Northern Territory Government Newsroom

Latest tracing uncovers more infected citrus canker premises

Tracing activities have successfully detected citrus canker on two potted Tahitian lime plants on residential properties in Woolner and Moulden.

Northern Territory Executive Director for Biosecurity and Animal Welfare Sarah Corcoran said as with all of the detections to date, these infected plants were directly linked to the one supplier.

“These detections are not the result of natural spread, which is a positive sign,” she said.

“The location of these new infected premises will not change the boundaries of the existing Woolner Restricted Area, however a new restricted area for part of the suburb of Moulden will be implemented.”

Including these latest detections, there are now 11 infected premises in the Northern Territory. The majority are in the greater Darwin Control Area and one in Katherine.

“All infected plants discovered to date are potted plants sold within the past 12 months and directly linked to one supplier, which is a positive indicator that there has been no natural spread of the disease,” Ms Corcoran said.

“The citrus canker emergency response team will continue surveillance and tracing work in line with the nationally agreed response plan which is informing activities over the next six months.”

For the first time since the citrus canker restrictions were put in place earlier this year in May, a commercial grower from Lambells Lagoon sent a total of 250 kilograms of pomelos, a popular NT citrus fruit, to the Melbourne markets this week.

“To date there has been no detection of citrus canker on any commercial citrus growing properties in the Northern Territory and we continue to work with the Northern Territory Farmers Association to help keep growers informed,” Ms Corcoran said.

“Growers and pack houses wanting to move fruit are registered under the Northern Territory Government’s stringent protocols, as agreed with other Australian States and Territories, and require permit approval.”

The protocol stipulates a procedure for growers and pack houses to follow in order to move citrus fruit outside the control area, including inspection of fruit prior to it being sent to market.

Reports by the public are still the strongest tool in identifying and eradicating the disease from the Northern Territory. If you have purchased or been given a citrus plant in the last 12 months contact the citrus canker hotline on 1800 931 722.

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