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


AEPMA eNewsletter August 2021


Pesticon 2021 Postponed

“It is with regret that I advise that AEPMA has reluctantly come to the decision that, given the current situation regarding Covid-19 and potential border closures, the conference set down for September will be postponed.

Following discussions with The Star Gold Coast, the conference will be rescheduled for 6th – 8th June 2022. 

AEPMA apologises for any inconvenience, but I trust all industry participants would understand that the current lockdowns and potential border closures gives us no other option” said Mr Vasili Tsoutouras – AEPMA President.

In the next week all exhibitors and delegates will be contacted and offered to a full refund of all monies paid or a refund less a deposit to maintain their booking for the new date.  Alternatively, delegates and exhibitors can maintain their full booking that will be honoured at no additional cost.

As chance would have it, our office is currently in lockdown and processing the paperwork will take a little longer than normal.  Industry should be in no doubt all contractual obligations will be honoured.

“The AEPMA board regretted making this decision but, given the circumstances, I trust that members and industry would understand" concluded Mr Vasili Tsoutouras.

Pesticon 2021 was shaping up as an unmissable event, however we aim to make Pesticon 2022 even better! 

Please check the conference website for updates and to register for Pesticon 2022.


AEPMA Branch Updates


The last QLD AEPMA branch meeting was held on Wednesday 30th June by Microsoft Teams.  The next meeting will take place at the AEPMA National Office on 25th August at 7.30am

If you would like to attend the meeting please RSVP by the 24th of August by calling the AEPMA National Office on 1300 307 114  or via email at 

Matters to be covered at the next meeting will include:

  • Licensing & training – update on preparation and process for next revision of Pest Management training package; survey of QLD members on views on training & competency standards
  • Regulations pertaining to the Medicines and Poisons Act 2019 Queensland Health – outcomes of consultation and status of finalisation
  • Mutual recognition – status of draft legislation to amend the Commonwealth Mutual Recognition Act 1992
  • Review of the QLD Animal Care & Protection Act 2001 – feedback from AEPMA submission
  • Red Imported Fire Ant Eradication Program – recent contact with Program Steering Committee & the Program’s current internal review of effectiveness, AEPMA strategy to promote industry involvement
  • National update on Australian Standards & Codes of Practice; and
  • Pesticon 2021 Conference Update.    


Survey - Training and Licensing requirements for Pest Management Technicians.

The AEPMA QLD branch is currently working with Industry nationally to review the current Training and Licensing requirements for Pest Management Technicians.

This survey aims to inform you of recent changes in training and assist AEPMA QLD Branch to formulate policy toward the future of the industry.  Your participation is appreciated.

Please note all responses are treated confidentially.

More information and a link to the survey can be found here


Queensland Health 

We strongly encourage you to view the August 2021 Pest  Management Update from Queensland Health which details new and important information affecting your industry. 


Mental Health and Wellbeing for Small Business and Adults

A free and confidential mental health coaching program, developed by Beyond Blue to give small business owners (with 20 employees or less), including sole traders the support they need.

More information can be found here



The main Grant for SMES in Victoria that have been affected by Covid is,

Business Costs Assistance Program, Round 2, July Extension

This Grant is specifically targeting Businesses

  • Who have been Affected by Recent Covid lockdowns,
  • Have not been eligible previously 
  • Who have not received Grants under previous schemes.

All Businesses should consult their Accountants as eligibility is based around Listed ANZSIC Industry Codes.

The Pest Management Industry appears to be listed, Under Industry Code, 7311

(Main Section Which Encompasses Subsections Including our Industry 7312),

This section contains the following subsection :

  •             Class 7311 Building and Other Industrial Cleaning Services
  •             Class 7312 Building Pest Control Services
  •             Class 7313 Gardening Services.

There is also Funding available under ‘ Small Business Covid Hardship Fund’, however, Businesses need to demonstrate a 70% decline in Revenue.

Please visit  Business Victoria for further information 

There are a number of Grants and Resources available. If you think you are Eligible simply Apply.

For our Industry the key ones of interest will be the ‘Business Costs Assistance Grant, Round 2…Extension & ‘ Jobs Victoria Fund’, which is providing Wage Subsidies for Employing people, Conditions Apply.

As always we would advise that Businesses make their own enquiries to see if they fit the criteria for these Grants or Funding.

Donning and Doffing PPE Might be Work


Typically, personal protective equipment (PPE) primarily benefits the person wearing it, helping keep them from harm. So putting it on and taking it off is not necessarily an activity for which someone else should pay.

But what if the PPE is more than that? What if the product or service on offer by the employer of the PPE wearer is such that wearing the PPE benefits the employer too?

