28 June, 2023
Fire ant decision day – July 13
AN ALLIANCE of environment, agriculture, industry and land management groups are calling for urgent action on Australia’s fire ant outbreak.
These pests are spreading beyond the southern Queensland outbreak and threaten life as we know it across Australia.
D-Day for fire ants is July 13, when Australia’s agriculture ministers will meet face-to-face for the first time since the COVID pandemic. Fire ants will be on the agenda.
“Fire ants are one of the biggest environmental threats facing Australia. The prospect of Australian governments giving up on fire ant eradication is truly terrifying,” Invasive Species Council fire ant campaigner Reece Pianta said.
“A fire ant invasion across Australia will be worse than the cane toad. They can kill people and wildlife and cause billions of dollars in lost agricultural production every year.
“The whole of Australia will be invaded if fire ants are not eradicated. They will undermine everything, making our sporting fields, schools, beaches and backyard barbecues unsafe. They will also threaten our food security by destroying crops and livestock.
“Fire ants are already closing businesses, parks, schools, and sports grounds in southern Queensland. They will cause billions of dollars in damage, hundreds of thousands of emergency room visits and wreak havoc on our natural environment and wildlife.
“The cost of eradication is a tiny fraction of the cost of failure. Will this ministerial meeting be a failed opportunity, or will they be proud they saved Australia from one of the world’s worst invasive species?”