Northern Territory Government Newsroom

Additional 153 properties added to Nakara restricted area

As a result of the hard work by the Citrus Canker Response Team, a plant infected with the disease has been detected on a residential property in Nakara.

This has extended the restricted area to include an additional 153 properties.

The Citrus Canker Program has been focusing on plant identification and removal in the Nakara and Wanguri restricted areas since December 2018. The Nakara restricted area now meets the boundary of the Wanguri restricted area.

The infected plant has been traced back to the original supplier and is not a result of natural spread of the disease. Available evidence indicates that citrus canker is still restricted to citrus plants sold since 1 January 2017, and that all infected plants that have been found to date are linked to the original source. Ongoing efforts continue to show no signs of the disease in commercial citrus orchards.

The Citrus Canker Program continues its efforts to eradicate the citrus canker disease from the NT. The program has received funding from the Australian Government and other states and territories to support continuation of tracing and surveillance activities and work towards successful eradication of citrus canker from Australia.

Symptoms of citrus canker are more common during the wet season due to high temperatures and heavy rain. Strong winds and rain can carry the disease, so the wet season poses a greater risk for the spread of citrus canker.

Northern Territory Chief Plant Health Officer Dr Anne Walters said to date, the program had been a wonderful success, primarily due to the support provided by the community in reporting plants and in enabling potentially infected plants to be removed from their properties.

“This will prevent the spread of citrus canker, particularly into commercial areas,” Dr Walters said.

“I encourage residents to continue to check their citrus plants for symptoms of citrus canker, including raised, yellow-brown lesions or blisters on leaves, fruit and stems, which often have a golden halo around the blisters or lesions. Symptoms are more visible during the wet season and residents can provide invaluable support to the program by reporting citrus canker symptoms.

“Reports by the public are one of the strongest tools in identifying and eradicating pests and diseases which threaten our valuable agricultural resources in the NT and nationally. Residents are asked to report any plants showing symptoms of citrus canker or citrus plants they have purchased since 1 January 2017 to the citrus canker hotline on 1800 931 722.

“Times are tough for farmers and it is important that we all work together to support our local and national industry,” Dr Walters said.

“We are thankful for the ongoing support of the wider community and industry, which will be critical to the ongoing success of this program.”

The Citrus Canker Response Team will communicate directly with each new household and business in the Nakara restricted area to coordinate surveillance of the properties and removal of citrus canker host plants.

Information to identify citrus canker symptoms and to submit a report of citrus canker symptoms is available at www.nt.gov.au/citruscanker

Media contact: Jackie Bonds, 0428 040 551