The Queensland Times reported on 13th March 2020 that the Ipswich Knights had to relocate their football matches over the weekend to Toowoomba, 90km away and up the Range, because fire ants were infesting two of their own fields in Bundamba.
Football, or soccer, has been an integral part of Ipswich’s culture since the late 1800s. The Knights were formed in 1998 with the amalgamation of the Blackstone Rovers (1882), the Bundamba Rangers (1894), St Helens (1910) and the New Chum Bush Rats (1891).
Fire ants infesting the Ipswich Knights’ grounds on the floodplains of Bundamba Creek, a major tributary of the Bremer River, was inevitable because of Biosecurity Queensland’s incompetence.
Bundamba is on the eastern edge of the city of Ipswich and close to the massive infestation found at Swanbank in 2004. Bundamba has been inside Biosecurity Queensland’s Fire Ant Program area of operation since 2001 and has been infested and treated for years. The result is ALL of Ipswich is now infested.
Biosecurity Queensland has wasted over $500m of public money chasing the last fire ant to eradicate it when there is not a scrap of scientific evidence that was ever feasible. Fire ants now infest an area over twelve times what it was in 2001 – up from 40,000ha to over 500,000ha. It could be more because Biosecurity Queensland does not know where the edge of the infestation is. Fire ants are spreading and re-infesting treated areas because Biosecurity Queensland’s treatments do not work. Fire ants continue to spread because Biosecurity Queensland does not control the movement of truck and trailer loads of fire ant carriers like soil and mulch.
So what does this mean for the Ipswich Knights and Ipswich? Can the Knights no longer hold games on their home grounds? The Knights fields are not the only sporting fields that have been infested. School sporting fields in Ipswich have also become infested.
Biosecurity Queensland’s incompetence has put the safety of players, children and adults alike, spectators and parents at risk. Biosecurity Queensland’s incompetence has had a significant impact on the life and culture of Ipswich.
Time for a Royal Commission.
16th March 2020.