Fire ants threaten Lockyer Valley food bowl
FIRE ants - which devastated crops in the United States - are marching towards Southeast Queensland's $230 million Lockyer Valley food bowl for the very first time, the director of the Biosecurity Queensland's Fire Ant Control Centre confirmed on Wednesday.
The Lockyer Valley produces most of Australia's beetroot and 40 per cent of the vegetables consumed in Southeast Queensland.
Fire ants were first found in Greater Brisbane in 2001 and until now have mostly spread though urban areas like Ipswich, Logan and southern Brisbane.
On Wednesday Biosecurity Queensland's director Sarah Corcoran confirmed fire ants were on the move in two directions; towards the Brisbane CBD, but more worrying, towards the Lockyer Valley's crucial vegetable grounds.
She said recent fire ant nests have been found in New Farm Park, at Chelmer and at St Lucia, but the biggest concerns was recent nests near the Lockyer Valley.