Canker response a national mission
A nationally agreed response plan to citrus canker is well underway, with the Northern Territory Department of Primary Industries and Resources (NT DPIR) leading the charge.
The aims of the response plan are to destroy known infections, put movement controls and quarantine measures in place and determine the extent of the outbreak.
While these activities are underway, Citrus Australia Chief Executive Officer, Nathan Hancock, said industry will be gathering as much information as possible, to determine if the disease can be eradicated.
“All of the available evidence indicates that citrus canker is restricted to the home and garden environment on properties in the Northern Territory and Western Australia, which all link back to the source in Darwin,” Mr Hancock said.
“Surveillance of commercial citrus production areas so far hasn’t detected any citrus canker.”
While the NT DPIR work across jurisdictions to undertake tracing activities, interstate and industry resources have been deployed to the Northern Territory to boost the response capability, including input from the Western Australia Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development.
“One of the detections has been in the north of Western Australia, so those two states are working together with their local industry and communities to make sure we don’t have the disease spreading any further,” Mr Hancock said.
Mr Hancock also said that ongoing surveillance and tracing activities are continuing across other states and territories and at this stage haven’t detected canker in any other jurisdictions.
The response plan is being nationally cost shared by affected industry and government parties under the arrangements of the Emergency Plant Pest Response Deed.
If you think you have a plant with citrus canker, or if you have recently sourced citrus plants from the Northern Territory, please contact the Exotic Plant Pest Hotline on 1800 084 881. Photos of citrus canker symptoms and further information can be found at outbreak.gov.au.