New industry lead in future management of TR4

A new Industry Transition Leader has commenced building a framework for the future management of Panama TR4. 

Geoff Wilson was recently appointed to forge a pathway for industry to continue the control and containment of Panama TR4 beyond 2023. 

He joins the Australian Banana Growers’ Council team with a wealth of experience, including his most recent role, successfully transitioning an Australian public health program abroad and negotiating its ongoing management by international governments. 

As Program Manager of Monash University’s ‘Eliminate Dengue’ program, Geoff and his team virtually eliminated the virus from Far North Queensland. In 2018 he expanded the program’s global reach when it was renamed the ‘World Mosquito Program’, establishing it in Fiji, Vanuatu and Kiribati. Under Geoff’s supervision the program was transitioned to respective governments where they continue to deliver results to this day. 

ABGC Chief Executive, Jim Pekin said Geoff’s unique experience in managing the Oceania/Pacific part of World Mosquito Program would be an asset in developing the Panama TR4 Program’s future. 

“The Queensland Government and ABGC have entered into a Cost Sharing Deed until June 2023 and after that the TR4 Program is to be led by ABGC. So, Geoff’s role is to develop and then implement the transition of the Program to industry,” Mr Pekin said. “What the TR4 Program will look like after June 2023 will be dependent on what industry wants and where the disease has spread to by that stage.” 

Mr Wilson said he was enjoying the challenges of his new role so far. “I’m looking forward to the getting to know more about the industry and am already becoming aquainted with understanding what industry needs in managing Panama TR4,” he said. 

“I can see that everyone has done a remarkable job in containing the disease so far, so I’ll be looking at sustainable long-term solutions which will continue the Panama TR4 Program’s legacy with practical viability.” 

Prior to leading the Dengue program, Geoff worked in regulatory services with the Cassowary Coast Regional Council, as well as environmental management in state government. Coupled with his upbringing on a central Queensland cattle station, Geoff brings a unique skillset that he hopes will be beneficial in bridging the two worlds of industry and government. 

Geoff welcomes anyone who wishes to discuss the future management of Panama TR4 to contact him on 0418 644 068 or email