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GPC worker's vital work to eradicate harmful pest

AWARD: Mike Dixon accepted his award for eradicating fire ants.
AWARD: Mike Dixon accepted his award for eradicating fire ants. Steve Keough

WHO knew eradicating the pesky fire ant could land a prestigious award in your lap?

Through eradicating fire ants, one Gladstone Ports Corporation worker won a major biosecurity award.

GPC port central and fisherman's landing logistics coordinator Mike Dixon was awarded by the 2017 Australian Biosecurity Awards for his role in eradicating fire ants at the Gladstone port.

Fire ants were detected at Fisherman's Landing in 2013, which provoked the launch of an emergency response coordinated by Biosecurity Queensland's National Red Imported Fire Ant Eradication Program.

GPC chief executive officer Peter O'Sullivan said Mr Dixon's efforts at Fisherman's Landing were of great significance for the Gladstone port.

"Fire ants are an extremely invasive species, which pose social, economic and environmental threats," Mr O'Sullivan said.

"Mike's contribution to the eradication program was pivotal to its success.

"His role ensured that fire ants did not gain a foothold in the Gladstone area."

A GPC spokeswoman said Mr Dixon's local knowledge, experience and networks were invaluable to the program where he took on the role as key contact for eradication.

Being the central liaison point for other industry, a GPC spokeswoman said they advocated for the training of GPC staff and other industry employees accessing Fisherman's Landing facilities.

According to the State Government, fire ants are one of the world's most invasive species.

Topics:  fire ant gladstoneindustry gladstone ports corporation



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