Biosecurity Advice: Phyllosticta cavendishii (Banana freckle)

Pest    

Phyllosticta cavendishii (Banana freckle)

Date

24 June 2022

Location

Batchelor – Rum Jungle. Northern Territory (NT)

Situation

In late May 2022, scientific diagnosis confirmed Phyllosticta cavendishii (banana freckle) at a property in Rum Jungle, approximately 100 kilometres south of Darwin (see map). A further two properties, also in the Rum Jungle/Batchelor region, were confirmed as positive in early June. On 15 June, the NT Government received positive results for an additional four properties.

This takes the current number of infected premises (IPs) to seven. All IPs are located in the Rum Jungle/Batchelor area. Of the seven infected premises, six are residential properties located within 1km of an existing IP in the Rum Jungle area. One is a commercial property, which sells fruit within the NT.  A further 3 properties are suspected of having infested plants.

All suspect infected premises have been issued with a notice to stop the movement of plant materials and fruit from these properties. The NT Government is awaiting analysis of three additional suspect premises, all located in the Rum Jungle/Batchelor region within approximately 4km of the other IPs.

The Consultative Committee on Emergency Plant Pests (CCEPP) met on 20 June 2022 to consider the national draft Response Plan which takes a phased approach to eradication of the disease based on removing host plants from affected areas; tracing and surveillance; compliance and community engagement.  The members of the CCEPP, including Greenlife Industry Australia, agreed that banana freckle is an emergency plant pest under the Emergency Plant Pest Response Deed (EPPRD) and is technically feasible to eradicate based on the information presented.

The response plan will be put to the National Management Group shortly for endorsement. If endorsed, response activities can continue under the national cost-sharing arrangements between government and industry.

More information is being provided at: https://nt.gov.au/banana-freckle

Pest Identification information here: https://pestid.com.au/

All growers are encouraged to report any signs of banana freckle in host plants to the Exotic Plant Pest Hotline on 1800 084 881. Instructions will be given on how to collect and submit samples for identification.

For further information email: john.mcdonald@greenlifeindustry.com.au