The horticultural industries are working together with the Victorian Government, local government and the community on the following Queensland fruit fly management programs in regional Victoria.
Greater Sunraysia Pest Free Area
The Greater Sunraysia Pest Free Area (PFA) is a region in north-western Victoria and south-western New South Wales, where grapes, stone fruit and citrus fruit are grown.
The Greater Sunraysia Pest Free Area Industry Development Committee (IDC) is coordinating efforts to eradicate fruit fly from the region and return it to a pest free area.
The IDC is comprised of members that represent the Australian Table Grape Association, Swan Hill Summer Fruits Development Association, Sunraysia Citrus Growers, together with observers from Victorian and New South Wales State Governments. The committee relies on industry charges and State Government grants for funding.
In recent years the IDC has successfully run a mass trapping program in Swan Hill, which is being expanded across the PFA. The committee will also be removing fruit fly host trees in the region in 2017-2018. Areas with high populations of fruit fly, or 'hot spots', will be targeted using a range of control methods over the next 12 months. The IDC has also initiated a community engagement program in the region to educate residents and commercial growers how they can eliminate this pest from home gardens and commercial orchards.
If you live in the Greater Sunraysia Pest Free Area and have a specific question about fruit fly control, please contact the Greater Sunraysia Fruit Fly Regional Coordinator, Deidre Jaensch by email at IDC@greatersunraysiapfa.com.au or visit the Greater Sunraysia Pest Free Area Industry Development Committee website.
The Goulburn Murray Valley region stretches along the Murray in Moira and Campaspe Shires through the Goulburn Valley and down into the Strathbogie Ranges. This horticulture production area produces: pears, apples, stonefruit including cherries, tomatoes and grapes
The Goulburn Murray Valley Governance Group was established in 2016 to manage fruit fly in the region. The group is comprised of members of local horticulture industry associations, agronomists and five councils representing Campaspe, Moira, Greater Shepparton, Berrigan and Strathbogie Shires; Agriculture Victoria; Goulburn Murray Water and SPC Ardmona.
The group has developed a regional action plan which aims to reduce fruit fly numbers by identifying where there are 'hot spots' and working with industry and community to control fruit fly. When fruit fly numbers are sufficiently low, sterile male flies from the Sterile Insect Technology (SITplus) program will be released in the region. These infertile fruit flies will mate with female flies which will be unable to produce offspring. It could take up to several years before the mass release of sterile flies occurs.
Recently, a trapping program has been established across the region in commercial orchards and urban areas to monitor fruit fly populations. The Goulburn Murray Valley Governance Group are rolling out a host tree removal program which aims to reduce the numbers of unwanted host trees and fruit fly breeding sites. They are also running a community awareness campaign, comprising: advertising, media coverage, and community and industry workshops so everyone understands their role in fruit fly control and how they can reduce fruit fly populations in the region.
If you live in the shire of Campaspe, Moira, Greater Shepparton or Strathbogie and have a specific question about fruit fly control, please contact the Goulburn Murray Valley Fruit Fly Regional Coordinator, Ross Abberfield by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Yarra Valley is an important horticultural growing region north-east of Melbourne. A wide variety of fresh fruit and vegetables are grown here, including cherries, strawberries and other berries, wine grapes, apples, pears, tomatoes, citrus, peaches, nectarines and plums. This area is currently free of Queensland fruit fly.
Last year, representatives of the horticulture industries, local and State governments, TAFE and community organisations formed the Yarra Valley Fruit Fly Regional Governance Group to ensure that the Yarra Valley remains free of Queensland Fruit Fly.
The group has developed a regional action plan to strengthen regional awareness and preparedness, and harness industry and community action. This plan builds on the trapping work of the Yarra Valley Pest Free Place of Production, who demonstrated that a valuable production area within the valley was free of Queensland Fruit Fly. Certified Yarra Valley fruit can be exported to Queensland fruit fly sensitive interstate markets without the need for chemical or cold storage treatments, retaining their high quality and longer shelf life.
Complementary to the action plan, Box Hill Institute's Biosecurity Centre of Excellence is developing a fruit fly education program for primary and secondary school students. The centre has also partnered with the Yarra Valley regional coordinator, hosting a Queensland fruit fly masterclass to educate horticultural businesses, agronomists and home gardeners. Community educational sessions are being held locally, enabling people to identify Queensland fruit fly, prevent it entering the region, protect crops using area wide management techniques, and respond appropriately if the pest is present. Traps will be installed across the Yarra Valley and monitored for Queensland fruit fly. Early response and risk mitigation plans are also being developed with industry, community groups and agencies responsible for managing public land, to ensure that swift action can be taken to prevent Queensland fruit fly establishing in the region.
If you live in the Yarra Valley and think you have an incursion of Queensland fruit fly, it's important to contact Agriculture Victoria on 136 186 and ask to be put in contact with a Biosecurity Officer. If possible take a photo and collect a sample of the fly or the larvae, so that they can be identified if required. Store the samples in a fridge.
For further information about the fruit fly work done in the Yarra Valley, please contact the Yarra Valley Fruit Fly Regional Coordinator, Bronwyn Koll by email at email@example.com or or visit the Keep Yarra Valley fruit fly free website.