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Standard fact sheet.


If you are having a new home or additions built the builder is responsible for providing a termite risk management (TRM) system for the work. However, the home owner is responsible for conducting regular checks of the home to identify if there is any termite activity. You should find out about the different systems of termite risk management.

Termite attacks are not limited to wood house frames and roof structures, they can also attack wall linings, including plaster board, cupboards, skirtings, windows and door frames, carpets, plastic coating on electrical wiring and even furniture, books, artwork, clothing and personal papers.

If you're building a new house, you may also wish to investigate the option of using steel frames and roof trusses in order to help minimise the attraction of termites, borers and rot.

New technology and treatments for TRM systems are constantly evolving. Do your research and discuss with your builder, and if necessary, seek further advice.

TRM systems differ depending on whether your home is built on:

  • a concrete slab-on-ground or
  • a raised (or suspended) floor.

Termite risk can be minimised when an effective TRM system is in place and you carry out regular checks. Systems that can be used include:

  • chemical barriers
  • physical barriers
  • termite resistant materials
  • minimum termite risk construction
  • landscape considerations.

Irrespective of the system you choose, regular inspections of the property are required for early detection of any termite activity.

If you buy a house that’s new, make sure that you find out what type of TRM system is in place and that you get any associated certificates.

IMPORTANT – Be aware that some building contracts may try to shift the builder’s liability for installing an appropriate TRM system to the owner. Be aware also that some contracts may try to get the owner to indemnify the builder in relation to claims for termite damage by a subsequent purchaser.

Further information

For further information about termite risk management, you may wish to contact the following agencies:

Australian Consumers’ Association
57 Carrington Road
Marrickville NSW 2204
Tel: 9577 3399
Information on termite treatments

Australian Environmental Pest Management Association
PO Box 879
Broadway NSW 2007
T: 61 +2 9281 7699
F: 61 +2 9281 0648

Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA)
18 Wormald Street
Symonston ACT 2609
Tel: 6210 4700
Tel: 6210 4806
Information on pesticides

Department of Local Government
5 O’Keefe Avenue
Nowra NSW 2541
Tel: 4428 4100

Forest and Wood Products Research and Development Corporation
PO Box 69
World Trade Centre VIC 8005
Tel: (03) 9614 7544
Information about termite risk management

National Association of Steel-Framed Housing (NASH)
PO Box 1085
Hartwell VIC 3124
Tel: 03 9809 1333
Information about, and suppliers of, steel frames

NSW Department of Primary Industries
161 Kite Street
Orange NSW 2800
Tel: 6391 3100
Information about termites

Office of Chemical Safety
PO Box 100
Woden ACT 2606
Tel: 9289 3200
Free call: 1800 170 723
TTY free call: 1800 500 236
Information about available treatments and hazards for termite protection

Timber Development Association (NSW)
PO Box 154
St Leonards NSW 1590
Tel: 8424 3700
Information about termites including risk management

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