Welcome to the Australian Environmental Pest Managers Association December 2019 / January 2020 edition.
Merry Christmas from AEPMA
AEPMA would like to thank all members for your continued support. It has been a wonderfully progressive year in the pest industry and we are excited to welcome in another year with you. 
“A little smile, a word of cheer,
A bit of love from someone near,
A little gift from one held dear,
Best wishes for the coming year…
These make a Merry Christmas!”
- John Greenleaf Whittier -
The National Office is closed from 23rd December 2019 and returning on 13th January 2020. The phones will still be manned for urgent matters.
Keep safe and we wish our extended pest industry family the very best over the holiday season.
QLD Branch Meeting
The final QLD Branch Meeting and Christmas dinner will be held from 5pm on 5th December 2019 at the Gallopers Sports Club (Cnr Lancaster & Nudgee Rds, Ascot Qld 4007).
If you wish to attend, please RSVP by 5pm, 4th December 2019 to info@aepma.com.au or call 07 3268 4210.
NSW Branch Meeting - Update
A meeting was held at the office of Agserv, Silverwater at 4pm on 18 November 2019. A very busy meeting with a number of members in attendance. We were also pleased to have Greg Moon (Life member) at the meeting.
The AEPMA NSW ACT State Council delegates were very pleased to welcome Dale Rigger and Fernando Morales of Strategic Pest Management Solutions, Shaun Coe of Flick- Anticimex, Rowan Gregson of Sundew Solutions and Kylee Enwright of CPR Pest Management Services. 
Kylee is also the 2019 Australian winner the new Professional Women in Australian Pest Management (PWAPM) Excellence Award. The winner is recognised as a woman in the pest control industry that has not only shown outstanding leadership but has dedicated their time and energy in making notable contributions to the development and growth within the industry. 
It was great to see so many people at the State Council meeting as it gives members some insight of what is and can be achieved at Branch level. It also gives the opportunity for both men and women to contribute and help
shape the future of our Industry.
As usual much was discussed over the Codes of Best Practice, Training to the Codes, Field Biologist course, the Field Biologist Institute and the Pest Management Trainee Logbook which is now available on the AEPMA website. The Logbook is a good tool for trainees and companies and I strongly recommend its use to our members.
It is beneficial for companies as well as the trainees. It is a useful tool for businesses to help comply with their obligations with the Pesticide Regulation 2017 and to get an insight of what the trainee has achieved.
The NSW EPA have accepted and made comments on the Logbook, however they can’t endorse it at this stage (my feeling is that they will eventually endorse it if we all use it).  Thank you, Gary Stephenson for making it happen.
An email was received on 26 September 2019 from Mr Dio Naaktgeboren, Flick- Anticimex to inform the State Council of his resignation from his position of Flick Operations Director and therefore, the NSW ACT State Council. Dio will most likely return to Europe. Patrick Legey, on behalf of the NSW ACT State Council replied to Dio Naaktgeboren to wish him and his family the best for the future. It has been a pleasure to work with him on the State Council and on behalf of all us, we thanked him and Flick- Anticimex for his valuable contribution.
AEPMA 2020 National Conference will be held on 16-18 September 2020 at the Star, Gold Coast - “Pest Management in the Digital Age”. For many of us this is probably a bigger challenge than the pests we are controlling. I have no doubt it will be a sell out as it was in 2018. Great venue, close to the beach, restaurants, shops and what a great occasion to catch up with mates and colleagues. I hope I will see you all there. Mark the date in your diaries now 16-18 September 2020 and keep an eye on the AEPMA website.
NSW Pest Manager Licencing - A teleconference meeting was held on 8 November 2019 between AEPMA NSW Representatives Patrick Legey, Gary Stephenson and Martin Bowles, Eve Chong and Roger De Keyzer from NSW EPA. One of the issues discussed was the lapsing of Pest Management licences. EPA NSW ‘s position is that if the licence has expired for more than 5 years and the statement of attainment for the required competencies or the old Licence can’t be provided, the Pest Management technicians (PMT) will need retraining. This is also in line with other Licences managed by NSW EPA.
There were some other issues discussed, but we will update you as soon as we receive confirmation of the EPA’s position.
If there are issues that any of you are aware of, which could be affecting your businesses and should be discussed with NSW EPA, please let me know in writing or one of your State Council members or the AEPMA National Office. Don’t be shy if we don’t tell them they will never know!
