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

AEPMA eNewsletter September 2021

Dear Member

Welcome to the September edition of the AEPMA eNewsletter. 

As you will be no doubt aware, Covid is still at the forefront of our everyday lives and the AEPMA National Office has been extremely busy over the last few weeks with member enquiries regarding what work can be carried out during lockdown. 

I hope that the correspondence you have received has been helpful in answering some of those questions. As always, please don’t hesitate to contact the National Office with any queries you may have.

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Sometimes we get asked the question “What exactly does your Association do?” or “What are the benefits of joining AEPMA?”

To answer some of these questions we have put together a brief rundown of what AEPMA has been working on over the last few months. 

Don’t forget, we are always looking for new ideas or suggestions on how we can make AEPMA even better.  Please reach out to us on Social Media or via email if you have any suggestions.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your continued support. 

Kind regards

 

Vasili Tsoutouras

AEPMA President

 

AEPMA Update

  • AEPMA has made representation to all State Health Departments and Ministers for Pest Control to be considered an Essential Service during Covid-19 lockdowns.
  • Regular updates to all AEPMA members – AEPMA provides weekly updates regarding Covid-19 lockdowns, grant assistance that may be available to you, and any updates we receive directly from State Health Departments. Victoria Health, Verto, and AEPMA worked together regarding the change in re-licencing of pest control technicians in Victoria.​
  • Codes of Practice - AEPMA is committed to the continuous improvement of the quality and reputation of Australia’s pest management industry. AEPMA is committed to developing, preparing, and promoting definitive ‘Codes of Practice’ which describe and provide expert guidance on best practice across an increasing range of key pest management areas.
  • AEPMA Codes of Practice set out industry standards of conduct, describe and provide expert guidance on best practice across an increasing range of key pest management areas. They are guidelines for fair dealing between Pest Managers and their customers and they outline what a customer can expect from a pest management company when he or she agrees to engage its services.
  • This year the Food Industry Code of Practice, Prior to Purchase Timber Pest Inspections, and Rodent Management Codes of Practice have all been updated and can be found free of charge on our website.  

          The Code of Practice on Bed Bugs is currently being reviewed.

  • AEPMA Website – The new look AEPMA website was launched in June, making it easier for the public to find an AEPMA member in their area and for our members to be kept up to date with changes in the industry as well as providing access to the AEPMA Codes of Practice.
  • “Review of Pesticides & Veterinary Medicines Framework – AEPMA were invited by AGVET to participate in a round table discussion.
  • Branch Meetings – All current AEPMA members are invited to attend the branch meetings that are held.  These meetings provide our members with up-to-date information.
  • Bayer Excellence Award – This award profiles members of the pest management industry who have truly excelled and gone above and beyond in their innovative service to the industry.
  • Pest Manager of the Year – Held annually, and sponsored by BASF, this competition gives members of our industry an opportunity to showcase companies with a genuine commitment to keep raising the standard of service within the Pest Control Business at every level.
  • Development of Training courses for the Pest Management Industry.
  • Consultation with QLD Health regarding the “Medicines and Poisons Act 2018” and the “Animal Care and Protection Act”
  • Correspondence with Minister for Health WA regarding training and the new competency package. 
  • Fire Ant Eradication Program - Ongoing consultation between AEPMA and the National Red Imported Fire Ant Eradication Program.
  • National Construction Code review – AEPMA Submission July 2021

 

AEPMA Training Needs Survey

Survey - Training and Licensing requirements for Pest Management Technicians.

AEPMA 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 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 

NSW Branch Update 

 An AEPMA NSW ACT State Council meeting was held on Zoom on Monday 19 July 2021.

The meeting was well attended with 10 delegates which is a good number on Zoom. I am sure this will remain the norm for the foreseeable future.

As usual there was a lot of discussion on the Review of the Codes of Best Practice such as Pest Management for the Food Industry which is well advanced and almost completed. 

Mr Gary Stephenson (NSW ACT delegate to the National Board) discussed the review of some of the Codes of Best Practice and training to the Codes.

