Do you or your business move soil, quarry products, turf, mulch, hay, potted plants or animal manure?

You need to be aware that the Biosecurity Regulation 2016 is changing — beefing up the fight against fire ants.

National Red Imported Fire Ant Eradication Program General Manager Graeme Dudgeon said from 27 May amendments to the requirements will reduce the chance of fire ants spreading and provide extra protection for areas that have undergone fire ant eradication activities.

“The changes are necessary to protect the Australian way of life and make it easier for industry to do the right thing when working in areas with fire ant infestation,” said Mr Dudgeon.

“These changes will reduce the regulatory red tape and assist in reducing instances of human-assisted movement — providing greater protection for areas that have been subject to eradication treatment activities.”

Below is a summary of the changes being made to the Biosecurity Regulation 2016:

  • The number of biosecurity zones in the region will drop from three to two. The zones will encompass new suburb areas and will accurately illustrate the distribution of fire ants and correspond with the program’s treatment activities.
  • A soil movement guideline will be implemented to provide clarity on how individuals and businesses can satisfy their general biosecurity obligation when working with soil.
  • Amendments made to the risk mitigation strategies that people need to follow if working with or disposing of materials that may carry fire ants. In some situations, this will reduce the need to apply for a Biosecurity Instrument Permit.

“With initial reports from the current eradication area, in parts of the Lockyer Valley, Scenic Rim and the Ipswich City local government looking promising, Mr Dudgeon said the program needs to protect eradication areas from re-infestation.

“At the end of the day, the lifestyle of all Australians depends on it.”

To find out what the changes mean for you and your business, and have your say please visit the Fire ant zones eHub.