Welcome to Australian Environmental Pest Managers Association Newsletter October 2018 edition. Please read on below or visit our website for the online version 
Urban Pest Management Training Package Redevelopment Project 2018-2019
The Australian Government has implemented a process for training package reform for all industry sectors. This reform process is carried out at the direction of the COAG Industry & Skills Council and the Australian Industry & Skills Committee (AISC). Artibus Innovation, a Skill Services Organisation has been engaged by the AISC to manage the reform process for industries within the Property Services sector which includes Pest Management. Artibus Innovation has established an Industry Reference Committee (IRC) to review and develop training packages in line with the Australian Governments reform process. They have as part of their 2018/2019 work schedule the requirement to review and reform the Urban Pest Management Training Package. 
The Urban Pest Management Redevelopment Project will examine the content, structure, training delivery and student outcomes of the CPP30115 Certificate III in Urban Pest Management. In particular the project will look at the: 
  • Suitability of packaging of the Certificate III qualification
  • Requirement for the addition of a Certificate IV qualification or a skill set of units at Certificate IV level (e.g. aimed at Supervisors or Senior technical staff)
  • Relevancy and content of the existing units
  • Pathway qualifications for young workers / people new to industry

Read more about how you can be involved here.

Victorian Branch Update
We had another great turn out to the Victorian AEPMA branch meeting and again we were lucky to have two representatives from the DHHS attend fostering the continued good relationship these two organisations have. A presentation was given by the Victorian Chair, Rob Boschma on the use of the Code of Practice for Termite Management compared to the Australian Standards.
The Code of Practice for Rodent Management is also near completion and its benefits to the industry was discussed. 

Other topics included the proposed ‘declaration’ of parts of the Melbourne City Council as a ‘termite zone’ and testing methods for termite colonies use on trees within that council, continued auditing and the results by the DHHS was presented, FAOPMA and AEPMA conferences, fruit fly plan for the Yarra Valley and the new ‘Field Biologist’ course that is now up and running.

Our next meeting will be held in February, 2019 and we will aim to make this a more informal meeting at a pub or a restaurant and I would encourage anyone interested to come down and meet likeminded pest controllers who want to contribute to our fantastic industry, it really is a great opportunity to trade advice and bounce ideas around. Search for our state branch Facebook page (AEPMA Victorian Branch) or keep your eye out for your email from head office for details on time and location. 
NSW and ACT State Council Update
A meeting was held on 20 August at 4pm at the office of Globe Pest Solutions, 39 Gow Street, Padstow NSW. We discussed a good number of topics including Codes of Practice, NSW EPA, electronic pest devices, Review of the Pest Management Training Package, Pest Manager of the Year Awards and many more. Many thanks to Brett Black and the team at Globe Pest Solutions for providing the venue and the refreshments.

Thank you to Richard Doyle, Kelvin Lawrie and Rentokil for providing professional help for the NSW EPA film shoot for their Pest Management Technician ad campaign. I have received a very positive and thankful response from NSW EPA. We have been informed of the videos been at their final edit and I am sure we will see and hear about the advertisements in the very near future.

Make sure we all carry our NSW EPA Licences in the truck and show it if requested!

The NSW EPA is developing a community education campaign that aims to raise awareness about the need for Pest Management Technicians to be licensed. One of the main goals is to inform the community that pest management technicians must hold a licence and that the EPA’s public register has details on technicians and licences issued by the EPA. This information will enable the community to make more informed decisions before hiring a pest management technician.

Please click here to read the full update.
Family Saves Toddler from Python Jaws
A far north Queensland family saved a 22-month-old boy from the jaws of a four-metre-long scrub python after it latched onto the child while he was playing at the family home in Julatten, north of Cairns.

Mother Amanda Rutland said she was horrified when she discovered the snake had bitten her son and was wrapping its body around the young boy on the afternoon of October 13.

"Something that size and he's so tiny … It was scary as hell, I can't put into words," Ms Rutland said.

Naish and his three-year-old sister Evie-Blue, were playing on the back verandah when the python struck.

Ms Rutland said she was talking to her mum, and could see her two children in her peripheral vision, when she noticed her daughter's startled reaction.

"I've looked over and [Evie-Blue] is backing away from where Nash was and I thought 'That's a bit weird' and she jumped up on the table and the first thing that went through my head was 'snake'," she said.

Ms Rutland ran to her son's aid to find the snake biting his upper arm and starting to coil itself around him.

"The first thing I tried to do was put my hand in its mouth and try to [get it off] but it wasn't budging. Its head was nearly as big as my hand," Ms Rutland said.

She screamed out to her father Ronald for help and the pair tried to prise the snake off.

Read the full article here.
A WA Blitz on European House Borer!
The Biosecurity Blitz is an annual event hosted by the Western Australian Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, running from 19 October to 16 November 2018. 

