Gladstone fire ant strategy used in other areas in state

THE eradication of fire ants in Gladstone has given the Queensland Government the knowledge and facilities to remove them from other parts of the state.

Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries Bill Byrne has announced the commencement of a bait treatment program targeting key fire ant risk areas across south east Queensland.

"We are on track to eradicate fire ants from Gladstone in record time which highlights that our strategy to eradicate fire ants works.

"It's also essential that residents and businesses continue to support the Fire Ant Program as early detection means the colonies can be treated before they have a chance to spread."

Key risk areas have been identified and will receive three rounds of bait treatment, starting this month.

"This aggressive assault on fire ants will focus on halting their spread south into the Gold Coast, west into farming areas and in the Lockyer and across new housing development sites," Mr Byrne said.

The last surveillance for fire ants was in July this year, and there was no fire ants found in Yarwun, Targinie and Curtis Island.

Forty Gladstone residents were trained to conduct the search across the entire fire ant restricted area in Gladstone.

Ant program director Sarah Corcoran told The Observer at the time that it was a fantastic result.

"I'm predicting that after the second round of verification surveillance next year, I'll be able to announce that the ant is again eradicated from Gladstone."

""If we can declare Yarwun free of fire ants by mid-2016, we will have achieved eradication two years faster than Gladstone's last infestation in 2006 and have set a record in invasive pest eradication," Ms Corcoran said.

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