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As a result of a number of requests regarding documentation of visits to farms by the Department and proof of inspection the following has occurred.

As we know Red Imported Fire Ants have not gone away and continue to spread.

At a meeting with the General Manager and Senior Liaison Officer for the Red Imported Fire Ant (RIFA) program they have developed interest in having some proof of inspection issued by the Program. This is as a result of our continuous contact and pressure regarding visits to our farms and departing with no advice to the farmer. Turf Queensland is promoting that some form of documented clearance at the end of the inspection for use by our members.

They also want to continue communications with Turf Queensland regarding the future changes in the current chemical treatment control for fire ants available to turf farms within the biosecurity zones.

Most of these we are aware of but continued communication from the Department is well received and passed on accordingly to our members.




“I am contacting you with a progress update following the Stakeholder Forum you attended in May 2018, hosted by the National Red Imported Fire Ant Eradication Program (the Program).

You may recall there was overwhelming support for the establishment of stakeholder collaboration groups (sub groups comprising of industry and community) to further share information and problems, with the aim of finding solutions.

Since then, much work has been done and it was realised that stakeholder collaboration is best enabled within a specific community and industry setting.  Small groups dealing with local issues provides increased purpose and meaning to the consultation.  For business, bringing together related industries to deal with specific opportunities and issues delivers better value for participants. 

Progressing the above, I’m pleased to advise that the first stakeholder meetings were held in November 2018.  I have attached a copy of relevant meeting guidelines.

These initial forums focused on the local community in Lockyer Valley and representatives from the building and development industry. We have also progressed discussions around collaboration opportunities with local authorities. A summary of these forums is set out below. 

Industry Collaboration Group – Building and Development

This meeting was held on 28 November 2018 and attracted twenty two representatives from the development and residential building industry. A number of local authorities also attended.

The development and building sector is a high priority because development and building activity:

  • creates ideal habitat for fire ants
  • has a demonstrable history of infestation and spread of fire ant
  • uses supply chains that involve many players in the development process from the initial planning to setting-up the site, hauling, building, landscaping etc.  There is a need to co-ordinate management to ensure risks of fire ant spread are managed in a way that minimises cost to industry.

The meeting was a great opportunity to discuss the Program’s eradication plan and to gain feedback about moving forward together to achieve eradication. Topics covered included:

  • key challenges identified by industry – infested work sites, consistent approach to compliance, time to resolve infestations and resume work, etc.
  • self-treatment options using licensed pest technicians (strong support)
  • risk mitigation measures being specified at the development/works approval stage.

Gatton – Community Partnership Group discussions

The first Community Partnership Group was held on 27 November 2018 at Gatton.

A small group provided informed and valuable input. We hope that in future the group grows in numbers and continues to foster the exchange of information and ideas.

Points discussed included the key challenges identified by the community members of:

  • treatment timeframes
  • bait and direct nest injection treatment
  • compliance with movement controls and risk mitigation of stored carrier material such as hay
  • community engagement and information needs.

Brisbane to Gold Coast Corridor stakeholder discussions

Also in November 2018 the Program met with representatives of Logan City Council, City of Gold Coast Council, Redland City Council and Brisbane City Council to discuss the establishment of a collaborative group to problems solve ideas for fire ant management. 

The Brisbane to Gold Coast Corridor represents a risk for fire ant spread due to high density infestation of fire ants and the level of the development and construction works. This corridor is the ideal area to test different approaches to fire ant management.

Based on council feedback, the Program is aiming to develop pilots or progress options for self-treatment, fire ant crews in-residence local councils, information sharing on key development activity and specifying risk mitigation measures as part of the development approval process.

Next Steps

The insights offered by the members of both groups showed that there are opportunities to formulate successful strategies in partnership with industry and the community.

All meetings were highly productive, and from all accounts attendees took away some valuable information and insights. Feedback from these meetings (and the forum) are being used to shape our thinking and planning with a clear focus on progressing self-treatment options, improving information and enhancing responsiveness to community and industry issues.

If you expressed interest in being involved in the stakeholder collaboration groups at the May 2018 forum, your nomination will be held on record to when a meeting is scheduled for your industry or area of interest or local community. We would very much appreciate your input at this time.

We will continue with an all-inclusive forum such as the one held in May last year.  This is a valuable opportunity to inform key stakeholders and we look forward to seeing you at the next Stakeholder Forum proposed for mid-2019.

In the meantime if you have any queries, please contact the Program’s Senior Liaison Officer, German Perlaza-Rua on email”


John Jordan

General Manager

National Red Imported Fire Ant Eradication Program

Biosecurity Queensland

Department of Agriculture and Fisheries


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