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Australia’s Northern Territory almost cleared of banana freckle

Australia’s Northern Territory is on the road to be declared clear of the banana freckle disease. Officers from the National Banana Freckle Eradication Program are currently undertaking the final round of banana plant inspections to ensure the Territory can be declared free of the disease.

Banana freckle was first detected in the Territory in 2013 and a $26 million response plan to eradicate the disease was agreed to in October 2014. The eradication program is currently in its final phase: assessment of proof of freedom.

Department of Primary Industry and Resources Chief Plant Health Officer Sarah Corcoran said the Territory is on track to prove banana freckle has finally been eradicated.

“To be sure that banana freckle has been completely eradicated, during this final phase of the eradication program inspections needed to be undertaken on more than 300 properties that were previously infected or that were in close proximity to infected areas. Those properties are currently being re-visited." further quoted her as saying: “Territorians should be extremely proud of what’s been achieved so far as part of one of the largest plant pest eradication programs ever attempted in Australia. However as the Northern Territory is still working towards being declared free of banana freckle, it is important to maintain good biosecurity practices and not to unnecessarily move or share banana plants.”

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