Embedding Queensland fruit fly management in regional Victoria

Queensland fruit fly (QFF) can live and breed in home gardens and then move into Horticultural production areas so that is why it’s so important that communities work together to manage QFF.

Community Engagement

Since 2015, there has been a focus on improving fruit fly management in home gardens across regional Victoria. Agriculture Victoria has provided workshops across regional Victoria to help communities learn about QFF and has produced a pamphlet and a video to help home gardeners to manage fruit fly which can be found here.

Community groups such as Landcare, Rotary, Lions clubs, garden clubs and local councils have helped spread the word of how to manage QFF in home gardens and protect our local horticultural industries.

Many of these organisations were funded through the previous Agriculture Victoria community grants program. Since then, community groups across the state have continued to share information and work together to help manage fruit fly.

Regional Area-wide Management of Queensland Fruit Fly

Area-wide management uses a coordinated approach including monitoring, control activities and community action to manage QFF across an entire region rather than on an individual property basis. Regional Area-wide Management programs began in the three key horticultural regions of Greater Sunraysia, Goulburn Murray Valley and the Yarra Valley in 2016 through funding from Agriculture Victoria. They provide information to the community about how to identify and control QFF. Members of the community seeking information have been able to gain support from the regional programs through a range of accessible methods including television, radio, newspapers, field days and workshops.

Unwanted QFF hosts such as backyard fruit trees have been volunteered for removal by home gardeners in Goulburn Murray and Greater Sunraysia. Additionally, host trees that have grown on roadsides and other public land have been removed by local councils using grant funding. The regional programs have worked with landholders around known hot spots to determine what is causing increased fruit fly numbers at those locations and working with them on solutions to help them manage the fruit fly.

In 2021, funding was announced that included 5.3 million dollars for grants over 4 years for three regional programs to support an industry and community led approach to area-wide management in the key horticultural regions of Greater Sunraysia, Goulburn Murray Valley and the Yarra Valley.

Regional programs are overseen by groups comprised of representatives of local horticultural industries, Agriculture Victoria, local government, and community representatives specific to each local region.

The regional groups have identified activities to ensure their region is in the best possible position to manage fruit fly into the future. Activities include work to resolve hotspots of fruit fly, updating of industry and council websites, training community members, eLearning packages to support Landcare, nurseries and agrichemical staff to provide advice to the public and tree removal programs. Local organisations have agreed to continue to share the message and grants will support them to take the lead. These programs are designed to leave a legacy so that everyone can continue to play a role in managing fruit fly.

Descriptions of the each of the new programs are listed below.

Greater Sunraysia

The Greater Sunraysia Regional Fruit Fly Program supports local horticulture industries to produce fruit fly-free, marketable fruit and vegetables.

The program has been designed to facilitate cooperation between industry, growers, the community, all levels of government and other stakeholders in fruit fly management in the greater Sunraysia region.

Close up image of a QFF trap being placed amongst table grapes tree in Sunraysia.

The program builds on 10 years of area-wide management activities for QFF and is aimed at transitioning management to community and industry stakeholders by 30 June 2025. The program will deliver a targeted response to areas where habitually high numbers of QFF coincide with sensitive agricultural properties, harness local community champions to instigate community change, and strategically set the region up with legacy resources to ensure community led management is adequately resourced.

The Fruit Fly Murray Valley Regional Advisory Group will oversee the program and is comprised of members that represent the:

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

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

Fruit Fly Murray Valley Regional Coordinator
Jarad Hill
Email: jarad.hill@mildura.vic.gov.au

Or visit the Fruit Fly Murray Valley website.

Goulburn Murray Valley

The Goulburn Murray Valley region stretches along the Murray River in the Moira and Campaspe shires through the Goulburn Valley and down into the Strathbogie Ranges.

The Goulburn Murray Valley Queensland Fruit Fly Program builds on the success and the lessons learned over the last seven years working in Area- wide Management of QFF.

The program is now able to embed itself in the region long into the future. This grant round will see a focus on hot spot management, tree removals and home gardeners having the skills and knowledge to manage QFF without the need for external support.

The program will work directly with nurseries offering training for their staff so they can in turn support the public with information about fruit fly and its management. Workshops will be held for community members looking for information about fruit fly.

Volunteers will continue to be a very important part of the program. Further development of the volunteer program will include a training day and the program will increase participation of volunteers.

The Goulburn Murray Valley Regional Governance Group was established in 2016 to manage Queensland fruit fly in the region and is comprised of members that represent the:

  • Cobram and District Fruit Growers
  • Fruit Growers Victoria
  • Greater Shepparton City Council,
  • Campaspe Shire,
  • Moira Shire,
  • Strathbogie Shire
  • Berrigan (NSW) Shire
  • Agriculture Victoria
  • Lions Club.

If you live in the local council areas of Greater Shepparton City Council or the shires of Campaspe, Moira, or Strathbogie and have a specific question about fruit fly control, please contact:

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

Or visit the Goulburn Murray Valley Fruit Fly Project website.

Yarra Valley

This project will transition the successful Yarra Valley QFF awareness and prevention project from a government funded program to a locally led and co-ordinated area-wide management program and structure.

The historically fruit fly free Yarra Valley has experienced a small number of QFF detections in the past four seasons, each attracting support from the project and corrective action by the landowners. The 2023-25 project’s key outcomes are:

  • Awareness to identify and manage QFF,
  • Capacity to implement QFF prevention and management decisions, and
  • Surveillance and data sharing to support management and planning decisions area-wide.

These outcomes will position the community to be able to minimise the occurrence and impact of QFF in the region, protect fruit production, and preserve critical insect biodiversity and integrated pest management.

The Yarra Valley Fruit Fly Regional Governance Group represents:

  • Australian Cherry Growers Association
  • Victorian Strawberry Growers Association
  • Covered Cropping Association
  • YV Fresh
  • Yarra Valley Pest Free Place of Production
  • 9Mile
  • Montague Fresh
  • Fruit Growers Victoria
  • Agribusiness Yarra Valley
  • Yarra Ranges Shire Council
  • Agriculture Victoria
  • Box Hill TAFE (Lilydale campus)

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: 19 Sep 2023