The Department of Agriculture and Food, Western Australia (DAFWA) is implementing a national response plan, which includes emergency control and containment measures for tomato potato psyllid (TPP) and increased surveillance and testing for the associated bacteria Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum (CLso).
Interstate trade and market access
New South Wales, South Australia, Victoria, Queensland and the Northern Territory have emergency interstate movement controls in place for TPP and CLso host plants (Solanaceae and Convolvulaceae families), and used equipment and machinery from WA.
NSW and Victoria introduced additional restrictions in late March on a much broader range of conditional non-host plants and produce. These additional requirements include numerous other families, including but not limited to Rosaceae (e.g. strawberries, apples, pears); Brassicaceae (eg. broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower); Lamiaceae (herbs such as mint) and Fabaceae (e.g. beans).
In response, the department has created a specific market access team and is negotiating reviews of the restricted produce lists, and is reinforcing the need for this process to be handled as a priority given the economic implications for WA producers.
Latest changes to Victorian restrictions
On 6 April, Victoria amended their restrictions and will now exempt dried plant products; seed; mulch; timber; chaff and hay from treatment and certification for entering Victoria. This change applies to the plant products, not to the plants themselves.
The exclusion of seed does not include seed potato tubers and sweet potatoes.
For full details about these changes, please visit the Biosecurity Victoria webpage.
Consultative Committee on Emergency Plant Pests meeting
This week, the Department of Agriculture and Food has taken part in a meeting of the national Consultative Committee on Emergency Plant Pests (CCEPP) on 10-11 April to review the current TPP response plan and determine future response and management activities.
Market access was a key topic for discussion. DAFWA also tabled its review of Victoria’s host plant list to seek further refinement.
Host plant definition
As part of ongoing discussions about the impact of interstate movement restrictions on WA horticultural industries, DAFWA convened a meeting with NSW, Victoria, Plant Health Australia, NGIA, Ausveg and the Commonwealth on Friday 7 April.
The meeting aimed to clearly define the term TPP “host”, in relation to affected plants and to discuss the NSW and Victorian restricted movement lists.
The definition of ‘host’ was agreed as ‘A plant on which a psyllid can complete its immature to adult lifecycle’. Other outcomes included building an understanding of the scientific references used in the TPP host lists and ongoing discussions on the possible removal of plants which do not fit the agreed definition.
Update on TPP surveillance activities
TPP and CLso surveillance and control activities are continuing. Please refer to the latest Industry update for more information.
Check and report
Commercial horticulture producers, particularly in regional areas, are urged to check for signs of the psyllid and report via MyPestGuide Reporter app, email or phone.
Good farm biosecurity procedures should be in place to prevent the entry, establishment and spread of pests and diseases. More information on biosecurity is available at the Farm Biosecurity website farmbiosecurity.com.au
Industry contacts for growers
Phone: 08 9481 0834
Department of Agriculture and Food, WA
Rohan Prince, Industry Liaison
Phone: 0429 680 069
Pest and Disease Information Service
Phone: 1800 084 881