Queensland Farmers’ Federation (QFF) has welcomed the $380 million National Red Imported Fire Ant Eradication Program.
The 10-year Programme announced by agricultural ministers will see a 10-year $380 million ($411.4 million indexed) plan to rid Australia of red imported fire ants (RIFA) and QFF President Stuart Armitage says it is encouraging to see governments make this sort biosecurity funding commitment until 2027.
“This goes a long way in fighting the spread of fire ants – an issue that has the potential to impact all Queensland agricultural industries. “
“Now that the funding has been allocated, it is up to the Queensland Government to eradicate RIFA and deliver upon this collective national investment.”
“Australia is the closest any country has come to eradicating fire ants, and if any state can do it, Queensland can.”
According to the Queensland Government and the ISC, if left uncontrolled RIFA have the potential to cost Queensland alone $45 billion over 30 years, dwarfing the cost of eradication.
The new program will be overseen by an independent steering committee of representatives from the Commonwealth and state and territory governments designed to give more autonomy and accountability.
Mr Armitage says everyone has a biosecurity responsibility and must play their part.
“If you see any suspect ants or nests, please take a photograph and submit via Biosecurity Queensland’s online report form at www.daf.qld.gov.au/fireants or call 13 25 23.”