Police have been doing random checks on the border to make sure no material comes into NSW carrying red imported fire ants from Queensland.
NSW Agriculture Minister Tara Moriarty confirmed the police border checks during the Farm Writers' Association of NSW Christmas lunch at Parliament house on Tuesday.
But primary producers are calling for a better border checkpoint system to be put in place not only for fire ants but in readiness for other threats, such as foot and mouth as well as lumpy skin disease.
"No one is calling for a COVID-style border blockade, but it is clear more days of random checks of high-risk fire ant carriers would help send an important message to those thinking their actions are of no consequence," said NSW Farmers Far North Coast branch chair Craig Huf.
Mr Huf, a beef producer at Burringbar (20 minutes from South Murwillumbah where the first red imported fire ants nest was detected in NSW), said questions were "rightly being asked, how did this happen?".
"We all know prevention would have been far, far better than this painful cure we are now experiencing," Mr Huf said.
"Many local businesses and farmers want answers as to why the biosecurity protection system is not functioning properly and how these incredibly destructive pests have been allowed to be carried over the border."
Mr Huf said to date the grand total of physical "border protection" measures had been a two-day roadside check called Operation Victa at Yelgun.
"Operation Victa did not cover the route from the border to Murwillumbah. Unfortunately, it was this route that seems to have let fire ants cross the border into NSW for the first time," Mr Huf said.
At the Farm Writers' lunch Ms Moriarty said there were billboard signs at the NSW/Queensland border that say what travellers could bring into the state stating.
She also pointed out those that breached the emergency biosecurity order could face significant fines of up to $1.1 million for an individual and up to $2.2m for a corporation.
"There has been a significant operation going on ...(and it would go on) for as long as it needs," Ms Moriarty said.
Ms Moriarty said the NSW government had put "significant reserves into this", including committing $95m in the next four years to the National Fire Ant Eradication Program.
She said when the government was alerted to the nest at South Murwillumbah, it was eradicated in less than 24 hours.
Now she said it was now "watch and breath" while the government works with a number of agencies including police.