Movement control and quarantine measures will remain in place until we have succesfully eradicated Banana Freckle.
In accordance with the NT Plant Health Act, movement of banana plants, suckers and fruit into and out of six identified Banana Freckle Red Zones/ Quarantine Zones is not permitted without a permit.
Banana Freckle is a disease caused by a fungus (Phyllosticta cavendishii) which infects the leaves and fruits of all varieties of bananas. In 2013 Banana Freckle was found in different varieties of banana plants across the Top End of the Northern Territory. Under the National Banana Freckle Eradication Program, $26 million has been allocated to help eradicate Banana Freckle from the Territory by 2017.
If Banana Freckle spreads it will be seriously damaging for backyard and commercial growers.
Banana Freckle only survives on living banana plants. With the destruction of all banana plants in the Red Zones in the Top End the fungus cannot survive. The use of fungicides is expensive and does not eradicate Banana Freckle.
Phase Three of the National Banana Freckle Eradication Program involves the Sentinel Planting from 1 May 2016 to 30 April 2017.
Community support for Phase Three is vital to ensure the NT can be declared free of Banana Freckle and backyard and commercial growers can grow healthy bananas in the future.
Evidence collected during Phase Three will be used to show Banana Freckle has been eradicated from the NT.
The National Banana Freckle Eradication Program has reached another major milestone, with all banana plant regrowth removed from within the six Red Zones across the Top End.
Minister for Primary Industry and Fisheries Willem Westra van Holthe applauded Territorians for their ongoing commitment to eradicating Banana Freckle.
“Inspectors have carried out re-growth checks at around 9,500 properties across the Red Zones and the support from the community has been overwhelmingly positive,” Minister Westra van Holthe said.
The National Banana Freckle Eradication Program is making good progress to eradicate the new strain of Banana Freckle.
Red Zones must now be free of banana material for six months including a wet season because Banana Freckle survives on banana material and disappears once all banana material decomposes. The banana plant free period runs from 1 November 2015 – 30 April 2016.
Two lucky school students have won prizes for correctly guessing the answers to the National Banana Freckle Eradication Program students' cartoon competition.
Jack Thomas aged 12 from Malak, and Harry Jennings aged 13 from Berry Springs each won a voucher worth $150.
The Australian Banana Growers Council (ABGC) has thanked Territorians for their efforts in protecting the national and local industry from the devastating impacts of Banana Freckle.