The purpose of this web page is to provide information to the general public.
What is plant biosecurity and why is it important?
Plant biosecurity is about protecting the growers, environment, and general public from plant pests and diseases. Being an island nation we are lucky to have a natural barrier to many pests and diseases entering the country. Quarantine and biosecurity measures help to reduce the risk and the impact of exotic pest and disease outbreaks.
Some exotic pests and diseases have the potential to cripple our horticultural industries; plant biosecurity is important to ensure that we continue to grow, and the general public can buy Australian fresh produce. Fewer plant pests and disease mean lower production costs for our growers, less reliance on pesticides and greater market access nationally and internationally. It is important to help protect our industry from pests and diseases not just at a state level but also at a national level, so the movement of plant material within and across states is regulated by the Plant Biosecurity division.
Plant biosecurity also helps to protect our environment. Not all exotic pests and diseases target commercial crops, some (like myrtle rust) affect native plants and cause significant decline in our natural parks and gardens. This has an environmental and social impact as it can cause the death of vulnerable trees, which provide habitats for animals and are used in ammenity plantings such as parks and gardens.
In 2013 a new strain of banana freckle was found in the NT that infects a wide range of banana varieties. Banana freckle will have a serious impact on commercial banana production and backyard plants if it becomes established in Australia. We can eradicate banana freckle, but we need to act now before it becomes more established, starts to cause more damage and spreads more broadly across the Territory and Australia. For more information about the program visit the Banana Freckle website.
Cucumber Green Mottle Mosaic Virus (CGMMV) in the Northern Territory
The Cucumber Green Mottle Mosaic Virus (CGMMV) is a plant disease which until recently was exotic to Australia. The virus infects watermelon, cucumber, melons, zucchini, pumpkin, squash, bitter gourd, bottle gourd and some species of closely related weeds. For more information on CGMMV visit the CGMMV website.
Need some information on what to grow or how to grow it? Have a browse through our range of information sheets for some great tips and advice.
If you need help identifying an insect pest or want information on the damage it can cause visit the Department's Northern Territory Insects Database.
This field guide provides easy and quick access to text and images to assist with the identification of pests and disease symptoms in the field. The guide provides descriptions, life cycles and biology, monitoring and pest management. For more information or to download a copy please visit the website.