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News and notices

Myrtle rust

myrtle-rust-agonis 300x200At our 2012 North Sydney Get Together event, we were told that myrtle rust has now spread to the Sydney region. We have also been informed by geocachers in Queensland that it is now a problem in that state too. If you come across myrtle rust, please stand away from the affected tree, take a photo and mark the approximate coordinates with your GPS receiver. When you return home contact the council or land manager to alert them.

The following information is from fellow geocacher Meredith Stewart.

You may have heard over the last few months of an outbreak of Myrtle Rust on the Central Coast. While containment in the nurseries has beenlargely successful, in recent weeks the situation has worsened with it's detection in bushland in several reserves on the Central Coast. These reserves have been closed down and extensive control works are under way as we speak.

There is a risk that anyone moving through bushland could potentially be spreading the disease via spores on clothing, including hats, within a reserve or from one reserve to another.


Myrtle Rust is a South American rust fungus which is previously unknown in this country and has the potential to devastate our over 5000 species of plants in the Myrtaceae family. This includes Eucalypts, Angophoras, Tea Trees, Bottlebrush, Paperbarks and Lilypilly amongst some of our most iconic, valuable and well loved bushland plants.

To control the spread of myrtle rust:

  • Make yourself familiar with what this rust looks like and contact the Exotic Plant Pest hotline number 1800 084 881 to report it immediately if found anywhere, whether it be a backyard, nursery or in bushland. A fact sheet (1.3 MB pdf) can be found on the NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) website.
  • Download and read the flyer, Preventing the Spread of Myrtle Rust in bushland (408 kB pdf). 
  • if you are visiting multiple sites, and especially if you visit any bushland on the Central Coast, make it a habit to wash all your clothing, including hats, after visiting any bushland before going to another site.

Go to the NSW DPI website for myrtle rust updates.

Image: Dr Louise Morin, CSIRO