The recent announcement of national freedom from banana freckle is being celebrated as a credit to all partners involved in eradicating the disease.

Australia’s commercial banana growers, the Northern Territory public and government agencies joined forces to defeat the disease through a multi-million-dollar program managed under the Emergency Plant Pest Response Deed (EPPRD).

The EPPRD covers the decision making around and funding of emergency responses, including the potential for owner reimbursement costs for growers. As the EPPRD custodian, Plant Health Australia (PHA) ensures that it is effectively administered, and its integrity safeguarded.

The commercial banana industry was the principle funder of the banana freckle response, investing half of the response costs, with the Australian government, state and territory governments, and the nursery and garden industry also contributing financially and in-kind to the response.

The sound approach taken by the NT-based Banana Freckle Eradication Program was recognised with an Australian Biosecurity Award in 2016.