Citrus canker: What you can do

Page last updated: Thursday, 4 October 2018 - 3:42pm

To help the department collect evidence that citrus canker is absent in northern WA, it is asking anyone who has a citrus plant in the towns of Wyndham, Kununurra, Halls Creek, Fitzroy Crossing, Broome, Port Hedland, South Hedland, Roebourne, Exmouth, Port Samson or Derby to contact the department.

If you have a citrus plant, please contact the department’s Pest and Disease Information Service on (08) 9368 3080, email or make a report using the department’s MyPestGuide Reporter app.

Staff from the department will arrange a visit to inspect your plant if it meets certain criteria, such as the time and place it was purchased. The department would like to hear from you even if your plant looks healthy, as it assists with knowledge of the distribution of citrus plants in the north.

Inspectors are also currently conducting doorknocking surveillance in some towns to find as many citrus plants as possible. Inspectors will not remove any plants from properties, but they may take samples for further testing. Residents who are not at home when inspectors visit will be left a calling card asking them to contact the department.

 It is essential that no citrus canker host plants, parts of plants, or fruit are moved outside the Control Areas. If fruit is locally grown (ie. grown in a Control Area) or if you are not sure if it was imported from outside a Control Area, don’t take it into a Restricted Area.

Citrus canker does not affect human health or animals, and fruit is safe to eat. As the disease exists on the surface of the fruit, it is important that any fruit waste, whether whole or in part, is disposed of correctly. There is no requirement to treat the waste before it is thrown out, and it can be disposed of in rubbish bins. This disposal must take place within the Quarantine Areas.

More information is available in our citrus canker booklet.

Information for growers

The movement restrictions in the Restricted Areas and Control Areas also apply to growers.

The department has worked with a small number of commercial citrus growers in the Kununurra area and the national Subcommittee on Domestic Quarantine and Market Access to enable movement of fruit outside the Control Areas while mitigating the risk of spread.

There has been no detection of the disease in commercial orchards.

There are no domestic movement controls preventing the entry of citrus grown outside the Quarantine Areas from Western Australia into other jurisdictions.

More information for growers is available on the Citrus canker: Industry information page.

Information for travellers

If you’re travelling through Kununurra or Wyndham, you need to be prepared to dispose of citrus fruit and citrus fruit waste before leaving the Quarantine Areas. As there may not be opportunities to dispose of the waste near the boundary of the Quarantine Areas, please dispose of any citrus fruit or citrus fruit waste as early as possible.

Please also ensure you adhere to the movement restrictions that apply to the Control Areas and Restricted Areas as you move within the Quarantine Areas.

Report suspect symptoms

Citrus canker is declared a prohibited organism under section 12 of the Biosecurity and Agriculture Management Act 2007. Any suspect detection must be reported.

Check your citrus plants for signs of disease and report anything unusual.

The symptoms of citrus canker include blister-like lesions on leaves, stems and fruit that are raised, tan to brown in colour, and are surrounded by an oily, water-soaked margin and a yellow ring or halo. Large or older lesions may have a crater-like appearance.

How to report

Contact information

Pest and Disease Information Service (PaDIS)
+61 (0)8 9368 3080