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Ammonium nitrate licence deadline approaches

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Victorian farmers, retailers and transport companies using or handling products containing 45% ammonium nitrate, have a little over two weeks before the State's new licensing system comes into effect.

The licensing system is being introduced around Australia to ensure legitimate users have access while terrorist or other illegal activity is restricted.

Ammonium nitrate is a commonly-used component of fertiliser, but it can also be used in explosives.

WorkSafe executive director John Merritt said farmers buying ammonium nitrate products and transporting it for their own use would only need one licence.

Although major transport companies and dealers in these products have been applying for licences for several months, very few farmers have.

"After January 1, a licence will be needed to manufacture, purchase transport and use products containing 45% ammonium nitrate. Anyone needing the product around that time needs to apply now for a licence."

The licences issued by WorkSafe last five years. The cost is heavily subsidised at $80 plus the cost of national police ($40) and ASIO checks ($19).

To help farmers, manufacturers, retailers, wholesalers and transport companies understand their obligations WorkSafe's website (www.worksafe.vic.gov.au) has detailed information about the licensing and security arrangements as well as a series of questions and answers.

People without internet access can call WorkSafe's Advisory Service on 1800 136 089.

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