Bolstering biosecurity against invasive pests

The Queensland Farmers’ Federation is calling on all Queenslanders to do their bit for biosecurity in the wake of recent detections of exotic pests which threaten the state’s agriculture sector.

Testing is underway to confirm the second discovery of fall armyworm on the Queensland mainland, additionally the National Red Imported Fire Ant Eradication Program is investigating after fire ant nests were recently detected in Mount Nathan, Tamborine Mountain and Moorang.

QFF CEO Dr Georgina Davis said these pests were some of the world’s most invasive species and not only threatened Queensland’s agricultural industries but could have major social, environmental and economic impacts across the state.

“Native to tropical and sub-tropical parts of the Americas, fall armyworm feeds on hundreds of plant species, including maize, rice, sorghum, sugarcane and wheat, other horticultural crops and cotton while fire ants could potentially destroy the way of life for many Queenslanders and cost the state $45 billion over 30 years,” Dr Davis said.

“Biosecurity incursions are one of Queensland agriculture’s greatest business risks with exotic pests, diseases and weeds having a potentially crippling impact on plant and animal production systems across the state.”

“Our biosecurity system plays a critical role in protecting the quality of life of all Australians, so it is critical that state and federal agricultural departments and our industries are properly resourced to deal with the increasing number of interceptions and the growing spread of pests and diseases around the world.”

“All Queenslanders have a general biosecurity obligation to manage biosecurity risks and must play their part to maintain Australia’s relative pest, disease and weed freedom.”

Source: QFF