It is an opportunity for you to join in and report as many interesting or damaging pests as possible across Western Australia over a month. One of the pests targeted during the 2018 Biosecurity Blitz is the European house borer (EHB); a destructive pest of seasoned (dry) coniferous wood which can cause structural damage to your house if it infests susceptible roof timbers, door/wall frames, flooring or other pine articles.

Where to look for EHB
  • Look around dead pine trees, logs or debris (but only where it is safe and you have permission to do so). The two most common pine tree species in Perth (Pinus pinaster and Pinus radiata) are susceptible to EHB.
  • Check your firewood (if pine), and any pine timber left lying around in the yard.
  • Any other articles made of pine wood may also be susceptible e.g. pine furniture. (On one occasion, EHB was found inside a home-made pine log cat scratcher!)
  • Suitably accredited pest control operators might also check pine roofing timber.
  • Some areas of Perth and surrounds are already known to have EHB while other areas are thought to be free of EHB. You can check our website map to see if you live in or near an area with known EHB. For the Biosecurity Blitz though, we would like reports of possible EHB from everywhere to help confirm its distribution.
What to look for
  • EHB beetles emerge from the beginning of September to April the following year.
  • Beetles are a brownish black to greyish black with distinctive white patches on their wings. They also have two raised black shiny knobs behind their head.
  • Exit holes are 5-10mm in length, oval shaped and run with the grain of the wood.
  • Larvae are creamy white with a rippled body, and up to 40mm in length

How to report EHB

  • Download the MyPestGuide reporting app www.mypestguide.agric.wa.gov.au
  • Follow instructions to create a report and upload relevant photos. We would like one or more close up photo/s of the suspected EHB or signs of EHB, and a photo of the broader surrounds to provide context.
  •  In the ‘Send report to’ section of the app, select the drop down button ‘EHB survey’
  •  Complete the ‘Where’ and ‘I found’ sections before entering your details and sending the report. You can report anytime during the Blitz or afterwards.
For more information on EHB go to the Department’s website www.agric.wa.gov.au/ehb
Helping Improve Quality of Life
It’s great to be in a business where we provide innovative solutions for problems,’ said David Priddy CEO at Sundew Solutions, “but where I really get a kick out of what we do is when we receive feedback where we’ve made significant life changing differences to customers’ quality of life.”

Recently we were told the story of a Housing Trust dwelling where the home owner had a serious hoarding disorder.  The home was strewn with hundreds of empty cat food tins and various household possessions leaving only narrow gaps for walkways throughout.

The hundreds of opened tins of cat food provided the ideal food and harbourage source for tens of thousands of German cockroaches, while the hoarded household goods extended the domain in which this pest was able to hide.  It was estimated that there were well over 20,000 roaches in this small dwelling.

Sundew was contacted by the pest management professional whose mammoth task it was to bring the situation under control.

Read the full story here.
Shutting Down Over Christmas and New Year?
The end of 2018 is fast approaching and it’s time to start thinking about what happens over Christmas and New Year. Many businesses shut down or run on skeleton staff over the holiday period – read on to find out how this affects pay and leave.
How employees are paid over this period depends on:
  • the award or agreement they're covered by
  • whether they're working or on leave.
Directing an employee to take annual leave
An employee can be directed to take annual leave during a shut down if their award or registered agreement allows it.
Most awards have rules about how and when an employer can direct an employee to take leave. For example, an employer may need to give the employee a set amount of notice (eg. 4 weeks) that they will need to take annual leave.
Find out if your award allows an employer to direct an employee to take annual leave over Christmas and New Year here.
If an employee isn't covered by an award or an agreement, their employer can direct them to take annual leave if the direction is reasonable.
What if an employee doesn't have enough annual leave?
If the award or agreement provides for it, an employer can direct an employee to take annual leave in advance of accrual, or unpaid leave, for some or all of the time.
mmission has varied a number of awards as part of its Modern Award Review. The changes affect rules about casual conversion, minimum engagement periods and rostering arrangements. 
Read more here.
Industry Adopts Codes of Practice for Termite Management
In March 2018 I received a phone call from Rob Boschma (Victorian AEPMA Chair). It was a lengthy discussion as I recall about the changes to the Australian Standards AS3600 and the need for industry to incorporate and support the AEPMA Codes of Practice for Termite Management.
Whilst the Australian Standard 3660 series represents the ‘minimum acceptable standard’ and are in general, technical references, the two ‘termite management’ Codes of Practice advocate and promote ‘best practice’ and envelop a wholistic approach to termite management and reflect the needs of the pest management industry. Importantly, the Code is about setting a higher level of ‘competency’ which requires attainment of key criteria such as two years’ experience, insurance and appropriate training and qualifications. This raises the bar for those newly entering the industry and set an example to state regulators as to what the industry expects. 

