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Digital meters to reduce spread of banana disease in Queensland

Staff Writer |
Digital meters will eliminate the need for meter readers to enter Panama disease-infested properties, thereby reducing the likelihood of its spread across Northern Queensland.

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The Queensland government has announced it is deploying Ergon Energy internet-connected meters in the state's northern region as a "significant" step towards helping local farmers minimise the spread of Panama disease, a fungus that affects the tissues of the banana plant.

Up to 600 meters will be installed in the Tully and Innisfail areas, where a majority of Australia's bananas are produced.

Due to Panama TR4 biosecurity concerns and strict quarantine measures, Ergon - a subsidiary of government-owned power company Energy Queensland Limited - made the decision to stop all entry of their contract meter readers onto farms and install digital meters that could be read remotely, Energy Minister Mark Bailey has said.

"Digital meters will avoid the need for meter readers to enter properties and therefore prevent the spread of the disease," the minister said in a statement.

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