Pest surveillance focuses on Sunraysia
Each year the Australian Government Department of Agriculture & Water Resources contracts state departments to complete the National Plant Health Surveillance (NPHS) Program targeting high risk exotic plant pests.
The NPHS program traps for multiple pests in the vicinity of entry ports and at sites of relatively high risk of exotic pest presence based on entry pathways and habitat.
The program also assists with providing evidence of pest freedom to defined industries, which includes risk based surveys for a range of plant pests not yet established within Australia.
In 2016/17 the Victorian Department of Economic Development Jobs Transport and Resources (DEDJTR) identified the citrus and viticulture industries for targeted surveillance.
The target regions are the Yarra Valley for viticulture and Sunraysia for citrus. Stuart Pettigrew was contracted to undertake this work on behalf of the DEDJTR.
The Sunraysia citrus survey focused on Citrus Canker, HLB and two vectors of HLB, the Asian Citrus Psyllid and African Citrus Psyllid. Surveillance was conducted in February 2017 on a total of 20 properties in the region.
No visual symptoms of these pests were seen, but random leaf samples were collected and laboratory analysis of these are currently being completed.