FLASHBACK: Virus-damaged watermelons in the NT in 2014

March 18, 2021

Exports of Queensland melons to New Zealand can resume following the lifting of bans by the NZ Government.

Restrictions on the import of watermelons, rockmelons and other cucurbits were imposed by New Zealand in December 2019 after cucumber green mottle mosaic virus was detected in melons exported from Queensland.

The virus is believed to have been first detected in Australia in 2014 in the Northern Territory.

On Monday, NZ advised the suspension had been lifted.

Agriculture Minister and Member for Maranoa David Littleproud welcomed the decision.

He said Queensland accounted for a third of Australia’s watermelon production, 38 per cent of the rockmelon harvest and was a major contributor to the $39.3 million melon export industry.

“I am pleased my department, the New Zealand Ministry for Primary Industries, Queensland authorities and Australian industry were able to reach a workable solution on biosecurity protocols, which is acceptable to all stakeholders,” Mr Littleproud said.

Johnathon Davey, from Melons Australia, also welcomed the news.

“This will mean getting melon exports back on track and a more normal future,” Mr Davey said.

An Industry Advice Notice has been issued to provide guidance to growers on export requirements.

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