Living in fire ant biosecurity zones
If you live or work in a fire ant biosecurity zone, it is important that you are aware of your responsibilities when moving or storing materials that could carry fire ants.
Under the Biosecurity Act 2014, all Queenslanders have a general biosecurity obligation to take all reasonable steps to ensure that they do not spread fire ants.
You can meet your general biosecurity obligation 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, including soil, mulch, hay products, turf and potted plants
- 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 more about procedures for managing each fire ant carrier.
Moving pot plants
Residents may move potted plants (non-commercial) with a volume less than 60 litres per pot to any location within Queensland as mentioned in the Biosecurity Instrument Permit (PDF, 2MB). The permit requires you to inspect the plants for fire ants before the movement and to report suspect ants to the National Red Imported Fire Ant Eradication Program.
Any contractors, e.g. removalists who may be moving potted plants, also need to ensure the plants have been checked for fire ants. You are not required to keep a copy of the permit for your records, however if you hire a removalist they may ask to see the permit.
Failure to comply with the permit is an offence and penalties may apply.
Alternatively, you can completely remove the potting medium from the plant's roots, leave the potting medium on site, and re-pot with new soil when you get to your destination.
In this guide:
- Top 5 places to check for fire ants
- Living in fire ant biosecurity zones
- Fire ant biosecurity zones suburbs list
- Fire ant eradication and suppression treatment
- Aerial fire ant treatment
- Treatment of fire ants by the program
- Treatment of fire ants at home
- Fire ant treatment frequently asked questions
- Training and education about fire ants
- Fire ant biology and ecology