• North Coast Environment Council

    Formed in 1976, we are the peak umbrella environment group in northern NSW. We cover the area from the Hunter to the Tweed and west to the New England Highway. We also actively support other campaigns further afield. We receive no government funding and have no paid staff or central office. Our members and office-bearers work around the region, often travelling large distances to assist others as we organise in our defence of the environment and the communities it sustains. We rely on donations and the efforts of our members and volunteers, to remain effective. If you would like to make a tax deductible donation to assist us with our work, we guarantee plenty of bang for your buck. Post us a message to this site and we will get back to you.
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A case that is being heard in court today in relation to a helicopter company which sprayed chemicals in the Comboyne area should trigger stronger protections against aerial spraying of herbicides and pesticides, according to the North Coast Environment Council.

 The case is being heard in the Port Macquarie Local Court today, and involves a helicopter company, Precision Helicopters, which is challenging a $1,500 fine it received for spraying herbicides from the air whilst it was raining in March 2010.

 Neighbours on adjoining properties have informed the North Coast Environment Council that they hold serious concerns about chemical run-off and pollution from the event, and that large areas of vegetation were killed.

“This case highlights both the risks posed by aerial spraying to people and the environment and the dramatically inadequate regulations that are currently in place to control it,” said NCEC spokesperson Susie Russell.

“The fact that the fine for undertaking aerial spraying in the rain was only $1,500 to begin with, and even that is now being challenged, indicates just how weak the laws are on this issue.

“The string of babies born with birth defects in the northern rivers region earlier this year has raised alarm bells throughout the wider community about the potential impacts of excessive chemical use on all elements of human biology.

“We are calling on the NSW Government to urgently ban aerial spraying of herbicides and pesticides, to place much stricter constraints on their use in all circumstances and to set-up a publicly accessible Pesticides Register where the use of herbicides and pesticides is logged.

“In particular, neighbours should be fully informed of chemical use on adjoining properties and there should be dramatic increases in penalties for people who break the rules,” Ms Russell said.



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