December 2018—Steering Committee meeting

The Steering Committee for the National Red Imported Fire Ant Eradication Program – South East Queensland (the Program) met for the sixth time on Thursday, 13 December 2018.

The Steering Committee members also participated in a field trip west of Brisbane on Wednesday 12 December, visiting a science site with bait trials; and a hay producer to discuss infestation and risk mitigation at his property.

The attendees at the Steering Committee meeting were:

Dr Wendy Craik Independent Chair
Josephine Laduzco Australian Government
Dave Kelly Queensland (proxy for Dr John Robertson)
Scott Charlton New South Wales (proxy for Dr Bruce Christie)
Michael Rosier Victoria
Sarah Corcoran Northern Territory
Dr Lloyd Klumpp Tasmania
John van Schagen Western Australia

During its meeting on Thursday 13 December, the Steering Committee approved:

  • the Program’s 2018-19 Work Plan to be published to the Program website as soon as practicable
  • the Program’s policy proposal for self-management of red imported fire ants by landholders
  • the appointment of Mr Bill Magee as the Chair of the Scientific Advisory Group. Mr Magee was previously the Chair of the Independent Review Panel, has a scientific background and is very highly regarded; and they noted the minutes of the Program’s – Scientific Advisory Group meeting held on 2 November 2018
  • financial support of $100,000 and in kind support for research and development of alternative bait technologies for fire ant in collaboration with the University of Queensland (UQ). The Steering Committee received a presentation on the Innovative Bioclay platform for Fire Ant Eradication from Dr Neena Mitter. Dr Mitter is the Director for the Centre for Horticultural Science, Theme Leader Agricultural Nanotechnology, Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation with UQ.

The Steering Committee also noted:

  • the summary of the Steering Committee Workshop held in August 2018
  • the update on the Remote Sensing Surveillance Project
  • the final Collaborative Funding Agreement and members were requested to advise their jurisdictional signatory for execution
  • the Program finance update including allocation of budget for each Program business unit/function and an update on capital cost expenditure to date
  • and provided feedback on a report on the Brisbane to Gold Coast Corridor – proposed approach to dealing with infestation in the development corridor and noted the Program’s intent to progress design and implementation of a self-treatment pilot in the Gold Coast Corridor
  • the Queensland Urban Utilities’ self-treatment pilot project plan
  • and endorsed the Community Collaboration and Industry Reference Groups’ revised format and meeting guidelines and the update on each groups’ inaugural meetings held in November 2018
  • the update provided for the inaugural Risk Management Sub-Committee meeting held on 12 December 2018 and discussed the risks raised by the Steering Committee.

The Chair closed the meeting, thanking the members for their support and input throughout 2018.

The Steering Committee will next meet in February 2019.

For updates visit the National red imported fire ant eradication program.