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Myrtle rust in Queensland

Current situation

Further reports of myrtle rust in Far North Queensland

There have been ongoing detections of myrtle rust in Far North Queensland since the last communiqué including new detections in the Forest Creek area north of the Daintree River and in Tolga and Yungaburra on the Atherton Tablelands.

Based on information from overseas, with the cooler weather conditions during winter, it is anticipated new detections of myrtle rust will slow over the coming months picking up again in spring and summer.  However, data from public reports received in Queensland during winter 2011 showed ongoing disease activity in the south east of the state during that period.  The warmer climate in North and Far North Queensland may mean there is little to no reduction in disease activity in these areas over winter.

Queensland statistics

Below is an overview of the current situation in Queensland (as at 21 June 2012):

 Total number of known myrtle rust cases in Queensland  1584
 Total number of known affected (host) species in Queensland  133
 Total number of Council areas with myrtle rust cases  21
 Names of Council areas with myrtle rust cases Brisbane City
Bundaberg Regional
Cairns Regional
Fraser Coast Regional
Gladstone Regional
Gold Coast City
Gympie Regional
Ipswich City
Logan City
Mackay Regional
Moreton Bay Regional
Redland City
Rockhampton Regional
Scenic Rim Regional
South Burnett Regional
Sunshine Coast Regional
Tablelands Regional
Toowoomba Regional
Townsville City
Western Downs Regional
Whitsunday Regional




Myrtle rust information sessions

The Myrtle Rust Program recently presented information sessions on myrtle rust to affected stakeholders in Townsville and Cairns.  The program has been committed to visiting regional areas to provide advice and information to industry, local councils, other government officers and local communities on myrtle rust, its impacts, disease management options, decontamination and hygiene procedures, encouraging Queenslanders to help minimise the spread and impacts of the disease.

The Townsville sessions were well attended with 61 people representing a range of affected businesses, industries and the local community attending the two sessions.  Due to the recent establishment of the disease in Far North Queensland, an extra information session was presented in Cairns by Dr Kylie Ireland.  This session was attended by 70 people and was well received by all participants.

These Myrtle Rust Information Sessions have been an integral part of the program with sessions delivered in Hervey Bay, Bundaberg, Rockhampton, Cairns (2), Mackay, Gladstone and Townsville over the last eight months.  Raising awareness of the disease has helped us promote public reporting of suspect detections of myrtle rust in regional areas and to track and monitor the disease’s spread and host range in Queensland.  We would like to thank all those who attended the regional information sessions and for people’s continued cooperation and support in looking out for and reporting this significant disease.

Report myrtle rust

The impact and spread of myrtle rust is evidenced by the growing number of myrtle rust cases in Queensland. The Myrtle Rust Program is currently receiving on average around 20 reports a day of the disease.

Please continue to report sightings of myrtle rust – it contributes to our understanding of the geographic and host range of the disease in Queensland and will help us to develop more effective strategies for managing the disease and its potential impacts.

Report myrtle rust by calling 13 25 23 or filling out the online reporting form.