In April 2022, the fungus Thekopsora minima, a causal agent of Blueberry rust, was detected in WA. Tracing, surveillance, and stakeholder engagement activities in WA led to detections in multiple locations, including the Perth metropolitan area, Manjimup, and Swan View. Plants with symptoms have been reported by industry in Bunbury, Busselton, and Kalgoorlie.
In consultation with stakeholders, the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development concluded that blueberry rust is not technically feasible to eradicate.
The WA Department can now advise that:
Blueberry rust has been declared as a permitted species for WA, and its status as a declared pest has been revoked. The updated status will be published next week on the Western Australian Organism List (https://www.agric.wa.gov.au/bam/western-australian-organism-list-waol).
Import requirements specific to Blueberry rust (WA Import Requirement 057) will be removed from Thursday, 30 June 2022. Imported plants and parts of plants (nursery stock, cuttings and budwood, tissue culture, and fruit) of Vaccinium spp. are still required to meet WA import requirements for other biosecurity pests and diseases as published in the Quarantine WA Import Requirements Search here: https://www.agric.wa.gov.au/biosecurity-quarantine/quarantine/importing-western-australia.
For useful identification information and images, please use the online pest identification platform www.pestid.com.au.
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