Ants eating Monto
ANTS are eating the guts out of Monto’s most prominent buildings, and locals think out-of-town landlords should be doing more to stop them.
A ceiling collapse inside the old picture theatre on the main street last week has neighbouring Monto café tenant Estelle Boyd worried her building could be next if more is not done to contain the issue.
“If the white ants move over here that will certainly affect our business,” she said.
“Probably the thing we are most concerned about is the fire hazard they create.
“I think council should have to do more about the issue.
“They should be able to do what needs to be done to fix the problem, and then send them (the landlord) the bill.”
Monto builder Graham Aisthorpe said containing white ants is no easy task.
“White ants will get into anything made of pine,” he said.
“There’s no sure fire way to keep them out of a place, because you can treat it with chemicals and they come back.
“It’s something you need to stay on top of.
“But they don’t seem to like sound.
“When you’ve got people in there or music it will vibrate and they don’t like that.
“It’s when things are left empty they really get stuck in.
“You can even hear them chewing.”
North Burnett Regional councillor Paul Lobegeier said the planning department was trying to ascertain what powers they have to get landlords to take care of their buildings.
“At present I am disappointed to see the general deterioration of buildings and it’s regrettable it’s gone to the stage of being a public safety issue,” Cr Lobegeier said.
“We will be pushing this issue to the best of our capabilities.”
Jenny Fosyth from Cafe Delicious is concerned about the derelict image the empty, degraded buildings give the town.
“We are talking about applying for a grant for false shop fronts, maybe showing some local photography, to hide the buildings away,” she said.
“It is an extreme measure, but it is better than what is there now.”
ANT ANGER: Jenny Forsyth, from Cafe Delicious, Tina McGrath, from the Grand Hotel, and Estelle Boyd, from the Monto Cafe, are concerned about neglected main street buildings and the white ant colonies breeding there.