Writings: Fire ants now in Deagon: yet another breach of Biosecurity Queensland's Fire Ant Zone Lines

Fire ants are breaching Biosecurity Queensland’s Fire Ant Zone lines at an alarming rate. Fire ants are now in Deagon, Bracken Ridge, Upper Kedron, Camp Mountain, Beerwah and Lowood: all way outside fire ant containment lines because Biosecurity Queensland cannot stop fire ants spreading. 26 August 2017 Update: 28th August 2017 Fire ants found in three separate locations in the suburb of Fitzgibbon in July. Fitzgibbon is adjacent to both Deagon and Bracken Ridge in Brisbane's north-east. Residents of Deagon advised to check their properties.

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This week, the residents of the suburb of Deagon, in the very north-east of the Brisbane City area, found a notice in their letter boxes telling them that fire ants had been found near their homes: threatening their safety and well-being. Deagon is a long way outside Fire Ant Zone lines, but next to the suburb of Bracken Ridge. Bracken Ridge is also a long way outside Fire Ant Zone lines, but fire ants were found there in October 2016.

In May this year, fire ants were found in the suburb of Upper Kedron, in Brisbane’s north, bordering the Moreton Bay Regional Area and outside Fire Ant Zone lines. And they were found also in the suburb of Camp Mountain, actually inside the Moreton Bay Regional Area.

In June this year, fire ants were found in Beerwah on the Sunshine Coast, a very long way outside Fire Ant Zone lines. And in August, they were found in Lowood in the Somerset Regional area: again, a very long way outside Fire Ant Zone lines.

70% of all new detections of fire ant nests are made by vigilant members of the public. It is likely that these new detections were also made by members of the public who have done their bit in the fight against fire ants. But Biosecurity Queensland is failing in its responsibility to stop fire ants spreading from infested areas to previously fire ant free areas.

Biosecurity Queensland has already spent $400m of public money since 2001 fighting fire ants. The result is the infestation is ten time worse than at the beginning and fire ants now appear to be out of control. In July, Biosecurity Queensland was given another $400m of public money for the next ten years to eradicate fire ants. Based on Biosecurity Queensland’s track record to date, it will be another colossal waste of public money and fire ants will become firmly entrenched in the Australian landscape.

Check your property for suspicious ant nests and complain to your State and Federal Members of Parliament that Biosecurity Queensland is not up to the job of eradicating fire ants.