This context informed a recent appeal bench decision in the FWC involving a meatworks. The PPE in question included items such as gloves, arm sleeves, aprons, and hair nets. The employer required this apparel to both protect workers but also to comply with various regulations to enable it to sell product in its markets. So the PPE benefited both parties.

The problem was, the employer also required the employees to remove virtually all this PPE prior to taking their meal break.

The employees took a sizeable chunk of their half-hour to get out of, and then back into, this gear to comply with both WHS and the food safety requirements.

The employer argued the meal break included time spent getting into and out of the PPE because the half hour break was intended to be ‘away from work’. This argument led the FWC to ask ‘well, what is work then, in this context?’.

The bench canvassed case law on the issue and arrived at the conclusion that it was indeed work and should be paid time. Specifically it said “the meal break activities are substantive activities which form an essential aspect of (the employer’s) business, because absent proper adherence to necessary hygiene procedures and appropriate health and safety practices, (the employer) would not be able to operate its business in the meat industry”.

FWC said the activities associated with the PPE at breaks were required by the employer, there was no choice for the employees. Importantly, the bench said this was not a case “where it could be seriously contended that the amount of time taken to undertake the meal break activities was so minimal it should be regarded as de minimis. We are not, for example, dealing with a requirement that an employee put on a safety helmet, safety glasses and a hi-vis vest on their way out of the crib room at the end of a meal break.”.

So the situation is nuanced. If the activities are, as the FWC said, minimal and take but a moment, then generally there will no case. But where the activities are required by the employer, benefit the employer and take significant time, then in a contest, it is likely the employee will be considered “at work” when performing those activities.

The employee tried to have the time spent either end of his shift treated the same way. But FWC refused to rule on this because of the particular way this case had been brought before the FWC, not because that claim did, or did not, have merit. So that question could arise in many instances and disputes about that could go the same way.

Read more here

How can you alleviate your customers’ cash flow concerns and still get paid on time?

As the pandemic drags on, the economic fallout may mean that some customers might not be able to afford your services as easily as they would have pre-pandemic. So even though they may need your services today, they may not be able to pay everything upfront. At this point, alleviating your clients’ pricing concerns is more than just a sales tactic - it’s the right thing to do. 

“We realised that many of our customers just didn’t have the extra money to pay for the unexpected expense, and we were looking for a payment option that could alleviate the stress of dealing with an unwanted animal invading their home,” said Grant Newton, Project Manager at Critter Removal Indianapolis. For the team of pest control and wildlife removal experts at Critter Removal Indianapolis, QuickFee Instalments is the friendly payment option that leaves their customers smiling. The company has received incredibly positive feedback from their customers who have used QuickFee Instalments and love the simplicity of the solution. Read the case study

When you provide your clients with a solution to their pricing concerns, you are not just helping them; you also provide a way for you to get paid on time for your services. Everyone wins.

Here are a few ways to incorporate payment plans into your pricing strategy:

  • Emphasise compassion and flexibility in all your communications
  • Discuss the instalment amounts right after showing your full prices
  • Explain your payment options clearly on your website (and discuss them early on with your clients)
  • Use social media to promote that you offer alternative payment methods
  • and instalments

Plus… as an AEPMA member, you get the first month for free – no transaction fees.

Find out more

Commercial Pest Control - David Fielder, Territory Business Development Manager – PPM (VIC/SA/TAS)

Commercial Pest Control is a significant segment of the professional pest management market and consists of restaurants, bakeries, nursing homes, hospitals, warehouses, factories, office buildings and the list goes on. This market often requires different products and techniques compared to those used in residential pest management.

A good workplace is a “pest free” and clean environment, so, rats, mice, cockroaches, ants and other creepy crawlies are definitely “unwanted guests”!

Unfortunately, pest-related issues in any business can result in very real costs to your reputation, your client base and your bottom line.

Read more here 

Time is right for training

The ongoing challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic have been tough on pest management businesses, including those who’ve seen an increased demand for their services, but don’t have trained, qualified technicians to send out on the road.

Rapid Training has seen a sharp increase in student enrolments for licensing courses in response to the demand for pest technicians across the country.

With blended delivery – which means online learning with virtual and video assessments – Rapid Training is perfectly positioned to support students during their studies, and students have the benefit of fitting in their training and assessments when it suits them.

You can hear from our CEO, Trainers, Students and Employers here

Biflex® Mikron

The new revolutionary sprayable concentrate from FMC Australasia, Biflex® Mikron, features a particle size that is 200 times smaller than SC formulations and thousands of times smaller than micro-encapsulated products. This video shows Biflex® Mikron concentrate mixes clear, sprays clear and dries clear on treated surfaces, including on glass.

