Help choose treat­ment for lit­tle tim­ber ter­ror

Isis Town and Country - - Life -

PROP­ERTY own­ers and other af­fected par­ties are in­vited to pro­vide feed­back on the fu­ture man­age­ment of the West In­dian dry­wood ter­mite, par­tic­u­larly who pays for treat­ment.

Queens­land chief plant health man­ager Mike Ash­ton said the ter­mite was a se­ri­ous pest of tim­ber used in build­ing, and it was im­por­tant it con­tin­ued to be con­tained.

“The Queens­land Govern­ment’s sur­veil­lance and treat­ment pro­gram has suc­cess­fully con­fined the pest to sites in Bris­bane, Wide Bay, Townsville and Rock­hamp­ton,” Mr Ash­ton said.

“We cur­rently spend around $745,000 on av­er­age each year on fu­mi­ga­tion, sur­veil­lance and re­lated ac­tiv­i­ties for the ter­mite, but if left unchecked it could spread to be a greater prob­lem to prop­erty own­ers in Queens­land.

“Un­der the new Biose­cu­rity Act 2014, which is due to com­mence on 1 July\, 2016, a de­ci­sion needs to be made on how we man­age the pest in the fu­ture.

“The Act will fea­ture a gen­eral biose­cu­rity obli­ga­tion, which means ev­ery­one has a re­spon­si­bil­ity to mit­i­gate risks and share re­spon­si­bil­ity, which in­cludes re­port­ing pests.

“While the Act doesn’t spec­ify how we should man­age the pest, the govern­ment is propos­ing to con­tinue to con­trol it by fu­mi­ga­tion and sur­veil­lance.

“How­ever, treat­ment of West In­dian dry­wood ter­mite is costly, at ap­prox­i­mately $42,000 for a three-bed­room house, so we are keen to get feed­back on man­ag­ing th­ese costs.

“The con­sul­ta­tion of­fers four fund­ing mod­els for con­sid­er­a­tion, in­clud­ing:

Govern­ment or­gan­ises treat­ment, with a phase-in of prop­erty owner con­tri­bu­tions; or

Prop­erty own­ers or­gan­ise and pay for treat­ments; or

Govern­ment or­gan­ises treat­ment, with owner co-con­tri­bu­tion of set costs; or

Govern­ment con­tin­ues to or­gan­ise and pay for all sur­veil­lance and treat­ment.

“Any­one who has ex­pe­ri­enced nor­mal ter­mite in­fes­ta­tions can ap­pre­ci­ate the dis­tress such pests can cause. The West In­dian dry­wood ter­mite can be even more se­ri­ous as in­fes­ta­tions are dif­fi­cult to find and can do sig­nif­i­cant dam­age to house­hold tim­ber be­fore de­tec­tion.

“I en­cour­age any­one with an in­ter­est in, or if you be­lieve you will be af­fected by, West In­dian dry­wood ter­mite con­trol to pro­vide feed­back.”

The con­sul­ta­tion will run un­til close of busi­ness on Fe­bru­ary 29, 2016.

To have your say on the fu­ture con­trol of West In­dian dry­wood ter­mites in Queens­land, visit qld.gov.au/ter­mitesur­vey or call the Depart­ment of Agri­cul­ture and Fish­eries on 132 523.

MIGHTY EATER: The West In­dian dry­wood ter­mite, de­stroy­ing homes in Aus­tralia.

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