Banana freckle response plan approved

NT Government

3 October 2022

A response plan to eradicate banana freckle from the Northern Territory has been approved following the detection of the disease in the Top End.

Since May, banana freckle has been detected in 42 properties mostly in the Batchelor and Rum Jungle region. The disease has also been found at properties in Middle Point, Marrakai, Fly Creek and on the Tiwi Islands.

The response plan has been approved by the National Management Group and now plant biosecurity staff from the Department of Industry, Tourism and Trade can begin working towards eradicating the disease.

Under the response plan all banana plants and plant material on a property which has a plant infected with banana freckle will be removed.

Banana plants on a property free of the disease will not be removed.

Biosecurity staff have begun the procurement process to identify businesses with the capacity to start the removal of plants.

Plants from infected properties will be removed by cutting them off at the base and treating them with glysophate.

Samples will be taken from all plants on an infected property to allow plant biosecurity staff to learn more about banana freckle and how it has spread.

Plant biosecurity staff have been working with affected property owners to keep them informed throughout the process.

Surveillance has been conducted at 1832 properties in the Top End by plant biosecurity staff since banana freckle was first detected to gather as much information as possible about the spread of the disease.

Members of the biosecurity team will continue to work with the industry, growers and the public to limit the impacts of the disease to protect Northern Territory grown bananas.

Biosecurity officers inspecting properties continue to follow strict biosecurity decontamination protocols when entering and exiting any premises to prevent the risk of spreading the disease.

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