Panama TR4 Program Management Board

Biosecurity Queensland and the Australian Banana Growers’ Council (ABGC) have worked together to manage Panama disease tropical race 4 (Panama TR4) since the disease was first detected in Queensland in 2015.

In April 2020, this collaboration progressed to form the Panama TR4 Program Management Board (the Board) to jointly fund, govern and deliver the Panama TR4 Program (Program) until 2023.

With equal government and industry representation, the Board gives the banana industry an opportunity to make key decisions on the future management of the disease, and to ensure the Program continues to be effective and efficient.

The Board comprises of:

  • Chair, Malcolm Letts, Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF), Deputy Director-General and Chief Biosecurity Officer
  • Stephen Lowe, ABGC Chair and Tully grower
  • Andrew Serra, ABGC Board Member and Tableland grower
  • Jim Pekin, ABGC Chief Executive Officer
  • Mike Ashton, DAF General Manager and Chief Plant Protection Officer, Plant Biosecurity and Product Integrity
  • Lynne Turner, DAF, General Manager, Horticulture and Forestry Science

In 2019, the Queensland Government committed a further $12.089 million from 1 January 2019 to 30 June 2023 to control and contain Panama TR4 in the Far North Queensland banana production areas. The ABGC has committed to share in the funding of the Program through grower levies at the following level of contribution:

  • 2019/20 – 10%
  • 2020/21 – 25%
  • 2021/22 – 40%
  • 2022/23 – 50%

The Board will meet quarterly and is committed to keep the banana industry informed on key decisions and Program deliverables.  Growers will have an opportunity to provide input to the Board through their ABGC representative.

The Board will provide:

  • A quarterly snapshot report via ABGC e-bulletins and Panama TR4 Program updates and AGBC and DAF websites
  • A yearly update in the Australian Bananas magazine
  • A dedicated page on the ABGC website including information on Board members, Board purpose, timeframes and deliverables

Below are the Board quarterly snapshot reports:

Inaugural meeting – Friday 3 April 2020 (PDF, 226.3KB)