The new AEPMA website looks impressive, faster, and more user-friendly. I am sure with time, it will be a great improvement on the old one.

There was also discussion on the possible implications to the Urban Pest Management Industry of the proposed changes to the Agvet Chemicals Regulations - especially the possibility of national licensing of the industry.

We discussed Pest Management Licensing and all agreed it was time to get in touch with NSW EPA to coordinate another meeting soon to discuss further the possibility of National Licencing,  Mutual Recognition and the possibility of Pest Management Technician (PMT) Timber Pest Management License or some endorsement on the existing licence in NSW and other issues previously raised with EPA.

We have written to NSW EPA and are waiting for their reply.

A Timber Pest Management licence or endorsement on an existing licence will most likely be coming soon in NSW.

Regarding carpet cleaners or anyone doing pest control without PMT licences we have been advised by NSW EPA for the AEPMA State Council to consider writing a letter to the EPA’s CEO outlining the problem and urging the need for proactive compliance action on this matter.

Right now, COVID restrictions have been constraining much of the EPA’s enforcement officers’ activities. We encourage members to report any specific instances of non-compliance to AEPMA or the Environment Line so they can be followed up – phone is 131500 and email is info@epa.nsw.gov.au.

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PMITAG NSW

Last Meeting -  9th June 2021
Next meeting 8th September 9.30am- 1pm

PMITAG NSW maintains a Circulation List for its emailed documents and welcomes additions to the list. If you wish to be added to the list, please email Chris Orton, PMITAG NSW Secretary at c.orton@unsw.edu.au Dr Chris Orton, Secretary, PMITAG NSW.

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It was disappointing to see the conference again has been postponed due to Covid-19. I am sure you, like me, would have wanted to attend the Pest Management Conference.

Let’s hope that we will be able to attend the AEPMA Conference Pesticon (Pest Management in the Digital Age) at the Star, Gold Coast on 22-24 June 2022.
      
Pest Manager Award nominations have closed and we thank BASF for supporting Pest Manager of the year awards this year and for such a long time. Our best wishes go to all nominees especially those from NSW / ACT.
      
I would like on behalf of the NSW/ ACT State Council to thanks National office for the regular the various useful emails regarding Covid-19.

I am sure some of you would already been asked about whether you or your staff have been fully vaccinated (we definitively have been asked in schools, kindergarten and some of our domestic customers). 

Is this going to be the norm in NSW? (especially Sydney) in the weeks coming.
So, make sure, if you have been vaccinated (both jabs), you do get and carry your COVID-19 Digital Certificate (available from your myGov account). Make sure you keep your COVID-19 Plan up to date.

If you are going to do work in a Local Government area (LGA) of concern you may need to apply for a travel permit from Services NSW (that is not the case for emergency work, make sure you check anyway). Make sure you carry the permit with the code with you in case you or your employees get asked by the police.

Check www.servicensw.gov.au for Covid -19 Rules regularly as the requirements can change at any time, what may be ok today may not be in a few days.

In case you have not received the Casual Employment Information Statement from Fair Work Ombudsman you can download it at www.fairwork.gov.au/ceis

You must give the Statement to all new casual employees. Transitional rules apply for existing casual employees.

If you have employees, have a good look at COVID-19 vaccinations: workplace rights and obligations (updated 30 August 2021) on the Fair Work Ombudsman website.

_____________________

The next AEPMA  NSW Branch meeting will be held on zoom on 18 October 2021 at 3.30pm

As usual if there are any issues or matters you want to discuss or raise, you can contact me on 0438 022984 or email me at Patrick@austrapest.com.au or contact any of your State Council members or the National Office on 1300 307 114 or email: info@aepma.com.au

Kind Regards


Patrick Legey AEPMA NSW ACT State Council Chairman

RU OK? Day - Thursday 9th September 2021

Do you know how the people in your world are really going?

