Biosecurity Queensland to destroy bananas on infected property

Published Wednesday, 31 August, 2016 at 03:15 PM

Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries
The Honourable Leanne Donaldson

The Palaszczuk Government will work with industry to destroy all the banana plants on the Tully property infected with Panama disease Tropical Race 4 once it has been acquired by the Australian Banana Growers Council.

Agriculture Minister Leanne Donaldson said Biosecurity Queensland will install a high security fence around the boundary of the property, and once the plants have been destroyed, plant the site with ground cover.

“This will minimise any soil erosion and prevent movement of soil and plant material from the site,” the Minister said.

“I am advised this course of action offers the best chance of minimising the risk of spread.”

Minister Donaldson said the estimated cost of the measures was $500,000.

“Costs will be covered from the $7.3 million committed in the 2016-17 budget to continue the efforts to control the spread of the disease,” the Minister said.

Confirmation of the Palaszczuk Government’s latest contribution comes after a ballot of Australian banana growers approved an industry levy to acquire the property and shut down all banana production there.

“Since the disease was first detected in March 2015, the government has worked in step with the industry, individual growers, local councils and banana growing communities to prevent its spread.

“By acting quickly and decisively at the outset, we have protected the thousands of jobs in regional Queensland that depend on the banana crop and the $600 million contribution the industry makes to the Queensland economy.

“It has been a monumental effort by all concerned to restrict the spread of Panama disease.

“Today, 17 months after the infection of this property in Tully was confirmed, it remains the only property with a confirmed detection and there are currently no suspect plants on other plantations.

“While the closure of the only known site of infection is a positive development, there will be no let-up in the response program of intensive surveillance, testing and grower education.

 “This is no time for complacency. Too much is at risk lay down out guard.”

 The Minister thanked the property owners, the Australian Banana Growers Council and other growers for their willingness to negotiate in good faith.




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