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In 1999, TAG had reviewed the problems at Forest Lake in Brisbane and over the next three years, having dealt with local authorities, found that the termite problem was both endemic and systemic throughout most of Australia.

The problems involved Building Codes, Standards, Regulatory Systems such as that administered by the  APVMA and a collusion of Public Sector Officialdom and Private Sector Interests  combining to thwart the rights of ordinary Australian Homeowners and Property Investors.

The TAG Group Co-ordinator set out to review the problem in its entirety throughout Australia.  This involved dealing with differing construction types, varying building practises and the application of various chemical and physical termite management systems.  Obviously, it was then best to investigate where the problems were, why they occurred and how best to address and gain redress for the raft of problems being experienced by the wider community.

In 2003-2004, after having reviewed many of the problems involved in preconstruction termite management throughout Australia, the TAG was contracted by the Australian Environmental Pest Managers’ Association (AEPMA) to extensively review ALL preconstruction termite management systems – both physical and chemical – that were utilised in the market place.

The report TAG provided to the AEPMA identified a raft of problems with ALL systems as follows :

Physical Termite Preconstruction Management Systems


The primary problem with ALL of the physical termite management systems related to the description of these systems as “Termite Barriers” in both the Building Code of Australia and the Australian Standards.

All available evidence clearly pointed to the fact that all physical termite systems survived by constant vigilance and inspection.  This determined that ALL such systems were “Termite Monitoring Systems” at very best!

Many of the physical termite management systems had problems pertaining to their longevity and durability in situ and there were “NO Durability Provisions” provided in either the Building Code of Australia or the Australian Standards for these systems.

These systems could be ‘bridged’ in less than a day and yet the inspection process was generally an annual event if it occurred.  There was ‘No Warranty’ where physical systems were ‘bridged’ and ordinary Australian Homeowners lived “continually at risk” of termite damage!

Warranty covered ‘breaching’ of physical termite management systems ONLY, and this was a difficult thing to prove, especially given that these systems were fully incorporated into the structure of a building.


Chemical Termite Preconstruction Management Systems

The major problems with Chemical Termite Management Systems involved rates of application, delivery systems and the soil medium in which they are emplaced.

Hand-sprayed applications of chemistry were often either applied at rates that were insufficient to be effective or over applied whereby the right amount of chemical was applied with insufficient water causing the application to be hazardous and ineffective as a termite barrier.

Reticulation systems had major problems with their hydraulics and failed to appropriately deliver chemistry through the system.  Generally, even if they delivered the chemistry at the right rates, the chemical was ‘stripped’ of its active constituent, even in an appropriate soil medium.

Many soil mediums were unable, for a range of reasons, to retain the chemistry therein as an appropriate termite management system.  Alkalinity, fractional binding, sunlight, porosity, fall-out, etc. provided a raft of reasons as to why, even in a perfect soil medium, the system would probably not work!




In 2007, the TAG Co-ordinator provided the Australian Building Codes Board with a “Proposal For Change” to the Building Code of Australia.

This extensive document set out some of the problems with Termite Management that had been earlier provided to the AEPMA.


PFC Submission 


This document set out the problems that had been found with both the Building Code of Australia and the Australian Standards pertaining to preconstruction termite management.

The TAG Co-ordinator, having earlier presented this document to the Australian Building Codes Board, was requested to present on the Proposal For Change document at their National Technical Summit held at Hahndorf, South Australia in late March 2007.

A  power-point presentation and extensive explanations as to how the problems occurred, why they occurred and what needed to be done to resolve the issues, was provided to about eighty attendees at that meeting.

Despite the contentious nature and disturbing content of the material presented upon at that meeting, there was not one question from the floor despite several requests for questions to be put.

In June 2007, a letter was received by TAG from the Australian Building Codes Board directing the Group Co-ordinator of TAG to address these matters through Standards Australia.


 ABCB Letter


The “bureaucratic roundabout” was working overtime to ‘duckshove’ the issue off to other departments and the first of a series of meetings with senior staff at Standards Australia took place at their Sussex St. Offices in Sydney.

