On February 15 a Xylella workshop was convened by DAWR to consider the priority actions identified at the International Symposium on Xylella fastidiosa held in Brisbane in May 2017. The workshop involved planning for the implementation of a national approach to further enhance Australia’s capacity to prevent Xylella entering the country and to prepare for a response. Interested Industry representatives included the Truffle Growers Association, Macadamia Society Australian Olive Association, Citrus Australia, Nursery & Garden Industry Association, Vine Health Australia, Hort Innovation, AgriFutures, Pistachio Growers Association as well as the Australian Seedbank Partnership, Australian National Botanic Gardens, Plant Health Australia and State, Federal and NZ Biosecurity agencies.
There was strong support for urgent action on key priority areas, including improved diagnostics, native insect vector potential and the appointment of a national coordinator for Xylella.
Three Xylella related R&D concepts were tabled at PBRI Meeting 4 on February 16, which aligned to these nationally agreed priorities.
Since the Xylella workshop and PBRI meeting 4, Hort Innovation has tendered for a Xylella diagnostics research project and relevant PBRI members are collaborating on the resourcing of the national coordinator position.
A third R&D concept is under development, proposing to better understand the potential for Xylella to be vectored by native insects if it were to arrive in Australia.