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Restrictions on moving banana plants

Friday 31 October

Banana plant movement restrictions are now in place in the Northern Territory to help stop the spread of banana freckle.

Kevin Cooper, State Coordinator for the National Banana Freckle Eradication Program, said six red zones have been established to eradicate banana freckle from the Northern Territory. Detailed maps of the red zones are available from www.dpif.nt.gov.au/bananafreckle

“We are asking residents not to move banana plants into or out of red zones. This will stop the spread of banana freckle into areas where it has not been detected,” Mr Cooper said.

“The only time a banana plant can be moved within a red zone is when it is being taken to your local tip in a red zone for disposal.

“These movement restrictions will remain in place until the NT is nationally recognised as being free of banana freckle,” Mr Cooper said.

Red zones are areas where banana freckle has been detected and where banana plants will be destroyed to stop the spread of the plant pest. Residents within red zones are being encouraged to destroy their own banana plants.

“All banana plants within red zones need to be destroyed to help eradicate banana freckle from the Northern Territory. If you live in a red zone, your banana plants will need to be destroyed before April 2015,” Mr Cooper said.

If you need assistance to destroy your banana plants call the Banana Freckle Hotline on 1800 771 163 or email banana@nt.gov.au and Program staff will arrange a time to assist you with the destruction of your banana plants.

“People in the Darwin and Palmerston area have already started destroying their banana plants.

“Banana plants can be cut down and taken to your local tip or left to decompose on site. Banana plants can be recycled and mulched into the garden. The stumps must be treated with a suitable commercially available herbicide in accordance with label instructions.

“Please call the Banana Freckle Hotline on 1800 771 163 or email banana@nt.gov.au to let us know your banana plants have been destroyed. This will help us to map which properties are now free from banana plants. 

“By eradicating banana freckle we are ensuring people in the NT can grow healthy bananas in the future,” Mr Cooper said.