Project Leader, Organisation

Geoff Pegg, Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries




Exotic pests threaten cultural and environmental biodiversity values unique to Australia. Myrtle rust is a significant invasive pathogen of the native environment. The Australian Government has responsibility for maintaining World Heritage values under the World Heritage Convention ensuring biosecurity risks are identified and managed. PBSF012 delivered training to First Nations People in Myrtle rust symptom identification and assessment. A number of species on K’gari were identified as being susceptible, including the iconic Satinay and ecologically significant Melaleuca quinquenervia. This project looks to expand on these findings, extending training to Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service increasing capacity to assist in the development of management strategies.

Objectives and impact


This project aims to increase the capacity of First Nations people (Butchulla) to detect, monitor and report on Myrtle rust and other pest and disease threats to the Fraser Island (K’gari) World Heritage Area. Additionally, a train-the-trainer program will be initiated to expand capacity on K’gari and neighbouring Great Sandy Strait Ramsar regions.


In collaboration (Butchulla Aboriginal Corporation (BAC), DAF, BQ and DES), adopt a coordinated response to Myrtle rust by:

  • establishing centralised data protocols and integrate with national reporting systems;
  • establishing current impact status of MR priority species i.e. Satinay – Theme 3 Myrtle rust Action Plan;
  • mapping distribution of selected species for conservation planning;
  • establishing a train-the trainer program (BLSR to QPWS) on K’gari, co-ordinating surveys, investigating traditional burn programs for managing MR;
  • developing strategies to enable germplasm collection and storage – Theme 4 Myrtle rust Action Plan; and
  • facilitating knowledge sharing to other First Nations peoples – Kakadu National Park and Gondwana Rainforests of Australia.


  • Development of a train-the-trainer program and expansion of capacity to detect and assess Myrtle rust impact on K’gari;
  • Detailed assessment and records of MR impact on Myrtaceae with data integrated into the national Myrtle rust reporting system; and
  • Species susceptibility rankings and conservation strategy outline
  • Data for reporting under the World Heritage Convention