Cucumber green mottle mosaic virus in Queensland

24 July 2015

The National Management Group (NMG) for Cucumber Green Mottle Mosaic Virus (CGMMV) met on 3 July 2015 to discuss the detection of the virus in Queensland.

The NMG were unable to reach consensus on whether the incident in Queensland relates to an Emergency Plant Pest under the Emergency Plant Pest Response Deed, or if it was technically feasible to eradicate the incident in Queensland. The NMG also acknowledged there was little prospect of parties agreeing to a cost-shared response to eradicate the virus in Queensland and agreed to close the incident under the Emergency Plant Pest Response Deed.

The NMG had previously agreed that CGMMV was not technically feasible to eradicate following the detection of the virus in the Northern Territory.

The NMG noted the importance of a national strategy for the management of CGMMV, which is being developed by industry, the Commonwealth and state and territory governments. The national management strategy, which is outside of the scope of the Emergency Plant Pest Response Deed, aims to provide a national approach across governments and industry for managing CGMMV, to support trade and minimise impacts.

The first detection of CGMMV was reported on 5 September 2014 in the Northern Territory. CGMMV was subsequently detected on one property in Queensland on 15 April 2015. Current quarantine measures to contain CGMMV and conditions on seed import will remain in place until the new strategy is finalised and implemented. In addition, national protocols are being considered under the Interstate Certification Assurance scheme for domestic market access for hosts of CGMMV.

CGMMV is a plant disease which until recently was exotic to Australia. The virus can infect watermelon, cucumber, melons, zucchini, pumpkin, squash, bitter gourd, bottle gourd and some weed species.

The NMG for CGMMV is comprised of the Chief Executive Officers, or their delegates, of national and state/territory departments of agriculture/primary industries across Australia, along with representatives from AUSVEG and Nursery Garden Industry Australia as the affected industry parties. The melon industry is a non-signatory to the Emergency Plant Pest Response Deed and as such is a non-participant. Representatives of Plant Health Australia also attend NMG meetings as the custodian to the Emergency Plant Pest Response Deed. The group is chaired by the Australian Government Department of Agriculture.

Further information on CGMMV is available on the Queensland Government Department of Agriculture and Fisheries and the Northern Territory Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries websites.