Throughout the winter period Biosecurity Tasmania, together with the fruit industry, has continued work in support of the Queensland fruit fly response. DPIPWE and Biosecurity Tasmania have been working on a range of actions and support measures towards the goal of lifting control area restrictions and seeking market access reinstatement.
Important changes to fruit movement restrictions
Biosecurity Tasmania has advised that as of 1 October Control Area restrictions have changed to enable growers to sell their produce within the Control Areas.
From 1 October untreated fruit is allowed to be moved and sold within the 15km Control Areas, but existing control measures must stay in place for those properties within the tighter 1.5km Infected Areas where fruit fly was found last summer.
This decision reflects the comprehensive biosecurity response undertaken to date, plus ongoing negotiations with growers and industry. The Australian Government has also agreed that these changes are appropriate.
What this means for industry:
- From 1 October, growers can move and sell untreated fruit within the 15km Control Areas
- Existing control measures will stay in place for properties within the 1.5km Infected Areas
- Movement of fruit from inside to outside the Control Areas is still not allowed, unless fruit is appropriately dealt with under required protocols.
Market access reinstatement
Biosecurity Tasmania has been compiling evidence of eradication, control and monitoring activities in accordance with the National Fruit Fly Management Protocols.
This supports the work being undertaken with the Australian Government in their negotiations for market access reinstatement with our trading partners.
The National Fruit Fly Management Protocols are the tools the Australian Government uses to determine the date of reinstatement. At this stage that date looks likely to be 9 January 2019 for the Northern Tasmania Control Area. The reinstatement date is expected to be 20 December 2018 for the Furneaux Group of Islands (including Flinders Island) Control Area.
However there will be a number of factors that will come in to play to determine the final reinstatement date. One of those factors is a detection of any fruit flies in spring and/or summer. Biosecurity Tasmania is planning, preparing and resourcing for a rapid re-escalation of eradication activity in the event of a detection during this time period.
Review of Fumigation PracticesBiosecurity Tasmania is currently partnering with Agriculture Victoria to undertake a national review of fumigation practices. A draft report has been prepared and will be reviewed by Biosecurity Tasmania and Agriculture Victoria before being finalised.
What’s happening now?
- Control Area restrictions remain in place to maintain Tasmania’s Fruit Fly Free status.
- Biosecurity Tasmania is maintaining and enforcing pre-border treatment requirements and continuing border protection activities to prevent future incursions.
- The State Government is supporting farmers and growers affected by the Control Area restrictions with financial assistance.
- Recruitment is underway to fill newly-established fruit fly support positions within Biosecurity Tasmania. The new positions will be focused in the north and north-west of the state and will work closely with all stakeholders to manage fruit fly and ongoing biosecurity risks that affect market access.
Further advice and informationA dedicated contact point has been established to support industry and the community. The Fruit Fly Support Officer will ensure that callers receive the information they require, or are put in direct contact with those people who can provide the necessary support and advice.
Fruit Fly Support Officer can be contacted on 03 6478 4114.