Pest Management, Biosecurity & Wildlife
Council's Pest Management Officers are responsible for controlling invasive animals living on public land. They are also able to provide advice on how to control these animals to landowners who are experiencing the effect of invasive animals on their private land. For more information contact Council's Customer Service Centre on (07) 4913 5000.
Some Invasive animals are listed as restricted matter under the Biosecurity Act 2014. Restricted matter is found in Queensland and may have an adverse impact on human health, social amenity, the economy and the environment.
Restricted matter is assigned category numbers from 1-7 based on its characteristics and the risks it poses. More than one category may be assigned if multiple restrictions are appropriate to counter the risks. A person must comply with the category requirement for the restricted matter unless otherwise authorised by regulation or permit. The categories are as follows:
Restricted matter requires immediate containment or eradication to minimise the risk of spread. It must be reported to an inspector within 24 hours of an individual becoming aware of its presence and must be reported to the State.
Restricted matter includes a range of plant and fish species that pose a significant biosecurity and require management. Category 2 restricted matter must be reported to an authorised officer (State or Local Government) within 24 hours of an individual becoming aware of its presence.
Restricted matter includes all invasive animals and plants where deliberate distribution or disposal is key source of spread. It must not be given as a gift, sold, traded or released into the environment unless the distribution or disposal is provided for in a regulation or under a permit.
Restricted matter includes specific invasive plants and animals that must not be moved to ensure they are not spread into other areas of the State. As with Category 3, the intention of this prohibition is to limit its distribution or spread.
Restricted matter cannot be possessed or kept under a person's control. This restricted matter category includes invasive species that have a high pest potential and capacity to impact heavily on the environment. There are exemptions for seized items, where the restricted matter is being held for identification purposes or under permit.
Restricted matter cannot be fed unless held under a restricted matter permit or for the purposes of poison baiting. This includes invasive animals and noxious fish which are not owned by a person. The intention of this prohibition is to discourage population growth.
Restricted matter must be killed as soon as practicable and disposed of in a way described under a regulation. This is currently intended for the management of noxious fish.
Invasive animals that are considered restricted matter in the Livingstone Shire include:
Feral Cats (Felis catus)
Wild Dogs (Canis familiaris)
Foxes (Vulpes vulpes)
Feral Pigs (Sus scrofa)
Rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus)
Feral Rusa Deer (Cervus timorensis)
Feral Chital Deer (Axis axis)
Feral Red Deer (Cervus elaphus)
Dingo (Canis familiaris dingo or Canis lupus dingo)
Feral Goats (Capra hircus)
Tilapia (Oreochromis mossambicus and Tilapia mariae)
For Invasive Animal Fact Sheets, please visit the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries.
Council can assist landowners to control invasive animals on their private land by:
- Hiring out traps
- Conducting and assisting in baiting programs
There are a number of methods available to control invasive animals. Successful long-term management of invasive animals relies on cooperation with neighbours and the coordination of pest management planning and control activities.
Livingstone Shire Council and Biosecurity Queensland can provide expertise and technical support to help you choose the best control method. Chemical, physical or biological control are some methods which can be utilised.
Agricultural chemical products should always be used in accordance with label instructions or permits issues by the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority.
For further information on control methods please visit the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries Queensland (DAF) website, PestSmart website or contact a Pest Management Officer on 07 4913 5000.
Sodium fluoroacetate (1080) is a useful pesticide for the control of invasive animals and has been used throughout Australia since the early 1960s. 1080 is a species-specific pesticide currently available for invasive animal control in Australia. In Queensland, 1080 is registered or used under permit in the control of wild dogs, feral pigs, foxes, feral cats and rabbits.
Council offers rural landholders the opportunity to participate in 1080 baiting programs to control invasive pest animals such as wild dogs and feral pigs on their properties within the Livingstone Shire. These campaigns are generally conducted in April/May (early Winter) and again in August/September (early Spring) targeting wild dog activity and breeding cycles.
Landholders can apply directly to Queensland Health for a 1080 Permit allowing landholders to obtain, possess and use 1080 for the purpose of controlling invasive animal species.
If you suspect your domestic animal has had contact with 1080, contact a vet immediately.
For further information on Livingstone Shire Council's 1080 Baiting Program and how to become involved, please contact Council's Pest Management Unit on 07 4913 5000.
The Vector Control Unit monitors and controls mosquitoes, biting midges (sandflies), flies and rats. All of these pests have the potential to transmit disease to humans and are termed vector agents.
Rats may represent a public health risk. Under the Public Health Act 2005 residents are responsible for the control of rats on their properties. Rats are likely to harbour and breed in litter and debris; residents can therefore discourage vermin harbourage by keeping their properties tidy and free from litter and debris.
When there is a public health risk caused by rats, Council is responsible for administering and enforcing the Public Health Act 2005 in order to remove the risk. A Public Health Order may be issued to the owner/occupier of the premises requiring them with a requirement to eliminate the vermin breeding site to Council’s satisfaction within a certain period of time. If the owner/occupier does not comply with the Public Health Order. Council may then apply to the Court for an Enforcement Order to have the work undertaken at the owner’s/occupier’s expense.
Should a potential vermin breeding site be suspected, residents may contact Council’s Customer Service Centre on 1300 790 919. Council’s Vector Control Unit will investigate potential breeding sites and take steps to remove the public health risk.
Council’s Vector Control Unit has programs in place to control mosquitoes throughout the year. Council officers involved in vector management are responsible for:
- Undertaking routine checks on urban and rural breeding sites
- Treating mosquito breeding sites where appropriate
- Misting of adult mosquitoes when deemed necessary, and
- Providing education to the public on other pests.
