​Media Release

Funding to support ongoing management of Panama disease in Queensland​

5 April 2015

The Australian Government has committed additional funding and resources to support the Queensland banana industry improve on-farm biosecurity to combat Panama disease Tropical Race 4.

Minister for Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce, said although it was not technically feasible to eradicate the disease, the Queensland Government and banana industry could be assured of the Australian Government’s ongoing support.

We will continue to stand by growers in Queensland to help the industry transition to ongoing management of this insidious disease,” Minister Joyce said.

We are providing a grant of up to $330,000 to the Australian Banana Growers Council to extend its programme of specialist biosecurity officers to help improve on-farm biosecurity practices as a defence against the spread of the disease.

Panama disease is transmitted by soil and water, and with movement of infected plant material—so strong on-farm biosecurity is of vital importance in the ongoing management and containment of this disease.”

The grant is in addition to the $230,000 the Australian Government has already delivered to support the Queensland response through the Stronger Biosecurity and Quarantine Initiative, taking direct federal government assistance up to $560,000 since the disease was detected. 

The funding provided diagnostic equipment, signage and engaged two eminent international experts to advise and assist industry and the national response to the disease. 

The initiative also provided specialist field personnel from the department and other jurisdictions to help Queensland’s response efforts.

Minister Joyce said that in addition to measures announced today, the Australian Government is working with the Queensland Government and industry to consider further assistance for affected growers.

Panama disease is considered to be one of the most destructive diseases of banana plants. Panama disease Tropical race 4 is present in South East Asia and the Northern Territory.

Panama disease poses no threat to human health.

For more information, visit daff.qld.gov.au/plants/health-pests-diseases/a-z-significant/panama-disease2.