The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development is working with banana growers in Kununurra and Carnarvon to help Western Australia to remain free of banana freckle. DPIRD chief plant biosecurity officer Sonya Broughton said general surveillance for a range of pests and diseases was routinely carried out on plantations in WA: “While there has been no sign of banana freckle as part of general surveillance, we are checking properties with bananas in Kununurra and Carnarvon as a precaution."
"We will incorporate future banana freckle checks into our routine surveillance program because early detection enables us to respond effectively for our industry. We encourage commercial growers and home gardeners with banana plants to check them for signs of banana freckle and report any unusual symptoms.”
Banana freckle is caused by the fungus Phyllosticta cavendishii. The fungus decreases plant productivity by reducing the amount of healthy leaf area and affects fruit quality and appearance. This makes the fruit less marketable, even though it is still safe to eat.