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Welcome to the Australian Environmental Pest Managers Association May 2021 edition. Please read on below for more details below or visit our website for online version


Vale Barry Smith – Sterling Pest Control

It is with regret that I report the death of Barry Smith – Sterling Pest Control.

Ion Staunton has provided a wonderful tribute to Barry. On behalf of AEPMA I would like to extend my condolences to Barry’s family and friends.

Barry was known by many in our industry and will be missed greatly. 



Pest Manager of the Year 2021

It’s that time of year again and nominations are now open for Pest Manager of the Year 2021, once again very generously sponsored by BASF.

Nominations will close on the 15th June with winners being announced at Pesticon.  Please see below for more information and the link to download the forms. 

Professional Women in Australian Pest Management – PWAPM

I would like to welcome PWAPM as a contributor to the AEPMA newsletter.  Every month Nicky and her team will provide an update regarding PWAPM. 

AEPMA Pesticon 2021 – Pest Management in the Digital Age

Don’t forget, registrations for this year’s conference are now open. A draft of the Conference Program is available to view on the Conference Website. I look forward to welcoming you to this years Pesticon at the Star Gold Coast in September.

More details including how to register, can be found below.

As always, if you have any questions or would like to submit an article for the AEPMA eNewsletter please contact the National Office on 1300 307 114 or email

Vasili Tsoutouras


Vale Barry Smith – Sterling Pest Control

“Barry was a very early President of the UPCA following on from Doug Tristram (Houghton & Byrne) and Jack Flick to become probably the first of the smaller companies to provide a President.

Maybe Eric Cope was before him or followed him.

He started his business with his wife Kay in 1966 and sometime this millenium, their son, Sean took over with Barry and Kay still hovering in the background offering advice… as you’d expect in family run businesses. Seans daughters, Rhiannon and Brook run the office and Kay still handles the Scatterbird side of things.

Barry passed away surrounded by family on Thursday 15th April 2021, aged 79.

It’s 40+ years since I saw him but I am certain of his abiding integrity and diligence to do the right thing by his customers, in his business interactions… and I enjoyed his sense of humour. Top bloke!”

Best wishes,

Ion Staunton


Pest Manager of the Year - Applications are now open

Nominations are now open for Pest Manager of the Year 2021, once again very generously sponsored by BASF.

Nominations will close on the 15th of June with winners being announced at Pesticon.

“BASF are proud to be supporting the Pest Manager of the Year awards for its 11th consecutive year,” says David Elmouttie, BASF Business Manager for Professional & Specialty Solutions. 

“BASF continue to applaud all those whom are nominated for embodying the progressive values which we at BASF share and practice in our own business.

Each year, we are a witness to an impressive range of entries, showcasing companies with a genuine commitment to keep raising the standard of service within the Pest Control Business at every level.”

Categories for this year's competition are as follows:

  • Business Award Two Classes:  Pest Management firms employing 10 or more people, pest management firms employing fewer than 10 people.  National Pest Manager of the Year will be awarded from nominees in these two categories. 
  • Micro Business, which is a category for pest management businesses with fewer than three employees
  • South Pacific Pest Manager of the Year, open to AEPMA member businesses both large and small operating in the South Pacific Region.

The top 3 companies from each category will be selected based on their written and website material and will progress to the judging stage of the competition.

If you would like to nominate for Pest Manager of the Year, please click here (PDF Version) or here (Word Version)

Pest Manager of the Year Guidelines are available for download here 

AEPMA Pesticon 2021 – Program Released on Website

AEPMA is pleased to announce that the program for Pesticon 2021, held 22-24 September 2021 at The Star Gold Coast, is now available to view on the conference website.

The theme for this year’s conference is “Pest Management in the Digital Age” and the conference program will deliver an exciting and varied mix of presentations to help you and your business stay relevant in this fast-paced industry.

