Are multi-million dollar properties in the gated community of Sanctuary Cove, with its five star hotel and golf courses on Hope Island on the Gold Coast, infested with fire ants?
Truck-loads of soil have been seen going onto Hope Island at the same time Fire Ant Program field staff are treating the area for fire ants.
Fire ants continue to spread through-out south-east Queensland because Biosecurity Queensland has abrogated its responsibility to control the movement of fire ant infested materials from infested areas to clean areas. Biosecurity Queensland disbanded its large team of biosecurity inspectors who helped businesses develop Fire Ant Risk Management Plans, does not ensure land development applications include fire ant management plans and does not keep its Fire Ant Biosecurity Zones Map up to date.
Biosecurity Queensland’s Fire Ant Biosecurity Zones map, dated 15th June 2018, is twenty months out of date. Biosecurity Queensland says its Biosecurity Zones Map DOES NOT INCLUDE all infested areas and does not include Hope Island.
Hope Island IS included in the February 2020 Interstate Fire Ant Quarantine Map that restricts the movement of fire ant carries from Queensland to other States and Territories and has been for a least a year. The quarantine zone extends east of Hope Island to include parts of South Stradbroke Island.
Field staff say the program is a lost cause. They are going through the motions of treating the infestation only to see soil coming and going from where they have been treating. Field staff say management will not listen to them but does tell them NOT report any new fire ant nests they find.
Time for a Royal Commission into Biosecurity Queensland utter incompetence and cover-up and the waste of $500m of public money.
17th February 2020.