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Matthew Jones



Tuesday 24th March 2015, 03:38 Melbourne

No reprieve for Queensland growers

Negative test samples no cause for banana growers in northern Australian state

No reprieve for Queensland growers

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Banana growers in Northern Queensland remain on high alert, despite test results finding no additional traces of the banana-plant fungus Panama Tropical Race 4 (TR4) within the region.

“The test results are encouraging but the banana industry must keep containment measures as its top priority,” said Australian Banana Growers’ Council (ABGC) chief executive officer Jim Pekin.

The results of the high-level biological laboratory test, known as a VCG test, were released by Biosecurity Queensland (BQ) and again confirmed TR4 is present on part of a banana farm in the Tully Valley, which is currently under strict quarantine. Other testing on additional samples from the quarantined property, along with neighbouring properties, have all come back negative.

“The North Queensland banana growing communities are determined to do everything possible to contain this disease by increasing on-farm biosecurity measures,” Pekin explained. “ABGC is urging growers to report to Biosecurity Queensland any banana plants that could be exhibiting symptoms of TR4.”

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