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June 18, 2024

Wardell landowners asked to support fire ant eradication

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Fire ants. Photo supplied

Fire ants were discovered at Wardell just south of Ballina on Friday, January 19 and destroyed the next day. This triggers a fire ant eradication program to be run across the surrounding 2km of properties. 

However, to access the nearly 900 properties that require treatment within 2km of the detection site the fore ant eradication team (FAET) requires permission from the landowner. 

‘Residents in Wardell, New South Wales, are encouraged to let fire ant teams onto their  properties to deliver critical eradication treatment – treatment has already started in certain areas,’ said a FAET spokesperson.  

A fire ant detection dog in action. Image: NSW Government

‘The National Fire Ant Eradication Program must access 100 per cent of targeted properties to ensure eradication success in Wardell, New South Wales.

‘Eradication treatment will be conducted on nearly 900 sites within 2 km of the detection site,  further protecting the area and ensuring no undetected fire ants exist.  

‘The program will deliver fire ant treatment using aircraft, utility terrain vehicles, and ground teams with handheld spreaders. Aerial treatment proves to be one of the quickest and most cost-effective methods, enabling fire ant teams to treat large areas efficiently. 

‘Fire ant treatment is safe for people, animals, and the environment and is approved by the  Australian Pesticide and Veterinary Medicines Authority. The treatment contains the same active ingredient commonly found in household and agricultural pest control products, but at a much lower concentration. 

‘Eradication efforts will continue for years to come. Residents can expect fire ant teams to  treat their properties multiple times over several years, followed by extensive surveillance.’

A female fire ant. Photo supplied.


The National Fire Ant Eradication Program requires the consent of landowners to access to properties in New South Wales.  

‘If you are within the target area and have not already provided consent, it is important to do so as soon as possible,’ said the spokesperson.

The property information form enables landowners to advise of access restrictions, such as  locked gates, animals, and waterways.  

To provide treatment consent, please complete the property information form at:  fireants.org.au/property-form 

Visit fireants.org.au or call 13 25 23 to learn more about fire ants and eradication treatment.  

Fire ant raft. Photo supplied

Risks to way of life

‘Treatment can only be applied when conditions are suitable, which means rain, wind, and  unfavourable weather could impact the delivery and timing of treatment. We are making the most of each available day and are here to get the job done,’ explained Ashley Bacon, Executive Program Director – National Fire Ant Eradication Program.

‘Eradication is a national priority and is only possible if we all work together – the  community, industry, and all levels of government.’

Ballina Mayor, Cr Sharon Cadwallader,  said that ‘now is the time for us to put a proactive foot forward and let fire ant teams in so they can do their important work and safeguard our region from fire ants. If you have not already provided the National Fire Ant Eradication Program with consent to treat your property, I urge you to jump online and complete a property information form. 

‘Treatment has proven to be the only way we can eradicate this invasive pest – we must  rally to protect our community, outdoor way of life, local agricultural sector, and businesses.’ 

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  1. This is an ugly act of bullying, where the name of the chemical that is proposed to be spread across landowners’ properties is not even named


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