AFTER a flurry of phone calls, meetings and promises, landholders on the country's tick-free line are still waiting for action.
In August Wondai man Joe Jessen, who is founder of the Kingaroy Wondai Proston Tick Eradication Committee, told Queensland Country Life the group was fed up with holding the tick line at their own expense.
The support after going public, however, was overwhelming, he said.
The group met the Minister for Agriculture John McVeigh, Nanango MP Deb Frecklington, Callide MP Jeff Seeney and even had a phone call from Biosecurity Queensland's new chief veterinary officer Alison Crook.
"We were invited to have input into Cattle Tick Management Queensland, but have never been advised when meetings are to be held or have been held or what results were achieved, if any," Mr Jessen said.
Since then, the group has put together a nine-point plan and has heard nothing, other than that they will now meet Mr McVeigh in early December.
The group, which was formed more than 20 years ago, has asked to have input into a new boundary for the tick line - a double-fenced road - and for it not to be done by "someone sitting in a Brisbane office".
Producers were trying to hold the tick line to save the tick-free areas of Australia, but were frustrated by the lack of support from the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF).
There was also "no help whatsoever" from Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) or other industry organisations, Mr Jessen added.
The group is calling for 2 to 5 cents from the MLA transaction levy to go towards free or heavily subsidised chemicals for any producer on the line or in the tick-free area who becomes infected through no fault of their own.
"One producer right on the line did a cost analysis and said he pretty much gives away 60 weaners every year to keep his neighbours tick free," Mr Jessen said. "That is how much it costs him."
Mr Jessen said state and federal money was available for all sorts of schemes, but none was available for the most critically important problem of protecting cattle in the tick-free areas of Australia.
Sooner or later, tick burdens and chemical use on cattle and other food-producing animals would become an animal welfare issue as well as potentially cause the restriction of export opportunities due to chemical residue problems.
"There were cattle at local saleyards in the middle of August carrying a very heavy tick burden.
"One pen was sold but had to be withdrawn and resold later as they were still under withholding restrictions for the chemical Acatak."
These restrictions ranged from 42 to 120 days, depending on the market.
Because of the lack of feed during winter and the extended drought, this was an animal welfare issue and more importantly, a market access issue, he said.
One approved tick treatment program directive was that if a producer was infected, they must move cattle via an approved route.
"If you're in the back of woop-woop, how do you find an approved route? The road from Mundubbera to Jandowae is one of the approved routes. To get to the back of beyond, you will need to get through tick-free country to get there.
"The time for farting around is over. It's costing too much, and the sooner we can move the line north, the better off everyone will be."
Mr Jessen suggested the tick line should be methodically moved north to Rockhampton and west past Emerald.
"If they do an eradication program above us, they will find they have such a resistance to chemical it's not funny. There are only one or two chemicals we have left that don't have resistance."
The five-month-long approved program also needed to be extended by an extra three to four treatments as ticks could live in the grass for nine months, he added.
Mr Jessen said the department also needed to get rid of the concept of having "controlled" areas. "Either you are tick free or you are not."