Residents in Kununurra and Wyndham are being urged to support Western Australia’s citrus industry and help stop the spread of citrus canker disease, which was detected in the region last week.
The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development has issued a Quarantine Area notice for both town sites and surrounding areas within 50 kilometres, to stop the movement of citrus fruit and plants that could harbour the disease.
Department A/Biosecurity Executive Director Mia Carbon said the community played a vital role in ensuring that no host fruit or plants were moved out of the Quarantine Area.
“These movement controls are part of a national response plan to prevent spread of the disease, eradicate any infections, and protect our citrus production,” Dr Carbon said.
“Movement restrictions apply to a range of plant material and fruit, including all citrus, kumquat, and other plants. These measures apply to commercial and home-grown fruit or plants.
“Machinery and equipment which has been in contact with citrus plants also cannot be moved out of the quarantine area.”
Citrus canker was confirmed last week on two retail properties in Kununurra and one property at Wyndham, following tracing and testing of plants imported from Darwin. There has been no detection in commercial orchards.
Residents in northern WA are reminded to check their trees for signs of citrus canker and to contact the department if they have recently purchased citrus plants from Kununurra or Darwin.
“Early detection, reporting and not moving infected plants is vital, and will give us the best chance of eradicating this serious disease,” Dr Carbon said.
Citrus canker is not a risk to humans or animals and affected fruit remains safe to eat.
Dr Carbon said there was a small number of commercial citrus producers within the Quarantine Area.
“The department is working with commercial growers in the area and to manage the impacts of these measures on their businesses,” she said.
More details on the Quarantine Area and a full list of host plants is available on the department website.
Plants with suspect symptoms must not be moved and should be reported to the department’s Pest and Disease Information Service on (08) 9368 3080 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or via the department’s MyPestGuide ReporterTM app.
Media contacts: Jodie Thomson/Lisa Bertram, media liaison +61 (0)8 9368 3937