Cr Tim McMahon (Photo: TRC)

July 26, 2023

Cooyar and Yarraman have been nominated as priority areas for Toowoomba Regional Council’s Biosecurity Surveillance Program which starts on August 1.

Cr Tim McMahon said the other areas which Council will consider a priority this year are Cambooya, Domville and Jondaryan.

“A majority – 70 per cent or greater – of properties within those priority areas will be inspected,” Cr McMahon said.

The Biosecurity Surveillance Program is part of the TRC’s legislative obligations.

“You only have to look at the recent outbreak of fire ants within the Region, to understand how important it is to stay on top of these matters,” Cr McMahon said.

“While the management of fire ants isn’t a program controlled by local government, there are a number of invasive plants and animals that we are required to monitor to ensure that landholders are meeting their obligations regarding managing invasive biosecurity matter.

“To do this work, the Biosecurity Surveillance Program allows Council officers to confirm the presence and extent of invasive biosecurity matter on properties within the region.”

Cr McMahon said where it was necessary to enter a property in order to complete an inspection, every effort would be made to contact the owner/occupier and obtain their permission.

However, under the Biosecurity Act 2014, authorised officers are able to enter a place without the permission of the occupier of the property at any reasonable time of the day or night to take any action authorised by the Biosecurity Program.

“While this is the case, Council’s authorised officers have never been required to exercise authority to enter a place without the permission of the occupier of the property.

“Agreement is always sought and has always been forthcoming,” Cr McMahon said.

The Biosecurity Surveillance Program will begin on August 1 and conclude on July 30, 2024.


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