SOUTH-WEST agriculture advocates have welcomed the Environmental Protection Authority's livestock manure determination, which will mean no additional paperwork for farmers receiving animal manure on farm.
However the fight continues over the classification of manure as industrial waste, which creates a new level of red tape for farmers to be able to use animal manure the way they have for years.
The Victorian Farmers Federation has welcomed the EPA's determination which goes part of the way to resolving farmer concerns of being entangled in red tape every time they want to store or use manure.
President Emma Germano said the determination came after constructive negotiations between the VFF, other industry bodies and the EPA.
"Animal manure is an important part of many of our farming systems and farmers are experienced at managing its use and application," she said.
"The determination means that if you are doing the right thing on farm when receiving and utilising animal manure, you do not have to change your practices and you do not have to complete any additional paperwork."
The determination applies to the use of animal manure as a soil amendment and for irrigation when the manure is transferred between properties.
Ms Germano said while the determination ensured farmers were not hit with any new regulatory obligations, a fight remained over the classification of animal manure as industrial waste.
"The VFF has made clear to the Victorian Government that the classification of manure as industrial waste is inappropriate and does not respect the role of manure in modern farming systems and carbon cycling," she said.
"Amendment of the EPA Act to create a new classification for animal manure that respects its role as a beneficial waste remains a key priority for the VFF."
Member for South West Coast Roma Britnell said 'common sense had prevailed' with the state government and the EPA backing down from some of the controversial changes to how farmers could use animal manure on their farms.
Ms Britnell said the backdown means farmers will be able to continue to take delivery of and use animal manure as fertiliser as normal, without the need for permits.
"Farmers have recycled waste product like this for years without issue. Farmers understand the importance of balancing the inputs and outputs - it's called the ecosystem and their success depends on it," she said.
"I'm pleased that this ridiculous proposal, which was total over reach, has been scrapped."
The determination was gazetted on 18 June and will come into force at the commencement of the new EPA Act on July 1.
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