Australia: Northern Tasmania declared fruit fly free, one year after outbreak

January 09 , 2019

An area of the Australian island state of Tasmania has been officially reinstated as a Pest Free Area today, 12 months after Queensland fruit flies were detected.

The lifting of strict biosecurity controls around Northern Tasmania re-opens the door to domestic trade, but export markets are yet to recognize the new status.

The control zones restricted the movement of fresh fruit from some of Tasmania’s prime horticultural production areas, unless it had been treated with methyl bromide or been kept in cold storage for weeks.

The shutdown affected export markets and caused huge financial losses.

Fruit Growers’ Tasmania, CEO, Stuart Burgess welcomed the positive news and thanked Tasmanian growers impacted by the exclusion zone.

“There have been no fruit flies detected in Northern Tasmania over the past six months thanks to a collaborative and relentless approach towards eradication,” said Stuart.

“It goes to show what can be achieved when we get Federal Government, state biosecurity teams, industry and the community all pulling in the same direction to solve an issue.”

In the 2018–19 Budget, the Government provided AUD$20 million to the Tasmanian state Government to support the response to the Queensland fruit fly outbreak.

AUD$100,000 was also provided directly to Fruit Growers Tasmania to help growers prepare for and respond to potentially costly biosecurity incidents.

Minister for Agriculture David Littleproud also commented today: “We are working with trading partners with the help of our overseas agriculture counsellors to get international trade back up and running.”

“For the fruit exporters of Northern Tasmania we are working to make this happen as soon as possible.”

The Australian Government also recently announced $16.9 million to support a strong, effective, harmonised system for nation-wide fruit fly management.

 

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