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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries and Minister for Sport and Racing
    The Honourable Bill Byrne

    Fire ant treatment commencing across South East Queensland

    Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries and Minister for Sport and Racing
    The Honourable Bill Byrne

    Tuesday, September 22, 2015

    Fire ant treatment commencing across South East Queensland

     

     Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries Bill Byrne today announced the commencement of a bait treatment program targeting key fire ant risk areas across South East Queensland.

     

    “This aggressive assault on fire ants will focus on halting their spread south into the Gold Coast, west into farming areas in the Lockyer and across new housing development sites,” Minister Byrne said.

     

    “Key risk areas have been chosen to receive three rounds of bait treatment commencing this month and concluding in May 2016.”

     

    Biosecurity Queensland’s Fire Ant Eradication Program Director Ms Sarah Corcoran said residents would be sent advance notice of treatment in their area.

     

    “If you live or work in the treatment area, you will receive notification and be requested to allow the Fire Ant Program to access your property so they can spread fire ant bait,” Ms Corcoran said.

     

    “The bait includes an insect growth regulator that is commonly used in mosquito control programs and flea collars, and is not harmful to other animals or humans. “Residents should note that it is a requirement that they allow fire ant technicians onto their properties for treatment purposes.

     

    “All fire ant technicians will display official Queensland Government identification and will not need to enter your house or buildings.”

     

    “As we’ve seen in the United States fire ants have the potential to destroy our outdoor lifestyle if left unchecked,” Minister Byrne said.

     

    “They can impact severely on people’s health and wellbeing, as well as the environment and economy.”

     

    Minister Byrne said the Fire Ant Program had recently concluded 3 years of aerial surveillance to confirm the full extent of the fire ant infestation in South East Queensland.

     

    “We now have a greater understanding of the fire ant infestation in South East Queensland, and so now together with our national cost-sharing partners we can make a more informed decision about the resourcing required to eradicate this pest from Australia,” he said.

     

    “I’ll be putting a strong case forward to my state counterparts, when we meet in Brisbane in November, for continued cross-jurisdiction funding for the fire ant program.

     

    “Preliminary findings from an independent review show that there is a compelling case for a strong and continued national approach to eradicate fire ant.

     

    “We are on track to eradicate fire ants from Gladstone in record time which highlights that our strategy to eradicate fire ants works.

     

    “The eradication of fire ants is of national significance as a widespread fire ant infestation would be potentially devastating to all Australian states and territories.”

     

    “It’s also essential that residents and businesses continue to support the Fire Ant Program as early detection means the colonies can be treated before they have a chance to spread.”

     

    To find out if your suburb is affected, to report fire ants or for more information, visit www.daf.qld.gov.au/fireants or call 13 25 23.

     

    ENDS

     

    Media Contact: Michelle Connolly: 0478 325 738