Myrtle rust could also damage eucalyptus or oil mallee plantations, apiculture, the cut native flower trade and the garden industry, and its spread could affect tourism if natural landscapes were badly damaged.
Caused by the fungus Austropuccinia psidii, it was first discovered in New South Wales in 2010 and was detected in the northern part of Western Australia in June 2022. It has now been detected in Queensland, Victoria, Tasmania, Northern Territory and most recently on an isolated property in the northern part of Western Australia (WA).Laboratory trials have shown that a large number of plant species will be affected by this disease, although it is not yet known how climate differences might influence its spread in WA compared to its spread on the eastern seaboard. Myrtle rust can be controlled by chemicals such as copper oxychloride, triforine, mancozeb, tebuconazole and trifloxystrobin in the home garden, but chemical control is not a viable option for large-scale landscapes, native forests and other natural ecosystems. To learn more about this plant destroying fungus and how to control it, you can visit DPIRD here.