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Australia benefits from natural protection as an island continent, however, the increase in holiday makers and international visitors, and the reported increase in imported goods, has significantly increased the risk of exotic pest incursion. The Australian industry directly employs tens of thousands of Australians and is the lifeblood of many regional centres and rural townships.
Strong biosecurity underpins the security of food supply for consumers and Australia’s reputation on the world stage.
Citrus Australia supports biosecurity policy that:
Increases public and industry education
Increases investment in resources for interception and detection
Invests in biosecurity technology and innovation
Invests in appropriate levels of resourcing
Enforces biosecurity regulation, with the ability to enforce significant penalties for breaches of biosecurity border protection and breaches of protocols
Regulates the nursery sector
Supports pest free areas
Expands capacity in biosecurity and sciences that underpin biosecurity
Protects the growing investment in export markets
Growers can build their own biosecurity toolkit as well obtain important information and fact sheets from the Farm Biosecurity website – a joint initiative between Plant Health Australia and Animal Health Australia.
The website provides information about on-farm biosecurity measures, which help prevent both endemic and exotic diseases, pests and weeds from entering and becoming established on farms.
Industry Biosecurity Plan
Citrus Australia, in partnership with Plant Health Australia, launched the Industry Biosecurity Plan for the Citrus Industry. This document outlines key threats to the industry, risk mitigation plans, identification and categorisation of exotic pests and contingency plans.
Biosecurity planning provides a mechanism for the citrus industry, government and other relevant stakeholders to assess current biosecurity practices and future biosecurity needs, identifying procedures that can be put in place to reduce the chance of pests reaching our borders, or minimise the impact of incursions.
For a copy, please contact Plant Health Australia on 02 6215 7700 or email email@example.com
Western Australia has been declared free of citrus canker 18 months after the initial detection of the disease in the State.
Quarantine restrictions were lifted late November 2019 for Kununurra and Wyndham, meaning citrus can again be moved freely throughout the area.
Citrus canker was first detected in May 2018 in imported citrus plants at two retail businesses at Kununurra and at one premise in Wyndham. The plants originated from the Northern Territory.
Citrus Australia CEO, Nathan Hancock, paid tribute to Government agencies and staff involved in the response, and to growers forced to make difficult adjustments to their operations.
WA Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development staff visited more than 13,000 farms and residential properties across northern WA, and removed 1,520 citrus plants.
“The logistical challenge of tracking plants from the point of origin and inspecting all properties in restricted areas was enormous and has only been achieved through a significant amount of hard work,” Mr Hancock said.
“We are appreciative of the time taken to eradicate this disease, which if left unchallenged, would have a detrimental effect on our citrus exports, and the significant flow-on effect this provides our regional communities.
“It has proven a difficult and challenging time for our northern WA citrus growers and we thank them for their assistance in eradicating this disease.”
Quarantine restrictions have also been removed from properties in Cossack, Katherine, NT. A restricted area was established in June 2018 after a plant with the citrus canker disease was found in Cossack.
The restricted area was cleared of all citrus canker host plants in late 2018. A designated minimum of six months without citrus canker host plants, and no record of citrus canker disease during regrowth surveillance activities, has allowed for the restricted area to be removed.
Two control areas for the control of citrus canker still remain in place around the greater Darwin and Katherine areas, and 12 restricted areas remain in the greater Darwin area.
Mr Hancock said the NT is expected to be declared citrus canker free in 2020.
He urged all Australian residents and international visitors to comply with Australian quarantine laws and not import citrus cuttings illegally.
“This citrus canker incursion will cost the Federal Government and the Australian citrus industry almost $20 million, as well as thousands of employee hours and financial and mental hardship on growers involved,” he said.
“This can all be avoided by not importing illegal budwood, and instead purchasing from accredited nurseries in Australia.”
For past updates on Citrus canker, please click here. Please note, members must be logged in to access these updates.
For more information on Citrus canker, please visit the websites below: