Banana Freckle
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Department of Primary Industry and Fisheries - Banana Freckle

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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

Getting the message out [ 19.12.2014 ]

The public should keep their eyes peeled for electronic variable message signs located roadside in and around Darwin.
The large signs are designed to remind people in the Darwin red zone about the National Banana Freckle Eradication Program.

The first sign is at Charles Darwin National Park for people entering Darwin along Tiger Brennan Drive.

A second sign is located on the inbound side of the Stuart Highway at Berry Springs, and the third will placed on the inbound side of the Arnhem Highway close to Window on the Wetlands.

Timber Creek welcomes surveillance staff [ 19.12.2014 ]

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 pest does not spread outside the red zones.

National Banana Freckle Eradication Program field staff conducted surveillance in the Timber Creek area recently. Eight properties in Timber Creek with banana plants were visited and there were no signs of Banana Freckle.

Field staff also visited four local Indigenous communities and no Banana Freckle was found.

National Banana Freckle Eradication Program staff send their thanks to residents, council and communities for their help, understanding and friendly welcome.

Anula Primary School joins Banana Freckle eradication effort [15.12.2014]

School holidays may have started, but there was still work happening at Anula Primary School this weekend. The destruction of banana plants in the six red zones of the Territory continued with work by Banana Freckle field teams in schools over the weekend. [read more]