Citrus canker is a serious bacterial disease which reduces the growth of citrus trees and fruit and causes blemishes on otherwise healthy fruit.
For more information about the disease, click here.
In Australia, citrus canker is an exotic disease and previous outbreaks have been eradicated from the Northern Territory and, more recently, in Queensland.
Eradication in Queensland
Citrus canker was detected in Queensland, on a property at Emerald, in June 2004. As a result, market access for local citrus fruit was restricted or prohibited.
The Australian Government coordinated a national eradication program, to which Victoria was a contributor. Surveillance conducted throughout the program, including after replanting of affected orchards, eventually showed that no citrus canker remained in the Emerald Pest Quarantine Area.
The Emerald area was officially declared free from citrus canker in January 2009, which allowed Emerald citrus back into interstate and international markets.
The successful eradication of citrus canker was a significant achievement for structured emergency management. In particular, the program could not have succeeded without the expertise of Queensland's Department Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry and the cooperation of the citrus industry, the Emerald community and all of Australia's states and territories.
The enormous effort required to eradicate citrus canker serves as a reminder of the need to remain alert and keep Australia free of exotic pests and diseases.
To report suspected exotic or unusual pests and diseases, call the Exotic Plant Pest Hotline: 1800 084 881