At the State Council meeting there were some discussions about the number of Pest Management businesses operating in NSW. However, this is very difficult to work out as there are no Pest Management Business Registrations in NSW (this was an action recommended by AEPMA at last review of the Pesticide Regulations 2017 and is also an element of minimum requirement of the proposed National Harmonisation process and  definitively something we have to push for).
An email was received on 8 November 2019 from Dr Anna Ramorosandratana, Principal Technical Advisor, Chemicals and Pesticides Chemical regulation following an enquiry directly to their minister regarding how Pest Managers deal with nuisance European beehives. After discussions and emails between Gary Stephenson, Stephen Ware and Patrick Legey, it was decided to take the matter to the next National Board meeting to discuss a National position on the subject.
An email was received on 14 November 2019 from Stephen Ware that the National Board had discussed the matter and was hoping to agree on some form of protocol soon with beekeepers. Great cooperation between State Branch and National. Please make sure you have some sort of policy or protocol as NSW EPA may ask any of us on how you are dealing with this issue (and yes, I have been asked already). 
The Urban Pest Management’s Training Package is now available on training.gov.au:
• CPP30119 Certificate lll in Urban Pest Management (supersedes CPP301115)
• 10 units of competency, 5 Core, 5 elective units/ a lot of new units
• In summary less units for a Certificate lll (previously 13)
• A new Certificate lV in Urban Pest Management (CPP41619)
• Must have completed CPP30115 Certificate lll in Urban Pest Management or 
• CPP30119 Certificate lll in Urban Pest Management 
• 11 units of competency, 6 core, 5 elective units
There was a solid discussion at the meeting regarding the possibility of AEPMA taking ownership of our training rather than leaving it to someone else to make decisions for us.
We have a few years to give it some real though and come up with alternatives, build some units of competence relevant to our work or train to Codes of Practice which would be a cheaper alternative on the long run. Any comments are most welcomed.
The AEPMA NSW ACT State Council would like to thank the team Eris Hess and Agserv for providing the room and Andrew Knight and Ensystex for providing food and refreshments for the meeting. The next meeting will be held on in early February at date and place to be announced soon.
If anyone would like to attend a meeting, please send me an email.
I would also like on behalf of the AEPMA NSW ACT State Council to wish all members and their families a very safe Christmas and a Happy and Prosperous New Year 2020.
Patrick Legey for the AEPMA NSW ACT State Council
0438 022984
The last general Meeting of PMITAG NSW (part of NSW AEPMA) was held on Wednesday 13 November 2019 and included a lot of discussions on the draft Urban Pest Management Package.
Dr Chris Orton reported on a summary of PMITAG NSW activities since the last AEPMA NSW Council meeting
1. Modifications to the Draft Agenda
The Draft Agenda of the meeting had to be amended to discuss; (a)written comments submitted by G. Hellier and (b) the request by Artibus Innovations for feedback on the next Training Package Review.
2. Discussion of the current package review
There were more expressions of disappointment following the release of the outcome of the Package Review by Artibus Innovations. Some members felt that the reviewing organisation (here = Artibus) produced an outcome that is what they want - not what the industry wants or needs. 
3. Discussion on industry control of future package reviews
It has become clear that in order to achieve what the industry needs in future reviews, it will need to start framing the units itself, submit them to the next Package review and reject any reviewed package that do not address its needs. There was lengthy discussion on the possible ways that AEPMA might take control of future reviews and delivery of the Training Package. It was felt that there is sufficient expertise available to AEPMA both to draft new and revised packages and to translate them into ‘ASQA-speak’. However, it would require input from volunteers as was the case for AEPMA Codes of Best Practice.
4. Request for the Board to respond to the Artibus request for feedback on the next Package Review  PMITAG NSW passed a motion (to be carried forward by NSW Council) “requesting that AEPMA Board responds to the Artibus request for feedback on the next package review, expressing disappointment on the outcomes of the current package review in respect of its failure to address the needs of the Pest Management industry”.
5. Training Logbook  
G. Stephenson reported that the Draft Training logbook now has been examined by EPA and it has been ‘accepted’ (meaning that the document meets their requirements). The logbook is now on the AEPMA website. The meeting congratulated G. Stephenson on this significant achievement.
6. Proposed Language Literacy and Numeracy standard
This project has had to be postponed as we do not have access to the required resources at present.
7. Status of the AEPMA Codes of Best Practice Training Courses
There was considerable discussion of these courses that are in various stages of planning. It is felt that these courses are critical to the success of the Codes, especially since they have great potential both as marketing tools and as potential ‘endorsements’ on future licenses. However, we still have to get the training and certification components under way.
