Australia: Biosecurity Queensland tests plants on new property for TR4

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Australia: Biosecurity Queensland tests plants on new property for TR4

An Australian Banana Growers’ Council (ABGC) decision to purchase an infected farm in order to contain Panama Disease Tropical Race 4 (TR4) is in limbo now that authorities are assessing suspect plant samples from another property. Banana-shutterstock_327818786 npanorama

Biosecurity Queensland (BQ) is testing the samples which may be confirmed as negative for Fusarium as early as next week or proceed to full diagnostic testing, taking another three weeks.

The ABGC received formal notice yesterday from the Commonwealth‘s Department of Agriculture and Water Resources (DAWR) to return the AUD$3.3 million loan for the Tully property purchase, due to a condition in the contract relating to suspect plants.

The Robson family that owns the farm was due to cash in on the AUD$4.5 million purchase on Sept. 29.

In a release, the ABGC said it was working with the farm owners to navigate forward with sensitivity and defer the settlement date.

ABGC hopes to retain the $3.3 million and complete the settlement, if, as expected, the samples don't test positive for the disease.

ABGC Chairman Doug Phillips expressed his disappointment at the latest development, however he remained hopeful of a positive outcome.

“Obviously we could not have anticipated this situation occurring,” Phillips said.

"However, ABGC’s intention is to work with the Robson family to ensure we can continue towards an outcome that involves completing the property settlement as intended."



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