Voluntary Code of Practice for Chemicals of Security Concern launched

Tuesday, 30 July, 2013

The Voluntary Code of Practice for Chemicals of Security Concern, which was developed in partnership with industry, was officially launched by the federal Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus in Canberra on 25 July 2013.

The Voluntary Code of Practice is for importers, distributors, transporters, universities, agricultural sector, hardware stores, swimming pool and spa industry, hairdressers and any other industry sector that manufacturers, handles or uses any of these chemicals.

A wide range of industrial, agricultural and veterinary chemicals are legitimately used by individuals and organisations every day throughout Australia. However, some of these chemicals have, in the past, been diverted from their legitimate use and used for unlawful purposes, including terrorist activity.

The Voluntary Code of Practice has been developed to improve the security around chemicals, inform industry about the risk of chemicals they handle, and enhance the measures that industry has in place to prevent, detect and deter terrorist use of chemicals.

Of the 40,000 chemicals approved for use in Australia, authorities have identified 96 chemicals that are of security concern. The Voluntary Code of Practice focuses on 11 of the highest-risk chemicals that can be used to make explosives.

The Voluntary Code of Practice contains advice for workplaces that handle those 11 high-risk chemicals. It contains practical security tips including how to ensure people in the workplace can be trusted with chemicals of security concern, how to keep the chemicals physically secure and how to detect and report suspicious behaviour to the National Security Hotline.

Management, employees and contractors in the swimming pool and spa industry have a role to play in safeguarding the industry and all Australians.

Members and the broader industry need to understand and ensure they maintain a constant alert when storing, selling and transporting chemicals.

Chemical security risks are specific to a particular business and may include a combination of measures. Industry should consider identifying the security gaps - find out where chemicals could be lost or diverted from a business and ultimately find their way into the wrong hands. Then, treating the risks - processes can be applied relevant to a business to protect against loss and diversion of chemicals.

For more information, including a copy of the National Code of Practice for Chemicals of Security Concern visit www.chemicalsecurity.gov.au

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