Growers’ e-bulletin – 15 April, 2020


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15 April, 2020



New era for Panama TR4 Program

ABGC Reef Extension Team available

TR4 research in the spotlight



New era for Panama TR4 Program

A new management board to oversee the Panama TR4 Program in Queensland until 2023 has met for the first time.

The Panama TR4 Program Management Board (the Board) will oversee the continued delivery and governance of the program, which is being jointly funded by ABGC and the Queensland Government until 2023.

Read a snapshot of the outcomes from the first meeting here

Queensland Agriculture Minister Mark Furner issued a joint media statement today about the new board. Read it here

ABGC Director and Board member Andrew Serra said the ABGC had secured the support of banana growers to proceed with the jointly funded and delivered model to ensure the best possible protection to the national banana industry.

“Panama TR4 remains one of the greatest, if not the greatest, challenge facing our industry,” Mr Serra said. 

“The collaborative efforts of growers, government and researchers have been able to limit the spread of this disease since 2015, but the work needs to continue to protect the livelihood of our growers and the wider industry.

“I encourage all growers to take the opportunity to provide input to the Board through their ABGC representatives, when necessary.”

The table below outlines the financial contribution from the banana industry, via the Plant Health Australia levy and the Queensland Government to fund the program from 2019/2020 to 2023.

 A fact sheet and FAQs on the Board are available here


ABGC Reef Extension Team available

In-line with COVID-19 restrictions, all South Johnstone based ABGC staff are now working from home.

However, the Best Management Practice (BMP) Team are still available to support you to:

  • complete or update your BMP questionnaire
  • answer any questions about the new Reef Regulations and what you might need to do to meet them
  • assist you to apply for a grant to meet the Reef Regulations or improve nutrient/sediment loss from your farm. Eligible grant applications may include sediment basins, contour banks, waterways/drainage upgrades, constructed wetlands and project to minimise nutrient loss.

The team is using a range of ways to connect with growers including telephone, email and Zoom meetings.  If necessary, the team is available to do one-on-one farm visits with growers under strict hygiene and social distancing protocols.

The team can be contacted at:

Robert on 0447 000 203 or

Robyn on 0418 692 449 or


TR4 research in the spotlight

Research work to find TR4 resistant bananas featured on ABC’s Catalyst program last night (Tues, April 14). 

Tully banana grower Cameron Mackay featured in the episode, along with Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries scientists Jeff Daniells and Stewart Lindsay, from the South Johnstone Research Station.

The segment on bananas was part of a series called, How Food Works.

See the promotional video here

Repeats of the Catalyst episodes can be viewed on ABC Iview.


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.