Strengthening the Territory’s protection from exotic plant pests and diseases

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New measures to protect the Northern Territory’s $251million horticultural industry from plant diseases, exotic plant pests and other risks were introduced today through amendments to the Plant Health Regulations 2011.

The amended regulations are important in protecting the Territory’s well established horticulture industry, comprising fruit, vegetables, nursery products, turf and hay and to enhance the Territory’s ability to identify, manage and/or prevent exotic plant pests.

Plant pests can significantly damage the Territory’s productive plant industries. They can reduce yields, lower the quality of food, increase production costs and make it difficult to sell our produce in domestic and international markets.

The amended regulations cover hay and fodder, citrus canker, tomato potato psyllid, European house borer, potting mix, turf, soil-borne pests, spiralling whiteflies and scale insects. Administrative changes have also been made increase clarity. Key administrative changes include clearer definitions and clarity around permits, imported products, permits and plant health assurance certificates.

The horticulture industry is a significant employer and source of economic activity in regional and remote areas of the Territory with important linkages to other sectors of the economy, including retail and wholesale trade, manufacturing and transport.

Robust and up-to-date biosecurity systems help ensure Australia’s food security and food safety, while good biosecurity practices assist with ensuring farmers have continued market access for products, the maintaining of high standards for quality produce, and ultimately protecting the profitability and sustainability of plant industries.

Protecting the Territory and the rest of Australia from pests and diseases that threaten the environment, agriculture and agribusiness is everyone’s responsibility.

Find out more about plant diseases and pests in the NT.

If you see any plant pest you think is suspicious, report it to the exotic plant pest hotline on 1800 084 881.

Adult hand holding new plant with child hand reaching

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