Myrtle Rust Melaleuca Quinquenervia
Myrtle Rust Melaleuca Quinquenervia Contributed

Myrtle Rust invades Gardens

COUNCIL officers, wearing protective clothing, sprayed to control an outbreak of the devastating fungal plant disease Myrtle Rust at Kershaw Gardens yesterday.

A Rockhampton Regional Council spokeswoman said samples taken from the gardens on Monday were infected.

It is unknown as to how the plants became infected.

The Morning Bulletin reported last month the disease had spread to Rocky.

Yesterday the Bulletin's gardening columnist Neil Fisher said the situation was serious.

"I think the Kershaw Gardens staff should be commended for their swift approach to tackling the problem so well and I think we all need to be better educated on Myrtle Rust as soon as possible," Mr Fisher said.

"Because if the public, the nursery and gardening community are better informed, they can report it straight away.

"I would hate to see any of our nurseries put at risk because this is our livelihoods.

"But people shouldn't be offended if nurseries won't let you near the plants; it's just that they can't risk it."

The spokeswoman said council officers, acting under the advice of Biosecurity Queensland in relation to the herbicide, wore disposable overalls while spraying so as not to take any spores from the plants with them and spread the disease further.

"Members of the public should not be concerned about visiting the Kershaw Gardens as council officers used any required chemicals in a safe way," she said.

"Myrtle Rust is a problem that is not restricted to Rockhampton and is becoming prevalent all over Queensland.

"Council is putting in place measures under the guidance of Biosecurity Queensland to prevent further spread of the disease."

 

MYRTLE RUST

  • Spread on the wind, by birds, bees, bats, people and vehicles.
  • Some of the most popular plants at risk.
  • First detected in NSW in April 2010.
  • Not harmful to humans or animals.

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