The Australian Banana Growers’ Council (ABGC) has today commenced destruction of banana plants on the Panama Tropical Race 4 infested property at Tully.
ABGC Chairman Doug Phillips said that all banana plants on the 340-acre farm would be destroyed.
“Banana weevil borers are also being destroyed at the same time, as the scientific advice is that they too are a risk in spreading the TR4 fungus.”
The ABGC appointed Phil Neibling as the farm manager for the property and he is working with field officer Louis Lardi and eight contractors on the destruction.
Mr Neibling is also organising security for the farm, including surveillance cameras and fencing. Pig-proof fencing will be erected around the entire boundary of the property.
Mr Phillips said the ABGC wanted to assure growers and the general community that the farm continued to be under strict quarantine and movement on and off the site is consequently highly restricted to only those who are essential personnel.
“Banana growers know that destruction of bananas and the security this farm is not a silver bullet solution.
“The ABGC continues to encourage growers, service providers and visitors to banana properties to be biosecurity conscious at all times,” he said.
“Growers know to continue to do what they can to protect their own farms, to be careful with planting material, to inspect for signs of TR4 and report any suspect plant.”