Banana Freckle
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Department of Primary Industry and Fisheries - Banana Freckle


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  • Bananas are Australia’s No. 1 selling fruit.

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National Banana Freckle Eradication Program

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.

The Territory only has a limited number of heavily infected sites. Red zones have been declared where banana freckle has been found. The green zone is the area that has no banana freckle.

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.

Banana freckle cannot be eradicated by fungicides, even when applied very frequently. The only way to eradicate banana freckle is to destroy all of the banana plants in the red zones, as the disease can only survive on live banana plants.

A national biosecurity response is underway to eradicate banana freckle from the Territory and Australia. This involves destroying all banana plants from the six red zones by April 2015.

No banana plants or fruit are taken out of the red zones to avoid spreading the disease. During the Eradication Program no banana plants or fruit can be moved out of the Northern Territory.

News and announcements

Banana Freckle community information night a success

Member for Goyder, Kezia Purick, held a community meeting at Taminmin College library to discuss Banana Freckle and listen to community members’ questions and concerns. A crowd of 50 people listened as Kevin Cooper, State Coordinator for the National Banana Freckle Eradication Program, presented background information about the program before answering questions.

Kevin fielded questions for more than an hour and several robust discussions were held.

The National Banana Freckle Eradication Program would like to thank Kezia Purick for organising the event, Taminmin College library for hosting the event, and all the members of the community that provided feedback and asked questions.

For more information about the program call the Hotline on 1800 771 163 or email banana@nt.gov.au

Background information and answers to commonly asked questions can be found in Frequently Asked Questions.

Banana Freckle Update

The Banana Freckle Eradication Program has completed surveillance on more than 37,000 properties in the Red Zones to identify the presence or absence of banana plants.

The Banana Freckle teams are working in these areas:

» Girraween » Malak » Lyons
» Gray » Moil » Larrakeyah
» Gunn » Rosebery » Durack
» Herbert » The Gardens » Zuccoli

Anyone who does not have any banana plants, or who has already destroyed their banana plants, can notify the Banana Freckle Hotline on 1800 771 163.

An interview with Kevin Cooper, State Coordinator

City of Palmerston Deputy Lord Mayor Heather Malone chats with Kevin Cooper. View video on YouTube

Green Zone Surveillance Continues

Surveillance is being conducted in green zones around the Northern Territory to identify properties with bananas and to check for the presence of Banana Freckle - to ensure this serious plant disease does not spread outside Red Zones. [read more]

Saturday field team bookings start

To meet the target of complete destruction of banana plants in Red Zones by April 2015 the Banana Freckle Eradication Program is taking bookings for field teams to visit homes on Saturdays. [read more]