Action on Queensland fruit fly 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 prevent 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 Queensland fruit fly across an entire region rather than on an individual property basis.

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 Governance groups comprised of representatives of local horticultural industries, Agriculture Victoria, local government and community representatives in specific to each local region.

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.

The program takes a coordinated approach to area-wide management for QFF by undertaking awareness raising, communication, education and engagement activities; targeting areas with habitually higher numbers of QFF; creating local “fruit fly fighters” by providing resources and training to interested home gardeners; permanently removing unwanted backyard fruit trees to reduce QFF build-up; and facilitating the development and implementation of specific action plans for sub-regions of greater Sunraysia where QFF impact on agricultural properties is high and influenced by specific community dynamics.

Implementation of the program will be overseen by the Fruit Fly Murray Valley Regional Advisory group.

The Fruit Fly Murray Valley Advisory group is comprised of members that represent the:

  • Australian Table Grape Association
  • Swan Hill Summer Fruits Development Association
  • Citrus Australia
  • Australian Dried Fruit Association
  • 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 and have a specific question about fruit fly control, please contact:

Fruit Fly Murray Valley Regional Coordinator
Narelle Beattie

Or visit  the Fruit Fly Murray Valley website.

Goulburn Murray Valley

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

The Goulburn Murray Valley program will build on the momentum and successes of the Managing Fruit Fly in Victoria Action Plan 2015 – 2020 in this new program.

This program will support industry and community led management of QFF and to work towards strengthening industry surveillance capability using area-wide management as a baseline and working towards transitioning to a sustainable funding and delivery approach post 30 June 2025.

The program will target reductions in QFF numbers in off-farm sources, such as residential gardens, roadsides and local streetscapes, enabling growers to manage the pest within their own properties, aligns with the government’s policy on the management of established plant pests, where responsibility lies with impacted industries.

As well as funding a regional Coordinator this program will focus on Queensland fruit fly education, communication, engagement and awareness in the community. The program will maintain an extensive trapping and monitoring grid which will allow the program to understand changes in the fruit fly population and target hotspots. The host tree removal program will continue in the region to remove unwanted trees volunteered by home gardeners and from public land. The project will also work to future proof the program by exploring options for sustainable funding and trialling new technologies and engagement activities.

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

  • 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.

In recent years the program has worked with the Lions’ club to spread the word about managing fruit fly with primary school-based trap building workshops.

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 (Acting)
Penny Aston

Or visit the Goulburn Murray Valley Fruit Fly Project website.

Yarra Valley

The Yarra Valley is on the cusp between a proven a fruit fly free area and a transition to local management phase for QFF. Fruit growers can still produce fruit in a relatively fruit fly free environment, however there is a constant risk of fruit fly to the production areas.

This project will achieve area-wide fruit fly surveillance with a collaborative trapping program that comprises multiple sources of data collection (community, fruit industry and grant funded fruit fly traps) using manual and automatic fruit fly traps on private and public land.

The project will create a new online platform for data management which will support the area-wide alert system, and preparedness plans.

Knowledge and capacity building in the community will continue, with a focus on:

  • informative and interactive workshops about fruit flies for multiple community sectors in the region
  • teaching and training opportunities for the region and areas neighbouring the Yarra Valley
  • a fruit fly communication and engagement project that will continue to achieve local QFF awareness and preparedness for QFF prevention and management.

The region will use workshops to investigate (in partnership with Agriculture Victoria) possible future sustainable and equitable funding sources. Since the Yarra Valley fruit fly situation is different to the previous grant period, the region will support a risk reduction project where community partnerships can be created to support cost effective delivery of unmanaged host plant removal and fruit waste redirection.

The project focusses on keeping the region’s ultra-low level of fruit fly population and/or the number of QFF incursions to a minimum by improving the proven early detection and rapid response program in combination with the enhanced depth of community education.

The activities are all designed to raise awareness of the importance of everyone managing the issue, promoting ownership of the actions needed to maintain the region’s fruit fly status, or even better, improve it.

All production systems in the region benefit from a fruit fly free region, the improved rapid response achieved with high tech data management, and by using industry best practice methods of fruit fly management, risk reduction and waste fruit 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

Or visit the Keep Yarra Valley fruit fly free website.

Page last updated: 15 Mar 2023