Rare disease found in Bundaberg

BIOSECURITY Queensland will hold a community information session in Bundaberg following the recent detection of myrtle rust in the Bundaberg Botanic Gardens.

The infection was reported to Biosecurity Queensland by diligent Bundaberg Regional Council officers and is the first to be confirmed in the natural environment in this area.

Director of the Myrtle Rust Program, Mike Ashton said it was not surprising that myrtle rust had been found in the area, especially with the recent Fraser Coast detections.

"Queensland's coastal towns are highly suitable for the disease due to the favourable climatic conditions of high moisture and warm temperatures which encourage the production of myrtle rust spores," Mr Ashton said.

"Our priority now is to help the community, local businesses and the council prepare for more myrtle rust infections.

"It is also important everyone knows what they can do to help minimise the spread and protect our natural areas.

"We will be holding an open community information session on December 13 and I encourage anyone who works with plants, is involved in environmental management or has an interest in plants or gardens, to come along.

"The information session will cover a range of topics including what to look for, what plants it affects and options for what to do if you find it."

Bundaberg Regional Council's Natural Resources spokesman, councillor Danny Rowleson, is encouraging locals to attend the information session.

"Everyone needs to be vigilant to notice changes within our local environment."

For information on the myrtle rust forum call 3239 3970 or email myrtlerust@deedi.qld. gov.au or to report a suspicious sighting visit www.biosecurity.qld.gov.au or call 13 25 23.

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