We are thrilled to have “Technology Futurist”, Shara Evans as our Keynote presenter.  Regarded as a leading expert on emerging technologies, cyber security, digital privacy and the future of health, humanity and work, Shara is regularly featured on television. She’s appeared on Sky News, ABC’s Q&A, The Project, Weekend Sunrise, Lateline, and more!  Shara shows organisations how to take advantage of the opportunities underpinned by emerging technologies. As one of the world’s top female futurists, Shara is one of those rare individuals who merges incredible technical skills with an innate understanding of the social and economic impact of new technologies.

Other highlights of the program include:

A special panel session on “Converting your Business to Digital”;

“Ask the Expert” Workshop run by a panel of AEPMA pest managers, with a wealth of experience in all things Pest Management.

Dr Don Ewart will again enlighten us on Termites – this time “What happens when it goes wrong”

Raja Mahendran – International Strategic Business Consultant on “Creating the Future of Pest Control”

Stephen Doggett –  on “Pest Management & Climate Change”

Plus topics such as Digital Marketing, Social Media, Employment, Insurance, Mental Health….and much much more!  For the complete program visit the AEPMA Conference website.

Don’t delay, secure your place early - BOOK NOW & SAVE!!!  It’s an event not to be missed!!

Register online or download the registration form, complete and return with your payment to

Further details regarding the conference can be found by visiting

PWAPM Leadership Conference 

When we first undertook the mammoth task of organizing the first PWAPM National Leadership Conference we were hoping for 25 delegates and an event that provided networking opportunities for women in our industry.

We achieved a lot more then this. The event itself had over 65 delegates and 29 Sponsors. Despite the concern around COVID at this time we had participants from almost every state.

When making the decision to attend the PWAPM National Leadership Conference I didn’t know what to expect, as we are from Victoria it was a HUGE decision to bring our team up to the Gold Coast for the conference. And with COVID being such a major concern we were all a bit on edge, we had just surfaced from a 5 day lockdown.

However, despite this our little team of 4 headed up to the Gold Coast on the 5th and 6th March to participate in the first ever National Women’s Leadership Conference held at the Mantra at Sharks.

Little did I know what an amazing experience this conference would provide and that we were crazy to have the reservations we had felt initially. The result of this conference has had my team more engaged and understanding of the customer experience that we all play a part in. Enthused to get in front of a camera and video themselves at work, we have even purchased some of the equipment recommended by Girl Director. Aware of the insurance issues that face our industry on a daily basis and inspired by the story of Angie Mansey who has overcome so many obstacles to get to where she is today.

The Conference Dinner which was held on the Friday night had approximately 90 participants and created a great atmosphere. We were privileged to induct Rhonda Trotter from Pink Pest Services as the first Honorary Life Member of the PWAPM. And present the awards for Best Female Trainee of the Year Award to Sheri Ambler from Laguna Pest Control and Best Female Administration of the Year Award to Ash Fadian from Competitive Pest Services. Further inspiration was provided to all the women in the room from our 2020 PWAPM Excellence Award Winner Michelle Downs who shared the ups and downs of her journey into the pest control industry.

The relationships that have flourished because of this conference has really given our team the confidence to reach out and ask for help. The women in our industry are kind, supportive and passionate about pest control. I couldn’t have asked for a better experience and I look forward to meeting up with all these lovely ladies again next year.

The PWAPM National Leadership Conference video is available to view here

AEPMA  Membership Renewal

If you are thinking of joining AEPMA or have not renewed your membership yet, here are the steps to sign up!

  1. Go to
  2. Click on Industry Portal
  3. Log in with your username and password (valid for current members)
  4. Click on “Manage My Account”, then go to “Memberships”, click on “Renew/Upgrade” button
  5. Fill in the online payment form

Your membership will automatically be updated

  • IMPORTANT – Check your profile details and amend if necessary.

AEPMA Branch Update

AEPMA Queensland Branch

We have been notified by QLD Health, that Industry have been invited to comment on the new Medicines and Poisons (Pest Management) Regulations. More details can be found here.

AEPMA will also be putting in an industry submission and this will be circularised before the submission closing date of 26th May 2021.  Members who wish to make individual submissions are invited to do so.  Comments in relation to AEPMA's formal submission will also be invited.

Should you see any clarification regarding the above please do not hesitate to contact our office via email ( or call 07 3268 4210.