Council also relies on residents to control mosquitoes around their homes.
There are more than 20 common species of mosquito in the Livingstone Shire area, some of which are capable of transmitting diseases to humans. These diseases include:
- Ross River fever
- Barmah Forest virus
- Dengue fever
Heartworm in dogs is also transmitted by mosquitoes.
Mosquitoes can potentially breed in any fresh (polluted and unpolluted), brackish or salt water. This includes stagnant pools, ponds, drains, channels and other vessels (e.g. pots, containers) which hold water.
Mosquitoes and the Law
Mosquitoes may represent a public health risk. Under the Public Health Act 2005 residents are responsible for the control of mosquitoes on their properties.
When there is a public health risk caused by mosquitoes, Council is responsible for administering and enforcing the Public Health Act 2005 in order to remove the risk. A Public Health Order may be issued to the owner/occupier of the premises with a requirement to eliminate the mosquito harbourage to Council’s satisfaction within a certain period of time. If the owner/occupier does not comply with the Public Health Order, Council may then apply to the Court for an Enforcement Order to have the work undertaken at the owner’s/occupier’s expense.
Livingstone Shire Council customers may request misting of their area if mosquitoes are deemed problematic. Misting involves the use of a synthetic pyrethroid which is registered for the control of mosquitoes in the community. Misting occurs from the back of a vehicle usually at dawn or dusk. Customers should note that misting should be undertaken only as a last resort, and with the following facts in mind:
- Synthetic pyrethroid is not discriminatory – it kills all insects with which it comes into contact, not just mosquitoes, and
- Misting is a very temporary treatment as it kills only the adult mosquitoes present on the day of misting.
You can take a big step towards living with midges by making sure you are protected
What are we doing?
Livingstone Shire Council conducts adult biting midge control by misting with approved products, including the natural insecticide Pyrethrum, in areas of the Shire to reduce the biting midge numbers to an acceptable level.
Interesting facts about midges
- Biting midges and sandflies are the same insect.
- Midges are present on all continents except Antarctica. Adults are about 1-2mm long, much smaller than the mosquito.
- The midge life cycle from egg to adult, is no more than eight weeks.
- Midges do not breed in grass, trees or other foliage, they only harbour in these areas.
- Midges are not known to be carriers of any human disease in Australia.
- In overcast humid weather, midges are known to bite day and night.
- Midge numbers will increase around the time of the full and new moons.
Only the female bites because she needs a blood meal to produce viable eggs. Midges are known as pool feeders because they use their proboscis like a saw to create a tiny hole in the skin (into which a pool of blood can flow). Saliva is injected into the pool to help the flow of blood. It is this saliva that causes the allergic reaction and itching.
Personal reaction to bites varies from slight redness which disappears in half an hour or less, to severe inflammation. If you react rapidly and the swellings are small, you are reasonably immune so treatment may not be needed and the swelling and itch will soon go away.
For these less severe cases, the following tips may help reduce the effects of bites:
- A hot bath may provide temporary relief.
- Antihistamine creams or lotions from the chemist are quite effective, but do not apply them when the skin is broken.
- Some insect repellents also give relief to the bite, providing the individual’s skin is not sensitive to the repellent.
- If you react hours or days later to a bite, whether you felt the bite or not, your immunity is poor and you are likely to be more severely affected. If your reaction is very severe, consult your doctor.
Mosquito coils and most insect repellants are effective against midges
There are a number of permanent roosting sites for flying-foxes within Livingstone Shire. Throughout different times of the year, these roosting sites may be home to three different species; the Black Flying-Fox (Pteropus alecto), the Little Red Flying-Fox (Pteropus scapulatus) and the Grey-Headed Flying -Fox (Pteropus poliocephalus). All three species are protected under Queensland's Nature Conservation Act 1992. The Grey-Headed Flying Fox, due to their vulnerable status, are also federally protected under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Protection Act 1999.
If you come across a sick or injured flying-fox, it is important that you report it but do not handle it. Please report the animal immediately by calling 1300 ANIMAL (1300 264 625) where an appropriately trained wildlife carer will collect it.
If you find a dead flying-fox on your property or footpath, you are able to remove it by following these simple safety steps:
- Do not directly touch the flying-fox
- Make sure the flying-fox is dead
- Wear thick gloves and use a shovel or tongs to remove the flying-fox and place it in a plastic bag. You can double bag to ensure it is contained.
- Dispose of the contained flying-fox in your general rubbish bin or transfer to your local landfill
If you find a dead flying-fox on Council Land, please contact the Customer Service Centre on (07) 4913 5000.
Livingstone Shire Council has joined the award winning 'Habitat Stepping Stones' program, becoming the first Queensland Council to join. The program has been designed and is run by Macquarie University as an online tool to assist in influencing real behaviour change in the wider community.
The program encourages residents of Livingstone Shire to create effective habitat stepping stones for local wildlife, and enhance the local urban landscape by having them pledge to adding three or more attractive habitat elements to their backyard or balcony from a specifically compiled list of plants suitable in the Livingstone Shire area.
Residents who pledge receive online recognition, a plaque for their front fence, discounts from local suppliers and the opportunity to join the program’s supportive online community where they can share their pictures and stories, get wildlife news and tips, and learn about other council environmental activities.
For more information please visit Habitat Stepping Stones.
Livingstone Shire Council’s five-year Biosecurity Plan 2019-2024 was developed for the benefit of the whole community and has application to the entire shire. It is prepared in accordance with the requirements of the Queensland Biosecurity Act 2014.