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Managing and transporting 'other' high-risk materials in fire ant biosecurity zones

The Biosecurity Regulation 2016 outlines the management methods you must follow when storing and moving 'other' high risk materials from a property in a fire ant biosecurity zone.

These include the following:

  • blended materials, for example soil blends or processed soils (soils that undergo screening, crushing or blending with other materials, such as mulch)
  • a product or by-product of mining or quarry works (for example, gravels)
  • a product or by-product of the processing of a plant, or something that comes from a plant (for example, sawdust and compost).

Use our interactive map to check if you are in a fire ant biosecurity zone.

Moving 'other' high-risk materials in, across and outside fire ant biosecurity zones

You may move 'other' materials in, across and outside fire ant biosecurity zones if you:

  • move material from zone 1 directly to a waste facility in zone 1 or 2
  • or
  • move material from zone 2 to a waste facility in zone 2 only
  • or
  • move the material in 24 hours of it being at the original place
  • or
  • follow the management methods outlined below.

You can also use our fire ant advice tool to find out what requirements apply to you.

If you are unable to comply with these conditions then you must request biosecurity instrument permit from an inspector.

Management methods

The appropriate storage of 'other' high-risk materials will reduce the risk of infestation by fire ants.

Storage of 'other' high-risk materials

If the materials will remain on the property for more than 24 hours, you must use 1 of the following storage options:

  • off-ground and covered
  • or
  • on-ground, and covered, either on:
    • concrete or bitumen (no cracks)
    • a barrier that cannot be penetrated by fire ants (e.g. 200 micron unperforated plastic sheeting)
    • compacted ground (other than sand) that has been treated with an appropriate chemical product before storage.

Disturbing 'other' high risk materials during storage

Anyone storing 'other' high-risk materials' must either comply with the storage requirements above or disturb any stockpiles periodically to prevent fire ants becoming established in the stockpile. This means undertaking an activity to disturb the stockpile:

  • every 21 days
  • and
  • 24 hours prior to moving the material to another location.

Activities to 'disturb' a material include any combination of turning, screening, crushing, shredding, chipping or washing.

Treatment of 'other' high risk materials

Chemical treatment must be applied around the perimeter of the on-ground storage area. This should be done by applying a 30cm-wide strip of insecticide containing 80g/L bifenthrin. If material is stored on compacted ground, the whole surface area must also be treated.

It is important to keep the treated area free of material that could form an untreated bridge to the mulch. For an insecticide registered as a horizontal or perimeter barrier for fire ants, refer to Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) permit PER14317 (expires 31 December 2021).

You can search for permits on the APVMA website. Insecticides must be used in accordance with the conditions of the APVMA permit, the Safety Data Sheet (SDS) and in conjunction with the product's label.

Keeping a record

Keep a written record of the steps you take to ensure the material is stored and moved correctly, including any chemical treatments and/or disturbance activity. Keep these records for a minimum of 2 years.

For further information contact a National Red Imported Fire Ant Eradication Program inspector on 13 25 23.

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