Plant biosecurity

The mission of Western Australia's plant biosecurity programs is to safeguard plant resources from exotic and established pests and diseases. The Department of Agriculture and Food, Western Australia (DAFWA) has adopted a 'biosecurity continuum' approach with pre-border, border and post-border biosecurity strategies as integral components of this approach.

The aim of DAFWA’s approach is to identify key threats to productivity, sustainability and market access and outline preventive and response strategies.

The management of biological risks to market access, product safety, quality, productivity and sustainability is a shared responsibility and can be managed together and cost-effectively by means of partnerships between industry, community and government.

DAFWA’s biosecurity policies and operations are targeted to facilitate safe trade, tourism and commodity movement whilst reducing exposure of the State's plant resources to exotic biological risks.

Articles

  • Polyphagous shot-hole borer (PSHB) Euwallacea fornicatus is a beetle native to Southeast Asia. The beetle attacks a wide range of plants by tunnelling into trunks, stems and branches.

  • Bacterial wilt of lucerne (Clavibacter insidiosus) is a disease that reduces the lifespan and productivity of lucerne stands. It also makes lucerne crops hard to establish.

  • The Biosecurity Blitz is back in 2022, with a special focus this year on reporting tree pests and diseases.

  • Dothistroma needle blight (Dothistroma septosporum) causes needle loss, slow growth and sometimes death in many types of pine and some related conifers.

  • Fire blight (Erwinia amylovora) is a serious bacterial disease of apples, pears and other plants in the rose family (Rosaceae). This disease is not present in Western Australia.

  • Banana freckle was detected in Dwarf Cavendish banana fruit in the Northern Territory in May 2022. The Northern Territory Government is responding to this new detection.

  • Myrtle rust is a serious disease that infects and kills many plants belonging to the Myrtaceae family including eucalypts, bottlebrushes, paperbarks and peppermint trees.

  • Papaya sticky disease is absent from Western Australia. It has recently been reported from the Northern Territory, after being detected in Queensland in 2014.

  • Blueberry rust is a fungal disease that affects blueberries and some relatives in the Ericaceae plant family. The disease was detected in Western Australia in April 2022.

  • Potato spindle tuber viroid (PSTVd) is a declared pest in Western Australia. It can significantly reduce crop yields in potatoes and tomatoes.

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