Managing materials that may carry fire ants

Under the Biosecurity Act 2014, individuals and organisations whose activities involve the movement or storage of fire ant carriers will have a general biosecurity obligation (GBO) to take all reasonable steps to ensure they do not spread fire ants.

The Biosecurity Regulation 2016 prescribes procedures that you must follow when moving or storing a fire ant carrier. Specific provisions are not provided for all situations and there is flexibility to find better ways of managing risks.

Fire ant carriers include:

  • soil (e.g. fill, clay, scrapings, and any material removed from the ground at a site where earthworks are being carried out)
  • mulch
  • animal manures
  • baled hay or straw
  • potted plants
  • turf
  • other carriers including
    • composted material
    • material that is a product or by-product of mining or quarrying (e.g. gravels, sands).

This guide outlines the procedures you must follow when moving or storing fire ant carriers and provides practical steps on how to avoid inadvertently spreading fire ants.