Nursery, cut flower and citrus industry participants are invited to comment on a review of entry conditions for nursery stock into Western Australia to guard against a citrus pest.
The Department of Agriculture and Food has released its draft policy review for citrus gall wasp (Bruchophagus fellis).
Department Plant Biosecurity Director John van Schagen said as part of the policy review, the department had reviewed the entry requirements currently in place for host nursery stock, cut flowers and foliage from interstate. Citrus gall wasp is not associated with citrus fruit.
Citrus gall wasp is a native Australian species which has long been recognised as a pest of citrus production in eastern coastal regions of Australia. Severe infestation can result in greatly reduced citrus fruit production and tree dieback.
“WA's freedom from citrus gall wasp and our robust quarantine system provides a market advantage for our citrus producers,” Mr van Schagen said.
“We are proposing strengthened protection measures from citrus gall wasp to help ensure that Western Australia is not exposed to an unacceptable level of biosecurity risk.
“These measures include requirements for either state or territory freedom, pre-shipment treatment and inspection or methyl bromide fumigation.”
Mr van Schagen said the absence of the pest in WA, its potential damage to the local industry and its continuing spread in other states prompted a review by DAFWA’s plant biosecurity program.
“The recommended measures protect WA’s freedom from this significant pest. Should citrus gall wasp establish in WA, it is expected that production costs will increase due to additional pruning and chemical control,” he said.
The PRA is available from the department website agric.wa.gov.au
Written comments on the PRA should be submitted by 23 May 2014 via email to email@example.com or mail to Plant Biosecurity, Department of Agriculture and Food, Western Australia, Locked Bag 4, Bentley Delivery Centre WA 6983.
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