8. Towards a policy to deal with bee swarms  There was discussion of the need for developing and training to a policy on dealing with bee swarms with minimal use of chemicals, especially with the increasing unwillingness of apiarists to capture migrating swarms due to possible infestation with Verroa mites and bee diseases.
9. Accessible archiving of PMISC and PMITAG NSW documents
Discussion was commenced on the most appropriate way to archive PMISC and PMITAB NSW documents currently held by C. Orton and other members and to make them easily accessible. Candidate documents include Agendas, Meeting minutes (especially those dealing with establishment of PMITAG NSW), PMITAG Terms of Reference, The CITAB/PMISC 2009 Licensing Model and Discussion Paper and the PMITAG NSW Continuous Improvement Register.
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
The NSW ACT State Council delegates and their guests congratulated Dr Chris Orton for receiving the Bayer Award for Individual Excellence 2019 in Professional Pest Management (a combined initiative of AEPMA and Bayer).
It is a recognition that Dr Chris Orton has contributed so much to this Industry, AEPMA, NSW ACT State Council, Training, Entomology, Research and Development and so much more. People like Dr Chris Orton have help narrow the gap between Industry and Academia which has made such a 
difference for all of us (even if we don’t know it) and made AEPMA and our Industry so much stronger and better.
QBCC - Annual Financial Reporting

QBCC licensees who hold a contractor-grade licence need to provide their annual financial information to the QBCC.

These requirements aim to ensure every building contractor in Queensland has a strong business with an appropriate level of working capital and are operating financially sustainable businesses. These laws aim to build a stronger, fairer industry in Queensland.

Licensees with a QBCC-approved turnover of less than $30M still need to lodge their information by this date but will have at least a year to strengthen the financial health of their business in line with the new laws.
The reporting deadline is 31 December 2019. QBCC have developed some materials you can use to help the industry understand annual reporting obligations and how to report– including social media shareables, imagery and copy that you are welcome to use in your own communication.
A summary of these can be found here, and you can also download the materials here.
We have also produced a Guide to Annual Financial Reporting and a set of user guides to help contractors report online.
Christmas party tax: Dispelling the magical myths
Some need more convincing than others about what’s make-believe or
not when it comes to FBT on office Christmas parties
Most times people accept that I might know a few things more about tax than they do (except for doctors and engineers, who always tell me they know more about the tax system than I know). 
But in my time as an in-house tax manager at larger organisations, there is one tax scenario that everyone tells me I am wrong about. And that’s when I tell them there are tax issues that arise from a Christmas party.
In these situations, I have to become a Tax Mythbuster and show them I’m right and they are wrong. I hate doing it, but it’s for their own good.
1. There is no tax on Christmas parties if we just keep cost per head under $300.
Yes, section 58P of the Fringe Benefits Tax Assessment Act 1986 states that a benefit is an exempt benefit if the taxable value is less than $300 and it would be concluded that it would be unreasonable to treat the minor benefit as a fringe benefit. I hear you yell, “I told you so!” But...
To quote the Commissioner, “[w]here an employer elects to use the 50-50 split method ... to value meal entertainment fringe benefits, the minor benefits exemption cannot apply to reduce the taxable value of the fringe benefit.” 
Use the 50-50 method and you will be sending the Commissioner FBT equal to about half of the costs of the party.
2. If we just keep cost per head under $300 AND we use the actual method for meal entertainment in our FBT return, there are no tax issues.
Unfortunately, section 58P can’t be used by any tax-exempt body regarding providing entertainment. So, there is an entire sector of Government and not-for-profits that are going to be paying FBT on their Christmas party.
Also, section 58P does not apply to benefits that are provided to an employee under a salary sacrifice arrangement. Therefore, as the employees salary sacrifice to cover the costs, you end up paying FBT.
3. We’re not tax exempt and so if we don’t use the 50-50 method, we don’t salary package for the party and keep the per head cost under $300 there are no tax issues.
Well, how many other events like this did employees go to in the year? If there are more than a few of these types of events each year paid for by the employer, FBT will apply as section 58P only works where the benefits are infrequent and irregular. How many is frequent or regular? Look at this helpful (sarcasm intended) quote from the Commissioner...
“In applying the ‘infrequency and irregularity’ criterion, it is not appropriate to stipulate the maximum number of times associated benefits that are identical or similar to a minor benefit, or benefits in connection with the minor benefit, can be provided before the criterion is not met. However, the more often and regularly those benefits are provided, the less likely it is that this criterion would be met.”
