News

Gladstone's fire ants originated in southern US

AN outbreak of fire ants at Fisherman's Landing in Gladstone is likely to have arrived from the southern United States.

The dangerous invasive insects were discovered at Fisherman's Landing, Yarwun, about six months ago, and have since been found on Curtis Island.

A Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry spokesperson said $3.295 million has been provided for the next two-and-a-half years for eradicating fire ants in Gladstone through the National Red Imported Fire Ant Eradication program.

Eradication initiatives include aerial baiting, movement restrictions and surveillance.

"Genetic testing reveals the ants have come from the southern United States. However, how they got to Gladstone is unknown," the spokesperson said.

"There is no evidence that anyone has breached quarantine requirements through the importation of goods or equipment into Gladstone.

"The program is working closely with all businesses working or operating within the Fisherman's landing and Curtis Island areas to eradicate the fire ants. All parties have been incredibly supportive and accommodating of the program's requirements."

Visiting Gladstone earlier this month, Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce said fire ants were a threat to national biosecurity.

"If you let this problem get out of hand, it will come back to bite you," he said.

"This is not just a problem for Gladstone. If fire ants spread across the country and into backyards, it will be a horror story."

Fire ants in America have cost the country $7 billion. The pests have painful stings, and feed on small ground fauna such as insects, lizards, frogs, birds and mammals.

As such, they could displace or eliminate some of Australia's unique native species.

They also could affect the agriculture industry because they attack young animals, and invade the food and water supplies of animals.

Topics:  biosecurity, curtis island, editors picks, fire ants, fisherman's landing




UPDATE: Two rushed to hospital as crash shuts down busy Gladstone road

The crash on the corner of Tank St and Glenlyon St.

ACCIDENT directly outside Gladstone’s ambulance headquarters.

WATCH: Gladstone 'criminal' rammed cops in runaway rampage

Grant Lee Hawdon hwe as sentenced over two counts of dangerous operation of a car in Rockhampton and Calliope.

GLADSTONE “career criminal” deliberately rammed a police car.

Gladstone girl with 'food poisoning' after drinking Woolworths juice box

Mum of two Patrice Cornell found "green gunk" in her daughter's juice box.

MUM claims daughter, 2, got food poisoning from rotten juice box.

Latest deals and offers

Vintaea: Why I left The Bachelor on the first night

Vintaea Carlos was one of 22 "bachelorettes" looking for love on the fourth season of The Bachelor.

Queensland beauty leaves Richie at rose ceremony.

Amber Heard claims Johnny Depp is stalling divorce

Amber Heard claims Johnny Depp is delaying their divorce

The Bachelor host: this year's season is a cracker

The Bachelor host Osher Gunsberg.

GUNSBERG says tonight will be "the best night of TV of the year".

Kerri-Anne Kennerley to Sonia Kruger: "Stay brave"

She said her television peer should "stay brave"

Swimwear designer looking for love on The Bachelor

Noni Janur on her first day of filming.

The 25-year-old is one of 22 women vying for Richie Strahan’s heart

You can own this Queensland town for just $1

Yelarbon

Unprecedented auction of town's business centre with no reserve

Work starts on $15M Caloundra apartment building

Turning the first sod at the Aqua View Apartments site in Kings Beach are (from left) husband-and-wife developers Alex Yuan and Stella Sun with construction company Tomkins director Mike Tomkins and Councillor Tim Dwyer.

Developers excited about addition to Kings Beach skyline

72-year-old Coast developer set to start new project

GREEN LIGHT: The Cosmopolitan has been approved for development at Cotton Tree.

Meet the Canberran set to deliver another chapter for Coast suburb

Plans revealed for 1500-lot 'master-planned community'

Precinct will be bounded by Boundary St and Shoesmith Rd

Ecco Ripley sales run sparks prime release

MOVING IN: Sekisui House has announced the release of more residential blocks at Ecco Ripley.

Sekisui House is preparing to unveil more land at Ecco Ripley

The climb is slow but property on the way up

Michael Matusik, director of Matusik Property Insights.Photo Allan Reinikka / The Morning Bulletin

The improvement would be mild when compared to past cycles