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    Media Statements

    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Minister for Primary Industries and Fisheries
    The Honourable Tim Mulherin

    10,000 people now on the lookout for Fire ants

    Minister for Primary Industries and Fisheries
    The Honourable Tim Mulherin

    Monday, December 08, 2008

    10,000 people now on the lookout for Fire ants

    South East Queensland will have 20,000 extra eyes on the lookout for fire ants when the 10,000th fire ant trainee attends the Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries (DPI&F) fire ant training today Monday 8 December.

    Primary Industries and Fisheries Minister Tim Mulherin said training programs for volunteers have been run since 2001.

    “In fire ant areas if soil in excess of 1 cubic metre is being disturbed it must be inspected for fire ants first.

    “Councils and public utilities send staff in to be trained to carry out inspections.

    “High risk businesses like nurseries and landscapers also send employees in for fire ant training.

    “And we have many community groups and locals who want to help eradicate fire ants and come in to become volunteer fire ant rangers.

    “Whenever fire ants are found DPI&F officers are sent in to kill the nest.

    “10,000 fire ant trainees is an amazing response from the public.

    “We recognized early on how important it is to have a whole community involved in the fight against fire ants and all these trainees are a great boost in our efforts to eradicate this pest,” Mr Mulherin said.

    DPI&F Biosecurity Queensland Control Centre General Manager, Keith McCubbin, said trainees attend sessions covering the impact, identification and behaviour of the ants, as well as the DPI&F eradication program, movement controls and how the community can help.

    “Members of the community and industry play an important role in the program. Their ability to identify and report suspect ants is valuable, and we’re very happy to have been able to help so many members of the public to develop these skills”, Mr McCubbin said.

    “It’s great to have this opportunity to recognise how many people have attended this training and made their contribution to eradicating this nasty pest.”

    The courses are free to attend; bookings can be made by calling the DPI&F on 13 25 23.
    The lucky 10,000th person will be receive a special certificate at the completion of their training at Biosecurity Queensland Control Centre, Oxley, Monday 9 – 10.30 am, 08 December.

    Minister’s Media: Mark Symons 32396530

    DPI&F Media Contact: Andy Christie Ph 3239 3387