The pest control licence is subject to a number of general conditions. The department may also impose additional specific conditions on individual licences in some circumstances. Conditions on licence are issued in writing with the licence.
It is an offence to breach a condition of licence.
The Agricultural and Veterinary Chemical (Control of Use) Act 1992 requires any person who carries on a business or offers a service involving the use of a prescribed class of agricultural chemical to have a commercial operator licence (COL), unless the business ensures that all use of the chemical product (pesticide) is undertaken by a person who holds a licence to use that pesticide under the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008 (PHW Act). The PHW Act – and the Regulations made under it – contain the licensing requirements for pest control operators. In addition to the PHW Act and associated Regulations, pesticide storage, use and transport is also regulated under other Victorian legislation relating to hazardous substances, dangerous goods, and agricultural and veterinary chemicals.
Note the conditions in this section are for technicians, which is a person who has been issued a pest control licence under section 101 (2) of the PHW Act. For trainee licence conditions, see ‘Pest control trainees’.
General pest control licence conditions
The following conditions are under section 103 (1) of the PHW Act and apply to all Victorian pest control licence holders:
1. The licence holder must comply with the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008 and the Public Health and Wellbeing Regulations 2009.
Non-compliance with an obligation or limitation could therefore constitute a breach of a condition on licence in addition to an offence under the PHW Act or Regulations.
2. The licence holder must only use the pesticides or classes of pesticides specified on the licence.
The pest control licence will authorise a pest control operator (PCO) to use one or more class of pesticides depending on the type of pest control work the pest control operator is qualified to undertake.
The existing authorisations listed below continue to apply and will appear on the photo ID card. Qualification requirements apply in relation to the authorisations:
- pesticides (excluding fumigants) formulated for the control of any pest, (other than pest animals)
- pesticides formulated for the control of pest animals
- pesticides in the form of fumigants.
In the case of a trainee licence holder, the use of pesticides specified on the licence may only be used under the supervision of a person who holds a fully qualified technician licence.
3. The licence holder must comply with the Agriculture and Veterinary Chemicals (Control of Use) Act 1992 and the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004.
The PHW Act specifies the licensing requirements for PCOs in Victoria. Other laws also apply to the industry and PCOs have additional responsibilities under these acts and regulations including the Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals (Control of Use) Act 1992 and the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004.
This condition enables the department to require PCOs to comply with these acts and take appropriate action in the event that a PCO is found to be contravening a relevant provision of the legislation.
In relation to the Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals (Control of Use) Act 1992, provisions relating to off-label use apply. In relation to the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004, provisions relating to hazardous substances, dangerous goods and risk assessment apply.
The following conditions are under section 103 (2) of the PHW Act and apply to all Victorian pest control licence holders:
4. The licence holder must only apply chemicals according to the directions for use and comply with any other relevant safety information stated on the label.
5. The licence holder must ensure that they have copies of current Safety Data Sheets (SDSs) for the chemicals they use. SDSs can be obtained from chemical suppliers or manufacturers.
6. The licence holder must ensure that all chemicals are stored safely, securely and legally, in accordance with the Dangerous Goods Act 1985 and the Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2017.
7. The licence holder is responsible for the maintenance of pest control vehicles and equipment to ensure that they comply with the Australian Code for the Transport of Dangerous Goods by Road and Rail (also known as the Australian Dangerous Goods Code) and the Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2017.
8. The licence holder must contain or clean up any leaks or spills of chemicals, whether caused by themselves or a trainee under their supervision. Spills that may endanger environmental or human health should be reported immediately to both the Environment Protection Authority Pollution Watch Line on 1300 372 842 and to the department.
9. The licence holder must report any injury to persons resulting from a chemical spill to the WorkSafe Victoria on 1800 136 089 and the department.
10. The licence holder will notify the department of any changes to their personal address and phone number or business details, including name of employer, employer contact details and trainees under their supervision, within ten working days.
Pest control licence conditions – breaches
It is an offence to breach a condition of licence. In instances where a potential breach of a condition has occurred, the department will investigate and take appropriate action. If a pest control operator is found to be contravening a relevant provision of the legislation, the department could issue one or more of the following measures:
- formal warning
- infringement notice
- prohibition notice
- improvement notice
- additional condition(s) on the Licence to Use Pesticides
- cancellation of the Licence to Use Pesticides
The PHW Act and the Regulations, can be obtained from the Victorian legislation and parliamentary documents website.
Pest control licence conditions – application to vary or delete
A licence holder may make an application to the department to vary or delete any condition relating to a pest control licence. Where this occurs, the department will advise the applicant in writing of any decision made and the grounds for that decision. However, a condition can only be varied or deleted if it will not make the licence inconsistent with the PHW Act and associated Regulations.
If a decision is made to vary or delete a condition relating to the authorisations on a licence, or the use of a specified pesticide for a specified use only, the holder may be required to return their pest control licence to the department. The department will then reissue the licence with the revised conditions at no additional cost.
The holder must comply with a request to return a pest control licence. A penalty exists for non-compliance.