Fire ant biosecurity zones are being updated and this will come into effect on June 7, 2021. This is to include 10 new suburbs which are close to affected areas to zone two as well as to add or shift 20 suburbs to zone one which have been affected.
The 10 suburbs being added to zone 2 are: Fernvale, Fairney View, Josephville, Cryna, Kerry, Nindooinbah, Biddaddaba, Benobble, Canungra and Witheren.
The 20 new or shifted suburbs to zone one are: Clarendon, Rifle Range, Lowood, Glamorgan Vale, Lark Hill, Marburg, Haigslea, Tallegalla, The Bluff, Ashwell, Lanefield, Rosewood, Thagoona, Ebenezer, Willowbank, Purga, Goolman, Lyons, South Ripley and Undullah.
These biosecurity zones have legal movement restrictions to limit the spread of fire ants which includes (but not limited to) the movement of soil, baled hay or straw, mulch, and animal manure. Movement and/or storage of these materials will need to comply with the procedures outlined in the Biosecurity Regulation 2016.
To minimise fire ant risk on-ground storage of materials in the fire ant zones needs to be either on concrete or bitumen without cracks, or a barrier that is impenetrable by fire ants on an area of compacted ground (not sand) which has been chemically treated. For off-ground storage, hay/straw needs to be effectively covered with a barrier that prevents all ants including flying queens.
Restrictions also apply for hay, mulch and animal manure being moved to waste facilities, it may be permissible if the material is moved within 24-hours of its arrival or if the correct management methods are followed to minimise fire ant risk.
A movement permit (biosecurity instrument permit) may be required if you are not able to comply with the procedures.
More information on the movement restrictions, guides, permits, and the chemical treatment of compacted ground or perimeters please refer to the business.gov.au or daf.qld.gov.au websites. Alternatively, contact the QDO office (07) 3236 2955.