The disease chestnut blight, was detected on a number of properties in the Ovens Valley in Victoria's north-east in September 2010.
This was the first time chestnut blight was detected in Australia and has been a major setback for the local chestnut industry, which is worth over $8 million to the Victorian economy per annum.
Outbreaks overseas have been very severe, with spread occurring rapidly. Chestnut blight has caused devastation to both chestnut industries and chestnut and oak tree forests in Europe, the United States and Asia.
The Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources (DEDJTR) has been working with affected growers and the chestnut industry to eradicate the disease from Australia.
DEDJTR has inspected over 100,000 trees annually and removed over 5,000 diseased and at-risk chestnut trees from in and around infected chestnut groves. A number of oak trees have also been removed from nearby infected chestnut groves because they were very likely to have been infected with chestnut blight and, as such, were a threat to the successful eradication of the disease.
Most infected properties are now considered to be free of chestnut blight. Owners of these properties have been authorised to re-plant their chestnut orchards.
Our eradication program remains ongoing and includes monitoring and surveys to eliminate the disease on remaining properties and ensure no new outbreaks occur.
Chestnut blight is a declared exotic disease. If you suspect that you have found chestnut blight symptoms, report it to us by phoning 136 186. Photographs of the symptoms can be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org for examination.
Please do not collect samples of suspected chestnut blight, as this could spread the disease.