28.2 C
Byron Shire
February 4, 2023

Fire ants: a real barbecue-stopper

Latest News

Go Thistles!

Lismore Thistles Soccer Club has launched the Thistles Acceleration Program, in the process becoming the city’s only player development academy. 

Other News

Four arrested over alleged break-ins, trespass – Casino

Four boys have been arrested by police investigating alleged aggravated break and enter and trespass offences in Casino on Monday, 30 January.


What have they done to our Vinnies here in Mullum? They’ve killed it! It has reopened and it is...

Abouchar honoured with Order of Australia

The new head of the Byron Community College (BCC), Chantal Abouchar, has been awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for her contributions to business and the media.

They are Hotshots

The two-hour production is a visual feast, choreographed and developed by Australia’s leading professionals and a hand-picked selection of dreamy guys who will have the ladies up from their chairs, screaming for more, night after night. With a totally interactive production, The Secret Fantasies Tour is the perfect night out with the girls.


Warren Kennedy wrote an excellent letter last week (28 January) pointing out the deficiencies of capitalism as it exists...

$3 million for regional news outlets in NSW

The NSW government has announced a new $3 million fund to assist regional communities to have access to trusted news sources covering the stories that matter.

Red fire ant found in Brisbane. AAP Image/Department of Primary Industries, Queensland. AAP Image/Department of Primary Industries, Queensland
Red fire ant found in Brisbane. AAP Image/Department of Primary Industries, Queensland. AAP Image/Department of Primary Industries, Queensland

Fire ants kill people, destroy crops and could spell the end to the great Australian barbie! So it is time to pull out all the stops and get the community on board to understand the threat.

Following accusations that Australia’s fire ant eradication program had struggled from ‘a lack of funding and a cumbersome, secretive structure’ a meeting between state, territory and the federal government on Wednesday July 26 signed off on a ten-year, $411.4 million plan to eradicate the ants.

‘Our fire ant fighters have finally been given the war chest they need to eradicate deadly fire ants from Australia,’ Invasive Species Council CEO Andrew Cox said.

‘This will be one of the largest biosecurity operations ever undertaken in Australia. It will be a long, hard fight, but is essential if we are to keep the country safe from the ravages of fire ants.

Fire ants are a serious environmental, human and agricultural pest in Australia. If not eradicated they will have a greater impact on Australia than rabbits, cane toads, foxes, camels, wild dogs and feral cats combined, costing more than $1 billion each year.

In the US where they are now out of control fire ants have caused the deaths of almost 100 people, wiped out native species and impacted on all aspects of life.

‘Only recently a new outbreak was uncovered 70km north of the fire ant biosecurity zone around Brisbane,’ Mr Cox said.

‘Thankfully the Sunshine Coast reaction was rapid and well publicised, responded well to community concerns and should be a model for the program in the future. But the discovery clearly demonstrates that Australia is running out of time to eradicate this destructive menace.’

Mr Cox commended the leadership shown in securing the decision at the meeting of agriculture ministers who supported more than doubling the fire anteradication budget, the 10-year eradication plan and a new steering committee and independent chair to keep the program on track.

Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.


  1. Fire ants suck, but they don’t stop people barbecuing in the back yard. I live in Texas, and we have lots of fire ants, but no outdoor activities are ever cancelled because of them. We still have barbecues, picnics, garden parties, baseball games, soccer games, and seating on the grass for concerts, plays, and fireworks displays. You wouldn’t want to put a quilt for a picnic or for Symphony in the Park directly over them, but you wouldn’t want to do that with any other ants, either. Occasionally there’s a particularly troublesome colony–such as one around the roots of an unsightly weed you’d like to pull, but just work fast and you you can minimize the bites. The only people who die from fire ants are those who are allergic to their venom, and this is exceedingly rare. I poison any that build on the house foundation, sidewalks, patio, A/C unit, flower beds, etc., but I don’t worry about the ones in middle of the lawn. They do have their good points–fleas, ticks, and chiggers are much rarer than before the fire ants arrived.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Pothole protest gets immediate results

Psst: want to get Council staff to do something about the appalling state of roads in your neighbourhood? Organise a protest outside Mullum’s Council Chambers! By...

What’s Love Got to Do with It?

Art imitates life in What’s Love Got to Do with It? a 2022 British romantic comedy-drama film directed by Shekhar Kapur, from a screenplay by Jemima Khan.  The precis reads: ‘Set between London and Lahore, a filmmaker documents her childhood friend and neighbour’s arranged marriage to a bride from Pakistan.’

We’ve had the rain bomb, is a fire bomb next?

We had the Black Summer fires and then the floods and NSW Farmers says time is running out to prevent more mass bushfires at the end of this year.

A smorgasbord of flicks

This year’s smorgasbord of over 40 incredible short films are handpicked from a record 3,200 entries received for Flickerfest’s Academy® and BAFTA Qualifying short-film festival screened recently in Bondi, and Northern Rivers audiences are the first in Australia to experience the best of Flickerfest on tour. Highlights enjoying their Northern Rivers premiere include recent Academy® nominees and much-loved festival award winners alongside exciting, fresh, local talent.