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National Management Group agrees to Myrtle rust interim response plan

The National Management Group has agreed to an interim response plan to continue to suppress Uredo rangelii (Myrtle rust) with a view to the eradication of the disease.

Myrtle rust was first detected in Australia in April at a cut flower growing facility in New South Wales.

Since Myrtle rust was first detected, there has been limited spread of the disease and current information indicates that the number of host plants remains small. There has been no detection of the disease on Eucalyptus species in the natural environment.

The nationally agreed interim response plan implements steps to manage the disease at known infected properties while allowing for the collection and study of additional data. Host range testing of the disease remains a priority.

The interim response plan takes into account the reduced levels of the disease at infected sites and the effectiveness of the ongoing fungicide applications.

New measures in the interim response plan include the removal of infected plants and the establishment of a buffer zone, treated with fungicide, at the remaining known infected site.

The interim response plan has been implemented under the Emergency Plant Pest Response Deed (EPPRD) – a legally binding agreement between the Australian Government, all state and territory governments, national plant industry body signatories and Plant Health Australia.

The National Management Group (NMG) has agreed to the Myrtle rust interim response plan. The NMG is comprised of the chief executive officers of the national and state/territory departments of agriculture and primary industries across Australia, representatives of peak industry bodies and Plant Health Australia. The group is chaired by the Secretary of the Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF), Dr Conall O’Connell.