Action on Queensland fruit fly in regional Victoria

There are three horticultural areas of action in Victoria:

  • Greater Sunraysia
  • Goulburn Murray Valley
  • Yarra Valley

Greater Sunraysia

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 Regional Governance Group is coordinating efforts to implement the Greater Sunraysia fruit fly regional plan to suppress fruit fly in the region.

The Greater Sunraysia Regional Governance Group is comprised of members that represent the:

  • Australian Table Grape Association
  • Swan Hill Summer Fruits Development Association
  • Citrus Australia
  • Dried Fruit Association
  • AUSVEG
  • Murray Valley Winegrowers
  • Gannawarra Shire Council
  • Mildura Rural City Council
  • Agriculture Victoria
  • Department of Primary Industries NSW.

The regional plan has led to a range of activities such as a voluntary host tree removal program which has removed thousands of unwanted fruit trees across the region.Areas with high populations of fruit fly, or ‘hot spots’, have been identified and controlled with the support of residents.

The Regional Governance Group has also initiated a community engagement program in the region to educate residents and commercial growers on how they can eliminate this pest from home gardens and commercial orchards. The program has included TV, radio and newspaper advertisements, field days and community workshops.

If you live in the Greater Sunraysia and have a specific question about fruit fly control, please contact:

Greater Sunraysia Fruit Fly Regional Coordinator
Narelle Beattie
Email: narelle.beattie@mildura.vic.gov.au

Or visit the Greater Sunraysia Pest Free Area website.

Goulburn Murray Valley

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
  • stone fruit (including cherries)
  • tomatoes
  • grapes

The Goulburn Murray Valley Regional Governance Group was established in 2016 to manage fruit fly in the region. The group is comprised of:

  • members of Cobram and District Fruit Growers
  • Fruit Growers Victoria
  • agronomists
  • five councils representing Campaspe, Moira, Greater Shepparton, Strathbogie and Berrigan (NSW) Shires
  • Agriculture Victoria
  • SPC Ardmona
  • the Lions Club.

The group has developed a regional action plan which aims to reduce fruit fly numbers by identifying 'hot spots' and working with industry and community to control fruit fly. The fruit fly numbers are sufficiently low that sterile male flies from the Sterile Insect Technology (SITplus) program have been released in a trial over Cobram township. These infertile fruit flies will mate with female flies which will be unable to produce offspring.

A trapping program has been established across the region to monitor fruit fly populations. Field officers visit hot spots to investigate what is the cause of the higher fruit fly numbers, talk to landholders and identify possible hosts trees that could be contributing to the problem.

The Goulburn Murray Valley Regional Governance Group has removed thousands of host trees in home gardens, unmanaged orchards and on roadsides to reduce fruit fly breeding sites. They are also running a community awareness campaign including 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.

In recent years with the Lions’ clubs they have spread the word about managing fruit fly with primary school-based trap building workshops.

If you live in the shire of Campaspe, Moira, Greater Shepparton or Strathbogie and have a specific question about fruit fly control, please contact:

Goulburn Murray Valley Fruit Fly Regional Coordinator
Ross Abberfield
Email: rabberfield@moira.vic.gov.au

Yarra Valley

The Yarra Valley is an important horticultural growing region north-east of Melbourne.

A wide variety of fresh fruit and vegetables are grown there, including:

  • cherries
  • strawberries
  • other berries
  • wine grapes
  • apples
  • pears
  • tomatoes
  • citrus
  • peaches
  • nectarines
  • plums

The Yarra Valley Fruit Fly Regional Governance Group is comprised of:

  • members of the local horticulture industries
  • local and State governments
  • TAFE
  • community organisations.

This group monitors fruit fly in the region and supports the community through awareness activities to implement fruit fly management.

Box Hill Institute's Biosecurity Centre of Excellence developed a fruit fly education program for primary and secondary school students which has been implemented in primary schools across the regions.

Community educational sessions are held locally, enabling people to:

  • identify Queensland fruit fly
  • prevent it entering the region
  • protect crops using area wide management techniques
  • respond appropriately if the pest is present.

Yarra Ranges Shire has removed hundreds of host trees on public land throughout the shire with a focus around the fruit growing areas.

Traps have been installed across the Yarra Valley to detect low numbers of flies. Early response and risk mitigation plans have been 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 populations building in the region.

For further information about the Queensland fruit fly work done in the Yarra Valley, please contact:

Yarra Valley Fruit Fly Regional Coordinator
Bronwyn Koll
Email: qff@agribusiness-yarravalley.com

Or visit the Keep Yarra Valley fruit fly free website.

Page last updated: 15 Sep 2020