In 2015 our Froggatt Awards recognised the exceptional efforts of four Queenslanders in their fight to eradicate yellow crazy ants from the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area.
A Froggatt was also given to federal minister Barnaby Joyce for enforcing Australia’s strict quarantine laws after discovering actor Johnny Depp’s dogs Pistol and Boo had been brought into the country in an apparent breach of quarantine laws.
Standing up to Johnny Depp was not enough to earn a Froggatt on its own, but Mr Joyce’s award was guaranteed when he implemented new controls to limit marine biofouling on vessels arriving in Australia
Response teams in NSW received a gong for their rapid and effective effort in eliminating red imported fire ants from Port Botany, in Sydney.
In the policy and law category the Senate Environment and Communications References Committee has been recognised for its inquiry into environmental biosecurity and their final report.
The Froggatt Awards are named in honour of Australian entomologist Walter Froggatt, a lone voice in the 1930s warning of the dangers of releasing the cane toad into Australia as a control agent for beetle infestations in the sugar cane industry.
At the time Walter wrote that ‘this great toad, immune from enemies, omnivorous in its habits, and breeding all year round, may become as great a pest as the rabbit or cactus’.
Awarded to Australian Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Barnaby Joyce, for acting quickly and decisively in expelling Johnny Depp and Amber Heard’s dogs, Pistol and Boo, which had been brought into Australia in an apparent breach of the country’s strict quarantine laws. The award also recognises his decision in December to introduce mandatory biofouling rules to prevent marine pests entering Australia.
Awarded to Lucy Karger (Wet Tropics Management Authority yellow crazy ant eradication project), Dr Lori Lach (research fellow, James Cook University), Daniel Bateman (journalist, Cairns Post) and Frank Teodo (an Edmonton cane farmer) for exceptional efforts to eradicate yellow crazy ants from the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area. Without these tireless efforts few people would appreciate the danger posed by the highly invasive and environmentally destructive yellow crazy ant.
Awarded to the NSW red imported fire ant response, for rapid and effective effort in eliminating red imported fire ants from Port Botany in Sydney.
The response involved mobilisation of government staff and volunteers, extensive community education and support from interstate colleagues as soon as the aggressive red imported fire ants were discovered.
The award acknowledges coordination by Biosecurity NSW and extensive efforts by staff from Department of Primary Industries, Local Land Services and Office of Environment and Heritage and volunteers from Rural Fire Service and State Emergency Service.
Policy and law
Awarded to the Senate Environment and Communications References Committee, for their work on the Senate Environment and Communications References Committee inquiry into environmental biosecurity and the final report, an insightful coverage of a complex issue with cross-party recommendations aimed at improving Australia’s preparedness against invasive species impacting the environment.
- Senator Anne Urquhart, Chair ALP, Tasmania
- Senator Anne Ruston, Deputy Chair Liberal Party, South Australia
- Senator Joe Bullock, ALP, Western Australia
- Senator James McGrath, Liberal Party, Queensland
- Senator Lisa Singh, ALP, Tasmania
- Senator Larissa Waters, Australian Greens, Queensland