Generally, if you intend carrying out ground distribution of herbicides from designated ground equipment on land that you do not own or occupy, you most likely will need to obtain a commercial operator's licence. Factors that can determine whether you need a licence include the type of ground equipment you are using and whether you are carrying out the ground distribution in a declared hazardous area. You will need to check with the Department Customer Service Centre for precise advice. Contact details are provided in the contact list at the end of this summary sheet.
There are circumstances under the ACDC Act where a defence to a charge of an offence of distributing herbicides without a licence exist. These circumstances are where you are operating the ground equipment on:
land owned or occupied by you
land owned or occupied by your relative a relative, as defined in the Act, can be a spouse, son or daughter, father, mother, brother or sister, grandparent or grandchild
land owned or occupied by your employer who is primarily engaged in pastoral or agricultural pursuits (genuine livestock or crop production, including amenity horticulture) and you are bound by a contract of service that is primarily for work other than the ground distribution in question. Note: a licence would be required if the primary purpose for engaging your services was to undertake the particular ground distribution in question.
unallocated state land, a reserve or a road under the Land Act 1994 that adjoins the land mentioned in the first three dot points above, provided you also have the permission of the entity that holds or controls the unallocated state land, reserve or road.
Note: A licence is however required in the above situations if you wish to apply certain restricted herbicides in a hazardous area.
Please Note: If applicable, there is also an examination fee. For further information in relation to this fee, please contact the Customer Service Centre.
The Act recognises certain qualifications of pest management technicians holding a pest management technicians licence under the Pest Management Act 2001 (licensed, qualified PMTs) as sufficient to enable these people to carry out ground distribution of herbicides, without the need to hold a commercial operators licence. A licensed, qualified PMT does not need to hold a commercial operators licence under the ACDC Act to carry out ground distribution if holding the following relevant pest management qualification.
A Statement of Attainment issued by a registered training organisation under the Training and Employment Act 2000 or similar legislation in another State stating that the licensed, qualified PMT has successfully completed each of the following competencies:
PRMPM05 modify environment to manage pests;
PRMPM06 apply pesticides to manage pests; and
PRMPM18 maintain an equipment and consumables storage area.
A licensed, qualified PMT is automatically taken to hold a commercial operators licence to carry out ground distribution of herbicides. However, any ground distribution the licensed, qualified PMT undertakes may only be carried out in the course of the business of, at the direction of or on the authority of a licensed ground or aerial distribution contractor.
A licence defines the need to obtain recognition / certification and registration to undertake a certain business activity.
Definition of terms
- Ground distribution
means the spraying, spreading or dispersing of any herbicides or any preparation containing any herbicide from ground equipment.
- Ground distribution contactor
means a person who carries on the business of ground distribution or at whose direction or on whose authority, ground equipment is used to carry out ground distribution.
- Ground equipment
means any machine or apparatus of any kind whatsoever other than an aircraft in flight used or intended to be used or capable of being used for the distribution of any herbicide, and includes any machine or apparatus prescribed to be ground equipment for the purposes of the Act but does not include any machine or apparatus prescribed not to be ground equipment for the purposes of the Act. Exclusion from the definition of ground equipment other than in a hazardous area, the following are prescribed not to be ground equipment for the Act: equipment used to distribute an agricultural chemical (herbicide) that is:
a) powered by hand or by compressed air or gas applied directly to the spray liquid for distribution without the use of air blast techniques, or
b) a hose proportioning device.
- Hazardous area No 1
the area administered by the Sunshine Coast Regional Council and the area administered by the Moreton Bay Regional Council.
- Hazardous area No 2
Broadly speaking this area consists of the Darling Downs and adjacent areas. To find out the actual area that is involved please refer to the map which can be accessed from the website or telephone the Customer Service Centre.
- Hazardous area No 3
Broadly speaking this area consists of a substantial area surrounding the town of Emerald. To find out the actual area that is involved please refer to the map which can be accessed from the website or telephone the Customer Service Centre.
any material used for destroying or preventing the spread of any plants.
You must hold the necessary qualification, either by holding the approved accreditation , or by passing the licence examination conducted by Biosecurity Queensland.
The approved accreditation requires you to hold the following:
Statements of Attainment issued by a registered training organisation (RTO) registered under the Training and Employment Act 2000 or
similar legislation of another State, certifying competency at Australian Qualifications Framework level 3, with respect to the following national units of competency:
RTC 3704A or AHCCHM303A - Prepare and apply chemicals
RTC 3401A or AHCPMG301A - Control weeds
RTC 3705A or AHCCHM304A - Transport, handle and store chemicals.
If you are seeking a licence and hold the approved accreditation, you will need to provide a certified copy of your three Statements of Attainment issued by an RTO.
If you are seeking a licence and choose to sit for the examination to qualify, you will need to obtain a copy of The Agricultural Chemicals Users' Manual (the approved study text), the Act and the Regulation. You will also need to make application to sit the examination by completing the form entitled Commercial Operator's Licence - Examination Application, together with the examination fee to Biosecurity Queensland.
This licence cannot be transferred.
Licences are issued for one or three years, nominated by the applicant at time of application. A licensee may apply to renew their licence 60 days prior to the expiry date shown on their licence for a further one or three year term.
Licence 1 year
Licence 3 years
Renewal 1 year
Renewal 3 years
You can obtain this licence by submitting a completed and signed 'Commercial Operator's Licence - Licence Application Form' to Biosecurity Queensland, address given on the application. The necessary application forms and information can be obtained from the Customer Service Centre.
You must be at least 17 years of age to hold a commercial operator's licence.
You cannot apply for the licence unless you hold the qualification (either the accreditation or a pass in the examination). If you make application and pay the correct fee, the application will be considered and a licence will either be granted or refused. In most cases it will be granted. Nothing more is required of you if your application is in order and complete.
Licences are generally issued within three weeks of receiving an application that is in order and complete.
Department of Agriculture and Fisheries
Plant Biosecurity and Product Integrity
Agricultural Chemicals Distribution Control Act 1966 (Queensland)
Agricultural Chemicals Distribution Control Regulation 1998 (Queensland)
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