Saturday, May 25, 2024

Gold Coast fires up ant eradication program

City of Gold Coast Council is joining with the National Fire Ant Eradication Program to roll out a city-wide treatment blitz for the destructive insects.

Under the new Fire Ant Response Plan 2023–27, Program officers will commence treatment on targeted properties in the southern Gold Coast later this year, and residents in all other suburbs are able to order a free fire ant treatment kit to treat their property now.

City of Gold Coast Council Acting Mayor, Donna Gates said she supports the community treatment approach and asked residents to harness the treatment opportunities whilst they’re on offer.

“Fire ants are a threat to the city’s natural environment. We must protect it right now,” Acting Mayor Gates said.

“The Gold Coast has been proactive in reporting fire ants and working with the National Program, so let’s continue this momentum and ensure every property receives treatment.

“We need to work together to protect every resident, our thriving tourism and agriculture sectors, native ecosystems, and the incredible natural landscape that makes our city the world-famous destination it is,” she said.

Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries and Minister for Rural Communities, Mark Furner said the Gold Coast treatment blitz plays a vital role supporting the National Fire Ant Eradication Program’s new response plan.

“It’s important that those who are eligible for free treatment kits order and use them now, to knock down fire ant numbers ahead of eradication treatment in the coming years,” Mr Furner said.

“Gold Coast residents in eligible suburbs should order a free treatment kit whether you have found fire ants or not. Proactive treatment is the best way to get ahead of fire ants.

“If you live in the southern parts of the City of Gold Coast, you are in a high-priority area and the National Fire Ant Eradication Program will do this treatment for you.

“Providing fire ant teams with access to your property or treating fire ants yourself will help protect the Australia we know and love.

“It’s no secret that fire ants can have devastating consequences on our environment, economy, health and outdoor way of life. They have a painful sting and can cause havoc for farmers, and render backyards, playgrounds, and parks unusable.

“Eradicating fire ants will take a whole-of-community approach, from residents to businesses and all levels of government – we must work together.”

The new containment band forms a horseshoe around the infestation, spanning from Moreton Bay in the north, west to the Lockyer Valley, east to the Gold Coast, and south to the Tweed Shire.

The treatment area wraps around the inside of the containment band. The first areas to receive eradication treatment this year are Southern Downs, Scenic Rim and the Gold Coast.

Those in the eradication treatment area will hear from the National Fire Ant Eradication Program in the lead-up to treatment activities commencing. This will be in the form of direct mail, advertising and/or a phone call.

Residents can visit the fire ant website at fireants.org.au/selftreat to find out if they are in an eligible suburb and order their free fire ant treatment kit.

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