4. If I don’t use the 50-50 method, am not tax exempt, don’t salary package for the party, keep the per head cost under $300 and only have one (or maybe two) Christmas party type employee events each year, there are no tax issues.
Section 32-5 of the ITAA97 says you get no deductions for entertainment but section 32-20 says you can still claim a deduction for entertainment if it is a fringe benefit. A benefit that is exempt from FBT due to 58P is specifically excluded from the definition of what is a fringe benefit.
So, if you manage to avoid FBT, you will find an increase in income tax (30% of the cost of the party for large companies).
And now that the Christmas party is non-deductible, section 69-5 of the GST Act stops the employer from recovering input tax credits for the GST!
5. I give up. I really cannot stop tax being paid on my Christmas party?
Yes, you can stop tax being paid. Have it on site during business hours with no alcohol. Or replace the party with a gift less than $300 that is not entertainment.
There is one other option. Don’t get your tax advice from a tax expert but rather from the guy at the pub — he’ll definitely tell you there is no tax on Christmas parties.
Ken Mansell has worked as the tax counsel of ASX and NYSE listed companies, as well as with Big 4 firms, the Federal Treasury and at Parliament House. He blogs at taxrambling.com
Global Summit Call for Speakers - Singapore
CEPA, FAOPMA and NPMA in conjunction with the Global Pest Management Coalition have teamed up to host the next Global Summit of Pest Management on Food Safety & Public Health.
In partnership with the Singapore Pest Control Association, the event will be held in Singapore on 8-10 June 2020. 
If you are interested in taking part in the Global Summit, click here.
The 2018 summit was a wonderful experience for all involved. As a sample of what is to come, the 2018 program can be found here.
How to Get More Reviews
Getting more reviews can deliver a lot of bang for your buck. They will give your local Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) a boost, increase trust and confidence in your business, and provide you with actionable insights needed to improve your operations. Unfortunately, despite how much value reviews deliver, many businesses aren’t maximizing the potential of their online reputation.
Even if you recognize the value of online reviews, it might seem difficult to get the ball rolling. How do you convince your customers to do you a solid and leave a review? The answer is much easier than you think – especially if you follow the five quick steps to help you get more reviews outlined below.
Step #1: Incentivize Your Employees
It’s human nature for your employees to resist change. This is especially true when that change forces them out of their comfort zone. Asking customers to leave a review might even make some of your employees uncomfortable, so what can you do to grease the wheels and motivate them to send review invitations?
It’s no secret that money is a huge motivator. If you have the budget available, you should set some aside for spiffs or bonuses for employees who buy into the program. At Podium, we suggest that you base your incentive on some or all of the following activities.
• Review invitations sent
• Recommendations received
• Number of reviews mentioning the employee
Step #2: Send the Invitation at the Right Time
The timing of the online review invitation is one of the most important factors that determine whether or not your customer leaves an online review. There isn’t a right time that is going to work for every business, but we recommend looking for an opportunity to send the invitation before they leave your premises.
For example, for pest managers, the optimal time might be right after the service has been performed but before the technician leaves the customer. Simply put, your customer is more likely to respond to your invitation if the experience is still top of mind.
Step #3: Lay the Proper Foundation With Customers
Businesses that have the most successful online review programs have built the "ask" into multiple steps of the sales process. If necessary, provide your employees with scripts of ways they can ask your customers to leave a review. When asking the customer, your employees should let them know:
• When they will receive the invite
• How they will receive it (text, email, etc.)
• Why it’s important for them to respond
For example, when the time is right your employee could say, “Thank you so much for your business. Customer feedback is very important to us. Would it be alright if I sent you a text message right now with a link that makes it easy to leave a review? We would really appreciate it.” Operationalizing the ask will make it part of your employees’ daily routine, and over time asking customers for reviews will become second nature.
Step #4: Target the Right Review Sites
Not all review sites are created equal. Sites that are appropriate for a business in Victoria might not work for another in Queensland. That’s why it’s important to conduct research and find the right review sites for your business. Google and Facebook are a safe bet for most businesses because they are the most popular and the vast majority of your customers will already have accounts there. Google reviews also have a significant impact on local search results so giving priority to Google can directly impact inbound traffic to your shop.
You should also seek out industry-specific and region-specific sites that your customers will find valuable. Having a balanced portfolio across a number of review sites will give your business more credibility with searchers as well as with search engines. 
Step #5: Use an Online Review Management Tool
If you’re keeping track of your online reputation using a spreadsheet, you’re doing it wrong. Review management software will streamline the management of your online reputation and help you improve the quality of your online presence.
