• Message from the Manager image

It’s been a busy few months in the fruit fly space covering everything from Council meetings and joint sessions with the Sterile Insect Technique Strategic Advisory Committee (SITSAC) as well as visits to the fruit fly team headed by Associate Professor Markus Riegler at the Institute for the Environment at Western Sydney University (WSU). As a graduate of WSU (Hawkesbury back in the day) myself, it was great heading back to meet with Markus and the team and discuss some of their fantastic work as well as see in person the excellent facilities and research work in action. Its an invaluable exercise (meeting with fruit fly researchers) that both Chris O’Connor and I plan to roll out across all key fruit fly research hubs around the country over time.

To that end, the Plant Health Australia National Fruit Fly Committee (NFFC) fruit fly team have been working on a comprehensive schedule through to the end of 2023. Activities include the various Council and newly created Executive Committee meetings, NFFC Research Working Group and Fruit Fly Management Toolbox Task Group meetings, the National Fruit Fly Symposium planned for 17-19 July 2023, regional workshops (i.e. Area Wide Management) and a series of webinars being planned in the lead up to the symposium.

The NFFC has recently confirmed the establishment of an Executive Committee which was established through an expression of interest process from existing NFFC members. We’re excited with this great new initiative, which will further enhance our capacity to collectively tackle solutions to fruit fly challenges that will lead to a cost-effective and sustainable approach to managing fruit flies, and exotic fruit fly risks, across Australia. The Inaugural NFFC Executive Committee will take place on 17 November during the 11th International Symposium on Fruit Flies of Economic Importance. The members are:

  • Andrew Bishop (Natural Resources and Environment Tasmania)
  • Steve Burdette (Steve Burdette and Associates, Horticultural Consultancy)
  • Stuart Burgess (Plant Health Australia, NFFC Manager)
  • Greg Chandler (Hort Innovation)
  • Sarah Corcoran (Plant Health Australia, Interim Chair)
  • Rosa Crnov (Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions Vic)
  • Bertie Hennecke (Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry)
  • Joelene Williams (Sunfruit Orchards)

We know it’s been a tough time for many in the lead up to the coming summer season. The NFFC will continue to work closely with all Commonwealth, state and territory departments as well as key fruit fly affected industry groups to jointly tackle the many ongoing challenges we face.

Stuart Burgess
Manager, National Fruit Fly Council