Fire ant experts to host talks with local hay industry

Residents and business operators working with baled hay products are invited to learn more about the fire ant biosecurity zones and how to stop the pest spreading.

  • What: Fire ant hay day
  • Where: Gatton Shire Hall, 52 North Street, Gatton
  • When: Wednesday 8 December, 5.30pm–7pm
  • RSVP: Please call 0436 914 143 or email fireants@daf.qld.gov.au
  • Bookings are essential.

National Fire Ant Eradication Program General Manager Graeme Dudgeon said everyone in South East Queensland had a role to play in the fight against fire ants.

“Anybody who works with hay needs to understand why it’s important to manage the fire ant risk,” he said.

“Fire ants may be small, but they can destroy crops, render land useable, damage native ecosystems, inflict painful stings that can injure and in rare cases kill humans, pets and livestock.

“This is why we’re working alongside key industries, such as hay, to ensure everyone understands the steps they must take to stop fire ants from spreading in the material.”

People working with baled materials inside of the fire ant biosecurity zones are required to follow set rules when producing and storing hay prior to movement from their property.

“Hay Day attendees will be shown practical examples of what is required to be compliant — all of which can be used on their own properties in the days following,” Mr Dudgeon said.

“We want to educate and empower the community to do everything possible to stop fire ants from moving onto or from their property.

“Moving a single fire ant queen is all it takes to spread fire ants and heavy penalties can apply for anyone found to do so.”

The National Red Imported Fire Ant Eradication Program is a nationally cost-shared program funded by all Australian state and territory governments, and the federal government.

For more information about the program or movement controls visit fireants.org.au or call 13 25 23.