Palaszczuk Government boosts biosecurity support for banana growers

Published Thursday, 23 April, 2015 at 01:15 PM

Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries and Minister for Sport and Racing
The Honourable Bill Byrne



The Palaszczuk Government is providing more than $300,000 to the Australian Banana Growers’ Council to enable them to hire specialist biosecurity advisors to support North Queensland growers in protecting their farms from Panama disease.


Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries Bill Byrne said the initiative was requested by the Australian Banana Growers’ Council at the inaugral Queensland Government Panama Disease Taskforce meeting.


“These advisors will be appointed with the support of industry in response to calls from growers for more biosecurity advice about how to better safeguard their farms,” he said.


“The advisors would work directly with growers to more thoroughly educate them about Panama disease and help them improve on-farm biosecurity practices.


“While wash-downs and decontamination procedures are practices that all growers should have in place, they are not the only solution.


“There are a whole range of measures that can be put in place to help reduce the risk of disease and pests.


“Once the advisors are in place they will work with individual farmers to help them tailor biosecurity plans specific to their operations.


“Growers have told us they want to know more about the disease and how it spreads so they can take the necessary steps to stop it.


“This is not only a good approach for their own farms, but will help to protect the $600 million banana industry as a whole,” the Minister said.


ABGC Chief Executive Officer Jim Pekin said: “Every banana farm is different and growers will benefit greatly from individualised advice on how to best protect their properties.”  


Minister Byrne said Biosecurity Queensland was continuing to work with the two quarantined properties to assist them in meeting the conditions of interim protocols which will allow them to send fruit to market.


“Biosecurity Queensland has established agreed protocols with industry to allow the quarantined properties to harvest. Once the properties meet those conditions, safe harvesting can then occur.


The Taskforce is made up of key Queensland Government agencies, representatives of Local Government including the Mayors of the two affected councils, the Australian Government, and the Australian Banana Growers Council.


For more information on preventing Panama disease visit 


Media contacts:

DAF Mark Hodder 3087 8598 / 0421 618 871

ABGC Rhyll Cronin 0428 038 330

Minister Byrne: Adrian Taylor 0448 994 172