Biosecurity Tasmania has confirmed the detection of a single worker (non-reproductive female) Red Imported Fire Ant (RIFA) at an Australia Post parcel centre in the state's south.
The parcel contained plant material and originated in Queensland. Biosecurity Tasmania have traced the package and additional surveillance and trapping operations have been put in place.
Biosecurity Tasmania is investigating the circumstances around the sending of the material.
This border interception does not mean there has been an incursion into the state, and Tasmania remains free from RIFA.
This detection was made as part of business-as-usual surveillance operations at mail centres across the state.
Australia Post staff have been provided additional information on detecting RIFA specifically in parcel mail.
RIFA can damage electrical and agricultural equipment, sting people, pets and livestock, kill native plants and animals, and damage ecosystems beyond repair.
Biosecurity is a shared responsibility, and we all have a general biosecurity duty to help protect Tasmania. Penalties may apply for introducing pests or diseases to Tasmania and the postage of plant material without approval poses a significant risk to our biosecurity.
Biosecurity Tasmania encourages all Tasmanians to remain vigilant for pests and diseases, including ants, and to report anything unusual, particularly if you are traveling from Queensland.
You can report insect pests to Biosecurity Tasmania at firstname.lastname@example.org or (03) 6165 3777 or by calling the Exotic Plant Pest Hotline on 1800 084 881.
Read more information about the National Fire Ant Eradication Program