Minister Hosts Fire Ant Briefing for Local Councils – Sep 2013

The Queensland state government is ramping up surveillance efforts using special helicopter-mounted cameras to map the exact extent of fire ant infestation and work-in from the boundaries to wipe them out.

Click here to see Fire Ant Program VIDEO

This week the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry John McVeigh hosted a full briefing for Southeast Queensland Council Mayors, Deputy-Mayors and council staff to update them on the latest developments with the fire ant eradication program.

The briefing  included full details on continuing state and federal funding for the program and a live demonstration of remote-sensing cameras being used to step up the fight against fire ants which threaten communities and farm industries.

Minister McVeigh explained that the state government was fully committed to working with local landholders, businesses, councils and communities to eradicate the pest.

Mr McVeigh said that under the LNP government, major management changes had been made to the fire ant program.

Instead of sending out teams of workers to traipse across fields, forests and industrial estates poking sticks into holes looking for ants, helicopter-mounted remote-sensing cameras were now being used to locate fire ant nests.

The new surveillance program is best used in winter months when the sensitive, infrared cameras can detect heat from the fire ant nest.

Despite wet, windy weather at the start of winter, so far more than 50,000 (fifty thousand) hectares have been checked using the helicopter-mounted cameras.

The Minister stressed that landholders and homeowners were still very much part of the program and any suspected fire ant nests should be reported to the fire ant hotline 13 25 23″