General biosecurity obligation for fire ants

Under the Biosecurity Act 2014, all Queenslanders have a general biosecurity obligation (GBO) to manage biosecurity risks and threats that are under their control, they know about or they are expected to know about.

In terms of fire ants, a biosecurity risk exists when you deal with materials that the pest can be carried in, including:

  • soil
  • turf
  • potted plants
  • mulch
  • baled materials, including hay, straw or sugarcane
  • animal manures
  • mining or quarry products
  • composted materials.

Anyone involved in the movement or storage of fire ant carriers in Queensland has a GBO to take all reasonable steps to ensure they do not spread fire ants.

Fulfilling your general biosecurity obligation

Individuals and businesses moving or storing materials that may carry fire ants can fulfil their GBO by doing the following:

The Biosecurity Regulation 2016 prescribes procedures that you must follow when moving or storing a fire ant carrier. Learn about more procedures for managing each fire ant carrier.

Specific provisions are not provided for all situations and there is flexibility to find better ways of managing risks.

Failure to comply with movement controls

Inspectors from the National Red Imported Fire Ant Eradication Program conduct random compliance checks to ensure businesses and individuals are complying with the requirements outlined in the Biosecurity Regulation 2016 when moving or storing material that may carry fire ants.

Penalty infringement notices can be issued to those responsible for moving soil, turf, pot plants, hay, mulch or other materials that may carry fire ants. Penalties for non-compliance apply under the Biosecurity Act 2014.

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