15 November 2016
The National Management Group (NMG) met on 19 October 2016 to discuss the future of the giant pine scale eradication programme in Victoria and South Australia. In 2015, NMG endorsed the National Giant Pine Scale (Marchalina Hellenica) Response Plan in accordance with theEmergency Plant Pest Response Deed (EPPRD). The plan was being implemented by South Australia and Victoria to eradicate the pest.
At its meeting, NMG considered expert scientific guidance from the Consultative Committee on Emergency Plant Pests. This technical committee advised NMG that:
- the chemical controls currently being used to eradicate giant pine scale are ineffective
- it is not cost effective to remove all infested trees, and it was unlikely that the removal of a significant number of trees would be publically acceptable
- the emergency plant pest can remain undetectable in the environment at low concentrations.
Based on this information, the NMG agreed that it is no longer technically feasible to eradicate giant pine scale in Victoria and South Australia.
The current arrangements in place in both South Australia and Victoria have restricted giant pine scale to urban areas and to date there have been no reports of infestation in soft wood plantations.
The NMG will consider options to stand-down the current eradication activities in South Australia and Victoria, but allow for ongoing management of the pest to minimise future impacts.
For this response, NMG comprises of government representatives, the Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA) and Plant Health Australia.
Detections of giant pine scale still need to be reported to the Exotic Plant Pest Hotline on 1800 084 881. Further information about giant pine scale is available on the Outbreak website.