In the past, your customers may have been hesitant to leave a review because the process was long and arduous. A good online review management platform will create a frictionless process that makes it easy for both your employees to send invitations and for customers to leave reviews.
For the simplest way to collect reviews, get found online, and talk to customers in real time through text, visit Podium.com to learn more.
ATO ups the ante on the black economy
The ATO is cracking down hard on the black economy, and the 
impacts of its resulting compliance measures will 
be felt far beyond those who deal in cash.
The ATO expects the small business income tax gap (an estimate of the difference between the amount the ATO collects and what it would have collected if every business was fully compliant) to reach up to $11 billion each year. It says more than two-thirds, or around $7 billion, of this gap consists of the black economy.
To quell this tax revenue leakage, back in 2016 the Government established the black economy taskforce to develop an innovative, multi-faceted approach to counter the black economy – acknowledging that traditional tax enforcement measures were insufficient. The taskforce is still ongoing, with the ATO Commissioner stating in a speech on 29 August 2019:
“There is still work to be done, and we’ll hold to account those who try to cheat the system to protect those doing the right thing. We are making a concerted effort to target people deliberately engaging in the black economy.” 
As an added boost to help counter the black economy, the Government armed the ATO with more than $300 million dollars in the 2018 Federal Budget.
The ATO has rolled out a range of measures to counter the black economy in recent times. These measures impact most taxpayers, not just those engaging in the black economy.
Since the Treasury Laws Amendment (Black Economy Taskforce Measures No.2 Bill) 2019 was passed, from 1 July 2019 a deduction is no longer allowed in relation to the following payments if withholding applied to the payment, and the payer was required to withhold an amount from the payment and did not withhold an amount OR did not notify the ATO when required:
• salary, wages, commissions, bonuses, or allowances to an employee
• directors’ fees
• to a religious practitioner
• under a labour-hire arrangement
• for a supply of services – excluding supplies of goods and supplies of real property – where the recipient of the payment has not quoted their Australian Business Number (ABN).
To be clear, deductions are only denied where no amount has been withheld from the payment attracting withholding (including innocent mistakes) or no notification is made to the ATO. Withholding an incorrect amount (e.g. from an allowance etc.) will not result in a deduction being denied. 
In summary, provided an amount is withheld (even if it is incorrect) and a notification to the ATO is made (i.e. an activity statement is lodged before the mistake/non-lodgment is picked up by the ATO) a deduction is allowed. 
A deduction will also not be denied where:
• an ABN is quoted by an employee, and no amounts have been withheld from the payments because the employer reasonably believes they are a contractor, or
• the payer voluntarily notifies the ATO of its mistake in the approved form (such as by amending an activity statement) before the ATO commences an audit or other compliance activity.
Employers should review their payroll systems and ensure amounts are being withheld from required payments, and that activity statements are being lodged on time. ABNs of new suppliers should also be verified. 
The taxable payments reporting (TPR) regime has also been expanded. From 1 July 2019, businesses within the following industries may need to report payments made to other businesses and contractors:
• security providers and investigation services
• road freight transport, and
• information technology services (i.e. writing, modifying, testing or supporting software to meet the needs of a client).
This is in relation to payments made from 1 July 2019, with the first report due on 28 August 2020. However, no reporting is required where either:
• the total of payments a client received for the above prescribed services for the financial year is less than 10% of current or projected GST turnover, or
• a client hasn’t paid businesses or contractors for a prescribed service.
By way of background, the TPR regime is a transparency measure designed to ensure that payments made to businesses and contractors in prescribed industries where cash payments are common, are declared in full. It requires businesses that operate in these prescribed industries to report payments they make to businesses and contractors for work performed within that same industry. The regime already applies to the building and construction industry, as well as cleaning services, and courier services. 
Tax practitioners should determine whether clients in the above industries have a reporting obligation. If so, payroll software can be set up to capture the payments and generate a report. Alternatively, this can be done manually using the prescribed ATO form. 
With the three-month grace period to 30 September for smaller employers (those with less than 20 employees) now having passed, most employers are now required to be single touch payroll (STP) compliant. 
