The Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) has recently commissioned several projects related to improving the management of fruit fly in Australia. These projects are all operating concurrently and involve consultation with similar stakeholder groups, however they each have distinct scopes and objectives which complement each other.
1. Building Resilience to Manage Fruit Fly Package
In December 2021, the Australian government announced $30 million over three years to build resilience to manage fruit fly. This Package will provide funding to help stop the spread of fruit fly through roadblocks and quarantine stations, drive down pest pressure in vulnerable areas by expanding Sterile Insect Technique capability and grow exports through critical infrastructure.
An independent scoping study is currently being undertaken to determine viable options for infrastructure projects to be funded under the Package and make recommendations to assist the department in allocating money between projects and jurisdictions.
2. National Fruit Fly Resourcing Options
This project is being undertaken to explore viable options and facilitate conversation with a broad range of fruit fly stakeholders, seeking national engagement on how to fund Australia’s fruit fly management system into the future.
The work being undertaken links to the Building Resilience to Manage Fruit Fly Package Scoping Study because projects will need to demonstrate that they are financially sustainable, however it has a much broader scope.
This project came from the Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) on Strengthening Australia Fruit Fly Management System; one of the criteria for the successful implementation of the IGA is an Australian fruit fly management system that is sustainably resourced.
3. National engagement and extension activities to strengthen fruit fly management
This project aims to identify and fill knowledge gaps for the national fruit fly management system and explore key issues such as governance, access to chemicals and novel technologies, key policy topics and facilitate engagement between projects, such as the above national resourcing project. The work is being undertaken by Plant Health Australia.
The department and the project teams have been and will continue to work closely to ensure there is alignment in their work and to integrate outcomes from each of these consultation projects.
Stakeholders are encouraged to continue to engage with these initiatives as well as wider fruit fly management discussions.
These projects will complement and build on the Smart Fruit Fly Management measure which was announced in 2018 to strengthen and modernise fruit fly management across Australia. The measure is now coming to an end with the research projects expected to be completed over the next 6 to 12 months.