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November 2018 News

By November 29, 2018 July 22nd, 2023 No Comments

Potato Industry Update

Tomato Potato Psyllid (TPP) Draft Business Continuity Arrangements in NSW, Qld, SA and Vic

Discussions held collaboratively between AuSPICA (ViCSPA) and Potatoes South Australia, with their respective State jurisdictions, has resulted in the ‘Block of 4’ or ‘Eastern Block’ being accepted by the Federal Government’s Plant Health Committee in the case of an incursion of TPP in any of the states of NSW, Qld, SA and Vic.

Since the 2017 detection of TPP in Western Australia, industry stakeholders in the eastern States have been concerned about the impact of regulatory movement conditions on produce that may spread the insect pest if it is detected across the respective States and regions.

TPP is the insect vector that can spread the bacterial pathogen Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum (CLso) causing Zebra Chip disease of potato.

Importantly, there have been no reported detections of the bacterial pathogen CLso in Australia; meaning that despite the detection of the insect TPP in Western Australia, there have been no occurrences of the Zebra Chip disease in potatoes.

In October 2017 a request was made by industry stakeholders for the Plant Health Committee (PHC) to consider the economic impact of imposing interstate regulatory conditions on the movement of potato tubers if TPP was detected in the eastern States.

The PHC acknowledged that TPP detections in the eastern States will be dealt through the National Emergency Plant Pest Response Deed process to determine the source and whether Zebra Chip disease is an issue.

It is critical that business continuity is maintained whilst measures are put in to slow the spread of TPP and mitigate the potential risk of CLso becoming established in Australia

PHC took into consideration the following:

  1. Potato tubers are not traded with green leafy material;
  2. Potato tubers are not a direct vector for the bacterial pathogen CLso
  3. Western Australia had demonstrated CLso freedom through nationally endorsed surveillance and testing protocols;
  4. All jurisdictions will collaborate in an ongoing TPP monitoring program; and
  5. A CLso preparedness plan is to be developed taking into consideration the unique situation Australia finds itself of having the insect TPP but no evidence of the bacteria CLso.

The PHC has now confirmed that it is:

  1. Committed to a harmonised approach to ensuring the movement of potato tubers between Qld, NSW, Vic and SA, if TPP from WA arrives in any of the respective States;
  2. Committed to ensuring business continuity is maintained whilst minimising the spread of TPP; and
  3. Supports the development of an ongoing TPP monitoring program in collaboration with all States, Plant Health Australia (PHA), the Federal Department of Agriculture and Water Resources and industry stakeholders.

For further information please contact:

Dr Ross Meffin
Chief Plant Health Manager
PIRSA Biosecurity SA
0484 587 217

Dr Rosa Crnov
Chief Plant Health Officer I Biosecurity and Agriculture Services
Biosecurity I Agriculture, Food and Fibre
Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources
475 Mickleham Road ATTWOOD Vic 3049
T: 03 9217 4122 | M: 0439 384 382 E: rosa.crnov@ecodev.vic.gov.au

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