Sentinel banana plants almost ready to go in the ground

The National Banana Freckle Eradication Program is on-track to deliver the first of three shipments of sentinel banana plants to Red Zones. The plants are currently being propagated at Katherine Research Station and will be distributed from May 2016.

The 1500 tester banana plants have been obtained from areas outside the Northern Territory that are accredited to be free of banana freckle. The tester plants will be used to show if Banana Freckle has been eradicated from the Northern Territory.

Around 9000 sentinel banana plants will eventually be distributed in Red Zones, where they’ll be monitored until May 2017 to see if Banana Freckle infects the plants.

The Tiwi, Ramingining and Daly River/Nauiyu Red Zones will be the first to receive their sentinel plants as they have a strong commitment to eradicating Banana Freckle.

A small number of households in the Greater Darwin Red Zone will also receive their sentinel plants from the first shipment around the middle of May.

From 1 May 2016 only banana plants covered by a permit will be permitted in Red Zones. All plants must be sourced from areas accredited to be free of banana freckle. 

Territorians are reminded not to bring banana plants or suckers into any of the six Red Zones. Movement and quarantine controls will remain in place until Red Zones are declared free of Banana Freckle.

For more information contact the Banana Freckle Hotline on 1800 771 163 or email banana@nt.gov.au

Sentinel banana plant