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Permit may be required for transporting banana items within Queensland

Staff Writer |
Biosecurity Queensland is reminding anyone who moves banana related items within Queensland and interstate that they may need a biosecurity certificate or permit.

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Panama TR4 acting Program Leader, Rhiannon Evans, said that plant movement restrictions and biosecurity certification protects the industry from pests and diseases and prevents the spread of biosecurity threats such as Panama disease tropical race 4.

“As Panama disease tropical race 4 is not eradicable, control and containment is the best way of protecting the industry from the impacts of the disease.

“If you transport soil that is from a place where banana plants have been growing or machinery that has been in contact with banana plants, you will be expected to check whether the transportation could spread diseases or pests. If it could, you will be expected to manage this appropriately to meet your general biosecurity obligation,” Evans said.

“Highway signs have been erected throughout the northern region to raise awareness about movement restrictions on banana related items, and to remind the community and members of the banana industry not to transport plants, machinery or soil without approval.

“We urge the public to take notice and abide by the movement restrictions to reduce the risk of spreading this potentially devastating disease,” Evans added.

Evans said that any material that presents a biosecurity risk must be suitably sourced, treated and packed before a biosecurity certificate can be issued.

“Certification means that the risk material meets the requirements outlined in the Queensland Biosecurity Manual. Additional requirements may also be needed to meet interstate plant quarantine entry restrictions.

“Certificates can be issued by a Biosecurity Queensland inspector or by an accredited certifier. Fees may apply in some cases.

“If the banana related item is being moved for research purposes, it is possible to apply for a biosecurity instrument permit, which does not attract a fee.

“Queensland has four biosecurity zones that restrict the movement of banana related items and individuals and organisations must comply with the movement restrictions in, out and within these zones. The prescribed requirements for the biosecurity zones are outlined in the biosecurity manual.”

Evans said it is best to refer to the relevant information in the biosecurity manual as different restrictions apply to different biosecurity zones and on the risk material that is being moved.

“For example, banana plants can be moved into or out of the northern banana biosecurity zone if they are produced and consigned under a scheme for disease-free planting material (Quality Banana Approved Nursery), otherwise a certificate must be obtained for the movement.

“Other states and territories have movement restrictions and specific requirements for plants, plant products and related items.

“Growers who supply bananas, other fresh banana products or banana plants to interstate markets should check the entry requirements for the destination market with the relevant plant quarantine authority as these requirements can change at short notice."

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