Watch here FMC GSS Biflex Mikron - YouTube

For more information visit or contact your local representative.

Enrol Now to Become a Vespex European Wasp Accredited Specialist

With Spring just around the corner, now is the perfect time to enrol to become a Vespex Accredited Specialist.

Sundew Solutions was proud in late 2020 to bring pest management professionals Australia’s very first APVMA approved remote toxicant baiting solution for European Wasps (vespula germanica). 

European Wasp was first found in Australia in 1959 after being introduced from overseas.  This non-native pest has become established in Tasmania, South Australia, Victoria, New South Wales and Western Australia.  There have even been reports of nests being found in South East Queensland.

Traditionally, this pest has been treated by direct application to nests of an insecticidal dust and/or spray application.  This relies on the nest being able to be located and accessed. 

Read more here 

Reports of fire ant nests in Brisbane soar in recent years

The number of fire ant nests plaguing Brisbane backyards has skyrocketed, with confirmed cases five times higher than in 2014.

Fire ants were first discovered in Queensland in 2001 in the south-western suburbs of Brisbane and at the Port of Brisbane, with infestations since spreading through Brisbane, Ipswich, Logan, Redlands, and other areas of the south-east.

Read more here

Credit - Brisbane Times 

Headphones, saw blades, coat hangers: how human trash in Australian bird nests changed over 195 years

Environmental scientists see flora, fauna and phenomena the rest of us rarely do. In this series, we've invited them to share their unique photos from the field.

"When we opened a box supplied by museum curators, our research team audibly gasped. Inside was a huge Australian magpie nest from 2018.

It was more than a metre wide and made up of the strangest assortment of items, including wire coat hangers, headphones, saw blades and plastic 3D glasses — a mix of detritus reflecting our modern lifestyle.

This was one of almost 900 Australian nest specimens dating back over 195 years that we inspected for our recent, world-first study."

Read more here 

Credit - 9News 

Invaded Pests Costing the Economy Millions

Invasive animal and plant species have cost the Australian economy around $390 billion in the past 60 years according to a new analysis from the Australian Research Centre’s (ARC) Centre of Excellence of Australian Biodiversity and Heritage and Flinders University.

In a statement, the researchers said the cost was likely to rise unless better investments, reporting and coordinated interventions were introduced.

“While feral cats are the single-most costly individual species, costs arising from the management of invasive plants proved the worst of all, costing US$151.68 billion (AUD$208.68 billion), with ryegrass (Lolium rigidum), parthenium (Parthenium hysterophorus) and ragwort (Senecio jacobaea) the costliest culprits,” the researchers said.

“Invasive mammals and insects were the next biggest burdens, costing the country US$48.63 billion (AUD$66.26 billion) and US$11.95 billion (AUD$16.28 billion) respectively, with cats, European rabbits and red imported fire ants the three costliest species,” they said.

Read more here

Invasive insect fall armyworm on the march, but scientists fight back with an oozing virus and an egg-attacking wasp

A virus that oozes out through a caterpillar's skin before exterminating it is being investigated as a way to combat an invasive insect that is devastating some Australian crops.

Since fall armyworm was first found in the Torres Strait in January 2020, it has spread to every state and territory except South Australia.

Read more here

Credit - ABC News 


2021 Environmental Biosecurity Webinar Series

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.

2021 Environmental Biosecurity Webinar Series:

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

  • 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.

Venom of deadly Queensland spider could save heart attack victims

Researchers have discovered a treatment for heart attack victims in the most unexpected of places — the venom of one of the world’s deadliest spiders.

A team from the University of Queensland have developed a potentially life-saving drug candidate from a molecule found in the venom of the Fraser Island funnel-web spider.

The researchers say the drug can prevent damage caused by heart attacks and extend the life of donor hearts used for organ transplants.

Read more here

Credit - 

$10k rebates now available for farmers battling mouse plague

A $10,000 rebate is available for farmers to bait for mice as spring approaches, ahead of a feared resurgence of the rodent plague in New South Wales.

Deputy Premier John Barilaro and Agriculture Minister Adam Marshall said the funds were now available for use.

The rebates are meant to cover up to 50 percent of the costs of zinc phosphide baits.

Read more here

Credit - 9 News 

Important Dates


• AEPMA QLD Branch – Breakfast Meeting 25th Aug 2021 @7.30am AEPMA National Office
• RU OK Day 9th September 2021
• AEPMA Pesticon 6th-8th June 2022


Newsletter contributions/comments

AEPMA welcomes any contributions or suggestions for articles that you feel are relevant to the industry. Simply forward to

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