The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development is currently promoting the need to adopt biosecurity measures this coming spring and summer, to prevent the spread of plant pests and diseases. This message has never been more important due to the expected surge of people travelling throughout WA, and experiencing outdoor activities such as bushwalking and cycling.
Specifically, there are two issues the department is keen on highlighting:
- The disease myrtle rust, which is a very serious disease of Myrtaceae plants, including eucalypts, bottlebrushes, paperbarks and peppermint trees. This disease is not present in WA, but poses a high risk of moving from the eastern states into WA via wind-borne spores, and the movement of spores/contaminated material on equipment, vehicles, clothing, camping gear, bicycles etc that have been in contact with infected plants in the eastern states. While this risk is currently low with the border being closed, there will be a high risk of incursion once we start to see cross-border movement again.
- Other biosecurity threat priorities for WA in 2020 that are known ‘hitchhikers’. These pests pose a high risk as they can be easily spread throughout the state on and in vehicles, clothing, pet dog fur, and fresh fruit and vegetables.