Know the zones — fire ant biosecurity zone changes are coming

4 August 2022

On 1 September 2022, 60 new suburbs in South East Queensland will be added to the existing fire ant biosecurity zones, while five suburbs will shift to a different zone.

The zone changes are in seven local government areas—Brisbane City, Lockyer Valley, Moreton Bay, Scenic Rim, Somerset, Ipswich and Logan.

Anyone working with or moving organic materials needs to be familiar with these zones, which help prevent the spread of fire ants.

See new zones here

National Fire Ant Eradication Program General Manager Graeme Dudgeon said these zone changes were crucial to reducing the human-assisted movement of fire ants and protecting Australia from one of the world’s worst invasive pests.

“By strengthening our fire ant biosecurity zones, we can stop fire ants from spreading and reinfesting areas that are already being treated,” he said.

“The zones are regularly reviewed and updated based on recent fire ant detections and the potential for them to be spread by people.

“The zones apply to anyone who works with or moves organic materials that can carry fire ants such as soil, hay, mulch, manure, quarry products, turf and potted plants, sourced from inside the zones. You are legally obliged to check that the material you’re carrying or receiving is fire ant-free.”

Mr Dudgeon said relentless eradication efforts in parts of the Lockyer Valley, Scenic Rim and Ipswich were showing very promising results.

The last thing we want is for someone to transport live fire ants back into these areas,” he said.

“Fire ants are elusive, highly mobile and adaptable—they love to hitch a ride in organic materials.

“Moving just one fire ant queen to a new area could lead to the infestation of an entire community.”

Penalties apply to individuals and businesses who do not comply.

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

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