The National Red Imported Fire Ant Eradication Program (the program) has started implementing a comprehensive 10-year eradication plan to find, contain and destroy fire ants in South East Queensland.
Funding of $411.4 million over 10 years was agreed to by the Agricultural Ministers’ Forum (AGMIN) on 26 July 2017.
A new independently-chaired, National Red Imported Fire Ant Eradication Program (SEQ) steering committee has been established to provide clear guidance and support and ensure program transparency and accountability. This committee will monitor program progress against targets and milestones to ensure long-term eradication success.
The eradication strategy over the 10 years is to reduce the size of the infestation in a staged, rolling planned treatment program starting from the west and progressively moving to the east. The 10-year eradication plan summary incorporates the key recommendations of the 2015–16 independent review of the program, and includes key themes and strategies:
- a significant increase in eradication activities
- extended operational area
- staged, progressive rolling strategy
- risk-based eradication planning approach through scientific analysis and modelling of infestation spread
- coordinated and focused eradication activity in infested areas
- quality assurance to ensure full and consistent implementation of eradication activities
- staged clearing of suburbs to reduce the operational area throughout the life of the program and confirmation of area freedom from fire ant following completion of the plan
- collaboration with multiple industries and wider community.
The following map provides a visual representation of the progressive rolling strategy implemented under this plan. The operational area has been divided into 4 indicative priority areas for focused eradication activity over the 4 successive stages of the life of the 10-year plan.
It is proposed that intensive treatment will start in priority area 1 during 2017-2018. Planned surveillance, suppression treatment and responsive treatment will continue in priority areas 2, 3 and 4 until those areas undergo intensive treatment respectively.
For further information on the 10-year National Red Imported Fire Ant Eradication Program in South East Queensland, please call Biosecurity Queensland on 13 25 23.