- Strong control measures in place to stop spread of Queensland fruit fly
- Communities of Dalkeith, Nedlands and Claremont urged to support response efforts
The Western Australian Government has introduced strong control measures to stop the spread of the destructive pest, Queensland fruit fly (Qfly), following an outbreak in Dalkeith and surrounds.
Qfly attacks a wide range of fruits and fruiting vegetables and while found in parts of eastern Australia, it is not established in WA.
A quarantine area is now in place for Dalkeith and parts of Claremont and Nedlands to prevent the movement of home-grown fruit and fruiting vegetables out of the area.
The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development has increased surveillance with more than 300 lure traps now operating in the area and is treating targeted plants with an organic insecticide.
Department officers are contacting local residents in areas surrounding Qfly detections to remove material which can provide a breeding ground for this pest, such as citrus, stone fruit, olives, tomatoes, chillies and capsicums.
More information, including advice for residents, is available from the department website http://www.agric.wa.gov.au
Comments attributed to Agriculture and Food Minister Alannah MacTiernan:
"This vital work is helping to protect Western Australia's fruit and vegetable industries which are worth approximately one billion dollars annually and provide high-quality fresh produce for WA consumers and export markets.
"We acknowledge that measures such as removing backyard fruit and fruiting vegetables will be tough for residents in affected areas.
"But we need to act quickly and decisively to minimise further loss. If we don't undertake these strong measures now to eradicate this pest, we place future production at risk - not only for our commercial growers but also for Perth residents wanting to grow fruit and fruiting vegetables in their garden.
"The department understands this response needs to be exercised in a way that will not contribute to the risk of COVID-19 spread in the local community and will be taking measures to ensure this.
"We know that with co-operation between the local community and government we can eradicate this pest - we have done it seven times in Perth since the 1980s - and we are looking to again achieve a successful result against this significant incursion."
Minister's office - 6552 6200