Unfortunately, Katherine has now joined the list of regions to host the contagious citrus canker, which was first detected in the Northern Territory (NT) in April. The NT Department of Primary Industry and Resources today confirmed the disease had been detected on a Katherine property — the seventh property in the NT to test positive for the disease this year.
The infected lime tree, bought from a Katherine nursery in July last year, was sourced from Darwin before being planted in the western part of Katherine. "It's not surprising that we've had this detection," the department's Chief Plant Health Officer Sarah Corcoran said. "It's actually a very good find for us because again we can get on top of it early, [and] we can contain it and destroy those plants."
Nearby residents will soon be visited for inspection by department staff and provided with further information. New restrictions and controls will be announced shortly; no citrus plants will be able to be removed from the Katherine Local Government Area. Restrictions also apply to the movement and propagation of a list of potential citrus canker host plants.
According to an abc.net.au article, a ban on the movement of citrus interstate remains in place, but Miss Corcoran said the new detection had not derailed plans to reopen that trade shortly. Katherine is also home to the NT's largest citrus producer; it has found to be clear of citrus canker.
Publication date: 6/5/2018