Citrus biosecurity and quarantine

Page last updated: Wednesday, 18 January 2017 - 10:27am

Please note: This content may be out of date and is currently under review.

Protecting Western Australian citrus orchards from pests and diseases that could significantly affect their production and therefore the availability of citrus is an important activity of growers, industry and the government.

Many organisations and groups are responsible for different aspects of biosecurity and quarantine in Western Australia.

Plant Health Australia is the lead national coordinating body for plant health. It works in partnership with industry, governments, researchers and others, providing national coordination to improve biosecurity policy and practice across Australia's plant industries and to build capacity to respond to plant pest emergencies.

A levy of three cents for every tonne of citrus fruit sold in Australia goes toward funding citrus industry initiatives of Plant Health Australia. These initiatives include the Citrus Industry Biosecurity Plan which provides a framework for biosecurity risk mitigation measures in the industry, and the Citrus Orchard Biosecurity Manual, designed to assist in the implementation of measures recommended in the biosecurity plan. Most threats are external to Australia. Visit the website to obtain copies of the plan and manual.

Quarantine WA actively protects Western Australia’s agriculture, environment and lifestyle by conducting inspections for quarantine risk material at entry points for private travellers and commercial clients arriving from interstate.

Visit the Quarantine WA website for information on importing goods from interstate, exporting fresh produce, other plant material or machinery interstate, and transporting fresh produce within Western Australia.

Important publications

  • Requirements for moving plants, cuttings, bud wood, tissue cultures, bulbs, cut flowers and seeds into Western Australia
  • Moving stone fruit and citrus fruit into the Ord River Irrigation Area.

Exotic threats to WA citrus

  • Citrus canker
  • Citrus greening (Huanglongbing) and its vector the Asiatic citrus psyllid
  • Queensland fruit fly
  • Spiraling whitefly.

Neglected orchards

The owners of neglected orchards are often unaware that poor maintenance causes plant stress which allows the build-up of pests and diseases. This can affect healthy trees nearby.

Exotic pests and diseases may also go undetected in a neglected orchard for some time and could develop into a major threat to the industry.

Under the Biosecurity and Agriculture Management Act 2007 owners can be directed to rectify any pest and disease management issues identified in poorly maintained and diseased orchards. The ultimate remedial action is the removal of trees, and this can be ordered.


Bronwyn Walsh