AEPMA Victoria Branch

Branch Meeting Friday 26th March, 2021

The Victorian Branch of AEPMA held their meeting on 26th March 2021, which was almost exactly to the day a year ago that Victoria’s COVID regulations commenced.  Given, the passage of time it was a great opportunity to reflect on the past year of Challenges and opportunities.

Rob Boschma provided a National Update, including highlighting the forthcoming Conference, which will be held on the Gold Coast, 22nd-24th September which will focus on Pest Management in the digital age. 

James Wallace, Wymark Insurance Brokers joined us to present a series of Case Series highlighting typical insurance Claims in Pest Management and how to minimise your risk in addition to a general overview of the Insurance landscape.  Interestingly, many more Claims are professional Indemnity, originating from allegations of poor advice, eg. Pre-Purchase Inspections.

Katherine Smith, DHS provided an update on Victorian Licensing and the transitional arrangements for PHWA (Public Health and Wellbeing Act, 2008).  There will be a system of recognition of Prior Learning once New Termite Licensing is implemented.  Katherine advised key updates from DHS will soon be provided to Licensees via a new newsletter, which should be launched later in the year.

It was a long time coming but it was lovely to be able to thank, Jim Westhead, who retired from Bayer last year for his contribution to the Industry and particularly our Association.  David Gay acknowledged Jim’s efforts and his ability to engage people and encourage Industry participation.  Jim will be missed, although we hope to see him at future events.

Don Ewart provided an Insight into the Inaugural PWAPM conference held in early March on Gold Coast.  We look forward to these events continuing.

We have Pencilled in our Next Branch Meeting prior to Conference, Sept., 2021.  We will update people with exact details in coming weeks.  We may also look at holding State based Industry Events.  If members have ideas they would like to put forward we encourage you to get in touch with us.

We thank everyone for attending it was lovely to personally catch up with our Industry Colleagues and Associates.

Fumithor™ Delta Smoke Generator – Improved Formulation and Now Registered for Bed Bugs

Fumithor Delta eliminates a wide range of crawling and flying insect pests in enclosed areas such as roof voids, subfloors, storage sheds, warehouses, shipping containers, commercial buildings, industrial facilities and public spaces; as well as agricultural areas including grain silos, glasshouses, animal housing and other agricultural buildings.

Ensystex’s Regional Director, Mr Steve Broadbent, advised, “The Fumithor Delta presentation has been greatly improved. Previously we employed a tablet in a plastic pouch that had to be lit. The new presentation is provided in a 40 g tin with a ring pull lid exposing a wick. The wick is lit to provide easier lighting and further improvements to the dynamic smoke dispersion technology™.

Read more here

Boosting Apprenticeship Commencements

Australian government is subsidising part of the trainees gross wages for the first 12 months of their traineeship.

The program is called Boosting Apprenticeship Commencements (BAC) – (also includes traineeships) and was created to stimulate the economy coming out of COVID.

In summary the program provides:

  • Employers with a 50% Gross wage subsidy for their trainee up to $7000.00 per quarter (max. $28,000.00/yr.)
  • Entry to the program expires on the 30th September 2021

More information can be found in the below links:

This is a great opportunity for our industry to get a few more technicians Cert 3 qualified.

Sundew Solutions Helping Wasp Ravaged Mallacoota

You might remember in the March edition of AEPMA eNewsletter the story “They’re everywhere”: Fire-ravaged Mallacoota now plagued by wasps?

What we didn’t tell you was that Sundew Solutions has been working with key local contacts trialing the new Vespex European Wasp Baiting program. 

In mid-March 2021 a field trial at a waste transfer station was set up to test the effectiveness of the Vespex program.  It was reported by staff at the transfer station that there was a 50-60% reduction in wasp numbers in just 7 days of baiting.

“We’ve received similar excited positive reports from Vespex Accredited Specialists across Victoria, New South Wales, South Australia and Tasmania,” said David Priddy, C.E.O. of Sundew Solutions.   

