Media Release – PANDANUS RECOVERY PROJECT A SUCCESS

A biological control program has saved the majority of Pandanus trees along the Bargara foreshore from certain death.

However, several trees along the Esplanade near Bill Fritz Park have succumbed to the Pandanus dieback, a disease caused by an infestation of planthopper insects, known as Jamella australiae.

Regrettably, the dead trees will now need to be removed by Council’s Parks and Gardens staff in the coming weeks.

Spokesperson for Health and Regulatory Services, Councillor Wayne Honor said that Council had tried several techniques to control Pandanus dieback.

“We have previously used systemic pesticides, pruning and leaf stripping to control the insects,” Cr Honor said.

“These provided short term control but the biological control program has been most effective.”

Spokesperson for Environment and Natural Resources, Cr Danny Rowleson said the predatory wasp which feeds on the Jamella insects is now well established.

“In 2012 Council engaged a consultant who first introduced the wasps and trained Council staff in a long term program to monitor, breed and translocate them.  I am delighted to announce that that the wasps have now spread to all known Jamella infestations in Bargara and Innes Park,” Cr Rowleson said.

“The presence of the wasps means that sick trees now have the chance to recover as the numbers of Jamella insects decline.  Those trees that have no chance of recovering will be removed and replaced with an alternative coastal species.”

Representative for Division 5, Cr Greg Barnes said he had received a lot of feedback from residents about the condition of the Pandanus trees.

“The Pandanus trees have certainly been a strong talking point over the years,” Cr Barnes said.

“Council has done as much as it can in recent times to address the issue and luckily only a small number of trees have succumbed.”

MEDIA ENQUIRIES:  
Media Officer, Megan Dean Ph: 0409 392 236
Senior Media Officer, Wayne Heidrich Ph: 0438 638 407
Media and Marketing Manager, Megan Magill Ph: 0439 402 715
Email: communications@bundaberg.qld.gov.au

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