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30 Oct 2020

Myrtle Rust National Action Plan 

This National Action Plan provides the foundation for a coordinated national environmental response to Myrtle Rust research and onground actions. Its goals are to minimise declines and extinctions of native species due to Myrtle Rust and to mitigate the decline in the integrity and function of their host ecosystems.

The Plan was initially developed as a draft by a partnership between the Plant Biosecurity Cooperative Research Centre and the Australian Government’s National Environmental Science Program (NESP). It was provided to NESP and released for online consultation in June 2018.

In July 2018 ‘ownership’ of the Plan was transferred to the Australian Plant Biosecurity Science Foundation. The Foundation has reviewed and considered all submissions (30; most supportive of its implementation), consulted within government to develop support to finalise and implement the Plan, and in 2020, completed this final version.

The Plan draws on information gathered for ‘Myrtle Rust reviewed:the impacts of the invasive plant pathogen Austropuccinia psidii on the Australian environment’ (Makinson 2018), which provides supporting detail, and key experts.

In this Action Plan:

  • Sixteen species are recommended for most urgent conservation action, five of them on an ‘emergency’ basis. Necessary actions include field survey for impact and resistance, and germplasm capture (by seed if still available). Limited actions have been conducted for three of these species in New South Wales and Queensland in 2018–2020.
  • A further 27 species are recommended for similar mediumpriority actions.
  • A further six species in two World Heritage Areas, not yet affected but at near-term risk, are recommended for medium-priority germplasm collection as a precautionary measure.

Myrtle Rust in Australia, A National Action Plan – July 2020, RO Makinson, GS Pegg, AJ Carnegie

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