The fire-ants site detected south of Ballina in NSW has been destroyed and is no longer a risk to the community, but movement of landscaping equipment and material is restricted.
To manage the risks of spread, a biosecurity control order has been put in place, restricting movement within the surrounding 5.0km area of the site in Wardell, south of Ballina. Department of Primary Industry teams will support the local businesses and community who will need to lock down movement of landscaping, gardening, and building materials and machinery until it’s been inspected and checked.
The NSW Government is working closely with the Commonwealth and the Queensland Governments, plus Ballina Shire Council. Experienced teams chemically eradicated the infestation and treated a radius of 500m from the site.
Following detection of the fire ants the NSW Government instigated its action plan covering eradication, control, tracing, and engagement of local businesses and community.
The NSW Department of Primary Industries team moved swiftly with colleagues from the National Fire Ant Eradication Program and Ballina Shire Council to destroy the fire ants, control the site, start tracing the source and survey the surrounding area.
The team will continue activities with sniffer dogs and boots on the ground to determine the extent of any infestation, undertake genetic testing of the fire ants, and engage and support the impacted local community and businesses.
The following types of materials cannot be moved out of the 5km zone: mulch, soil, compost and manure, growing media, hay, chaff, silage, potted plants, turf, agricultural and earth moving equipment, grass/vegetation and clippings.
To learn more of fire ants and landscapers’ responsibilities and obligations in the event of encountering a possible colony, log on to dpi.nsw.gov.au.