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Ongoing project

Improving biosecurity preparedness of the Australian citrus industry (CT17001)

Key research provider: Plant Health Australia

What’s it all about?

This investment builds on earlier levy-funded project Protecting Australia’s citrus industry from biosecurity threats (CT12022).

The project acknowledges that the industry faces a number of significant exotic pest threats that have the potential to affect production as well as market access. These include Huanglongbing and its psyllid vectors, citrus canker and citrus variegated chlorosis (Xylella). Its work is bolstering biosecurity capacity and technical capability for the Australian citrus industry, and includes a range of preparedness, response and awareness activities.

Importantly, the project involves a nationally coordinated surveillance program for early detection of high-priority pests. It will also be able to provide the industry data to support industry market access and trade.

In August 2018, a full-time National Citrus Surveillance Coordinator was appointed under the project, working out of the Citrus Australia offices in Mildura. The coordinator is responsible for working with growers, researchers, industry bodies and the Australian and state government agencies to coordinate citrus surveillance and biosecurity activities across the country.

This incorporates the re-establishment and expansion of the First Detector Network – a network created through CT12022 and involving a range of personnel working in commercial orchards, packing sheds and the research community who regularly undertake inspection and monitoring of trees and fruit during seasonal production, harvesting and packing.

The role will also assist in the establishment of ‘surveillance hubs’ across the country.

A key element of the coordinator’s work will also be ensuring that growers, consultants, other industry participants and members of the public are more aware of biosecurity and exotic pests of citrus.

Related levy funds

This project is a strategic levy investment in the Hort Innovation Citrus Fund