29 May 2020

In November 2018, the National Fruit Fly Council welcomed the Australian Government’s announcement of the $16.9 million Smart Fruit Fly Management measure.

The measure acknowledges the importance of managing fruit fly to protect Australia’s horticulture industry and supports maintaining a strong, effective and harmonised fruit fly management system.

The Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment is leading the management of the measure which supports a wide range of activities that fall into five priority areas:

  • systems capability
  • national policy development
  • technical and scientific advice
  • communication and extension
  • research and development.

For example, to improve system capability the measure supports the modernisation of Australia’s National Fruit Fly Management Protocols. The protocols include a series of guidelines and references that set the standards for the national management of fruit fly. This ensures the Australian Government can provide assurance to international trading partners that Australia’s management of fruit fly is coordinated, consistent and meets international obligations.

The measure also supports the development of national policies for fruit fly management. One of these is a national policy for use of the sterile insect technique (SIT) in fruit fly management. It will outline principles to assist state and territory governments to consistently apply SIT in Australia.

In the technical and scientific advice area, a technical feasibility and economic analysis for the eradication of Mediterranean fruit fly from Western Australia being undertaken by the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics.

As well as promoting the measure and its achievements, activities in the communication and extension area aim ensure that all participants are aware of their shared responsibility in strengthening Australia’s fruit fly management system.

Finally, the measure establishes a research program to fund research, development and extension activities that strengthen Australia’s fruit fly management system. The total funding for the research program is $13 million, comprising $6.5 million from the Australian Government and $6.5 million co-contributed by the state and territory governments. Projects that will be funded under this program will be announced soon.

The National Fruit Fly Council believes the activities supported by the measure will play a vital role in strengthening Australia’s fruit fly management system. The Council will continue to support and collaborate with all stakeholders to progress work in each of these priority areas.