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Tasmanian Biosecurity Advisories

Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment

Latest Advisories

Subscribing to get DPIPWE’s Biosecurity Advisories is the best way you can keep yourself up-to-date and fully informed about Tasmanian biosecurity issues. Our Advisories cover topics such as changes or proposed changes to Tasmania’s import regulations, animal health and welfare, plant health, forthcoming regulation reviews and opportunities for public comment, new or emerging pest/disease risks and a range of other matters related to Tasmania’s biosecurity.


Biosecurity Advisory 12/2017 - Workshop for vegetable growers (tomato potato psyllid and farm biosecurity)

As part of the VegNET program being delivered in Tasmania, a workshop is being held in Forth, Tasmania on 3 October 2017 to provide an update on tomato potato psyllid (TPP) and share information about on-farm biosecurity management and planning.

This event will include presentations from Andrew Bishop and Tania Jensen (Biosecurity Tasmania), Dr Jessica Lye (AUSVEG), and Raylea Rowbottom (Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture).

Growers interested in attending can contact VegNET Industry Development Officer Emma Egan on 0448 214 745 or at emmae@rmcg.com.​au. You can also register online here: 



(22/9/2017)
Categories: Cropping; Horticulture; Pasture;


Biosecurity Advisory 11/2017 – Nominations now open for Farm Biosecurity Producer of the Year

If you know an Australian primary prodcuer who takes biosecurity seriously and goes the extra length to avoid diseases, pests and weeds coming on to their property, then nominate them for the 2018 Farm Biosecurity Producer of the Year by 20 October 2017.

Animal Health Australia (AHA) and Plant Health Australia (PHA), through the Farm Biosecurity Program, have partnered with the Australian Government’s Department of Agriculture and Water Resources to deliver the inaugural category specifically for Australian producers as part of the annual Australian Biosecurity Awards.

Whether they work individually or with local, state or federal bodies, producers play a vital role in managing endemic diseases, pests and weeds and are crucial in detecting and containing exotic disease and pest threats. The Farm Biosecurity Producer of the Year Award was established to recognise the contribution of producers who demonstrate outstanding, proactive on-farm biosecurity practices.  Australian primary producers, including individuals and organisations can be nominated. This comprises all forms of Australian farming, including large commercial operations, new and emerging niche industries and hobby-level farmers.

The 2018 Australian Biosecurity Awards will be presented at a gala dinner in Canberra in March 2018.

For information on the awards, including the nomination form, visit agriculture.gov.au/aba and for more information on the Farm Biosecurity Program’s six on-farm biosecurity essentials, visit farmbiosecurity.com.au.

(15/9/2017)
Categories: Cropping; Freshwater pests; Gene technology; Horticulture; Invasive Species; Livestock; Marine pests; Pasture; Natural environment; Policy and Legislation; Seeds; Timber imports; Wildlife;


Biosecurity Advisory 9/2017 – Grapevine pinot gris virus (GPGV) detected in mainland Australia states

Grapevine pinot gris virus (GPGV), a virus that affects grapevine, has been detected in South Australia and NSW. The virus has not been detected in Tasmania.

This virus occurs in many wine and table grape growing regions, including Europe (where it was first categorised in 2012), Asia and North America which suggests that the virus has been around, undiscovered, for a considerable time.

Symptoms occur in spring and include leaf mottling and deformation. Infected plants may show declined yields indicating that the virus can be a significant plant health concern in some varieties, although some infected plants may show no visible symptoms.  The virus has alternate hosts, such as the weed commonly known as Fat-hen, which is widely naturalised throughout large parts of Australia, including Tasmania.

Measures have been taken at the identified sites on mainland Australia to contain the virus, which spreads through movement and exchange of infected propagation material, and possibly by some species of mites.  Targeted surveillance in the affected states will take place in spring when conditions are favourable to assess the status of the virus.

Routine screening for this virus at Australian borders began in the spring of 2015. It is possible that the virus has been present in Australia for a while with the recent detections attributed to improvements in testing technologies, such as deep sequencing. There is now a diagnostic protocol for the virus. 

The Australian Consultative Committee on Emergency Plant Pests (CCEPP), which is the national technical body for coordinating national responses to emergency plant pest incursions and assess the technical feasibility for their eradication, ​has met to discuss this incident nationally and will continue to meet as further surveillance and tracing information becomes available.  Biosecurity Tasmania is monitoring the situation very closely and is a participant on the national technical committee.

Until more is known about the situation, no states, including Tasmania, have implemented new import requirements.  Virus certification schemes are the best way to ensure propagation material is clean. Further information on GPGV will be provided as new details are obtained, and on completion of the targeted national surveillance program in spring 2017. 

