NSW says good riddance to crazy pest

18 Dec 2019

NSW DPI and Lismore Council staff baiting and tracking yellow crazy ants in Molesworth Street, Lismore

The NSW Government has announced the removal of movement restrictions for yellow crazy ant (YCA) in previously infested areas of Lismore and Terania Creek from 31 December 2019.

NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) state YCA planning manager, Scott Charlton, said an intensive response from NSW DPI, Local Land Services (LLS) and the Lismore community has seen the devastating environmental and agricultural pest removed from NSW.

“No ants have been detected in the area since May this year,” Mr Charlton said.

“Extensive surveillance, including the use of a YCA detection dog, indicates the threat has been removed and there is no longer a need to maintain movement restrictions.

“This is a great success story, where the community has worked with government to successfully rid their environment of a serious introduced pest.

“We used all available tools to ensure the operation was effective and everyone involved played an important role in this successful biosecurity operation.”

Authorities were first alerted to the presence of YCA on 14 May 2018, when local resident, Milo Yiegh, reported ants he found on trees in the Lismore central business district to the NSW biosecurity hotline.

The DPI and LLS immediately began surveillance and control efforts.

Mr Charlton said the mutli-agency biosecurity operation was able to manage the YCA infestation thanks to the efforts, cooperation and ongoing patience of the community.

“DPI, LLS, Lismore Council, Rous County Council, NSW National Parks and Wildlife and private contractors worked as key partners in surveillance and treatment operations and in community education,” he said.

“Biosecurity is a shared responsibility and the community has played a vital role in helping us rid NSW of yellow crazy ant by following the movement restriction rules and reporting signs of suspect ants.”

YCA is listed as prohibited matter under the Biosecurity Act 2015, as it is an environmental pest which poses a serious risk to the economy, environment and community.

Reports of any suspected exotic ants can be made on the NSW DPI website or by calling the biosecurity hotline, 1800 680 244.

Media contact: Bernadette York 0427 773 785