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Monday, 30 March 1987
Page: 1749

(Question No. 5039)

Mr Andrew asked the Minister for Primary Industry, upon notice, on 17 February 1987:

(1) Which States have recorded recent outbreaks of (a) chrysanthemum white rust, (b) potato nematode, (c) mango-bud mite and (d) boysenberry decline.

(2) How many outbreaks of these diseases have been recorded.

(3) How long has each outbreak lasted.

(4) What measures have been taken to eradicate these diseases.

(5) What action does he plan to take to overcome any deficiencies in plant quarantine administration.

Mr Kerin —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1) Recent outbreaks of the diseases referred to by the honourable member have been recorded from the following States

(a) chrysanthemum white rust: New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia, Western Australia, Queensland and the Australian Capital Territory

(b) potato cyst nematode: Western Australia

(c) mango-bud mite: Queensland and Northern Territory

(d) boysenberry decline: the disease has not been detected in any Australian State.

(2) There have been no previously recorded outbreaks of these organisms in Australia.

(3) Mango-bud mite was reported for the first time during 1982 and is now established in Queensland and Northern Territory and is not considered feasible to eradicate.

Potato cyst nematode is believed to have been in Australia for at least ten years before it was detected during 1986. Chrysanthemum white rust was first reported in November 1986 and it is believed by quarantine officials that it had only been present for a relatively short time, probably less than one year.

(4) Procedures have been developed and are being implemented in affected States to eradicate chrysanthemum white rust and potato cyst nematode. These procedures involve surveys, quarantining and treatment of affected properties. Because of its widespread distribution and the absence of effective treatments eradication of mango-bud mite has not been attempted.

(5) There is no evidence to suggest that the outbreaks are the result of deficiencies in the administration of plant quarantine. The quarantine system is designed to provide a high level of quarantine security against the introduction of exotic pests and diseases. Quarantine policies and procedures are under continuous review to take account of changing pest and disease occurrences and new technologies for detection and treatment of diseases.

There is no known linkage between these outbreaks and the legal importation of plants and plant products.