Growers’ e-bulletin – 17 February, 2022

17 February, 2022


Discussion paper prepares growers for ABGC’s new TR4 program 

TR4 Program seeks feedback on new website and e-learning trial

Grower feedback sought on compliance visits

New Australian Bananas campaign live

Managing footwear on-farm

Discussion paper prepares growers for ABGC’s new TR4 program

In June 2023, the Queensland Government’s $42m funding to control and contain Panama TR4 will finish.  This means the Panama TR4 Program will change hands from Biosecurity Queensland to ABGC, with a transition to industry process currently under way. 

What does this mean to you?

·       Currently, growers are required to fund 100% of the TR4 Program’s delivery through the Banana Plant Health Australia (PHA) Levy ($1.6m in total) from July 2023.

·       The current operating budget of the TR4 Program is $4m which means ABGC is changing the size, structure and priorities of the new program. 

·       These changes will impact TR4 surveillance and diagnostics as well as compliance on infested properties.

·       A banana biosecurity Code of Practice is being considered as a tool for industry to self-regulate the spread of TR4.

The ABGC has published a Discussion Paper for growers to understand more about the transition.  All growers are encouraged to read the paper and offer feedback directly to ABGC’s TR4 Industry Transition Leader, Geoff Wilson by calling 0418 644 068 or email

To arrange a hard copy of the discussion paper to be mailed please email 

TR4 Program seeks feedback on new website and e-learning trial

The Panama TR4 Program is seeking efficiencies in the way it delivers communications and engagement.  A trial of digital communications has started with a new website which features a dashboard of the disease situation, information resources for disease management (including a grower kit) as well as the option to book an on-farm extension visit.

Within the site is the first of several e-learning modules which are designed to replace the Program’s in-person education sessions. 

Panama TR4 Protect: E-learning for service providers is the first of four short courses and offers interactive learning to all businesses who work on or around banana farms.

Visit the new website and send your comments by email to

Trial the e-learning and leave your comments in the form at the end of the course.

Grower feedback sought on compliance visits

Environmental regulations covering the banana industry came into effect on 1 December, 2020. 

Department of Environment and Science compliance officers have been conducting audits of banana farms and growers’ records for the last six months.  

ABGC is seeking feedback from growers who have been audited to determine if the ABGC BMP team can help other growers better prepare for the audit process. 

The department is also keen to hear from growers on ways they can improve their audit process. 

Growers can call Michelle McKinlay, Industry Strategy Manager, ABGC, on 0427 987 499 to share an audit experience.

New Australian Bananas campaign live

The new Australian Bananas advertising campaign is live across television, social media, public relations, radio and out-of-home (in store panels). 

The campaign aims to drive frequency of consumption, through capturing the range of activities bananas fuel in an enjoyable day. 

See the television ad here

Managing footwear on-farm

It only takes one dirty shoe to introduce infected soil and/or plant material onto your farm. 

Putting into place practices to manage footwear can be simple and affordable. 

For inspiration, check out the 18 different pictures of grower’s footwear exchanges and footbaths on the Better Bananas website 

If you are looking for more ideas and would like one of the National Banana Development & Extension team to come and chat about your on-farm biosecurity, don’t hesitate to get in touch on 07 4220 4152 or

The Better Bananas website has been developed as part of the National Banana Development and Extension Program (BA19004) which is funded by Hort Innovation, using the banana research and development levy, co-investment from the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries and contributions from the Australian Government. Hort Innovation is the grower-owned, not-for-profit research and development corporation for Australian horticulture