Biosecurity Tasmania undertakes a range of measures to protect Tasmania's agricultural industries, economy, and environment from the damaging effects of fruit fly.
Biosecurity measures include:
Imposing strict requirements for the import of produce before it enters the state
Conducting extensive checking on produce as it enters the state
Checking passengers, luggage, freight and mail at the border
Regularly checking the dedicated trapping network across the state to monitor for the presence of fruit fly.
Biosecurity Tasmania's fruit fly surveillance program comprises a network of around 1,000 fruit fly traps at various risk points, from Dover in the south to the Bass Strait Islands in the north. These pest surveys are ongoing to prove that Tasmania is fruit fly free, and to give Biosecurity Tasmania an early warning of a fruit fly incursion.
There are also
legal restrictions on people bringing fruit and vegetables into Tasmania
. In short, people are not allowed to bring fruit or vegetables with them when they come to, or return to, Tasmania. Biosecurity Tasmania ensures everyone coming into Tasmania is fully aware that they may not bring fruit or vegetables with them - and may prosecute those who fail to comply.
Commercial shipments of fruit and vegetables are allowed only if they comply with Biosecurity Tasmania's strict biosecurity requirements (see
Plant Biosecurity Manual
for import requirements). All fruit and vegetables require special certification from the state of origin. Most imported fruit is subject to appropriate treatments to manage risk of fruit fly entry.
Import requirements apply to all imported host produce, regardless of whether it is grown in an orchard, small acreage or home garden. In fruit fly affected areas on the mainland, fruit fly populations are generally a lot higher in urban home gardens and small blocks than in outlying orchards, where pest control programs are routinely employed. In a fruit fly outbreak, lone fruit trees or vines in an urban backyard and neglected fruit trees or vines on non-commercial smallholdings are a major biosecurity risk. This is especially so if the owner fails to collect and destroy fallen fruit.
Current status of the Control Areas and Infected Areas
Control Area restrictions in the Northern Tasmania Control Area, that were put in place in early 2018 following the detection of Queensland fruit fly, were officially lifted at 12.01 am, Wednesday 9 January 2019. This means that normal movement of fruit fly host produce has resumed on mainland Tasmania. Trading partners should now accept produce from all areas of mainland Tasmania as fruit fly free.
With the recent detection of an adult male Queensland fruit fly at Lady Barron, the Furneaux Group of Islands Control Area and Infected Area restrictions at Lady Barron will now be extended out to March 2019. The Infected Area restrictions at Trousers Point/Loccota and Badger Corner on Flinders Island have been lifted as of 9 January 2019.
Control and eradication measures currently in place
Biosecurity Tasmania is working directly with businesses and the community to implement extensive control and eradication activities that include:
What you can do to help
- Do NOT bring fruit fly host produce into Tasmania. Fines may apply.
- Be on the lookout for signs of fruit fly and report suspect produce to Biosecurity Tasmania on 6165 3774.
- Do NOT move host produce from inside the Furneaux Group of Islands Control Area to outside of that Control Area.
- Do NOT move host produce from inside the Infected Area to outside of the Infected Area.
- Returning residents and visitors to Flinders Island CANNOT bring fruit fly host produce onto the Island from mainland Australia locations.
- Obey all signs and use the quarantine disposal bins provided when leaving the Furneaux Group of Islands Control Area.
- For more information about consumption and disposal of host produce in the Control Area and Infected Area (the requirements are different) please read the You can help protect Tasmania page.
- If you think produce might be infested with fruit fly, please contact Biosecurity Tasmania on the Fruit Fly Hotline immediately.