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Queensland Government Calls on Businesses to Fights Fire Ants

After years of fighting fire ants alone, the Queensland Government is now enlisting the help of local residents and businesses.

While in the past trained staff had the sole power to treat fire ants, residents and businesses will now be able to combat the pest as well.

However, the state opposition said the move is ill-conceived.

Opposition spokesperson, Tim Mulherin, questioned whether the everyday person would be able to recognise fire ants and said they may inadvertently attack other harmless ant species. He also said people may not be able to safely handle the toxic chemicals used in eradicating the pest.

Mulherin said the body charged with eradicating fire ants is behind schedule and this recent change is a way to help fill a budget black hole.

The Government said enhanced infra-red technology had helped authorities to find nests and destroy them.

The program currently employs 126 staff along with seasonal contractors when needed.