FOR OR AGAINST? The three-year operation implementing lines of defence against cattle ticks is dividing government ministers across the state.
FOR OR AGAINST? The three-year operation implementing lines of defence against cattle ticks is dividing government ministers across the state. Contributed

Why cattle tick lines divide public opinions across state

AFTER three years of operation, the Minister for Agricultural Development and Fisheries said the cattle tick line was proving to be a robust line of defence against the parasites.

Mark Furner said there were occasional detections of cattle tick along the edge of the free zone, but livestock owners could rely on the tick line doing its job.

"The new tick line alignment was adopted in 2016 and it has served our valuable livestock industry well," Mr Furner said.

"Any new infestations in the tick-free zone are consistent with patterns from previous years, with the majority occurring less than 30km from the tick-infested zone.

"On average, 30-50 new infestations are reported each year and these are in the areas close to the tick line, particularly from Toowoomba to the South Burnett and the northern Darling Downs."

However, Member for Nanango, Deb Frecklington, said the minister was out of touch with farmers and graziers.

"He has welcomed an increase in infestations in areas that are supposed to be cattle tick-free zones," she said.

"The minister should get out of Brisbane and meet farmers struggling through one of the worst droughts on record and tell them new tick infestations are great news.

"South Burnett residents have been contacting my office for some time now to voice their concerns about the policing and resources available to manage the tick line."

Mrs Frecklington said the Minister was more focused on the political spin when he should be making progress on the biosecurity issue.