Ants eat­ing Monto

Central and North Burnett Times - - NEWS - Emily Smith emily.smith@cnbtimes.com.au

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.”

PHOTO: EMILY SMITH

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.

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