On 24 January 2024, Minister for Primary Industries and Water, Jo Palmer was made aware of the detection of a Red Imported Fire Ant (RIFA) at a parcel centre in the state’s south.
“Biosecurity Tasmania has briefed me today on the border interception and highlighted it does not mean there is an incursion into the state. Tasmania remains free from RIFA,” Minister Palmer said.
“The detection late yesterday is evidence that our border controls are in action and that our Government’s investment in postal inspections is key to preventing pests and diseases from entering our state,” Minister Palmer said.
"The detection late yesterday is evidence that our border controls are in action and that our Government’s investment in postal inspections is key to preventing pests and diseases from entering our state,” Minister Palmer said.
The detection was made as part of ‘business as usual’ surveillance operations at mail centres across the state, which are in place to Tasmania from unwanted pests and diseases.
“The Rockliff Liberal Government knows the importance of our biosecurity arrangements, and we are continuing to work with the Australian Government, industry, and the community to maintain a strong biosecurity system for Tasmania,” Minister Palmer said.
The Rockliff Liberal Government is a funding partner of the National Red Imported Fire Ant Eradication Program.
“We have all heard how serious an impact RIFA can have on the environment and public health and lifestyle. I applaud the postal workers and Biosecurity Tasmania staff for their diligent and responsive actions to identify this incursion and the pre-cautionary steps they are taking through additional surveillance and trapping to ensure that there are no other ants.
“Biosecurity is a shared responsibility, and we all have a general biosecurity duty to help protect our state. Penalties may apply for introducing pests or diseases to Tasmania.”
The Rockliff Liberal Government encourages all Tasmanians to remain vigilant for pests and diseases, including ants, and to report anything unusual.