National Farmers' Federation

NFF welcomes Federal Fire Ant funding, calls for states to commit

The National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) welcomes the Minister for Agriculture Murray Watt’s $268 million commitment for the National Fire Ant Eradication Program.

NFF Chief Executive Tony Mahar said the funding, committed over four years, was a critical investment to increase activities to stop the spread and eradicate Red Imported Fire Ants in Australia.

“It cannot be understated how much damage fire ants pose to Australian agriculture, Australia’s environment and society at large,” Mr Mahar said.

“Experts have told us with the right investment eradication is still possible, so I applaud the Federal Government’s investment for this stage of the response.”

Attention now turns to ensuring all states and territories commit their share of the required funding.

“The agricultural sector is looking to other jurisdictions who have yet to commit to their share of funding for eradication to do so immediately.

“The National Red Imported Fire Ant Eradication Program Strategic Review outlined the funding required to eradicate the pest and it is imperative everyone commits to delivering what is required.

“Nonetheless yesterday’s announcement marks an important step towards safeguarding the nation’s agriculture, environment, and community wellbeing from this devastating invasive species.”