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Current PanamaTR4 situation

Infested properties

Three commercial banana farms in the Tully Valley in Far North Queensland are confirmed with Panama disease tropical race 4 (Panama TR4)

The first infested farm was purchased by the Australian Banana Growers’ Council (ABGC) in October 2016 under an industry levy with additional Commonwealth funding and the farm was closed down.

Biosecurity Queensland continues to work with the business owners of the two operating farms to meet their on-going biosecurity obligations and reduce the risk of the disease spreading.

Timeline of events

  • 3 March 2015, Panama TR4 was detected in Cavendish banana plants on a farm in the Tully Valley, Far North Queensland
  • 01 July 2016, the Biosecurity Act 2014 came into effect. Under the new legislation, restrictions continue to apply to infested properties and properties suspected of having Panama TR4.
  • 26 July 2017, a second property was confirmed with Panama TR4
  • 08 February 2018, a third property was confirmed with Panama TR4
  • 20 July 2018, an additional infected plant found on one of the banana farms already confirmed as having the disease

Be #PanamaTR4 ready

We all need to work together to protect our banana farms and our communities.

  • Banana grower
  • Banana farm worker
  • Community member
  • Service provider

Visit the Panama TR4 ready website for information about preparing for Panama TR4.

Being Panama TR4 ready can be as simple as:

  • having effective biosecurity measures in place
  • not entering a banana farm without permission
  • coming clean and leaving clean from farms
  • reporting sick plants to 13 25 23.

For more information contact the Panama TR4 Program on 07 4091 8140 or email panamatr4@daf.qld.gov.au.

What the Queensland Government is doing

The Queensland Government wants our growers to keep selling bananas. That’s why we’re working with Australian Banana Growers’ Council, banana growers and the community to raise awareness of the disease and mitigate the risk of disease spread as much as possible.

Panama TR4 is a challenging disease to manage. It’s easily spread and can survive dormant in the soil for decades.

There is no cure. Only prevention.

Early detection through regular surveillance and good on-farm biosecurity are the most effective ways to protect banana farms from the spread of Panama TR4.

Surveillance

We continue to undertake scheduled surveillance on the infested farms and farms across Far North Queensland. Learn more about our Panama TR4 surveillance.

Growers who regularly check their own plants for signs of Panama TR4, may extend their farm viability. Learn how to check your plants for Panama TR4. Contact the Panama TR4 Program for a Panama TR4 disease identification guide on 07 4091 8140 or email panamatr4@daf.qld.gov.au.

On-farm biosecurity

We’ve been visiting growers, talking through their requirements about preparing and/or protecting their farms from Panama TR4.

By putting in place strong biosecurity measures, growers can resume trading quickly if the disease is detected on their property.

We can help you to develop practices and processes that work best on your farm. If you’d like us to visit your farm contact the Panama TR4 Program on (07) 4091 8140 or panamatr4@daf.qld.gov.au.

The grower kit has more information about on-farm biosecurity.

Rate your Panama TR4 readiness with the on-farm biosecurity checklist.

If you suspect Panama TR4 in banana plants report them immediately to Biosecurity Queensland on 13 25 23.

Keep up to date with Panama TR4 in Far North Queensland by subscribing to our newsletters and alerts.

Report finds Panama TR4 is being well contained

An independent review has backed the approach taken by Biosecurity Queensland to contain Panama TR4 in Far North Queensland.

ACIL Allen Consulting was engaged earlier this year to undertake a whole of program review to inform the scope and direction of the Panama TR4 Program.

The review of the Panama TR4 Program control and containment strategy for Panama disease tropical race 4 in Queensland has found that the joint approach taken by government, industry, growers and other key stakeholders has been successful in containing the impact of the disease.

The review recommends that the Panama TR4 Program continue, and that a partnership with shared responsibility between government and industry be established.

The report is under consideration by the Queensland Government and the Program team is in the early stages of working with the Australian Banana Growers’ Council to develop a collaborative agreement.

Download the full report here and the key findings and recommendations are outlined in the Executive Summary on page i.