The National Management Group (NMG) for banana freckle – comprising all Australian governments, affected industries and Plant Health Australia – agreed to a revised national response to the incursion of banana freckle in the Northern Territory.
The NMG met on 11 May 2017 and endorsed a revised National Banana Freckle Eradication Program Response Plan that extends the surveillance period for proof of freedom. The plan is being implemented by the Northern Territory. It requires additional surveillance during the 2017–18 wet season to ensure confidence in the eradication of banana freckle and includes new operating conditions for host material within the Northern Territory.
The Northern Territory is planning to lift its internal quarantine and movement controls during this final response plan phase. However, good biosecurity practices remain essential when handling and moving any plant material to ensure that should there be any future detections of the disease, it remains contained and does not spread.
Banana freckle is a serious banana disease and its eradication from Australia will safeguard Australia’s $600 million commercial banana industry as well as the longer-term future of banana growing in the Northern Territory.
The Australian Government, affected state and territory governments and the banana industry are funding the response under the Emergency Plant Pest Response Deed.
Any detections of banana freckle need to be reported to the Exotic Plant Pest Hotline on 1800 084 881. Further information about banana freckle is available on the Northern Territory Government’s website.