Blueberry rust identified in Victoria

Blueberry rust (Thekopsora minima) presence has been confirmed across Victoria, resulting in loss of area freedom for the disease. New requirements now apply for plants, fruit and equipment movement to South Australia, Tasmania and Western Australia.

Blueberry rust (BBR) is a significant disease to both the fruit-growing and nursery industries. Victoria previously maintained an area freedom program for the disease. Recent detections of BBR in Gippsland and the Yarra Valley indicate that the disease has broadly established across Victoria. Eradication and/or restoration of area freedom is not considered possible.

Due to the spread of BBR across Victoria, the state’s area freedom status does now not meet national biosecurity requirements.

Effective 30 July 2021 the BBR area freedom certificate (affecting host material leaving Victoria) and importation order (affecting host material entering Victoria) will be removed.

From this date, producers consigning BBR host or carrier material to a sensitive interstate market, including South Australia, Tasmania, and Western Australia, must ensure consignments meet the entry conditions set by these markets.

For a full list of hosts of this disease and other information about the movement of stock see this industry notice.

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