Myrtle Rust Eugenia Reinwardtiana is creating a growing concern as it spreads along eastern Australia.
Myrtle Rust Eugenia Reinwardtiana is creating a growing concern as it spreads along eastern Australia. File

Kershaw Gardens caught up in scare

AN outbreak of the fungal plant disease Myrtle Rust at Rockhampton's Kershaw Gardens should be handled federally rather than by a state department, according to a concerned Opposition.

Shadow Minister for Agriculture and Food Security John Cobb said the impacts of Myrtle Rust, the cane toad of the plant diseases being found in the Kershaw Gardens, would be devastating.

Mr Cobb said when the first outbreak of the disease occurred in Gosford NSW, it should have been contained and quarantined to one nursery and eradication.

"Unforgivingly the National Emergency Plant Pest Management Group (NMG), chaired and led by Biosecurity Australia, refused to recognise that Myrtle Rust was the same as Guava Rust and failed to immediately activate the existing emergency response program," he said.

Mr Cobb believes had this occurred then, the problem would not be at it's current stage, stretched from Cairns to the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria.

Flynn Federal MP Ken O'Dowd and Mr Cobb have called on Capricornia MP Kirsten Livermore to demand that whoever was responsible in her government be sacked.

Ms Livermore hit back, saying Mr O'Dowd had no idea who was responsible for what nor how to handle a serious issue.

"This is the responsibility of the State," she said.

Rockhampton gardeners can attend a free public information session about the plant disease on Tuesday afternoon at Travelodge Rockhampton.

Information Session

When: Tuesday 5.30-6.30pm

Where: Travelodge Rockhampton, 86 Victoria Parade, Rockhampton

Open to the public



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