What the Queensland Government is doing

The Queensland Government has invested almost $42 million in the fight against Panama TR4.

The Panama TR4 Program (Program) works closely with growers and the Australian Banana Growers' Council (ABGC) to control and contain the disease through surveillance, compliance, communication and education.

In April 2020, a government and industry Panama TR4 Program Management Board (the Board) was established to jointly fund, deliver and govern the Panama TR4 Program (Program) until 2023. The Board, made up of equal government and industry representation, will make key decisions on the future management of the disease and ensure the Program continues to be effective and efficient.

Surveillance

We continue to undertake scheduled surveillance on the infested properties and farms across Far North Queensland. Find out more about how often commercial banana farms receive surveillance and why it is important.

Surveillance remains a key priority of the Panama TR4 response because the only way to control and contain the disease is through:

  • early detection
  • rapid destruction
  • on-farm restrictions.

We are encouraging growers to regularly check their own plants for signs of Panama TR4 to extend their farm viability by providing a:

Compliance

The Panama TR4 Program provides education and awareness activities, and communication and training to actively engage and support stakeholders to meet their statutory obligations in relation to the management of the disease.

Inspections and audits are also undertaken to ensure infested and suspect properties are operating in accordance with their requirements and, where necessary, to ensure the broader adoption of statutory requirements under the Act and subordinate legislation.

Read how the Program is doing this through its Compliance Strategy.

On-farm biosecurity

We continue to visit growers to talk through individual biosecurity requirements for preparing and protecting farms against Panama TR4.

Protecting your farm against Panama TR4 also protects the whole industry.

Growers who prepare for Panama TR4 by putting in place strong biosecurity measures will be best placed to resume trading quickly if the disease is detected.

On-farm biosecurity measures have broader long-term benefits for growers and the industry beyond Panama TR4.

We work with growers so they can develop biosecurity practices and processes that work best for their farm. You can request a farm visit through the Panama TR4 Program on (07) 4091 8140 or panamatr4@daf.qld.gov.au.

We provide a grower kit with more information about on-farm biosecurity, and the on-farm biosecurity checklist to get a better understanding of how to protect your farm.

Managing Panama TR4 for the future

A shared approach

Biosecurity Queensland and the Australian Banana Growers’ Council (ABGC) have worked together to manage Panama TR4 since the first detection in Queensland in 2015. In April 2020, a government and industry Panama TR4 Program Management Board (the Board) was established to jointly fund, deliver and govern the Panama TR4 Program (Program) until 2023. The Board, made up of equal government and industry representation, will make key decisions on the future management of the Program and ensure the Program continues to run efficiently.

In April 2020, a government and industry Panama TR4 Program Management Board (the Board) was established to jointly fund, deliver and govern the Panama TR4 Program (Program) until 2023. The Board, made up of equal government and industry representation, will make key decisions on the future management of the disease and ensure the Program continues to run effectively and efficiently.

Two working groups have been established by the Board to integrate industry into decision making, and an Industry Transition Leader (ITL) has been recruited to start modelling the management of Panama TR4 beyond July 2023. Growers are encouraged to have their say about the future management of Panama TR4 by contacting the ITL, Geoff Wilson, on 0418 644 068 or geoff@abgc.org.au.The Board is committed to keeping the banana industry informed on Board outcomes and growers will have the opportunity to provide input into the Board through their ABGC representative. For further information on the Board, please visit Panama TR4 Program Management Board.

The Queensland Government will continue to support the banana industry beyond 1 July 2023 through ongoing extension activities, research into soil health, and research into Panama TR4 resistant varieties. Continued diagnostic services on a fee for service basis will also be available.

In February 2021, the Panama TR4 Program Management Board commissioned an independent review to examine patterns of spread of Panama TR4 in Far North Queensland, and whether existing control and containment strategies were sufficient. The review generated key actions for government, industry and growers, including recommended areas of research that will inform how the disease may be managed by industry from July 2023. Read the response to the review from the Chair of the Panama TR4 Program Management Board.