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More red imported fire ants have been detected in Wardell, south of Ballina.

An emergency biosecurity order has been put in place in Northern NSW after fire ants were discovered in South Murwillumbah, in December and in Wardell in January 2024. 

The emergency order spans a five-kilometre radius from the nest sites and restricts businesses and residents within the radius from moving fire ant carrier materials such as:

  • Organic mulch
  • compost
  • growing media
  • manure
  • soil and anything with soil on it
  • hay
  • potted plants
  • turf
  • agricultural equipment
  • earth moving equipment
  • mining and quarrying materials
  • grass
  • park and garden vegetation and clippings.

This order is in addition to the fire ant-specific Emergency Order (in place since August 2023) which applied to movements into NSW from infested areas in Queensland.

Anyone bringing hay, turf, soil, mulch, potted plants or machinery into NSW from Queensland should check the measures that must be implemented before entering NSW.

Communities in the border regions of Northern NSW should be on the lookout for fire ants and their nests and contact NSW DPI if suspected fire ants are found.

Members can find more information on Red Imported Fire including webinars, flyers and links in the member centre here: