[singlepic id=452 w=320 h=240 float=left] Member for Mulgrave Curtis Pitt says the LNP Government has had a litany of biosecurity failures since taking Government in March, the latest being the defunding of the Yellow Crazy Ants program in Far North Queensland.

Mr Pitt said Agriculture Minister John McVeigh’s slashing of funding to the Yellow Crazy Ant program shows the LNP Government has abandoned any hope of containing or eradicating this vicious pest.

“By slashing the vital funding and biosecurity staff from the Yellow Crazy Ant program the LNP are giving up on the battle against this Class One declared pest,” Mr Pitt said.

“The abandonment of the fight against Yellow Crazy Ants is the latest in the LNP Government’s failures in biosecurity, the LNP Government has also failed to meet national cost sharing obligations for fire ants and has defunded the electric ant program.

“The LNP Government now has no plan to tackle the spread of these tramp ants through our prime agricultural land costing the state millions of dollars in lost revenue.

“The slashing of jobs and services in these biosecurity programs by the LNP Government also breaks their election commitment to boost biosecurity in Queensland,” he said.

Mr Pitt said a number of concerned Cairns locals have contacted me worried about the damage these pests will wreak on our local unique environment.

“Yellow Crazy Ants are one of the world’s worst invasive species and have naturalised in numerous places across the world, especially in tropical environments,” he said.

“Yellow Crazy Ants can decimate wildlife including native animals and destroy agriculture, including sugar cane.

“With the LNP letting Yellow Crazy Ants run rampant through our world heritage listed nature environment and agriculture land they will be responsible for threatening our biodiversity and losing millions of dollars in agricultural revenue.

“Yellow Crazy Ants were first detected in 2001 in Cairns. Since then, more than 20 additional sites have been found, in and around Cairns, Townsville, Hervey Bay, Caboolture and Brisbane.

“It has been proven that populations of Yellow Crazy Ants can be eliminated with ongoing control programs, however, now this will not be possible as the LNP have abandoned the program.”