Points to note include:
• no penalties will be imposed for incorrect reporting in the first 12months for smaller employers (until 1July 2020)
• for businesses with five or more employees, their reporting solution will generally be in the form of payroll software
• micro employers (one to four employees) can adopt low-cost, simple solutions. Search “STP low cost solutions” on the ATO website for a list of providers and their products
• micro employers may be eligible to report quarterly through their BAS agent or tax agent until 30 June 2021
• smaller employers (less than 20employees) of closely-held payees(e.g. family members of a family-owned business, directors or shareholders of a company, or trustees or beneficiaries of a trust)may be exempt from reporting these payees until 2020-21. Other payees must however be reported, and
• employers may be totally exempt from STP reporting if they have no or low digital capability, no or unreliable internet, irregular employment patterns, or “other extenuating circumstances” (not defined).
Businesses can expect a visit from the ATO if they suspect a business is:
• hiding sales and not declaring income 
• paying cash in hand 
• underpaying workers 
• not registered for PAYG, and 
• not registered for GST.
The following industries have so far been targeted:
• cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services
• building, pest control, agricultural and gardening services
• personal care services
• legal and accounting services
• transport support services
• automotive repair and maintenance
• postal and courier pick-up and delivery services
• computer system design and related services
• other personal services, and
• architectural, engineering and technical services.
Importantly, as part of its early intervention strategy the ATO will also be visiting the tax practitioners working for these small businesses as it attempts to understand the drivers behind practitioner behaviour that may lean towards enabling black economy behaviour. The ATO has previously said that its early intervention program for tax practitioners will not be an audit, but a discussion to look at a vast range of behavioural indicators. These include sizeable amounts of amendments happening after tax returns are lodged and high levels of outstanding returns and activity statements. 
Says ATO assistant commissioner, Colin Walker: 
We’ll discuss how you (the tax practitioner) were selected as part of the population, we’ll provide information about what behavioural indicators that we’ve identified, and we’ll ask you to assist us in understanding your practices to get a better picture of your processes and what the drivers are behind what we’re seeing. Again, you shouldn’t be worried about this – it is about ensuring we understand how you operate, we understand your practice, and we begin to understand what is causing problems. If we happen to find no problems, that you just happen to have a specific type of client, that your processes are excellent, then it will be a nice amicable discussion over a cup of tea and off we’ll go.
Following the passing of Treasury Laws Amendment (Black Economy Taskforce Measures No. 1) Bill 2018 into law, from 4 October 2018, the Government banned the manufacture, distribution, possession, use or sale of electronic point of sale (POS) sales suppression technology (SST). This technology allows businesses to understate their incomes by untraceably deleting selected transactions from electronic records in POS equipment. According to the ATO, SST can come in different forms and are constantly evolving. Examples include:
• an external device connected to a POS system
• additional software installed into otherwise compliant software, and
• a feature or modification, like a script or code, that is a part of a POS system or software.
While most POS systems won’t contain an SST, if a client is concerned that their POS system may contain an SST, they should contact their POS system provider and ask them if their POS version, or make and model, contains such a tool. If it does, they should ask them to remove it. Having done that, the ATO requires the business owner or their tax agent to make a voluntary disclosure by sending an email to esst@ato.gov.au
The ATO has deployed mobile strike teams to visit various locations across the country. The activities of the mobile strike teams include walk-ins on businesses, review engagements and audit engagements. Visiting businesses allows ATO officers to physically observe the business set up, such as the physical size and scale of the business, estimate staffing needs and review record keeping practices. Strike teams have already visited thousands of businesses across the country. Going forward, the ATO says it will visit 10,000 businesses each year for the next three to four years.
By Josh McMullen
Seclira WSG Insecticide
Now available in a larger 500g pack
BASF has made it more affordable with the convenience of over double the product of their current pack (200g).
As most pest managers know, Seclira WSG is a unique non-staining, odourless, broad spectrum, general insect control product for indoor and outdoor use. 
Seclira WSG is powered by a novel non-repellent active ingredient ensuring superior performance. This is paired with the unique water-soluble granule formulation which dissolves clear and remains in suspension, giving no odour and is non-staining to surfaces.
Seclira WSG is registered for use on flies, fleas, ants, cockroaches, mosquitos, wasps, bed bugs, spiders, crawling insects and stored product pests. 
Discover BASF’s full Seclira range here
Industrial Relations Update
Secret Recordings – Are They Any Use?
Many harassment and bullying allegations come down to one person’s word against another’s. Where there is a bona fide complaint but the targeted person is unable to substantiate it, they’re tempted to try some amateur sleuthing. The same goes for employers who suspect employees of malfeasance.
But there are rules about evidence. Improperly or illegally gained ‘evidence’ is usually not admissible. This was high-lighted recently in a case where the Fair Work Commission refused to admit secretly recorded conversations that a complainant wanted to use in her bullying case.
The employee attended a meeting with her employer and recorded the conversation without his knowledge. The employee asked the FWC to accept the recording as evidence in support of her position, but the employer objected on the grounds it was illegally obtained.
The FWC outlined the legal setting, saying the Commonwealth Evidence Act was useful to the FWC to apply to this scenario. That Act permits a court to exercise discretion in cases where improperly or illegally obtained evidence is sought to be admitted.
The FWC indicated it did not have the jurisdiction to determine if the recording had been illegally obtained, but that didn’t matter, because it would not be admitted. While some reasons for that decision turned on the facts of this case, the wider issues of the secrecy of the recording held sway.
The FWC quoted a previous case dealing with a similar problem, which said “Unless there is a justification, I consider the secret recording of conversations with co-workers to be highly inappropriate, regardless of whether it may also constitute a criminal offence in the relevant jurisdiction. The reason it is inappropriate is because it is unfair to those who are secretly recorded. They are unaware that a record of their exact words is being made. They have no opportunity to choose their words carefully, …. or to put their best foot forward in presenting an argument or a point of view. The surreptitious recorder, however, can do all of these things, and unfairly put himself at an advantage.”
There will be cases where a recording, not acquired according to law, will nevertheless be admitted. For the FWC to exercise this discretion will depend on, among other things, the capacity of the evidence to confirm what occurred, the importance of the evidence to the case, the nature of the offence complained of and the difficulty (if any) of obtaining the evidence without impropriety or contravention.
Also, in some cases, the ‘illegal’ gathering of evidence may have occurred through inadvertence, e.g. insufficient signage warning of surveillance cameras. That would tend to mitigate an impropriety argument.
What is clear is that unless there is a strong case made out for admitting such evidence, it’s not going to happen. The FWC went on to say “once it is known that a person has secretly recorded a conversation, this is apt to produce a sense of foreboding in others, an apprehension that they must be cautious and vigilant. This is potentially corrosive of a healthy and productive workplace environment.”
Australian Vehicle Buying Service
AVBS is a professional vehicle brokering firm with considerable buying power who can save AEPMA members time and money. Their service is personalised and designed to work around your busy schedule leaving you to get on with business while they do all the "running around" for you. 
Australasian Vehicle Buying Service's extensive network of contacts with new vehicle franchise dealers throughout the nation enables them to source a variety of makes and models at highly competitive prices.
From prestige, to 4WD, to commercial vehicles, Australasian Vehicle Buying Services' contact with selected dealers guarantees not only a highly competitive purchase price, but also of equal importance, their expertise and knowledge of the mechanics of the industry demands they receive a high level of service and integrity from those selling dealers. This extends not only to the vehicle, but also the extensive range of options, and accessories often required by today’s new car buyer.
Not only can they find you a new car at the best price, Australasian Vehicle Buying Service can also assist with the trade in and / or disposal of your old car. Assistance can also be provided with finance, special vehicle fit-outs, after-market products, and a whole range of other vehicle related services. 
To better understand Australasian Vehicle Buying Service visit www.avbs.com.au.
Keep an eye on crops for pests and biosecurity incursions
A BIOSECURITY officer is urging grain growers to keep an eye out for exotic pests and diseases in the late spring period.
Grains biosecurity officer for Victoria Jim Moran said it was important to identify any potential incursions before they had the chance to become endemic.

The grains industry last had a serious incursion with the introduction of Russian wheat aphid in 2016.

Mr Moran said it highlighted the need to be aware of potential threats.
"As a united and active grains industry, we need to be vigilant to ensure new pests and diseases do not enter our paddocks and become endemic in Australia," Mr Moran said.
There is a lengthy list of exotic pests we don't at present have but that could be potentially come in via trade.
"Apart from the many known pests and diseases currently rearing their ugly head in some districts, it is estimated that there are more than 300 exotic grain pests and diseases in countries we trade with and visit,"
He said farmers should be on the lookout for anything that is unusual or out of place and is causing damage to the crop.
"For example, if stripe rust or stem rust develops in resistant varieties, it could be a new or an exotic variant of the disease."
"It could be an insect not seen before nor known to have an appetite for varieties you are growing.
"The sooner these are found, the more likely it is that they can be eradicated."
He said farmers needed to have a thorough look.
"When checking a crop, make sure you get down and look right into the bottom of the canopy. This is where most diseases begin."
"If you are just looking at the visible leaves at the top, it is likely you will not notice the infection until it is well established."
"It is also best to not always go to the same spot in the paddock as many pests and diseases will have hot spots. You may miss the beginning of the infestation if you are just checking the same section."
