12 September 2023

Biosecurity officers in the Torres Strait to inspect for exotic pests

| Sarah Martin
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DAF’s David East teaching disease assessment techniques to DAF’s Katelyn Ferro and local contractors on Boigu Island during surveillance for exotic banana diseases in the Torres Strait.

A team of biosecurity experts will join with local councils and rangers to hunt for exotic plant diseases across the Torres Strait this week.

Biosecurity Queensland officers are teaming up with Kaurareg Traditional Owners, Torres Shire Council and locals to inspect banana plants for pests and diseases across Thursday, Muralag, Horn and Kerriri islands, starting on 11 September.

Queensland Chief Biosecurity Officer Doctor Rachel Chay said the collaborative approach would help protect the environment and prevent the movement of damaging pests and diseases.

“We encourage locals to come and have a yarn with the team about simple ways to reduce banana leaf diseases and improve banana plant and fruit production,” Dr Chay said.

Dr Chay urged people not to move banana plants between islands or the mainland to prevent disease and pest spread.

“We need everyone to play their part in protecting the banana industry for locals and for all of Queensland,” she said.

Torres Strait residents are encouraged to book a free banana plant check by phoning Biosecurity Queensland on 13 25 23, and report unusual banana plant symptoms on the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries website.

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