The fruit fly management story in the greater Sunraysia
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The 'Greater Sunraysia Pest Free Area' was originally established in 2007. Pest Free Area certification arrangements, enable domestic and international market access. The 'Greater Sunraysia Pest Free Area’ was declared a restricted area for the control of Queensland fruit fly.
The establishment of the pest free area was a cooperative effort. Victorian, New South Wales, and Commonwealth Departments of Agriculture, collectively with Horticulture Innovation Australia and the regions three key horticultural industries - citrus, stone fruit and table grapes.
Increasing numbers of Queensland fruit fly outbreaks within the region necessitated the voluntary suspension of the pest free area status in April 2014. The loss of pest free status has had a significant impact on producers. To access interstate and international markets, producers must now ensure they adhere to relevant protocols.
The management of Queensland fruit fly was delegated to the regions under the Victorian governments Queensland Fruit Fly State-wide Action Plan (2015 to 2020).
Management of Queensland fruit fly within the region is currently housed within the Mildura Rural City Council on behalf of horticultural industries and Swan Hill and Gannawarra Councils.
A Greater Sunraysia Regional Action Plan (RAP) guides investment and area wide management of Queensland fruit fly in the region.
Area wide management
Insect pests can be particularly hard to control due to their mobility and their ability to use different plants as hosts. Area wide management is a proven management approach to tackle insect pests at a landscape scale.
Growers can have difficulty controlling fruit fly on their properties if the pressure at a regional level is not controlled. The aim of an area wide management program is to implement a coordinated approach to reduce the pest population across the region.
The greater Sunraysia Queensland fruit fly program adopts area wide management principals; complemented with community education and awareness raising programs. Increasing the community’s knowledge and understanding about how to control Queensland fruit fly it vital to the program’s success.
The main goal of the area wide management program in the greater Sunraysia region is to reduce fruit fly numbers across the region. Reduced pest pressure enables growers to produce fruit not impacted by fruit fly. By reducing populations across the community it is expected that commercial properties are more likely to be able to control the impacts on-farm.
Services provided to the community under the program include:
Removal of Queensland fruit fly host tree from home gardens*
Field investigations in areas where fly numbers are high ‘hot spots’
Communication and education of commercial growers and the general public
Education with school groups to increase the knowledge of Queensland fruit fly
Providing seasonal reminders and regional trends
Facilitated compliance and surveillance activities
Facilitation of testing and development of new control and management strategies within the region.
Local and community partners
Stopping fruit fly in the Greater Sunraysia area is a team effort.
Support for Queensland fruit fly management is required from Local, State and Federal governments as well as industry groups and the general public.
We work closely with six councils to manage fruit fly in urban areas and some have implemented local laws to manage fruit fly.
The Greater Sunraysia Queensland Fruit Fly Regional Governance Group was established in February 2019 under the actions outlined in the Victorian Government “Managing fruit fly in Victoria Action Plan 2015-2020”.
The state-wide action plan was developed in 2015 and identifies the key activities required to enhance the management of fruit fly, improve horticulture production and optimise trade opportunities – aligning with the National Fruit Fly Strategy. As part of the state-wide action plan, regional governance groups have been established in the three key fruit growing regions of Victoria. The regional governance groups provide support and guide the development and implementation of regional action plans (RAPs). Regional action plans are the key guiding document that coordinates all stakeholder contributions and actions at the local level. This framework provides a connection between regional, state and federal government strategies to manage Queensland fruit fly (Qfly).
The Victorian Fruit Fly Advisory Committee (VFFAC) is another forum that provides high-level oversight and reports on the implementation of the state-wide action plan and RAPs to Agriculture Victoria.
Through the delivery of the State-wide Action Plan, all stakeholders, industry, community and government (State and Local) have agreed to work together.
The purpose of the Greater Sunraysia Queensland Fruit Fly Governance Group (here after referred to as the “Governance Group”) is to:
provide representation as regional stakeholders of the ‘Managing Fruit Fly in Victoria Action Plan 2015-2020’;
support and guide the development and implementation of the RAP in the Greater Sunraysia region;
provide a link between the Governance Group and the VFFAC on fruit fly management by providing a representative to sit on the VFFAC;
facilitate partnerships across industry, community and all levels of government to share information and ensure the long term, effective management of fruit fly;
provide advice and support to the Regional Coordinator on the implementation of the RAP; and
report on delivery of the RAP as required.