Police called in over NT banana plant fight

ABC Rural
By Carl Curtain

Updated Thu 14 Nov 2013, 1:21pm AEDT

Northern Territory Police have reportedly called for peace in a dispute over banana plants.Photo: Carolyn Wilkinson says her banana plants should not be destroyed. (Carl Curtain)

Audio: Listen to Carolyn Wilkinson speak with Carl Curtain (ABC Rural)

A resident in Darwin’s rural area says the Northern Territory Police have warned her to comply peacefully with having her banana plants destroyed.

In an effort to eradicate the fungal disease Banana Freckle, the NT Department of Primary Industry is methodically removing all banana plant material from four zones in the Top End.

Carolyn Wilkinson, who lives within the Howard Springs zone, says she’s refusing to have her plants destroyed because they do not have the disease.

“It was a complete shock for me for the police to turn up and I said to them ‘I’m not letting you take my bananas’.

“And he said ‘well, the deadline is Saturday and we’ll be back on Saturday to do it whether you like it or not’.

“I said ‘you are not poisoning my bananas, you can take my bananas over my dead body’,” she said.

Just yesterday, the DPI declared two more eradication zones, one kilometre in diameter, at Humpty Doo and Acacia Hills.

Ms Wilkinson says her property is 32 kilometres away from the nearest commercial banana plantation, so her fruit poses no risk to others.

“I said if I’ve got Banana Freckle on my bananas, I’m more than happy to have them removed, fair enough.

“But I don’t have any freckle, why do they want to remove them?” she said.

Pensioner forced to forfeit banana plants

Ms Wilkinson says she hopes to obtain a court injunction before tomorrow’s 4 p.m. deadline.

The Department of Primary Industry did not wish to comment on the matter.

ABC Rural has contacted the NT Police for comment.