Life's ups and downs happen to all of us. So, chances are someone you know might be struggling. Your genuine support can make a difference whatever they are facing, big or small. 

So, don’t wait until someone’s visibly distressed or in crisis. Make a moment meaningful and ask them how they’re really going. 

Are they really OK? Ask them today. Your conversation could change a life. 

R U OK? has developed FREE resources to help you encourage everyone in your  workplace and community to think about who in their world might need to be asked how they’re really going and how to make a moment meaningful by asking “are you OK?”

A free workplace guide is available here 

To Jab or Not to Jab?

Four months ago we said “the vast majority of employers will not be obliged to, nor entitled to, insist on vaccinations”, but could recent developments see that challenged? Already some firms are talking about compulsory inoculation of their workforce. And they are pointing to the WHS realities as well as the viability of business and jobs as the primary drivers. 

The official line remains equivocal. The refrain is pretty much stuck on ‘a case by case basis’, which is enormously frustrating for many employers. The Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) has provided limited guidance which is worth a look here. While the FWO can’t provide a definitive answer for every situation, the advice tries to set some parameters and gives practical examples. 

A basic principle that can help decide what to do is to ask this question: “is it a reasonable proposition that inoculation is an inherent requirement of a job?”. In other words, for the job in question to be done both safely and productively, does the incumbent need to be inoculated? 

Some situations are straightforward to determine. If the jurisdiction in which the employee works has a public health order in force requiring vaccination in a particular work area, then it becomes fundamental; the employee won’t be permitted to do the job (say at an airport or quarantine facility), regardless of any employee objections properly grounded in medical evidence of their inability to tolerate a vaccine. No different in that sense from a driver who loses the right to drive as a result of state action. If you haven’t got the piece of paper, then you’re not ‘qualified’. 

But where the state is not involved, the same rule of thumb can be used. If the work involves public contact, perhaps a courier, then the likelihood of a requirement to vaccinate being reasonable is higher than say, a person in the same organisation who has direct contact neither with the public nor the couriers. 

Enterprise agreements and employment contracts can contain requirements of this nature and some do. But even in those cases, there’s a catch; a person can claim discrimination on the grounds of disability (and potentially religious belief too), and then we’re back to square one in a contested situation – is the requirement reasonable in the circumstances, is it an inherent aspect of the job? 

We think it possible that a challenge to an employer’s decision to mandate vaccination will end up in the federal court with a chance to provide something more definitive to work with. Unless and until that happens, the situation remains that in the absence of an inherent job requirement that is sound, defensible or required by law, there is no obligation or right to require employees to get inoculated. 


Read more here 

Ensystex Launches Ecothor Active Nature Fly-Free Trap

Ensystex has announced the launch of its Ecothor Active Nature Fly-Free Trap, a 100% natural product that is pesticide free. It uses a unique and highly attractive food-based lure to draw flies into the proprietary Fly-Free Traps, from which there is no escape.


Ensystex’s regional director, Steve Broadbent, reported that product trials have been a great success. “The results obtained from the numerous trials of Fly-Free have blown everyone away. I got to place traps at our horse property too, and we were amazed at the reduction in flies that occurred within a week of placement. My wife even commented, ‘A summer without flies, this is the best product you have ever developed!’

Fly-Free is designed for use in any outdoor area where flies are a problem. Since it is a natural solution, it can be used around the outside areas of food processing and food-handling establishments, around rubbish bins, municipal waste sites, and especially around livestock sectors including dairies, abattoirs, stables, piggeries, kennels, catteries and more. Residential properties can also benefit from the placement of Fly-Free Traps. 

Read more here 

Ants most commonly nest outside, but are seen indoors when they search for food - by David Fielder, Territory Business Development Manager (PPM) at Bayer.

There are many species of indoor ants that invade our homes and they come in all different sizes and colours. When one ant finds food or water, it will lay down a chemical trail that guides other worker ants to the source and you will see trails of ants going back and forth from the food or water.

