BRISBANE biosecurity staff intercepted an illegal import of citrus budwood with tests confirming it harboured citrus greening disease (also called Huanglongbing).
This disease can be harmful for citrus trees and Citrus Australia chief executive Nathan Hancock said they were thankful the disease had been prevented from getting into the country.
“We are grateful for the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources staff who have made this detection, it has prevented the entry of a devastating citrus disease into the country,” Mr Hancock said.
“Huanglongbing is currently not present in Australia. Where it does exist, it reduces production, renders fruit inedible and eventually kills the tree,” he said.
“There is no known cure for Huanglongbing so keeping it out of Australia is key to the health of Australia’s citrus industry.”
Mr Hancock said Australia produced 750,000 tonnes of citrus a year.
“The citrus industry supports a huge number of regional and rural families and businesses and contributes a significant amount to the Australian economy,” he said.
“Australia has a fantastic clean budwood program called Auscitrus. Auscitrus can produce a wide range of citrus trees without risking the spread of transmissible citrus diseases.”