Read more here

Shaking things up at Syngenta Professional Pest Management

A change is as good as a holiday – and at Syngenta PPM this year there is plenty of change to share! Our team has had a reshuffle and a few additions; and we are confident that we have lined up a stellar team moving forward to help you take your business to the next level.

Syngenta are dedicated to delivering the best products and services that support the specific needs of the professional pest management industry. The Syngenta range continues to grow and expand, and the knowledge and support offer behind our products is . The products combat all kinds of pest issues, responsibly and efficiently, providing better solutions for both residential and commercial pest control problems that you face every day.

Australia wide, more and more leading professional pest controllers are seeing the benefits to their businesses of working with Syngenta. Whether it is new products – like the recently launched Demand Duo Insecticide – that are giving them a competitive advantage or support that helps them open up new opportunities, Syngenta is here to support you.

Meet the team

Carole Cast – Business Manager ANZ

Carole joins Syngenta as Business Manager for Professional Pest Management (PPM) with a flair for driving sustainable growth with insight into customer’s unique business challenges. Carole comes with 20 years diverse channel experience focused on business development. Passionate about partnering with channel partners to grow, Carole keeps the customer at the heart of driving value for through improved offers. Recently, Carole gained hands-on experience within a fast-paced start up coupled with experience owning her own business. Having grown up in the outdoors of both New Zealand and Canada, Carole chose to make the beautiful Northern Beaches district of Sydney her home. 

On her new role, Carole says: “Syngenta is a leading Global business with an understanding of how to utilise innovation to tailor to our local customers. I’m excited to join and lead the ANZ PPM team at Syngenta and work closely with our business partners”

Peter Ambrose-Pearce – Technical Services Lead ANZ

Peter has been with Syngenta for a number of years and has recently accepted a new role as ANZ Technical Services Lead. He will be responsible for supporting our customers with product and industry training, technical advice and trial activity.

Peter commenced his career in pest management in 2004 with Amalgamated Pest Control in Queensland. He initially worked with their residential division, but later moved to a branch on the northern outskirts of Brisbane to take on all facets of pest management. This semi-rural and urban landscape was where Peter spent the next 6 years developing a solid understanding of pest management including commercial, domestic and importantly termite treatments and applications.

Peter’s technical knowledge of pest management has been developed in the field and combined with his training as a licensed pest manager in Queensland is a force to be reckoned with. He’s been with Syngenta since 2014 and is excited about his new role within the company.

Peter’s excellent technical abilities practical pest knowledge enables him to assist his customers with in-field problem solving and practical technical training. He’s based in Queensland but will travel nationally in this role. These skills are a great asset to the Syngenta PPM team.

To arrange a training session with Peter, contract him either on email or on mobile 0428 217 803. 

Victoria Lines-Busby – Sales Manager ANZ

Victoria began her career in pest control in2003 with Rentokil Initial Australia in Newcastle. As a part of an award-winning branch and team, she built strong skills in sales as well as pest management. With a variety of experience prior to Rentokil in the hospitality and hygiene industries contributing to her broad knowledge base in the field. After moving to Brisbane and finding her feet, Victoria joins the Syngenta PPM team full of energy and excited to get started. Her goal in this role is to develop successful partnerships with my clients and support their business goals and success.

Of her new role, Victoria says: “Our new team is energised and ready to take Syngenta into the future through great customer support, product quality and technical support for the Professional Pest Operators and distributors.”

Victoria’s strong knowledge of practical pest management enables her to assist Syngenta customers with anything product related. Another amazing asset to the Syngenta PPM team. Don’t hesitate to contact her for a chat either via email or mobile 0409 244 220.

2021 Environmental Biosecurity Webinar Series – Knock Knock, Who’s there? Drawing attention to our most unwanted visitors. 

The registration page is now open for the 2021 Environmental Biosecurity Webinar Series – Knock Knock, Who’s there? Drawing attention to our most unwanted visitors.

The series of seven monthly webinars and discussions will focus on the recently released National Priority List of Exotic Environmental Pests, Weeds and Diseases (EEPL) and explore the list’s purpose, its development and how it will help manage risks to Australia’s biosecurity. Each webinar will be 90 minutes, including three speakers and 30 minutes of facilitated discussion.

