The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development has today introduced additional restrictions to stop the spread of citrus canker in the East Kimberley.
The new measures apply to the movement of a range of citrus canker host plants and parts of these plants, including fruit.
Citrus canker has been found on three premises in Kununurra and Wyndham, but has not been detected in any commercial orchards.
Three Restricted Areas have now been declared in the immediate area around sites where infected plants have been found.
Citrus trees and parts of these trees, including fruit, cannot be moved into, out of or within the Restricted Areas.
Propagation and planting of these plants is also prohibited in the Restricted Areas.
Broader Control Areas, covering a 50km radius around both Kununurra and Wyndham, remain in place preventing movement of citrus plants and fruit from these areas.
Department A/Chief Plant Biosecurity Officer Sonya Broughton said strict quarantine measures were required to prevent the disease spreading.
“Citrus canker has been eradicated previously in Australia using similar movement restrictions and surveillance, and we are working closely with industry and the community to control this disease,” Dr Broughton said.
“We ask people who live or work in the Restricted Areas to cooperate with response staff undertaking visits as part of the surveillance efforts.
“Staff have already been active in the area and we commend the industry and community for their support with our efforts so far.
“We remind people to check their citrus plants and contact the department if you think you see anything suspect.”
While citrus canker does not pose a risk to human health and fruit remains safe to eat, it has serious impacts on citrus production.
To find out if your home or workplace is included in one of the Restricted Areas, please check the interactive map and a list of affected plant species online.
The department will continue to provide further information to industry and local residents on containment and control measures as the response progresses.
Anyone who has purchased a citrus plant in Wyndham or Kununurra in the past year is asked to contact the department’s Pest and Disease Information Service on (08) 9368 3080, email firstname.lastname@example.org or make a report using the department’s MyPestGuide Reporter app.
Jodie Thomson/Lisa Bertram, media liaison +61 (0)8 9368 3937/83325