The initial contact was to become the secretary of the Termite Management Standards Committee, and he met with the Group Co-ordinator of TAG and agreed that indeed there were a range of problems that TAG had exposed in Termite Management.

It was agreed that TAG needed to address the Termite Management Committee (BD-074), and that they appraise the range of problems TAG had exposed, so as to compose a Standard that more properly addressed the problems.

The Termite Management Standards Committee did not meet until about mid-February 2009, and so the TAG Co-ordinator met with the General Manager of the Australian Building Codes Board, in the company of the National Technical Director of the HIA.

The General Manager of the Australian Building Codes Board was appraised of the massive termite management problems besetting ordinary Australian Homeowners, and he requested as a matter of urgency that TAG provide him with a Submission outlining ALL of the problems so that he was able to fully review the situation.

The Submission was composed by the TAG Co-ordinator, so as to set out a broad synopsis of the raft of problems encountered in preconstruction termite management, and then provided to the General Manager of the Australian Building Codes Board for review.


ABCB Submission Document 


After the General Manager of the Australian Building Codes Board had reviewed the Submission Document, the Group Co-ordinator of TAG met with him again at his Canberra Office where he requested an urgent meeting be held in Brisbane with Building Codes Committee representatives, and a representative of the Australian Building Codes Board being in attendance.

The Queensland Director of the ACCC facilitated the meeting by providing the ACCC board-room for that meeting on the 3rd of October 2008 for which minutes were raised to be presented to the Building Codes Committee.

PDF-BCC Sub committee meeting on termites 3 Oct 2008

In February 2009, the Tag Co-ordinator presented to the Termite Management Standards Committee in February 2009 and advised that there was a raft of problems that afflicted ordinary Australian Homeowners and caused them to live at continual risk of termite damage.

The minutes from this meeting held at the Bridge St., Sydney Offices of Standards Australia, stand in direct contrast to the minutes of the meeting held at the ACCC Board Room, in directing that the Standards were “serving the wider community as best as possible”.


Standard Australia BD-074 Meeting Minutes


The Termite Management Standards Committee did however request that the ACCC send them a letter addressing their concerns pertaining to the term “Termite Barrier” which was sent by the Queensland Director to Standards Australia on the 1st of September 2009.

There were fourteen questions in that letter that were crafted by the TAG Co-ordinator that Standards Australia, the Standards’ Termite Management Committee and others refuse to answer, as it would completely refute the “Termite Barrier” Status conferred on physical termite management systems.


ACCC Letter to Standards Australia 


The Termite Management Standards’ Committee also refuse to address the problems posed with regards chemical reticulation delivery systems.  The problem is that the Australian Building Codes Board has had a number of these systems CodeMarked which means that they are mandated for use when there is a volume of evidence that shows “they are unable to perform the function for which they are designed”.

The Australian Environmental Pest Managers’ Association (AEPMA) has also been in receipt of the ACCC Letter and the response to an AEPMA Member clearly demonstrates their views on the matter in discussing physical termite management systems not as ‘barriers’, but as management systems, thereby avoiding truthfully explaining that they are not termite barriers, but merely termite monitoring systems.  In fact, they are not even very good as termite monitoring systems as they are able to be bypassed or ‘bridged’ in hours and generally have an annual inspection process.


 Letter from AEPMA President


This letter from the AEPMA President clearly evidences that ALL concerned parties are aware of the problems and yet no party takes ownership of the problem.

The Termite Management Standards Committee is stacked with members who have pecuniary interests, or represent pecuniary interests, with even the Consumer Representative being remunerated by the manufacturer/supplier of a graded stone physical termite management system that is enshrined in the Standard.

The Standards should be “PERFORMANCE BASED” and certainly “NOT PRESCRIPTIVE” as occurs in this circumstance.

This is particularly the case where products and systems are prescriptively enshrined in the Standard are “unable to perform the function for which they were designed” thereby failing the primary dictate of the Building Code of Australia.

Neither the Australian Building Codes Board NOR Standards Australia appear to wish to remedy this situation which through the failings of Building Regulations and Standard Provisions respectively, allows ordinary Australian Homeowners and Property Investors to have what is generally their major life investment (i.e. their homes) “continually at risk of termite damage”.

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