National Citrus Surveillance Coordinator appointed
23 August 2018
The Australian citrus industry welcomes Mr Jeff Milne to the role of National Citrus Surveillance Coordinator.
”Jeff’s appointment is timely considering biosecurity is top of mind as we work toward citrus canker eradication in the Northern Territory and the north of Western Australia,” said Citrus Australia CEO Nathan Hancock.
Jeff will be based in Citrus Australia’s offices in Mildura, Victoria, and will work across Australian citrus regions in close collaboration with growers, researchers, Plant Health Australia (PHA) and state and federal government agencies.
”Jeff has a unique perspective having been a grower himself and having held management roles in the private sector and the Victorian state government,” said Nathan. ”His experience in developing and implementing systems across multiple sectors will be most valuable as he implements a national citrus biosecurity surveillance program.”
Jeff’s role is to raise awareness of biosecurity in the citrus industry and in urban and peri-urban communities. He will assist, initiate and coordinate activities to capture information from surveillance and monitoring activities.
“Key to this work will be the network of personnel working in commercial orchards, nurseries, packing sheds and the research community (termed the ‘First Detector Network’).”
Jeff will also assist in establishing ‘surveillance hubs’ in commercial citrus production areas, as well as in peri-urban and urban areas, to enhance capacity and capability amongst stakeholders. His role also includes providing support in the event of exotic pest incursions affecting the citrus industry.
Plant Health Australia has developed a citrus canker surveillance information resource for the industry.
The fact sheet, available from the Citrus Australia website Citrus Canker Surveillance Information, contains high quality images of canker lesions on a range of plant material and describes the processes for inspecting orchards and recording results.
“This resource provides the guidance on how to go about citrus canker surveillance that growers across Australia are seeking,” said Nathan.
“Although the canker outbreak is still limited to potted plants in the home and garden sector in the Northern Territory and Western Australia ongoing vigilance is crucial to protecting our production orchards from this threat.
“Collecting evidence of the absence of citrus canker on properties all around Australia, is also crucial to proving our claim of area freedom, not just for interstate trade but for access to overseas markets.
“I encourage growers to assist us in collecting this information.
“I also urge anyone to call the Exotic Plant Pest Hotline on 1800 084 881 if they see signs of anything unusual.”
For information on the management of citrus canker and other exotic pest and disease outbreaks visit www.outbreak.gov.au