Growers’ e-bulletin – 8 April, 2020


No images? Click here


8 April, 2020



New management board to oversee Panama TR4 Program

New Reef cropping regulations deferred

Backpackers and COVID-19

Cassowary Coast Banana Growers meeting cancelled



New management board to oversee Panama TR4 Program

The Panama TR4 Program will be overseen by a new joint government-industry management board.

The six-member board, comprising equal government and industry representatives, met last Friday for the first time via video-link due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The board will oversee the continued delivery and governance of the program until June 2023 and report back to growers on key decisions and project deliverables.

A detailed fact sheet and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) are available here 


New Reef cropping regulations deferred

The introduction of new state government regulations on new or expanded commercial cropping and horticulture activities in five Reef catchments has been deferred until 1 June 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Under the regulations, growers who want to plant new crops or expand existing plantations on land that is between five and 100 hectares or more have to show that the land has a cropping history (cropping for at least three of the last 10 years and at least one in the last five years). 

If the land does not meet the cropping history test, an environmental authority (permit) must be obtained before the activity or any work takes place. This permit will outline the steps growers must take when designing the new farm.

The new regulations apply to land in five Reef catchments, being Cape York, Wet Tropics, Burdekin, Mackay Whitsunday, Fitzroy and Burnett Mary.

While public consultation on the new regulations has been officially deferred until later in 2020, ABGC Reef Extension Officer Robert Mayers will be canvassing growers over the coming weeks to provide input into an ABGC submission about the new regulations.

This will allow the ABGC to continue to negotiate with the Queensland Government and deliver for growers a more practical outcome for new banana developments.

Any grower wishing to talk to Robert can email him at or on 0447 000 203.

More information about the regulation can be found here 


Backpackers and COVID-19

Current advice from government health authorities is that backpackers or temporary residents staying at a hostel are subject to home confinement, should only leave the premises for the permitted purposes and must observe social distancing. 

Backpackers and seasonal workers looking for harvest work should be directed to register on Harvest Trail here and not show up at farms without notice for the protection of themselves, the farm and other workers.


Cassowary Coast Banana Growers meeting cancelled

The Cassowary Coast Banana Growers’ Association (CCBGA) monthly meeting scheduled for tomorrow (Thurs, April 9) has been cancelled.

There will be no further CCBGA meetings until restrictions on public gatherings are lifted.



Contact Details
It is important that ABGC is advised if you know of growers who are not receiving these e-bulletins or the Australian Banana magazine. We may have out of date email or postal addresses for these growers. Please email any updated contact details to:

Also, it is important for membership purposes that growers advise ABGC if they change trading name or their agent (wholesaler) or add one, and also to let their agent know.