Growers' e-bulletin - 30 August, 2023

Growers’ e-bulletin – 30 August, 2023


ABGC Board Updates

TR4: BQ consent letter coming

Support a good cause with signed Slater merch

NSW Roadshows next week!

Be part of National Banana Day

Have your say on biosecurity protection levy

In the news

BOM updates

banana divider
ABGC Board Update

TR4, Supply Chain Engagement & Director Nominations

ABGC Directors and senior staff held their quarterly Board meeting at Lakeland last week (24-25 August).

Key industry issues discussed included:

TR4 transition

With the ABGC taking over full management of the TR4 Control Program on 30 June, some key communications material will be mailed to growers over coming weeks.

Most significantly will be a grower ‘consent’ document, which the ABGC will require all growers to sign and return allowing for information from the previous BQ-run TR4 program to be transferred to the ABGC (read more below.)

This letter was sent to Tully growers on Friday and will be sent to all other North Queensland growers soon.

All NQ growers will also receive a hard copy of the Code of Practice. Those growers in this region are asked to keep an eye on your mailboxes. If you don’t receive either of these documents in coming weeks, please contact TR4 Control Program Leader Geoff Wilson at

Supply Engagement update

Supply Chain Engagement Manager Andrew Burns provided an update on his project activities, including the instore merchandising program being run in Coles and Woolworths stores nationally, and featured in the August edition of the Australian Bananas magazine.

While the merchandising/training project has now entered its third quarter, Andrew also has been researching alternative banana display options found in stores on home soil and globally. 

\Unique display options may assist with product availability and improved stock holdings and will be investigated further. Potential options will be considered when the national merchandising program is evaluated on its completion.

Pictured: Examples of hanging display options utilising unused air space and displaying ‘unmissable’ bananas.

AGM and call for Director nominations

The Board’s Annual General Meeting will be held at the South Johnstone Research Station on 15 November.

Two Director positions will be up for election at the AGM. The ABGC welcomes nominations for these positions. Nominations will close 18 October at 5pm.

TR4 Control Program Update 

Important BQ consent letter arriving in your mailbox 

As mentioned in the ABGC Board update above, to commence surveillance under the new TR4 Control Program, the ABGC require growers to supply a signed informed consent form to Biosecurity Queensland (BQ).  


This consent form enables data captured by our experienced surveillance team, to be shared between ABGC and BQ. This consent is critical to the continued containment and management of TR4, and protection to the wider industry. 


Please return the completed form (either printed, scanned or photo format) to or in the postage paid envelope provided, as soon as possible

The mail out from BQ is staged, so some areas will be receiving the letter in the coming weeks. 


If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Program Manager, Geoff Wilson on 0418 644 068 or  

Support a good cause and kick Father’s Day goals

Further information:

SILENT AUCTION: The signed merchandise will go to the highest bidder (in either DMs or email) as at 12pm, Friday 1 September. The winner will be alerted via their chosen bidding method, so please keep an eye on your inbox. If payment is not confirmed within 24 hours, the next highest bidder will be contacted, and so on.

RAFFLE: To purchase your $5 raffle ticket, simply transfer your payment to the ABGC bank account below, being sure to make the description: Raffle YourName (for example, Raffle BennyBanana). Please screenshot your receipt and send via DM on Facebook, or to You can confirm at this time the name that you want the ticket/s under. The raffle winner will be randomly drawn on 1 September 2023 and alerted via DM or email (whichever method you use to send your receipt).

A special thank you to Billy Slater for donating these items. Billy’s ongoing support of this industry is greatly appreciated!

NSW Roadshows next week!

There’s just one week until the Mini Banana Roadshows kick off in New South Wales, with Coffs Harbour first up on 5 September, followed by Murwillumbah on 7 September.

Hosted by the National Banana Development and Extension Program, the roadshows will cover the latest research relevant to subtropical growing conditions. Topics include banana weevil borer management, chemical resistance fundamentals, pre-commercialisation trials and mite management.

Coffs Harbour – Tuesday 5 September, Park Beach Bowls Club, 12pm-4pm

Murwillumbah – Thursday 7 September, Murwillumbah Services Club, 12pm-4pm

The Roadshows kick off with lunch at 12pm. RSVP is essential for catering. To RSVP or to find out more, please contact Steven Norman ( or 0432 680 532) or Tegan Cavallaro ( or 0459 846 053).

NSW growers should have received an email with further details (including the full agenda). If you missed it, you can check it out here:

Deadline extended: still time to relay for National Banana Day

Australian Bananas has enlisted Olympian Jana Pittman to lead the charge and make bodies right across the country sing. Banana lovers will be asked to grab their favourite fruit and film themselves being active (think skipping, dancing or running), before passing the banana ‘baton’ left or right. Participants will be encouraged to share the footage on social media, using #bananadayrelay for friends, family and followers to join in.

As part of the launch, and to inspire others to get involved, Australian Bananas wants to create a short two-minute video to show how growers are getting involved, alongside Jana Pittman.

THE ASK: Record video content of you holding a banana and being active any way you choose – it could be in the packing shed or the paddock, or it could be your favourite form of exercise (from footy to hula hooping, whatever floats your boat!) Then simply pass the banana off to your left or right side.

More details, including examples, are available online: click here

Consultation on biosecurity protection levy

The 2023-24 Federal Budget announced new, long-term funding for biosecurity, which ABGC welcomed. However, the funding will be partly secured through a new levy on growers, from 1 July 2024.

As banana growers already contribute to biosecurity specific activities through levies, the ABGC firmly believes this is slogging growers twice – at a time when no one can afford it.

While the ABGC will be advocating on behalf of industry on this issue, growers are also welcome to have their say here:

Growers can contact ABGC with their views via, or for members, via ABGC will reach out to members in due course to ensure their views are part of the ABGC position.  

In the news

Sweeter Banana Co-Operative business manager, Doriana Mangili, shared her concerns about visa policy changes and their impact on farm workers with the ABC recently.

You can read the story by clicking here. Ms Mangili is also an ABGC director.

BOM updates

From 26 September 2023, a Tropical cyclone 7-day forecast replaces 3-day outlooks. Seasonal outlooks for each of the Australian regions will also no longer be available. National and South Pacific seasonal outlooks will continue. 

You can send questions or feedback to and visit the Bureau of Meteorology website for more details.

As FNQ growers may have noticed, the Cairns radar update is also now complete.