He urged farmers who did find something they were not sure about to call the Exotic Plant Pest Hotline on 1800 084 881.
For more articles from Farm Online Australia, please visit: www.farmonline.com.au
Calls for man who killed 420 wedge-tailed eagles to face charges under wildlife act
Scale of killings so great that long-term-impact on eagle population is unknown, conservation groups say Conservation groups have called for a Victorian landowner to face charges under the Wildlife Act, after he admitted to his part in killing 420 wedge-tailed eagles over an 18-month period in the Bairnsdale magistrates court last week.
John Auer pleaded guilty to charges brought by the state Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions of misusing agricultural chemicals. He was fined $25,000 and received a 12-month good behaviour bond. He was also given a 12-month community corrections order.
Auer and former farmhand Murray Silvester, a New Zealand national, used the insecticide Lannate and other chemicals to poison the eagles at Tubbut in the Snowy Mountains between October 2016 and April 2018.
Silvester was sentenced to two weeks jail, fined $2,500 and deported last year. The penalty was criticised for its leniency at the time, despite the fact that it was the first custodial sentence ever handed down for destroying protected wildlife in Victoria.
Emails and text messages presented in evidence showed that Silvester was acting under the instruction of Auer. The Age reported that magistrate Simon Barnett described his offending as “calculated, unacceptable and disgraceful behaviour”.
Dr Jenny Lau, from BirdLife Australia’s preventing extinctions program, called for the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning to charge Auer under the Wildlife Act before the statute of limitations came into effect.
“BirdLife Australia is concerned that one of the perpetrators of these deliberate, barbaric killings has only been prosecuted for the misuse of chemicals and no charges have yet been laid under Victorian Wildlife Act for the deaths of the eagles,” Lau said.
“The scale of the killings is so great, and the long-term impact on the population of wedge-tailed eagles across East Gippsland and beyond is unknown.
“With time running out before prosecutions can be made under the Victorian Wildlife Act, BirdLife Australia demands that further legal action be taken for these serious wildlife crimes.”
Tim Beshara, federal policy director of the Wilderness Society, said charging Auer for the misuse of agricultural chemicals for the purpose of killing wildlife was akin to “prosecuting a bank robber for failing to stop at a traffic light”.
“The Victorian government needs to explain why their environment department hasn’t brought charges under their wildlife laws. The credibility of Victoria’s wildlife-protection regime is at stake.”
“This is just another example of the state governments failing to protect our natural wonders and why we need the federal government to step in and do the job properly.”
Last month, the RSPCA called for national animal welfare laws after a spate of cruelty cases, including another poisoning incident near Violet Town, Victoria which led to the deaths of more than 200 birds, among them 25 more wedge-tailed eagles.
The largest bird of prey in Australia, wedge-tailed eagles have faced persecution in Australia since white colonisation for occasionally killing lambs, although rabbits and hares are principal prey items.
However, in arid Australia, groups of wedge-tailed eagles have been observed taking down prey as large as red kangaroos. Carrion, including livestock, is another major food source.
Until the 1970s, bounties were paid for the carcasses of hundreds of thousands of wedge-tailed eagles, before the species was officially protected in all states. It is listed as endangered in Tasmania.
A spokesperson from the DELWP said that it was “still investigating options in relation to future charges”.
It said wedge-tailed eagles were a protected species and “anyone found killing, harassing or disturbing them could be fined more than $8000 and an additional fee of more than $800 per head of wildlife”.
The maximum fine faced by Auer under the Wildlife Act if he was charged and convicted for killing 420 eagles would be $354,397, and/or six months jail.
The original article can be found here.
Fire Ant Training
The next training day is on 17 December 2019 and is the last one for the year.
It will be held at the National Red Imported Fire Ant Eradication (NRIFAE) Program Office, 145-147 Wayne Goss Drive, Berrinba, QLD.
Training will resume on 29 January 2020. 
Please check here to register or for updates on training dates in the new year.
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Upcoming Events
AEPMA National Office Closed 23 Dec 2019 – 10 Jan 2020
• AEPMA Membership Renewals 2020/2021 issued in the first week of February
• Pest Manager of the Year – Applications Open 1 April
• Bayer Excellence Awards – Applications Open 1 June
• World Pest Day Summit – Singapore 8-10 June
• AEPMA 2020 Conference – The Star, Gold Coast 16-18 September 
• FAOPMA Pest Summit – Manila, Philippines 24-27 September 
• PestWorld – Nashville, Tennessee 13-16 October 
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