20 November 2019

Steering Committee for the National Red Imported Fire Ant Eradication Program – SEQ


On Wednesday 21 August 2019, the Steering Committee participated in a stakeholder forum with approximately 50 industry, government and community stakeholder representatives attending.  The forum was an opportunity to provide stakeholders with an update on the program’s actions, results and challenges for the past year and to provide an update on the status of the 10 year plan.  Stakeholders were also given the opportunity to provide feedback on the program to the Steering Committee. The Steering Committee appreciated the constructive advice given by stakeholders on improving the program.  A major item of discussion at the forum was the program’s move to add self-treatment to its strategies.  Those attending the forum were supportive of the move and had many suggestions to increase the likelihood of success.

The Steering Committee met for its quarterly meeting on Thursday, 22 August 2019.

The attendees at the Steering Committee meeting were:

Wendy Craik Independent Chair
Matthew Koval Australian Government (on behalf of Jo Laduzko)
John Robertson Queensland
Scott Charlton New South Wales (on behalf of Bruce Christie)
Nigel Ainsworth Victoria (on behalf of Michael Rosier)
Sarah Corcoran Northern Territory
Marcelle O’Brien Tasmania (on behalf of Lloyd Klumpp)


John Van Schagen Western Australia

During its meeting, the Steering Committee:

  • noted and discussed the General Manager’s update in relation to the program, including updates on:
    • the nursery industry
    • the turf industry
    • compliance
  • noted the progress of the remote sensing project, the approval of the project change request by the project board and the requirement to recruit a new project coordinator for the project
  • noted the progress of the Industry Collaboration Group with the development and building industry and the establishment of another Industry Collaboration Group with the turf industry
  • noted the program’s financial report presenting the financial performance of the program as at 30 June 2019
  • agreed to carry forward the 2018-19 underspend of $5.226M to facilitate treatment in the 2019-20 season
  • agreed to capital funding requests for carpark construction at the program’s Mutdapilly site and initial costs for the Wacol fire hydrant as eligible costs under cost sharing arrangements
  • noted the Capital Program update includes an increased cost of a forklift and a decreased cost for the ant colony rooms, with overall purchases within the approved capital program total for 2018-19
  • noted the update on the status of the program’s forward funding
  • discussed the draft NRIFAEP Business Improvement Plan and endorsed the proposed approach of the plan
  • endorsed the proposed Work Plan 2019-20 and agreed that the deliverables listed in the Work Plan and the program performance indicators form the basis of future performance reporting to the Steering Committee
  • discussed the Self-Management Action Plan, taking into account feedback from the forum
  • noted the minutes and action items from the Risk Management Sub-Committee meeting held in July 2019
  • discussed and approved the Risk Management Plan, and noted the Risk Register and the Issues Register, bearing in mind that they are both living documents
  • noted the progress made by the National Exotic Invasive Ant Scientific Advisory Group since the February 2019 Steering Committee meeting, in particular, the scoping for proof of freedom and that a second SAG face to face meeting will be held in Berrinba in October 2019
  • Had a useful discussion about the program with the National; Executive Director of the Australian Environmental Pest Managers Association (AEPMA) Mr Stephen Ware.

The Steering Committee will next meet in November 2019.

More information about the Steering Committee’s role