Ants most commonly nest outside, underneath paths, in rockeries and other cracks and crevices but can also find their way inside and nest in wall voids and sub-floor areas. If outdoors, the colonies are often built close to the home and are hidden in the soil or under objects on the ground.  These ants are seen indoors when they search for food to take back to the colony.

As well as being a general nuisance, ants may produce a health risk. There are known instances of ants mechanically carrying, on their bodies or in their digestive tract, disease organisms causing dysentery, and a variety of pathogenic bacteria, including salmonella. 

Read more here 

VESPEX – A NEW Income Stream for Pest Management Professionals

As an industry we find ourselves operating in unprecedented turbulent times.  Now more than ever, pest management professionals are looking for new income streams.  Sundew shares an exciting opportunity that many are embracing with outstanding results.

“Your VESPEX European wasp baiting product is simply amazing.  I made over $13,000 in new business in a single month, and I didn’t even do a single VESPEX treatment,” was the phone call that David Priddy, C.E.O at Sundew Solutions received from a very excited Victorian pest management professional in March 2021.

“How did you make that much money so quickly?” asked David.  

“Firstly I put a low cost paid editorial in my local community paper talking about the new VESPEX baiting program that was now available for remote treatment of European wasp nests and the moment the papers hit the public my phone lit up like a Christmas tree.  I was known as the local wasp expert,” explained the pestie.

“But how did you make over $13,000 without doing a single VESPEX treatment, when your editorial was about doing VESPEX baiting?” quizzed David.

Read more here 

Why keeping your insurance current is vital to protect your assets

Insurance is widely known as a grudge purchase, the hard-earned dollars you have to spend to protect yourself if there’s an accident or a claim is brought against you. Did you know that, during tough financial times, insurance is usually one of the first purchases households and businesses cut

Our Rapid Solutions client services team are talking to pest controllers all day every day, as their insurance premiums fall due for their commercial motor vehicles, professional indemnity and liability.

We hear their concerns about the uncertain economic climate due to COVID-19 and their stories of how they are managing their cash flow, customer expectations and their team members. 

The critical thing to remember with professional indemnity insurance is it’s a “claims made” policy, which means you are only covered for claims made against you and reported to your insurer during the period of insurance. If you let the policy lapse beyond its due date, you may not be covered if a claim later is made against you for past work.

If you’re concerned about paying your next premium, we urge you to talk to your insurer about a payment plan if they offer one, which can help you balance your cash flow whilst ensuring you still have cover in place to protect you against claims.

And if you’re considering selling or closing your business, talk to your insurer about Run-Off Cover, which protects you for past work once you’ve ceased trading. You can find a blog article about Run-Off Cover on our website here

You can hear from our CEO and customers here

 

FMC Technical information
 

FMC is a leading R&D company that takes pride in revolutionising and supporting the Australian market and as part of our ongoing support, we are building an online technical resource library.

Dragnet® Dust is a 2% permethrin, broad-spectrum insecticide dust especially formulated to reach into limited access areas, this technote includes tips for applying Dragnet® Dust in roof voids.(Click Here)

To receive these regular informative tech notes on the FMC range of products, please sign up here.

 
Win a 15 L centre console fridges with FMC Biflex 

To celebrate the exciting launch of Biflex® Mikron, FMC is giving away 15 x 15 L centre console fridges.

To enter, simply purchase any FMC Biflex® product and complete the online form.
 
To find out more click here

FREE Exclusive Lunchtime Virtual Event - Cricket legend Glenn McGrath: Building Resilience

We all go through long periods of stress from time to time, and the last 18 months have been particularly challenging for most people and businesses.

So how can we bounce back when we are at our lowest and prioritise self-care when juggling multiple responsibilities? Ongoing stress can have a significant impact on our ability to thrive and succeed at work, sport and home.
 
In our exclusive lunchtime virtual event Glenn McGrath, one of the greatest Australian cricketers of all time, runs through what it means to be resilient. Glenn McGrath has accomplished many milestones throughout his distinguished cricketing career and in his role as the Co-Founder and President of the McGrath Foundation - a breast cancer support and education charity he founded with his deceased first wife, Jane.

