RESTRICTIONS LIFTED: Biosecurity Tasmania officials inspect contaminated blueberry plants at a property in the North-West in 2015. Picture: file.
Nanjing Night Net

Restrictions on sales and trades of blueberry plants have been lifted between Victoria and Tasmania after disease was successfully eradicated in the state.

Acting Primary Industries Minister Premier Will Hodgman announced the restrictions lift on Thursday.

“Tasmanian blueberry growers can resume unrestricted trade with their largest interstate market following the success of Biosecurity Tasmania’s blueberry rust eradication program,” Mr Hodgman said.

As a result,blueberryrustrelated restrictions between Tasmania and Victoria have been lifted. Western Australia, though a smaller market, is still considering the area freedom claim.Blueberry rust was first detected in Tasmania in 2014 in a consignment of blueberry plants imported from Victoria.

“The decision to remove and destroyblueberryplants was not taken lightly, however it was a decision made in the best interests of all involved in the industry, and clearly it has worked,” Mr Hodgman said.

As a result of the eradication program, about 130 public reports have been investigated, more than 100,000 plants have been inspected and 54 properties have been cleared.

Fruit Growers Tasmania business development manager Phil Pyke praised the work of Biosecurity Tasmania in their efforts to eradicate the biosecurity threat.He said the feedback from members had been overwhelmingly positive.

“They are all very happy in the commercial sense, with the response, management and ongoing work of Biosecurity Tasmania,” he said.

Mr Pyke also praised the members of the public in their capacity to report suspicious plants.No commercial blueberry grower was found to be contaminated.

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