What to do if you think you have found Grapevine pinot gris virus

Biosecurity Tasmania urges all grape producers to be vigilant for any signs of the virus and if they have any concerns they should call the emergency plant disease hotline on 1800 084 881.

More information about GPGV symptoms, sampling, testing and actions following a positive test can be found in the GPGV fact sheet, accessible at https://www.awri.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/GPGV-fact-sheet.pdf 

(18/8/2017)
Categories: Horticulture; Cropping;


Biosecurity Advisory 6/2017 - Veg Pest ID App

​Biosecurity Tasmania is pleased to share with its Biosecurity Advisory subscribers updates and news on access to and the use of improved on-farm biosecurity practices, tools and resources.

A recent example in the area of digital applications is the Veg Pest ID app that was funded by Horticulture Innovation Australia and Horticulture Australia Pty Ltd using the vegetable R&D levy and government contributions.

Veg Pest ID app provides a valuable tool to assist farms and agricultural professionals identify pests on Australian vegetable crops. Even tricky pests, diseases, and disorders can be found with a few taps or keyword searches. 

The app brings together a database of pictures and information on pests, diseases and disorders affecting Australian vegetable crops. It makes information available in the field, where it is needed.

The app features: 
  • Fast keyword searching to find the pest you’re looking for in an instant. 
  • HIGH QUALITY photos for each pest that can be viewed in fullscreen and zoomed in.
  • Multi-directional searching that allows you to start looking by either the crop the pest is affecting or the type of pest it is.
  • You can categorise pests and view them all together, or narrow down the search to an insect, disease or disorder on a specific crop.
  • Detailed information is given on each pest to help identify different lifestages, understand what conditions make damage more likely and take initial steps towards control. 
  • Completely usable offline.
  • App content updates automatically in the background when new content is available and WiFi is connected, so no need to download updates all the time!
The app is available for free download from either Apple or Android


(7/8/2017)
Categories: Cropping; Gene technology; Horticulture; Natural environment; Pasture; Seeds;


Biosecurity Advisory 5/2017 – Barley and grain growers encouraged to remain vigilant for signs of Ramularia leaf spot.

​Biosecurity Tasmania is encouraging barley and other grain growers to remain vigilant for signs of Ramularia leaf spot of barley.

Ramularia leaf spot of barley (Ramularia collo-cygni) hampers leaf development which can lead to loss of green leaf area in crops, and can result in yield loss.  Symptoms include small brown rectangular lesions with yellow margins within the leaf veins, visible from both sides of the leaf but most obvious on the exposed upper leaves after flowering.  Whilst it spreads via spores to nearby hosts, evidence suggests that long distance spread is limited to infected sown seed.

Growers should be on the lookout for barley plants showing these symptoms—but note these can be easily confused with net blotch that is common on other grasses in Australia.  The disease is suited to Tasmania’s cooler climate and it is most common in northern Britain.

Whilst barley is the main host of concern, Ramularia leaf spot has also been reported on oats and wheat so these are potential secondary hosts - although less likely to be impacted by the disease.

Ramularia leaf spot was detected on a small plot near Hagley earlier this year. The detection was immediately responded to with the crop removed and appropriately disposed of, with the site further treated to remove the fungus presence. The site remains under ongoing management and surveillance.

There have been no further detections of the disease at the site or other areas. Surveillance continues to be undertaken and grain growers are encouraged to remain vigilant for signs of Ramularia leaf spot.

Biosecurity Tasmania wishes to acknowledge the assistance of the affected research groups, crop managers and land owners in reporting this disease promptly and in cooperating with the response work thus far.

What to do if you think you have found Ramularia leaf spot of barley

Plant Diagnostic Services in Biosecurity Tasmania (DPIPWE) will test barley samples suspected of being infected with Ramularia leaf spot free of charge. 

Specimens or images can be submitted to a DPIPWE plant pathologist - call 1300 368 550 to be directed to a plant pathologist.  Samples of symptomatic barley leaves should be placed in sealed double plastic bags and sent to:

DPIPWE Plant Diagnostic Services
13 St John’s Avenue
New Town, TAS  7008

Further information, including images of Ramularia leaf spot of barley symptoms can be found on the Biosecurity Tasmania website.

(13/7/2017)
Categories: Cropping; Horticulture; Seeds; Policy and Legislation; Pasture; Wildlife; Natural environment; Timber imports; Marine pests; Livestock; Invasive Species; Gene technology; Freshwater pests;

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