United approach against fruit flies

By Country News

The Goulburn Murray Valley Fruit Fly Governance Group recently held a meeting in Cobram to discuss opportunities to enhance the coordinated management of Queensland Fruit Fly.

The GMV Fruit Fly Project brings together government, industry and the community to reduce the effects of the pest on the region, along with its horticultural sector and local economy.

Goulburn Murray Valley fruit fly coordinator Ross Abberfield said the 60 per cent reduction in fruit fly trapped at comparative peak periods during the past two years highlighted the project’s success.

“The project has successfully increased awareness, education and engagement of fruit fly within the community, industry and government,” Mr Abberfield said.

The recent collaboration between key agencies was an opportunity to discuss the Draft National Fruit Fly Strategy 2020-2025, which provides a framework for national cooperation on fruit fly issues.

The framework identifies four key strategic objectives for Australia, to maintain freedom from exotic fruit fly; minimise the incidence and spread of fruit fly; implement national systems that support market access; and facilitate a cooperative and committed national approach to fruit fly management.

National Fruit Fly Council manager Christina Cook said the council coordinated governments, growers and research funds to oversee the implementation of the strategy.

“The NFFC provides strategic advice and leadership on fruit fly policy and research, development and engagement issues to stakeholders including the National Biosecurity Committee, Plant Health Committee, Hort Innovation, industry and the community,” Ms Cook said.

The strategy’s implementation will assess future risks, opportunities, benefits and costs and will embrace fruit fly management, on-farm control measures, border-control activities and market-access negotiations.

The project acknowledges the key to success is through the contribution and cooperation of many different stakeholders.