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:
- potted plants
- 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:
- follow movement controls relevant to the materials you move. You could also use our fire ant advice tool to find out what requirements apply to you
- understand what fire ants look like and what materials they might be moved in
- be aware if you are living or working close to or within in a fire ant biosecurity zone
- conduct inspections of material for any fire ant activity before moving it
- report suspect ants to the program by phoning 13 25 23 or completing the online reporting form
- ensure all staff, contractors and sub-contractors are aware of, and are following, the movement controls
- check that materials coming to your property or work site are being moved lawfully. Ask your supplier either:
- what risk mitigation measures they have taken
- for a copy of a current biosecurity instrument permit (BIP)
- clean machinery and equipment used when working with materials that may carry fire ants, before moving the equipment off-site
- treat fire ants to reduce the risk of spread.
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.
- Learn more about materials that might carry fire ants and how to manage the risk of spreading fire ants.
- Learn more about fire ants in Queensland.
- Find out more about the penalties associated with moving fire ant carriers.
- Report suspected fire ants or call National Red Imported Fire Ant Eradication Program on 13 25 23.