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 hay or straw
- 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 organisations moving or storing fire ant carriers can fulfil their GBO by:
- understanding what fire ants look like and what materials they might be moved in
- being aware if you are living or working in a fire ant biosecurity zone
- being aware of movement controls relevant to the fire ant carrier you intend to move
- cleaning down machinery and equipment used when dealing with fire ant carriers before moving the equipment off site
- conducting inspections of material that can carry fire ants for any ant activity
- reporting suspect ants online or by calling Biosecurity Queensland on 13 25 23.
The Biosecurity Regulation 2016 prescribes procedures that you must follow when moving or storing a fire ant carrier. Find about more about 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
Biosecurity Queensland inspectors conduct random compliance checks to ensure businesses and individuals are complying with the procedures outlined in the Biosecurity Regulation 2016 when moving or storing a fire ant carrier.
Penalties for non-compliance apply under the Biosecurity Act 2014.