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Media Release - Council urges vigilance against introducing Yellow Crazy Ants during transport of materials to our Shire

31st August 2023

With the known infestation of Yellow Crazy Ants (Anoplolepis gracilipes) in neighbouring regions, Council is requesting landholders and businesses moving materials and products to and from the Hinchinbrook Shire, to exercise due diligence to meet biosecurity obligations.

Yellow Crazy Ants are a Category 3 restricted invasive species under the Biosecurity Act 2014 and have earned notoriety due to their aggressive behaviour, rapid colonisation and adverse impact on local biodiversity. The Queensland Biosecurity Act 2014 requires everyone to take all reasonable and practical measures to minimise biosecurity risks associated with tramp ants such as Yellow Crazy Ants – this is called a General Biosecurity Obligation (GBO).

In line with their GBO, individuals including service providers in the construction, building, horticulture, landscaping and material-delivery industries are urged to check their properties and any materials that could harbour Yellow Crazy Ants. This includes soil, timber, timber products and other construction materials, agricultural and horticultural produce, packaging and other potential modes of dispersal.

If Yellow Crazy Ants are suspected or observed, it is crucial to take immediate action by quarantining the area and reporting the affected materials to Council’s Biosecurity Team for further investigation and advice.

"As a Council, we recognise the importance of our construction and landscaping industries. By working together to inspect and report suspicious ants, we can ensure that our activities contribute positively to preserving the natural assets and lifestyle of our region. Early detection and timely control of these destructive ants is crucial as they are very difficult to eradicate once established" said Councillor Kate Milton.  

"By being observant and proactive in inspecting any new materials including building, construction, sand and gravel or plants that have been brought in from areas like Townsville and Cairns with known Yellow Crazy Ant infestations, we can collectively safeguard against the inadvertent spread of this pest to our Shire and protect our environment, livelihoods and homes.”

To learn more about Yellow Crazy Ants, including identification and characteristics, please refer to the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries Factsheet.

For further information or assistance, please contact Council’s Biosecurity Team on 4776 4740.

Image: Yellow Crazy Ant. 

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