06 Nov 2018
Another citrus plant infected with citrus canker disease has been detected in Darwin. A member of the community reported the suspected disease symptoms to the citrus canker hotline, and the department has confirmed the disease.
The affected plant was located in Nakara, and a restricted area has now been declared around the detection. Movement restrictions for citrus and host plants and material are now in place in the Nakara restricted area, aimed at limiting the spread of the disease in the Territory.
A map of the Nakara restricted area can be viewed on the department’s citrus canker web page – www.nt.gov.au/citruscanker.
Northern Territory Chief Plant Health Officer Dr Anne Walters expressed appreciation for the community’s assistance in reporting suspected citrus canker.
“In the Nakara area, and recently in the Wanguri area, members of the public reported suspect plants to the emergency response team,” Dr Walters said.
“Reports provided by the public remain the best tool for identifying and eradicating citrus canker disease from the Northern Territory.”
Residents living in the Nakara restricted area will be contacted directly by the citrus canker emergency response officers regarding the new restrictions, and to arrange inspections of citrus and host plants on their properties.
As part of the emergency response, all citrus and host plants must be removed from the restricted area. The emergency response team will work with residents to remove affected plants in consultation with residents beforehand.
The emergency response team will also work with Charles Darwin University, which is located in the Nakara restricted area, to identify citrus and host plants on the Casuarina campus. The Nakara restricted area does not impact any commercial citrus growers.
Citrus canker is not harmful to humans or animals, but is highly contagious. It affects the quality and quantity of citrus fruit produced, and the ability of citrus growers to sell their produce interstate and internationally. The wet season and cyclone season are the periods of highest risk for the spread of citrus canker, with strong winds and rain carrying the disease.
Residents who identify possible symptoms on a plant are asked not to move or destroy plants, but call the emergency response team to investigate. A telephone hotline, operating 24/7, is available for reporting suspected cases of citrus canker, and for seeking further information about the emergency response. Residents can call the citrus canker hotline on 1800 931 722.
A range of information to support the public in identifying and reporting citrus canker is available at www.nt.gov.au/citruscanker.
Media contact: Kerry Barker 0428 040 551
Dr Anne Walters, NT Chief Plant Health Officer, is available for media interviews until 3pm