Elsewhere on DAFF
- Communique: Chestnut Blight
10 December 2010
Eradication of Chestnut blight supported by the National Management Group
The Chestnut blight National Management Group (NMG) met on 25 November 2010 to discuss the outbreak of Chestnut blight in north east Victoria and agreed to a nationally cost-shared response to eradicate the disease.
Chestnut blight is an exotic plant disease which is known to affect chestnut and oak trees.
The disease is caused by a bark-inhabiting fungus (Cryphonectria parasitica), which mostly affects the trunk and branches of its host eventually causing it to die.
Chestnut blight was first detected in September 2010 in the Ovens Valley in north-east Victoria. Over 80% of Australia’s chestnuts are produced in north-east Victoria.
It is not known how Chestnut blight entered Australia.
Since September, over 145,000 chestnut trees and a selection of oaks have been surveyed in Victoria. There are currently nine infected properties, all in the Ovens Valley. A Quarantine Zone has been proclaimed for north-east Victoria and movement restrictions for chestnut and oak plant material and equipment used to farm chestnuts are in place.
The Victorian Department of Primary Industries (VIC DPI) is in the process of removing and burning infected and at risk chestnut trees.
As a precautionary measure, other Australian states and territories that grow chestnuts have undertaken surveillance activities that have demonstrated that chestnut blight is not present elsewhere.
The NMG decision is based on advice from the Consultative Committee on Emergency Plant Pests (CCEPP)—a coordinating body which provides technical advice during plant health emergencies—that the disease is eradicable for reasons including:
its containment within a small geographical area
the low likelihood of wind-borne spread (the bulk of spores are estimated to travel less than 100 metres)
tracing of plant stock and extensive surveillance has determined it has not spread outside of the quarantine area.
The response is being implemented under the Emergency Plant Pest Response Deed (EPPRD) - a legally binding agreement between the Australian Government, all state and territory governments, national plant industry body signatories and Plant Health Australia.
10 Dec 2010