Fireplace ant program provides extra suburbs to south-east Queensland management zones – ABC Information

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The nationwide fireplace ant eradication program has prolonged its biosecurity zones round south-east Queensland, including almost 60 new suburbs throughout Brisbane, Moreton Bay, and the Scenic Rim.

The transfer comes as efforts return to reducing down fireplace ant numbers in Brisbane, Ipswich and Logan, whereas nonetheless working to include the invasive pest’s unfold west by the Lockyer Valley.

Below the 10-year, $411 million program, two biosecurity zones have been established to manage the motion of soil, hay, and different ant-carrying supplies, after incursions from the Port of Brisbane a decade in the past.

However fireplace ants have proved difficult to stamp out, with this system final yr saying it wanted extra money to fulfill its 2027 eradication deadline.

With out eradication, the devastating agricultural pest is predicted to price Australia an estimated $1.65 billion yearly.

Controlling motion

Program supervisor Graeme Dudgeon stated including extra suburbs to the zones meant controls would now govern how companies and residents might transfer supplies equivalent to soil, hay, and crops.

“This explicit replace, whereas it seems like lots of suburbs … it is not an ideal improve within the space of the zones,” he stated.

“They’re on the sting, so you’ll anticipate that to occur — there’s been somewhat little bit of unfold on the sting, or we’re apprehensive about unfold on the sting.”

The western zone, protecting a lot of the Scenic Rim and Lockyer Valley, has been the principle focus of surveillance and therapy efforts to this point.

The japanese zone covers Brisbane’s southside, Ipswich, Beaudesert, Logan and the northern Gold Coast, and has had no therapy – though residents are inspired to report or deal with fireplace ant nests in their very own again yards.

A raft of fire ants in flood waters in Texas, USA 2020.
Fireplace ants can journey lengthy distances by “rafting” on flood waters.(Equipped: Invoice O’Zimmermann)

Mr Dudgeon stated whereas focus had initially been on surveying and killing ants on the western boundary within the Lockyer Valley, the east now wanted consideration.

“Within the space we’re not eradicating, that japanese space, it was thought initially that responding to public stories of fireside ants and instantly killing the hearth ants when discovered and reported can be sufficient to maintain these fireplace ants right down to an affordable stage,” he stated.

“We discovered that is not the case, as a result of there are extra fireplace ant nests you can’t see than you may.”

Hundreds of fireside ant stories have been made throughout Ipswich and Logan over the previous 12 months, with new housing developments a preferred residence for the pest.

Compared, the western zone — the place therapy has been underneath approach for a number of years – has had fewer than 200 fireplace ant stories prior to now yr.

Mr Dudgeon stated stated one other $37 million had been put into this system over the subsequent 5 years, prioritising the japanese zone.

North and south

Moreton Bay suburbs together with Murrumba Downs and Griffin have been on Thursday added to the japanese zone for the primary time, together with a number of northside Brisbane suburbs equivalent to Fortitude Valley and Northgate.

A coloured map of south-east Queensland.
The up to date biosecurity zones add extra suburbs north and south of Brisbane.(Equipped: Nationwide Crimson Imported Fireplace Ant Program)

“Within the [Moreton Bay] space, there’s fairly just a few suburbs added there — there was on-and-off fireplace ant exercise there for a variety of years,” Mr Dudgeon stated.

“It is not lots of exercise, however there’s sufficient now for us to be involved and we have added these suburbs in.”

To the south-west, the western zone now the foothills of Principal Vary close to Aratula, the place fireplace ants have moved deeper into the Scenic Rim.

“That is an space the place fireplace ants have been pushing fairly exhausting,” Mr Dudgeon stated.

“We’re undecided why there reasonably than elsewhere, but it surely appears the situations for this breed there are fairly beneficial and that is the place they appear to be shifting.”

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