Sherwood Chemicals with notable assistance from Gary Stephenson (AEPMA National Vice President) recently submitted and were granted by the APVMA (Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority) changes to the product label Fipforce Aqua Termiticide & Insecticide to include references to the AEPMA Codes of Practice in Termite Management. The Fipforce Aqua label changes made by Sherwood clarify and define who should use the product and why, expand on how and where its’ used correctly and adds pertinent advice about its’ characteristics.  
The changes/additions to the label do not conflict with either the existing label content or to the comparable Australian standard 3660 content referenced on the existing label but actually adds prescriptive definition and clarity to the subjects.  

On behalf of Sherwood Chemicals I would like to express my thanks to Gary Stephenson for preparing the submission to the APVMA and to the AEPMA Board in pursuing increased professionalism and cooperation within the industry.
John Ralph, Sherwood Chemicals Australasia
Male Free Zone
For the first time, scientists have discovered all-female termite colonies, living and flourishing in Japan. While we know of several insect species that easily thrive without any males, this is an exciting new development in our understanding of asexual reproduction.

Most species on this planet reproduce sexually, requiring both male and female gametes in order to produce offspring.

Every now and again, though, a species is able to reproduce asexually. This is called parthenogenesis, and it's been observed in animals such as sharks, lizards, snakes, amphibians and fish.

It also shows up in the insect world. Aphids are one famous example; phasmids such as stick and leaf insects are another.

Meanwhile, bees and ants not only sometimes reproduce asexually, they also live in all-female colonies, producing males solely for mating with the queen before unceremoniously booting them out.

But termites are a completely different order from Hymenopteran ants and wasps - they're Blattodea, making this new discovery all the more exciting.

While termites also have a queen that produces the majority, if not all, of the colony's offspring, they also have her counterpart - a king - who fathers the offspring. Colonies also typically consist of an equal mix of asexual male and female workers, which work together for the good of the colony.

But when studying colonies of the species Glyptotermes nakajimai in Japan, researchers were surprised to discover that some seemed to have not a single male among the insects they counted.

Click here to read the full article.
Rapid Welcomes New Claims Manager
For over a quarter of a century, Rapid Solutions has been providing peace of mind in the Pest and Building sectors. For our customers, that’s knowing as industry practices and standards evolve, when it comes to a claim, education or training, Rapid has got their back.
Our new claims manager Basil Taylor has been working in the insurance sector for every one of those 25 years - he’s watched it diversify and grow. A Senior Associate Member of ANZIIF and member of the Australasian Institute of Chartered Loss Adjusters, Basil’s appointment strengthens the team’s experience and expertise as it continues striving to provide customers with fast, easy and simple insurance solutions.
Basil has seen many changes to the sector over the years, but says the biggest change by far has been the way people interact in everyday life, with online communication and on-demand service now the norm.
“The way insurers interact with customers has also changed,” said Mr Taylor. “Long gone are the days where customers were happy to sit around waiting for snail mail – more and more clients are preferring to do things online.” 
“Insurtech has allowed for effective interaction between insurers and customers. As a company, Rapid has evolved with the needs of its clients and demands of the wider industry. We are constantly reviewing how we can best utilise technology to improve our services and provide our customers with value adds such as our Report Writing products and training programs. However, finding the balance between technological advances and maintaining the customer relationship experience, is what sets us apart from our competitors.”

Mr Taylor’s role is diverse and includes a focus this year on using data from claims, technical and training, as well as industry forums, to develop risk mitigation tools for our customers to ensure knowledge and experience is shared to achieve industry best practice.

 “A typical day in claims has changed significantly to when I first started in the sector, however timely communication and a focus on being responsive remains the key,” said Mr Taylor.

“I can honestly say I have loved every minute of my time with Rapid Solutions. Each day brings different challenges and after almost 25 years in the insurance industry I am still learning new things each day and I find that exciting. Above all, the people at Rapid are what make the difference. We all work as one team with a shared vision to be the nimble, niche liability insurer no one can catch. In claims, that means we’re obsessed with settling claims as efficiently and effectively as possible, getting the best outcome for our customer. And that’s what makes it a great place to work.” 

It’s my pleasure to welcome Basil Taylor to the team.
Belinda Smith, Chief Executive Officer, Rapid Solutions
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Upcoming Events
  • PMITAG NSW Meeting – 14 November 2018
  • NSW and ACT State Council Meeting - 19 November 2018
  • SAVE THE DATE! Rapid Solutions Conference (RACV Royal Pines, Gold Coast) – 8-11 August 2019
  • FAOPMA Pest Summit 2019 (Daejeon, Korea) – 24-27 September 2019  

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