Sunday, 22 September 2019 Sydney
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The good news continues for commercial kaffir lime leaf growers in the Northern Territory::

In good news for kaffir lime leaf growers, the first interstate consignment of leaves were sent from the Northern Territory to New South Wales on 13 May under a recently-approved national protocol.

In April 2019, a protocol detailing procedures for the treatment and movement of kaffir lime leaves was approved by the other state and territory governments. The approved protocol allows the Territory’s commercial kaffir lime leaf growers to transport kaffir lime leaves to interstate markets for culinary purposes.

NT's Chief Plant Health Officer Dr Anne Walters said this was a positive achievement for commercial kaffir lime leaf growers and the Department of Primary Industry and Resources (DPIR) was working closely with growers to enable ongoing interstate consignments to be sent.

“Since the detection of citrus canker disease in the NT, commercial kaffir lime leaf growers have been complying with restrictions on the movement of citrus and citrus related products to prevent the spread of the disease," Dr Walters said. 

“While the protocol has been approved nationally, each state jurisdiction is working to amend their conditions to allow trade to recommence as quickly as possible. Queensland, Victoria and NSW have already amended their requirements for trade.

“This is a fantastic first step and we are very appreciative of the efforts made by Queensland, Victoria and NSW to amend their requirements so quickly,” Dr Walters said.

The department will continue to work with commercial kaffir lime leaf growers and other jurisdictions to enable interstate trade with key interstate markets. 

“We continue to work closely with the NT Farmers Association, who have been a great support for industry throughout this process,” Dr Walters said.

Achieving eradication will allow growers to trade in fruit and leaves without quarantine restrictions, inspections or treatment.

“To assist with the continued success of the program, the department is requesting that residents report their citrus plants so we can check them, particularly those that were purchased between January 2017 and April 2018," Dr Walters said. 

“Information on plants that do not show symptoms provides valuable information to demonstrate freedom from citrus canker, which is critical for proving that the NT has successfully eradicated citrus canker when we reach that stage in the program."

Residents are encouraged to report citrus plants by texting or calling 0436 643 470.  

Further information on the protocol and operating procedure is available by contacting NT Plant Biosecurity at quarantine@nt.gov.au.