Any unexplained and significant mortality of oysters (greater than 5 per cent) should be reported to:
Phone Office Hours: 03 6165 3085
Phone After Hours: 1800 675 888
>> See previous situation reports, and further information on POMS
The plant disease pathogen myrtle rust (Puccinia psidii)
was diagnosed from a sample taken from a private residential property
near Burnie on Tasmania's north-west coast on 19 February 2015.
The bright yellow pustules indicate the presence of myrtle rust. Photo: DPIPWE - Biosecurity Tasmania
fungus is regarded as a serious threat and consequently Biosecurity
Tasmania has led a response with the aim of eradicating the disease from
Myrtle Rust Update as at 8 April 2016 Home gardeners and property owners are reminded to be on the lookout for signs of the fungal disease Myrtle Rust.
surveillance by DPIPWE has detected 51 cases since early February in private
gardens in North and North-West Tasmania. All detections this season have been on Lophomyrtus plant varieties, those diseased plants have been removed
and destroyed. To date a little over 1400 properies have been inspected around Tasmania.
No evidence of the disease
has been found in the wild at this stage, however the latest detections
in home gardens highlight the need for continued community vigilance,
particularly during warm weather and humid conditions which create an
ideal environment for Myrtle Rust.
Tell-tales signs of the disease include bright yellow powdery
patches on soft growing tips, leaves and stems of Myrtaceae species
such as Lophomyrtus cultivars “Black Stallion”, “Red Dragon” and willow
myrtles, Chilean guava and native tea trees, paperbarks and bottle
Biosecurity Tasmania is working closely with nurseries
to ensure signs of the disease are reported immediately. Measures are in
place to stop the spread of Myrtle Rust between nurseries.
There are no human health risks associated with Myrtle Rust.
DPIPWE encourages anyone who thinks they may have Lophomyrtus plants in their garden to call the hotline number so an inspection can be arranged. If
you see what you think might be Myrtle Rust, please take a photograph,
record the location and details of the suspected plant and contact the
Myrtle Rust Hotline (03) 6165 3785
>> See previous updates and further information on Myrtle Rust
Blueberry rust (Thekopsora minima) was detected by Biosecurity Tasmania during a routine inspection of a consignment of blueberry plants imported into Tasmania from Victoria in September 2014. Blueberry rust is a fungal disease and a List A declared plant pest under the
Plant Quarantine Act 1997. It has the potential for significant impacts on berry industries in Tasmania.
Dark brown spots, a sign of blueberry rust. Click on the image to see a larger version
Since the September 2014 detection Biosecurity Tasmania has worked very closely with industry and the Tasmanian community in a blueberry rust surveillance and eradication effort. In excess of 65 000 blueberry plants and 26 000 potential host plants were physically inspected throughout Tasmania under the surveillance sampling regime.
Eradication activities have now been completed at a total of 51 properties where blueberry rust was detected. The majority of these premises were residential properties. Surveillance activities have confirmed that blueberry rust was not detected at any of Tasmania’s large scale commercial nursery, propagation or fruit production properties.
Tracing activities that were carried out confirmed that all plants identified in the incursion were sourced from the one Victorian nursery, with Victorian investigations confirming that blueberry rust was confined to that nursery.
Biosecurity Tasmania will continue to monitor the situation and will respond to any further reports of suspected blueberry rust infections. Work is now underway to finalise and thoroughly review the incursion response as well as to prepare all the necessary documentation that will support Tasmania’s claim to restore proof of area freedom from blueberry rust.
All Tasmanians who have blueberry plants are encouraged to continue checking for the signs of blueberry rust in their plants over the coming weeks.
To ensure ongoing protection from the rust, Biosecurity Tasmania encourages Blueberry growers to adopt and maintain a range of biosecurity measures on their properties, including:
Thoroughly check all existing plants for signs of blueberry rust;
Care should be taken when new blueberry plants are brought onto the property to ensure that plants are free from any disease that could infect existing crops; and
Consider if decontamination measures are needed to be in place for people, vehicles and equipment entering and leaving their property.
If a blueberry plant looks sick or shows sign of rust, do not touch it or move any part of the plant. Contact Biosecurity Tasmania on
03 6165 3777. A Biosecurity Officer will speak with you and, if necessary attend the property to inspect the plant.
Blueberry import restrictions currently involve required treatment and quarantine procedures under Import Requirement (IR) 28 of the Tasmanian Plant Biosecurity Manual 2015. This includes pre/post entry quarantine requirements for plants.
blueberry rust fact sheet provides details on the symptoms to look for indicating blueberry rust.
More information on blueberry rust.
For further information download a copy of the fact sheet on blueberry rust
Blueberry rust FAQ - answers many of the questions relating to the steps taken if you have identified Blueberry rust.
On the mainland
New outbreaks or spread of existing pests or diseases on the mainland can increase the threat of such pests or diseases getting into Tasmania. In some cases, new or enhanced import regulations are necessary to help mitigate any such increased threat to Tasmania.
Giant pine scale
Giant pine scale (Marchealina hellenica) was found in Melbourne and Adelaide. This is the first record of this insect in Australa.
To date it has not been found in Tasmania.
The Giant pine scale insect lives by sucking the sap of pine, fir and spruce trees.
If you see anything that you think looks like this pest anywhere in Tasmania please report it to the
Exotic Plant Disease Hotline1800 084 881