Western Australia has been declared free of citrus canker 18 months after the initial detection of the disease in the State, following an intensive State Government-led response operation.
Quarantine restrictions will tomorrow (November 22) be lifted for Kununurra and Wyndham, meaning citrus can again be moved freely throughout the area.
Citrus canker was first detected in May 2018 in imported citrus plants at two retail businesses at Kununurra and at one premise in Wyndham. The plants originated from the Northern Territory.
The State Government led a timely, co-ordinated and successful response and surveillance operation to protect the State’s $30 million citrus industry from this destructive disease and to provide evidence to prove freedom from the disease.
Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development staff visited more than 13,000 properties across northern WA, and removed 1,520 citrus plants.
The joint effort between the State Government; the Kununurra, Wyndham and surrounding northern communities; contractors and the citrus industry to tackle this disease was the key to achieving this result for WA.
Restrictions still remain in place for imports of citrus plants and material from the Northern Territory as they work towards area freedom.
As stated by Agriculture and Food Minister Alannah MacTiernan:
“This is fantastic news for our State’s citrus growers: and for people living in our northern communities now able to enjoy citrus without any restrictions.
“To achieve this result in such a relatively short time is credit to everyone involved, including the department’s extensive surveillance effort right across the north.
“We thank the residents of Kununurra and Wyndham and surrounding northern communities, all the local contractors and businesses and our citrus industry for their co-operation and support of the response and surveillance operation.”