The Queensland government provided A$400,000 to the Australian Banana Growers’ Council (ABGC) to assist the industry body in its buyout of the Panama TR4 infected banana farm in Far North Queensland.
ABGC bought the farm last year after two unsuccessful bids, with a national levy ballot to fund the containment of the infected farm.
“Since the disease was first detected the government has spent over A$22m on the response and ongoing Panama TR4 programme and committed nearly 40 staff to the Program to work with growers and the community,” Queensland agriculture minister Bill Byrne said.
“We committed A$7.3m including A$5.2m in new funding in the 2016/17 budget to be spent on continuing to contain the infestation, conducting surveillance to determine the extent of the outbreak, and undertaking research to assist industry manage the longer term impacts of the disease.
Surveillance of Queensland’s banan farms will continue, with the government stating it was committed to ensuring that TR4 would not spread further.
“The threat has been with us since the disease was first confirmed in March 2015 and although there have been no further confirmed detections outside the one property, growers understand they will face a challenging future operating in the presence of Panama disease [TR4] for many years to come,” Byrne said.