Exercise Fastidious a success

December 7, 2018

Exercise Fastidious was held in Brisbane on 14-15 November 2018. There were 59 attendees from 29 organisations: the Australian Government, all state and territory governments, 13 plant peak industry bodies, PHA, Hort Innovation, CSIRO and representatives from New Zealand government and industries.

Participants agreed that the Hort Innovation funded exercise was a success. They were asked to test elements of a response to the detection of Xylella fastidiosa, with a focus on the production nursery sector and the broader implications to all industries, using the Emergency Plant Pest framework and principles.

Participants considered the technical feasibility of eradication, complexes (i.e. the combination of Xylella and an insect vector), and whether there are any Australian native insect vectors of the disease. They also developed a Response Plan.

Initial exercise outcomes include:

  • that the tool used to decide whether it is technically feasible to eradicate the pest is useful but requires refinements
  • an agreed position for eradication
  • gaps in Australia‚Äôs preparedness to respond to Xylella
  • research questions to fill some of the gaps.

A full exercise report will be prepared by PHA in the first half of 2019.