His journey is one of incredible highs and shattering lows. His inspiring story teaches us what tools we need to build our understanding and capacity to meet pressure and stress head-on and come out of it stronger.
 
This event is brought to you by QuickFee and our partners Macquarie Bank, Striver, Swoop, Seamless SMSF, Business Fitness, Succession Plus, TOA Global and Practice Evolve.

To be part of this exclusive event, register today. 

Destructive Drywood Termites Attacking Queensland Homes, But a Government Fumigation Program is Axed

The Queensland government is being accused of abandoning residents whose homes are being eaten by the world's most destructive drywood termite.

Since the 1960s, the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries has paid for any outbreaks of the foreign invader to be treated, by tenting entire houses and fumigating them.

But in January, it quietly ended the free fumigation program and hasn't confirmed if people on a waiting list before it expired, would be helped.

Read more here

Credit - ABC News

2021 Environmental Biosecurity Webinar Series

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

  • 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.

Pet Ant Trade A Dangerous and Costly Hazard 


An investigation into the online sale of ants has revealed a disturbing global trade that offers up some of the world’s most terrifying and dangerous ants as pets, including red imported fire ants, yellow crazy ants and Australia’s own bull ants and jack jumpers.

“Countries across the world, including Australia, are spending tens of millions of dollars every year battling red imported fire ants and yellow crazy ants, so the thought that people can buy these invasive species online is terrifying,” says Tim Low, a biologist who investigated the trade.

Two of the global traders operate out of Melbourne, offering up ‘beautiful and unique’ Australian queens that ‘we will ship directly to you, where ever you are in the world!’

“Australia has made it illegal to import ants into the country and yet is happy to let traders mail potentially invasive Australian ants overseas,” Mr Low said.

“The export of invasive ants could pose serious biosecurity threats overseas and must be stopped.
“Australia is spending over $750 million just to eradicate red fire ants. It is unconscionable we permit the export of our own problem ants and burden other countries with eradication costs.”

Ant species exported from Australia include a bull ant with fierce stings listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the world’s most dangerous ant. Other exported ants include jack jumpers, which are so serious there is a national program to desensitise people to their stings.

Meat ants and green tree ants are also mailed abroad and could cause serious environmental problems in other countries.

Read more here 

Credit - Tasmanian Times 

Hordes of Mice Threaten WA Crops as Farmers Prepare for Bumper Harvest

Growing numbers of mice are spreading across Western Australia's grain belt, damaging valuable crops that have been forecast to produce a record harvest this season.

Grains Industry Association of WA crop report author Michael Lamond said that, as the weather warmed up, he expected mice to spread further south, covering the entire grain belt. 

"Mice are shaping up to be a problem," Mr Lamond said.

"We haven't had a mice plague here [in] forever, so there's not a lot of awareness on how to tackle them." 

Read more here

Credit - ABC News

Important Dates

SAVE THE DATE!!

• RU OK Day 9th September 2021

• AEPMA QLD Branch – Breakfast Meeting 27th October 2021 @7.30am AEPMA National Office
• AEPMA Pesticon 6th-8th June 2022

• World Mosquito Day - 20th August 2022
• World Pest Day - 6th June 2022

Newsletter contributions/comments

AEPMA welcomes any contributions or suggestions for articles that you feel are relevant to the industry. Simply forward to info@aepma.com.au.

Or do you have something to say about an article you’ve read in the Newsletter? Why not leave your feedback on our Facebook page.

You are receiving AEPMA e-newsletters. If you are not interested in receiving further e-newsletters from AEPMA, please click here to unsubscribe. The statements or opinions that are expressed in this eNewsletter reflect the views of the authors. Although all accepted advertising material is expected to conform to AEPMA’s editorial guidelines such acceptance does not imply endorsement by AEPMA. All material contained in the eNewsletter is protected by copyright and must not be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, recorded or photocopied without written permission of AEPMA.