Citrus Surveillance Triage Workshop


On 24-25 September 2019, more than 50 government and industry personnel took part in training in citrus pests and diseases, surveillance techniques, and surveillance hygiene at a Citrus Surveillance Triage Workshop in Mildura.

PHA ran the Australian Government Department of Agriculture-funded workshop with assistance from Citrus Australia, Agriculture Victoria and New South Wales Department of Primary Industries.

Attendees from all Australian states and territories, the citrus industry and the New Zealand Ministry for Primary Industries took part in the workshop.

PHA’s National Manager, Surveillance, Dr Sharyn Taylor, said the workshop had multiple goals including building the capacity of industry and government personal to do field triage and submit samples to diagnostic labs.

“It wasn’t all theoretical. Participants were able to put the training into practice and conduct surveillance for pests and diseases in two orchards in the Trentham Cliffs region of NSW.”

“They were also given a demonstration of the loop mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) diagnostic technique and visited a fruit packing shed in Mildura. “

The workshop helped facilitate:

  • sharing of knowledge and information between industry and government personnel on techniques to improve surveillance for citrus pests
  • sharing of knowledge and information between surveillance and diagnostic experts to support improved sample collection that increases the efficiency and effectiveness of detection and identification of citrus pests
  • increased understanding of the importance of surveillance for early detection and determining pest status.

“We also hoped to identify future training needs to improve field triage for citrus pests in southern Australia,” said Dr Taylor.

As such, the outcomes of the workshop will be used to guide the development of further training materials such as checklists and videos.