Movement controls for electric ants in Queensland

The Biosecurity Act 2014 and the Biosecurity Regulation 2016 place obligations on people to reduce the risk of spreading electric ants. If you live in Cairns or the surrounding regions, and your activities involve the movement of material that may harbour electric ant (electric ant carriers) you have a general biosecurity obligation to take all reasonable steps to ensure that you do not spread electric ants.

The electric ant biosecurity zone is in place in Far North Queensland in 5 council areas: Cairns Regional, Cassowary Coast Regional, Tablelands Regional, Mareeba Shire and the Douglas Shire. The biosecurity zone restricts the movement of live electric ant and electric ant carriers. Movement controls in place within the biosecurity zone are designed to prevent electric ants from spreading, and are essential to the eradication effort.

Electric ant biosecurity zone

The map shows the electric ant biosecurity zone (PDF, 594KB) where movement controls apply.

The biosecurity zone has 2 levels of restrictions, depending on the level of risk. These are the:

  • lesser restrictions area
  • restricted zone.

These areas have been established through a Notice of establishment of a lesser restrictions area within the electric ant biosecurity zone (PDF, 153KB).

The lesser restrictions area

Your general biosecurity obligation applies in the lesser restrictions area, and you must take all reasonable steps to not spread electric ants by:

  • knowing if you live or work in the restricted zone or the lesser restrictions area of the electric ant biosecurity zone, and what movement controls apply
  • knowing what electric ant carriers are, and how to deal with them to reduce your biosecurity risk
  • knowing what an electric ant looks like
  • reporting suspect ants.

The restricted zone

Restrictions apply on the movement of electric ant carriers from your property within this area.

To check if your property is within the restricted zone, please refer to the following suburb maps (if your property is in the biosecurity zone, but not in the restricted zone, it means it is in the lesser restrictions area): Please note, maps are best printed in colour.

Electric ant carriers

There are restrictions on the movement of materials (electric ant carriers) that can carry electric ants within the electric ant biosecurity zone. Electric ant carriers include, but are not limited to:

  • soil
  • potted plants
  • cuttings from plants
  • fruit from plants
  • a thing that has come into contact with the ground (e.g. bee hives, pot plants, garden furniture)
  • turf
  • mulch
  • baled hay or straw
  • composted materials
  • animal manures
  • material that is a product or by-product of mining or quarrying.

Managing electric ant carriers

When moving electric ant carriers from a property within the restricted zone of the electric ant biosecurity zone, residents and businesses must comply with relevant movement controls.

You must hold a biosecurity instrument permit, which allows you to move an electric ant carrier:

  • between properties within the restricted zone
  • or
  • from a property within the restricted zone to a property outside of the restricted zone.

To request a biosecurity instrument permit, complete the request form or phone Biosecurity Queensland on 13 25 23.

A permit is not required if the electric ant carrier is moved to an approved waste facility listed in the following table.

Waste facility nameAddress
Bells Creek Waste Transfer Station Off Bruce Highway

Gordonvale Waste and Recycling Transfer Station

Lot 1 Bruce Highway 

Killaloe Transfer Station and Landfill Lot 170 Killaloe Dump Road

Kuranda Waste and Recycling Transfer Station

2186 Kennedy Highway

Medalfield Pty. Ltd. Waste Disposal and Reduction Services

78 Lower Freshwater Road

Mareeba Electric Ant Carrier Waste Facility Hickling Avenue

Mission Beach Waste Transfer Station

Wheatley Road

Northern Sands Pty. Ltd. Waste Disposal and Reduction Services

Lot 5 Captain Cook Highway

Pioneer North Queensland Pty. Ltd. and Barron Sand No. 1 Pty. Ltd.

Off Lake Placid Road

Portsmith Waste and Recycling Transfer Station

35–51 Lyons Street

Smithfield Waste and Recycling Transfer Station Lot 1 Dunne Road