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Australian Ag Minister: Banana disease can't be eradicated

Staff Writer | July 22, 2017
The devastating Panama disease found on a north Queensland banana farm cannot be eradicated, state Agriculture Minister Bill Byrne says.
Bill Byrne
Australia   Panama disease
Speaking during a budget estimates hearing about the Government’s response to the disease after it was discovered on a Tully Valley farm this month, Mr Byrne said the disease could not be wiped out.

“It is important that the committee appreciate that Panama tropical race 4 is considered to be not technically feasible for eradication and as such there are no national cost-sharing arrangements,” he said today.

A Cavendish banana farm near the property that was first infected in Tully in 2015 tested positive for the disease this month.

Mr Byrne said further tests on the property, one of the largest banana producers in the country, were being undertaken and were expected to take weeks.

He said biosecurity measures were in place before the testing and would therefore limit the impact on trade.