Protesters at Mutdapilly are furious at Biosecurity tactics

NO: Fire ant baiting protest.
NO: Fire ant baiting protest.

PROTESTERS have gathered outside Mutdapilly State School to vent their anger at the fire ant eradication program after Biosecurity Queensland announced they would be forcing their way onto properties.

Horse breeder Lyn Watt said she was furious at the news as animals in the area had already been injured after being scared by low flying helicopters.

Mutadapilly is on the Cunningham Highway near Peak Crossing.

“Biosecurity said they will come onto my property and there is nothing I can do about it,” she said.

“But even if they offered to do the baiting by quad bike or on foot I would still say no.

“I don’t want that stuff anywhere near me or my horses.

“It has not been properly tested for long term effects on animals or humans.”

PROTEST: Lyn Watt, Bradley Wood, Kerry Griffiths, Ally Hall, Jack Ahearn and Holly Perrin. Photo: Tom Bushnell.

PROTEST: Lyn Watt, Bradley Wood, Kerry Griffiths, Ally Hall, Jack Ahearn and Holly Perrin. Photo: Tom Bushnell.

Peak Crossing Vet Dr Ian Wilbraham said he had been told his property would be forcibly accessed.

“I don’t have any objection to the baits but I think it’s a bit heavy handed to say they are coming onto your place regardless,” he said.

“Horse and cattle owners have valid concerns and I believe people have been told that injuries will be dealt with if they occur.

“These are animals, not cars. Some things are not fixable with animals.”

Biosecurity Queensland’s John Jordan said they had been forced to use legislative powers to enter a number of properties and would come with police if necessary.

“While the vast majority of landholders accept the need for baiting activities in the area as part of the national effort to eradicate fire ants from south-east Queensland, a small minority have denied access to their properties,” Mr Jordan said.

“Biosecurity Queensland staff have made every attempt to educate and seek cooperation from these individuals, while minimising any disruptions to their activities on their property.”

Mr Jordan said most bait treatments in the Scenic Rim were conducted by helicopter and the program would exercise its powers under the Biosecurity Act 2014 to enforce the treatment of these properties, with back-up from police if necessary.