Tourists flock to Tamborine Mountain, about 30km from the Gold Coast, to view the breath-taking scenery and abundant wild life in Tamborine National Park. They also enjoy the local wineries and restaurants.
Tourists also visit the Mount Nathan’s winery, about twenty minutes from Surfers Paradise, and new housing estates attract residents to an area that is several degrees cooler than the lowlands in summer.
In the middle of February, a vigilant member of the public reported a new fire ant infestation in Mount Nathan after one or more people were stung. Hopefully they were not young or old people who might have found it difficult to escape swarming fire ants, or people who were allergic to their sting and could have gone into anaphylactic shock.
The infestation in Mount Nathan is within Biosecurity Queensland’s Fire Ant Program area of operation and 4.6km from the nearest infestation. Fire ants can fly that far. This is just more evidence that Biosecurity Queensland’s treatment program is not killing fire ants and not stopping them spreading.
Also in the middle of February, another vigilant member of the public reported a new fire ant infestation in Mount Tamborine after they disturbed nests when they were mowing their lawn. This infestation is also inside Biosecurity Queensland’s Fire Ant Program area of operations and 4.7km from the nearest known infestation. Again, fire ants can fly that far. Biosecurity Queensland reported it had destroyed that infestation in 2019. But this is just more evidence Biosecurity Queensland’s treatment program is not killing fire ants and not stopping them spreading.
With a $42m annual budget, Biosecurity Queensland dumps the responsibility for finding new infestations onto the public. The public has reported 70%-80% of new infestations – putting their safety at risk in doing so.
Despite a $42m annual budget, Biosecurity Queensland’s fire ant treatment program does not kill fire ants or stop them spreading – putting tourists and residents at risk.
Time for a Royal Commission.
1st March 2020