Fire Ants are an issue for the turf production industry especially in Southeast Queensland and things change constantly. Recent changes within the Fire ant Program that have been designed to cut red tape and make it easier for Industry to support the eradication effort whilst still, of course, mitigating the risk of fire ant spread.
Biosecurity Queensland have undertaken some recent changes to the “Fire Ant Eradication Program” that will affect the Turf Industry in Queensland. As suggested these changes have been made to cut red tape and make it easier for your Turf businesses to support the eradication effort.
Major changes that affect the Turf industry include:
- After completing fire ant awareness training, businesses can now conduct the initial inspection and ongoing visual surveillance activities for fire ants. This means there is no longer a requirement to book a fire ant inspection with a Biosecurity Queensland inspector. Free training courses are available, simply contact 3310 2873 to book. As we discussed, if there are around 20 people interested from within the Turf Industry, one of our trainers can come to a venue that suits.
NOTE: It is vital that businesses maintain records of all fire ant surveillance activities as our inspectors will request these records, should they be audited.
- The fire ant restricted area is now aligned to suburb boundaries and has been divided into a high risk area and a low risk area. Businesses can click on this link to a printable fire ant restricted area map to see if they are in or out of the restricted area http://www.daff.qld.gov.au/documents/Biosecurity_EnvironmentalPests/FireAnts-RAMap-SEQ.pdf Obviously, if they operate within the restricted area, they need to be on an Approved Risk Management Plan and abide by movement controls.
The DAFF website is also great source of information and is now set up for businesses to apply for a Risk Management Plan online www.daff.qld.gov.au/fireants