Join blitz on pests and dis­eases

Harvey-Waroona Reporter - - NEWS -

Re­gional res­i­dents are be­ing urged to par­tic­i­pate in this year’s Biose­cu­rity Blitz to help pro­tect the State’s flour­ish­ing food ex­port in­dus­try.

The blitz runs un­til Novem­ber 16 and en­cour­ages peo­ple to re­port pests, dis­eases and weeds to help pro­tect the State’s agri­cul­tural in­dus­try.

Peo­ple are be­ing asked down­load the MyPestGuide Reporter or PestFax app on their phone, which al­lows them to take pho­tos of pests and weeds, and up­load it to the Depart­ment of Pri­mary In­dus­tries and Re­gional De­vel­op­ment data­base to help in­ves­ti­ga­tions.

Depart­ment de­vel­op­ment of­fi­cer Laura Fa­gan said re­gional peo­ple were vi­tal when it came to the blitz.

“It is dif­fi­cult for them (re­gional peo­ple) to be proac­tive be­cause of the vast area they have to cover,” she said.

Ms Fa­gan said the sur­veil­lance un­der­taken dur­ing the blitz would help stop over­seas pests from af­fect­ing hor­ti­cul­ture, agri­cul­ture and fish­eries.

“There are three dif­fer­ent re­port­ing tools and all those re­ports that peo­ple send to us through those ap­pli­ca­tions, those ef­forts help to free us from pests and dis­eases,” she said.

“It un­der­pin­sour im­por­tant trade mar­kets over­seas.

“It ba­si­cally im­proves our econ­omy and peo­ple’s liveli­hoods of those who are con­nected to those in­dus­tries.” Agri­cul­ture and Food Min­is­ter Alan­nah MacTier­nan told Par­lia­ment on Wed­nes­day the blitz was crit­i­cal to pro­tec­tion of those ex­port sec­tors from pests, dis­eases and weeds.

“The pub­lic re­ally got on board with last year’s cam­paign, which recorded 854 re­ports and re­sulted in the de­tec­tion of new lo­ca­tions for cit­rus gall wasp,” she said.

“Early de­tec­tion is es­sen­tial for an ef­fec­tive biose­cu­rity re­sponse, as has been demon­strated by the state’s re­sponse to sev­eral ex­otic pests over the past 18 months—namely, the Queens­land fruit fly, the tomato potato psyl­lid, cit­rus canker and the brown mar­morated stink bug.

“We want to see com­mu­nity groups, schools and fam­i­lies get in­volved in this year’s Biose­cu­rity Blitz.”

Depart­ment of Pri­mary In­dus­tries and Re­gional De­vel­op­ment of­fi­cer Rick Bryant and his twin sons, Otis and Henry, both 7, go on the hunt for in­ter­est­ing in­sects, pests and weeds as part of Biose­cu­rity Blitz.

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