Pest control and your responsibilities

Under the Biosecurity Act 2014 everyone has an obligation to manage biosecurity risks and threats under their control. The Department of Agriculture and Fisheries has further information on landholders biosecurity responsibilities and land management responsibilities.

Specific information on fire ants is available on the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries website. Residents must report fire ants under the  Biosecurity Act 2014. 

Declared invasive plants and animals

You should have strategies in place to manage invasive plants and animals on your land. Under previous legislation, you may be familiar with serious pests being either Class 1, 2 or 3. Under the new Biosecurity Act 2014, serious pests are described as either prohibited matter or restricted matter. Multiple categories may apply to restricted matter, and in such cases you would need to follow the requirements of all categories for these restricted matter listings. For example, the Biosecurity Act lists rabbits as category 3, 4, 5, and 6 restricted matter.

The table below explains the different classes of weed and the responsibilities for residents, notably landholders.

Class Description Your responsibilities

Prohibited matter (State Government)

Prohibited matter is a disease, exotic fish, insect pest, pest animal or a weed that is not found in Queensland. If it was to enter Queensland it would seriously impact our health, way of life, the economy and the environment. It is an offence to deal with prohibited matter or fail to report its presence. 

All prohibited matter must be reported within 24 hours of being sighted to Biosecurity Queensland by phoning 13 25 23.  By law, everyone has a general biosecurity obligation (GBO) to take all reasonable and practical steps to minimise the risk of the plant spreading until they receive advice from an authorised officer.

Restricted matter (State Government)

Restricted matter can be animal disease, noxious fish, insects, pest animals or weeds that are found in Queensland. Specific actions are required to be taken that limit the impact of this matter by reducing, controlling or containing it.  Restricted matter have significant adverse impacts in Queensland and it is desirable to manage them and prevent their spread, thereby protecting un-infested parts of the State.

The Act requires everyone to take all reasonable and practical steps to minimise the risks associated with invasive plants and animals under their control. This is called a general biosecurity obligation (GBO). Restricted matter can have one or several Categories, that describe requirements to address the risk posed by that invasive plant. 

Category 1 (Prohibited matter - State Government)

Includes insects such as red imported fire ants, electric ants and Asian honey bees, and certain animal and plant diseases, aquatic diseases and pathogens.

This restricted matter must be reported to Biosecurity Queensland within 24 hours of you becoming aware of its  presence.

Category 2 (State Government)

Includes certain noxious fish, weeds and pest animals such as spotted gar, Miconia weed and red-eared slider turtle. 

This restricted matter must be reported to an authorised person within 24 hours of you becoming aware of its presence.

Category 3 (State Government)

Includes certain noxious fish, weeds, pest animals and insects. Examples of this category of restricted matter are gambusia, parthenium weed and foxes.

You must not supply to another person or release into the environment this category of restricted matter.

Category 4 (State Government)

Includes specific noxious fish, weeds and pest animals such as the giant cichlid, bitou bush and feral pig. 

You must not move this restricted matter to ensure that it does not spread into other areas of the state.

Category 5 (State Government)

Includes certain noxious fish, weeds, pest animals such as carp, Mexican feather grass and rabbits. 

You must not possess or keep this restricted matter under your control. These pests have a high risk of negatively impacting on the environment.

Category 6 (State Government)

Includes certain invasive animals such as feral deer, foxes, rabbits and wild dogs and noxious fish such as carp, gambusia and tilapia.

You must not feed this category of restricted matter. With the exception of the fish species, feeding for the purpose of preparing for or  undertaking a control program is exempted.

Category 7 (State Government)

Includes the noxious fish carp, weatherloach, climbing perch, gambusia and tilapia. 

If you have these noxious fish in your possession you must kill the restricted matter and dispose of it by burying the whole carcass (no parts removed) in the ground above  the high tide water mark or placing it in a waste disposal receptacle.

Locally declared (Redland City Council)

Listed under Redland City Council Declared Local Law No. 3 (Community and Environment Management 2015).

Prohibited from sale, supply or transport without authority. Represent a significant risk to our local environment and community and must be controlled in all situations.

Weed of National Significance (Federal Government)

Under the federal government’s Australian Weeds Strategy a significant weed can also be declared a Weed of National Significance (WONS).

WONS species have national management strategies in place to assist with their eradication and impacts on the Australian environment and economy.