Banana freckle in the Territory
Movement control and quarantine measures will remain in place until we have succesfully eradicated banana freckle.
In accordance with the NT Plant Health Act, movement of banana plants, suckers and fruit into and out of six identified Banana Freckle Red Zones/ Quarantine Zones is not permitted without a permit.
Banana freckle is a disease caused by a fungus (Phyllosticta cavendishii) which infects the leaves and fruits of all varieties of bananas. In 2013, banana freckle was found in different varieties of banana plants across the Top End of the Northern Territory. Under the National Banana Freckle Eradication Program, $26 million has been allocated to help eradicate banana freckle from the Territory by 2017.
Eradicating banana freckle means Australians can grow and eat clean and healthy bananas in the future. Bananas are one of Australia’s most popular fruits, and the banana industry employs thousands of people around Australia.
If banana freckle spreads it will be seriously damaging for backyard and commercial growers.
Banana freckle only survives on living banana plants. With the destruction of all banana plants in the Red Zones in the Top End the fungus cannot survive. The use of fungicides is expensive and does not eradicate banana freckle.
Phase Three of the National Banana Freckle Eradication Program involves the Sentinel Planting from 1 May 2016 to 30 April 2017.
Community support for Phase Three is vital to ensure the NT can be declared free of banana freckle and backyard and commercial growers can grow healthy bananas in the future.
Evidence collected during Phase Three will be used to show banana freckle has been eradicated from the NT.