Bechtel has confirmed it has found two fire ant nests on Curtis Island’s QCLNG site, with investigations underway as to how they got to there.
The find means the way materials is handled and transported to the island may have to change, with Biosecurity Queensland currently analysing a potential third nest.
Initially the fire ants were discovered at Fisherman’s Landing, with a six kilometre radius set up to determine if the insects had moved, Gladstone Observer reported.
Biosecurity Queensland is investigating how the ants got to the island, although the Yarwun site remains the core of the infested area.
QCLNG staff were been notified that treatment had started on the confirmed nests, with a long-term management plan to be developed to prevent further infestation.
Yarwun fire ant response operations manager Barry Cooper said around 20 staff had been conducting surveillance on Curtis Island.
"Considering the island's proximity to Fisherman's Landing and the movement of equipment and materials that has occurred between the two sites we are not surprised by the finding of fire ants on Curtis Island," Cooper said.
The Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry says fire ants “have the potential to cause extensive environmental and economic damage and affect our way of life.”
It is a legal requirement in Queensland to report the discovery of fire ants.