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‘The cane toads of the insect world’: CCAA focuses on fire ant crackdown

The Australian quarry sector will receive fire ant management guidance as part of a targeted approach to eradicating the ‘cane toad of the insect world’.  

Cement Concrete & Aggregates Australia is working with Queensland and New South Wales biosecurity departments to develop quarry protocols for transported aggregate products.  

The protocols would serve as guidance for the industry and enable safe transportation of material across both sides of the border.  

“Controlling the spread of fire ants requires focused effort and CCAA is looking forward to continuing our work with the National Fire Ant Eradication Program (NFAEP) team to develop an industry management guide over the coming months,” CCAA interim chief executive Jason Kuchel said. 

“This will help the industry and the regulator to have a common understanding of what compliance looks like. 

“CCAA has a key role in liaising with governments to address regulatory and cost barriers, and the development of an industry guide will help to outline industry specific requirements.” 

As previously reported, the CCAA hosted NFAEP Queensland members at Holcim’s Beenleigh Quarry in Queensland. Key areas of focus included quarry operations, the new general biosecurity obligation guidelines and the upcoming Biosecurity Regulations 2016.  

CCAA Queensland state director Roger Buckley said the educational visit will result in practical measures to help the industry minimise the risk of fire ants. 

“There’s nothing quite as valuable as having the Government visit and understand our member operations first-hand, to see what is already being done, as well as what may be practical in the future,” he said. 

“(Fire ants) are the cane toads of the insect world.” 

The risk of fire ants spreading has become a long-standing concern, especially after reported infestations in Northern NSW.  

Fire ants can be transported in quarry materials such as sand or aggregate and are subject to compliance and management protocols under the Biosecurity Act 2014. 

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