People entering North Queensland banana farms without permission are again being warned they not only risk a significant fine or jail time, but also put the region’s multi-million-dollar banana industry in jeopardy.
The Australian Banana Growers’ Council (ABGC) has reiterated concerns over illegal entry after receiving recent reports of people trespassing onto farms, in some cases entering on motorbikes and quads.
Growers have strict biosecurity measures in place to prevent the spread of soil-borne fungus Panama Tropical Race 4, as well as other diseases.
ABGC Chair Stephen Lowe said one tiny speck of contaminated soil on a shoe or vehicle could be enough to carry the infection.
“It may seem like a bit of harmless fun, but the reality is you may severely affect someone’s livelihood – and the industry as a whole.
“Far North Queensland produces 94 per cent of Australia’s bananas. The industry is part of the landscape and local communities – everyone knows someone who works on a farm.
“We know that the majority of residents respect farm biosecurity, and for that we are grateful.
“At the end of the day, it’s simple. If you don’t get permission, don’t enter. The potential consequences aren’t worth it – both personally and to one of the region’s biggest industries.”
If you do need to enter a banana farm, please contact the owner first and follow their biosecurity protocols.
Anyone who witnesses trespassing should contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
Under Queensland Law, trespassing onto private land can result in a fine or even jail time.
The Biosecurity Act 2014 states that individuals and organisations must take all reasonable steps to ensure they do not spread a pest, disease or contaminant.
For more information on Panama TR4: