In October 2005, the Gold Coast Bulletin reported, ‘Defiant fire ants on march to Coast’.
In May 2023, the Gold Coast Bulletin reported, ‘Fire ants shut down sport. The spread of fire ants across the city is worse than initially reported (and) had reached Miami.’
Fire ants have been found in sporting fields in Coomera, Helensvale, Oxenford Park, Ormeau, Pimpama and Southport – threatening the safety of players and spectators.
Fire ants are a major threat to Gold Coast City – the 6th largest and fastest growing city in Australia – and its major industry tourism.
This was inevitable.
The National Red Imported Fire Ant Eradication Program says, ‘Our plan to eradicate fire ants involves reducing the size of the infestation in a staged, rolling treatment program starting from the west in the Lockyer Valley and progressively moving east toward the coast.’
Fact check. The independent auditor of the program in 2019 found no scientific basis for that plan. It was simply a policy decision to prioritise rural and regional areas in the west over the heavily infested cities in the east.
Fact check. According to the National Red Imported Fire Ant Eradication’s Ten Year Plan- 2017- 2027- the western areas should be clear of fire ants by now.
Fact check. The independent auditor of the program in 2019 said fire ants continue to spread because the program imposes no costs on the movement of fire ant carriers outside the program’s treatment area and no penalties on those who create fire ant friendly habitat.
Fact check. A 5 year National Red Imported Fire Ant Eradication Program has blown out to 22 years. The $123.4m budget has blown out to over $800m. The fire ant infestation has blown out from 40,000ha to over 800,000ha and still spreading.
5th June 2023