The first webinar ‘Biosecurity. A weakness in one is a vulnerability to all’ will provide an introduction to the series and highlight the importance of managing biosecurity risks across the spectrum of human, agricultural, environmental and marine health. We will hear from three experts who will provide their latest insights on biosecurity and the transdisciplinary approach to one health.

2021 Environmental Biosecurity Webinar Series:

Knock Knock. Who’s there? Drawing attention to our most unwanted visitors

  • Explaining the EEPL to the People – All about the National Priority List of Exotic Environmental Pests, Weeds and Diseases. 13 May 2:00-3:30pm(AEST)
  • Where there’s a path, there’s a way. An overview of pest entry pathways. 3 June 2:00-3:30pm(AEST)  
  • Pests & ecosystems – exploring risks to forests and parklands. 1 July 2:00-3:30pm(AEST)
  • Pests & ecosystems - exploring risks to marine environments. 5 August 2:00-3:30pm(AEST)
  • Pests & ecosystems - exploring risks to freshwater environments. 2 September 2:00-3:30pm(AEST)
  • Opening the toolbox. Tools and technology for detection, control and eradication. 7 October 2:00-3:30pm(AEDT)

To register for the webinar series and for more information, visit the Eventbrite registration page.

Once registered, you will be emailed the Microsoft Teams joining link and program for each session as they become available (approximately 2 weeks before each webinar).

If you would like to watch recordings from last year’s webinar series, please visit the Environmental Biosecurity Webinar Series information page.

Engagement Report Released

An Engagement Report has been released summarising the feedback received on proposals for the new Act.  

Read or download the Engagement Report on the Engage Victoria website at

More than 1200 responses on the proposals were received from individuals and organisations representing different involvement and interests in animals.     

All feedback is being reviewed and is informing work to develop draft legislation for a Bill to be considered by the Victorian Parliament.   

An Exposure Draft of the legislation is planned in 2022. 

There will also be opportunities to provide feedback as Regulations and other subordinate instruments of the new Act are developed. 

Thank you for your interest and contributions to date.


21 April 2021- expiry of the current temporary exemption to several mandatory pesticides training requirements in NSW.

During the peak of the pandemic, some training courses were unavailable due to COVID-19 social distancing rules, so in April 2020 the NSW EPA issued a pesticide training temporary exemption. Trainee pest management technicians and fumigators who hold a training permit from the EPA were given an extension to 21 April 2021 to enrol in the approved courses for those licences, provided all normal supervision requirements were observed.This exemption will no longer be in force – more information on normal trainee requirements is available here.

Otherwise there is no change to requirements on urban pest management technicians, fumigators and holders of other types of NSW pesticide licences - everyone must continue to only use registered pesticides as per the instructions on the approved label or Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority permit and take all measures to avoid harming other people or damaging the environment.

This remains a developing situation and the response taken by the EPA to COVID-19 may change over time.

More information is available by contacting the Environment Line on 131 555 or or by visiting

Hungry rats costing Brisbane car owners thousands in repairs

Brisbane's cooler months have prompted warnings that rats may be looking for a cosy place to wine and dine — such as your car engine.

One Holland Park resident, Tanya Wright, was recently hit with a costly bill after her car wouldn't start.

Her mechanic discovered the engine's wiring had been almost entirely stripped by hungry rats.

Read more here - Credit ABC

Certainly life-threatening’: 80-year-old Australian survives 30-minute boat ride with tiger snake

Most people would back well away at the sight of a potentially deadly tiger snake – one of the world’s most venomous snakes.

But when 80-year-old Australian retired banker Bob Thatcher saw a one-metre tiger snake, he had nowhere to go.

Alone in his small 1.8 metre by 1.2 metre (6ft by 4ft) fishing boat, Thatcher was 11km from shore when he saw the snake just centimetres from his feet. He was hoping to catch some bream and had just sat down after throwing the anchor into Lake Wellington – one of the coastal waterways in Victoria’s East Gippsland region.

Read more here - The Guardian

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