Fire ants battle cry

Fire ants battle cry

A local politician calls for “more suppression of fire ants in Logan” as the destructive pest spreads across the city.

Logan MP Linus Power said he was supportive of “any measures” to supress fire ants within the city.

“Including having it distributed by council, and we’ll look at different funding methods,” Mr Power said.

“I would encourage council to do a trial of fire ant bait distribution as soon as possible.”

But Logan City council said it could only do so with financial support.

“If the state or federal government provided funding for the treatments and administration costs, council could start providing this service immediately,” a council spokesperson said.

For several weeks, Logan residents have expressed concerns to MyCity Logan about their struggles fighting fire ants.

They said obtaining treatment was difficult and expensive, and even when they get their hands on it, their eradication efforts were futile – particularly when neighbours and the rest of the community cared so little.

Mayor Jon Raven told MyCity Logan it would be “amazing” if the official eradication program provided council with the treatment to give to residents.

“People would love help on their own properties, and to know there is somewhere they can get the right treatment, ideally for free, and from somewhere convenient – council depots make a lot of sense,” he said.

The week prior, a whistleblower from the government’s inital eradication program said local governments should be given the funding to manage fire ants.

Mr Power said he was “happy to work with Logan City council in any way to help them be a part of the community Fire Ant suppression plan”.

“The national program is concentrating on the edges of the infestation to close in on it, and I understand that strategy, but it is frustrating for Logan residents,” Mr Power said.

“That’s why I’m pushing for more access to free bait for any residents as well as more efficient ways to eradicate infestations within Logan.

“Funding has recently been increased by the federal government and I would like to see more suppression of fire ants in Logan”

While there are temporary free treatment trials, with one starting this September, Mr Power said he wanted to see a “more permanent program where residents can access it any time”.

A spokesperson from the National Fire Ant Eradication program didn’t say whether the program was supportive of arming Logan council with treatment and funding.

“The State Government directly supports councils, including Logan, in the fight against fire ants through our $37.1 million Fire Ant Suppression Taskforce
(FAST),” the spokesperson said.

“We will continue to support the efforts of Logan City council to suppress fire ants detected within the suppression area.

“All levels of government, along with councils, businesses and individuals have a role to play in tackling fire ants and this is clearly reflected in Queensland’s general biosecurity obligation.”

She said all residents had a legal obligation to take ” all reasonable and practical measures to prevent or minimise biosecurity risks, including fire ants”.

“Community self-treatment initiatives are open to residents in Logan each year to help supress fire ant populations,” the spokesperson said.

“Once registered, residents can receive two free fire ant treatment kits in the mail to their property.

“We encourage all Logan residents to sign up to this great initiative.”



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