Labor In The Firing Line

Auditor-General unloads on Palaszczuk Government’s Fire Ants plan

A scathing review by the Auditor-General has exposed the Palaszczuk Labor Government’s botched management of invasive species and fire ant eradication.
The findings revealed a lack of strategic leadership; a failure to properly document procedures and discovered key challenges outlined in a previous report were ignored.

The report found:​

  1. The department’s leadership is not as strategic or as effective as it could be.
  2. There is no documented framework, procedures, or guidelines for assessing the risk of invasive species.
  3. The Queensland invasive plants and animals strategy 2019–2024 does not address some of the key challenges facing the biosecurity system.
  4. It is unclear whether entities are winning the fight against the invasive species that they are managing. They do not monitor and report on the outcomes of their activities.
  5. The significant commitment and funding necessitate that Biosecurity Queensland provides greater transparency, with respect to Fire Ant eradication.
  6. Recommendations from a previous QAO report, which the department self-assessed as implemented, had not been fully implemented.

​Shadow Minister for Agriculture Tony Perrett said the damning assessment highlights the true extent of the chaos and crisis within the Palaszczuk Labor Government.

​“The Palaszczuk Labor Government have completely dropped the ball on managing fire ants because they’re in a constant state of chaos and crisis,” Mr Perrett said.

“It’s only a matter of time before fire ants force playgrounds to close, family barbeques will come under threat and the reputation of the Gold Coast’s beaches will be put at risk.

“Queensland’s tourism industry can’t afford a catastrophe like this.

​“The report also identified a lack of transparency and a complete failure to address key challenges.

“After eight years in office, the Palaszczuk Labor Government has stopped listening to Queenslanders.
“The Premier doesn’t value openness and transparency.
“Queenslanders are growing tired of being left in the dark by a secretive government.
“A fortnight ago, I highlighted Minister Mark Furner’s failure to implement crucial recommendations from two independent and equally scathing reports into fire ant management.
“Mark Furner needs to get his head out of the sand, front up and respond to this report because he is responsible for this epic failure.”
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