Important – Fire ant emergency order

In late November, the NSW Department of Primary Industries confirmed the detection of three red imported fire ant nests in South Murwillumbah in north-eastern New South Wales, 13km south of the Queensland border.

Two rail workers standing n a field next to the rail track

This is believed to be the first fire ant detection in northern NSW and the most southern report of fire ants south of the border.

Experienced teams have been chemically eradicating the infestation across a radius of 200m from the found sites. All businesses and residents within that radius to the found sites are restricted in how they can move potential fire ant carrier materials without permission. Types of restricted materials are mulch, woodchips, compost, sand, gravel, soil, hay and other baled products.

Local communities should be extra vigilant when considering the transport of organic mulch, anything with soil on it, hay and baled materials, turf, earth moving machines or quarry materials, sand and gravel.

Authorised officers may stop, search and inspect any vehicle and its contents travelling across the NSW/Qld border if suspected of containing fire ants.

Residents and businesses in northern NSW should check their properties for nests if there is any sign of fire ants. If you notice fire ants in northern NSW, immediately contact a specialist pest control service provider to inspect and treat the site and call NSW Department of Primary Industries on 1800 680 244 to report any sightings.

Inland Rail and our construction contractors are taking fire ant eradication very seriously. Activities will be undertaken in accordance with the requirements of the NSW Biosecurity (Fire Ant) Emergency Order and any worker bringing materials from known fire ant-infested areas in Queensland will have an Interstate Biosecurity Certificate confirming the materials are safe to transport.

All earth moving equipment and trucks delivering machines, quarry and soil materials vehicles will be thoroughly inspected before travel, as required by current fire ant eradication protocols.

Visit NSW Department of Primary Industries’ website to learn more about fire ants and how you can help eradicate this dangerous pest.