Issue 10
Monday, 03 December 2018
Charles Darwin University
Citrus canker is not harmful to humans or animals but is highly contagious
Citrus canker is not harmful to humans or animals but is highly contagious

CDU creates citrus canker alert videos

The Northern Institute at CDU has produced three videos in English, Creole and Yolngu Matha to help spread the word about citrus canker eradication in the bush.

Citrus canker is not harmful to humans or animals but is highly contagious. It affects the quality and quantity of citrus fruit produced, and the ability of citrus growers to sell their produce interstate and internationally.

Senior Research Fellow at the Northern Institute, Dr Linda Ford said eradication messages had been translated into Top End Indigenous languages, so the messages are explained directly to community members.

“A lot of Indigenous people have English as their third or fourth language so if we want to communicate messages about biosecurity, we really need to be talking to people in their own language,” Dr Ford said.

“This way we can create a better understanding of biosecurity and what it means for plants that may be a food source in these areas or grown around the community.

“The video explains the problem citrus canker represents, to be on the lookout for it and what to do if a suspect plant is found,” she said.

Recently, another citrus plant infected with citrus canker disease has been detected in Darwin after a member of the community reported the suspected disease symptoms to the citrus canker hotline, and biosecurity testing confirmed the disease.

The affected plant was found in Nakara, and a restricted area has been declared around the detection. Movement restrictions for citrus and host plants and material are now in place in the Nakara restricted area and 11 other restricted areas in the Territory, aimed at limiting the spread of the disease in the Territory.

The Wet Season and cyclone season are the periods of highest risk for the spread of citrus canker, with strong winds and rain carrying the disease.

Northern Territory Chief Plant Health Officer Dr Anne Walters said this made the translated videos timely.

“Currently all infected plants found in the Territory can be traced directly back to the original infected property, but the Wet Season winds and rain can cause the disease to spread. We need people across the Territory, and especially in remote areas, to be on the lookout for the disease and to know how to report it,” Dr Walters said.

A range of information to support the public in identifying and reporting citrus canker is available at W: Residents can call the citrus canker emergency response line 24 hours a day on T: 1800 931 722 to report suspected symptoms or seek further information.

The videos can be found here:
English -
Creole -
Yolngu -