North Queensland banana growers are warning holiday makers to stay off their farms with an influx of tourists expected in North Queensland. They are concerned that travellers pulling up for a photo opportunity may breach bio-security measures and unwittingly spread Panama disease tropical race 4 through the region.
Biosecurity Queensland and the Australian Banana Growers' Council has launched an awareness campaign with growers participating in a series of videos to educate the public about the importance of protecting farms.
According to Biosecurity Queensland's Panama TR4 program leader Rhiannon Evans, the videos were in response to grower demand for greater community awareness: "What someone may think is a harmless photo opportunity or a nice place to pull up at a banana farm could be the catalyst to spreading pests and disease on that property. The North Queensland community relies on the banana industry for economic stability, so we all need to understand our role in protecting our farms from Panama TR4 and spread the word that it's not okay to go onto a banana farm without permission."
Photo source: Dreamstime.com