator, landlord, or use pesticides on behalf of a local council or government agency; or otherwise use pesticides in your job, you must be trained in pesticide use. Your training must be renewed every five years by completing a short refresher course.”

“I only use small quantities of pesticides in my work – do I have to be trained?

You do not need to be trained if you only use small quantities of household pesticides as part of your business or work, provided that you do all of the following:

  • you only apply pesticides that are ordinarily used for domestic purposes (e.g. in the home or garden), and
  • are widely available to the general public at retail outlets such as supermarkets, and
  • you apply the pesticide by hand or by using hand-held equipment, and
  • if you use the pesticides outdoors, you use no more than 5 litres/5 kilograms of concentrate or 20 litres/20 kilograms of ready-to-use product, or
  • if you use the pesticides indoors you use no more than 1 litre/1 kilogram of concentrate or 5 litres/5 kilograms of ready-to-use product.”
“Do volunteers need to be trained?”

“Yes – if they are working for a public authority. However, in practice most volunteers only do the sort of work that falls under the small use exemption (hand application of domestically available pesticides (such as round-up) in small quantities. If they use greater quantities than those specified in the regulation (20 litres of ready to use product or 5 litres of concentrate for outdoor use), or if they use a product that is not readily available to the public they need to be trained.”


The Federal Governemnt body, the APVMA, issue minor use (‘off label’) permits which allow the use of specified chemical in a way or situation that is not listed on the label. There are two permits that cover most of the uses of herbicide by Bush Regenerators, PER9907.pdf and PER11916.pdf.



Check the relevant legislation and follow the directions on the label!