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Substantial funding for Australia's fruit fly research announced

  • Australian Government is providing $6.5 million towards the Strengthening Australia’s Fruit Fly System Research Program;

  • State and territory governments have matched funding bringing the total to $13 million;

  • The program is part of the Australian Government’s Smart Fruit Fly Management measure.

The Australian Government has invested $6.5 million in the Strengthening Australia’s Fruit Fly System Research Program to support our national approach to fruit fly management.


Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management, David Littleproud said the program will help us better understand fruit fly and their management and complement international trade objectives.


“Fruit flies pose a serious threat to Australian horticulture, and some species are capable of infesting a wide range of commercial and native fruits and vegetables costing growers and threatening our exports,” Minister Littleproud said.


“The National Biosecurity Committee has recently approved six projects to address some of the gaps in our understanding of the pests. This research complements other fruit fly research undertaken by industry and other organisations.


“This research program is an effective government partnership, and I would like to thank my agricultural counterparts in making this happen. It will ultimately give growers, landholders and the community a broader range of tools and knowledge to manage fruit flies into the future.”


Further information on the research program and the Smart Fruit Fly Management measure can be obtained by contacting the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment.


Fast facts:

  • In Australia the Queensland fruit fly is of major concern. It is native to North Eastern Australia, and controls are required to stop it spreading into new areas.

  • Mediterranean fruit fly has established in Western Australia where it is subject to control and containment to stop it spreading into the eastern states.

  • Six research projects are being funded through the Strengthening Australia’s Fruit Fly System Research Program:

  • A lifecycle, ecology and distribution study of Australia’s native fruit fly species to facilitate the development of more effective management of fruit fly nationally.

  • A national biocontrol program to manage Queensland fruit fly including development biological control agent techniques using parasitic wasps, entomopathogenic fungi and nematodes.

  • Data to support improvements to methyl bromide disinfestation treatments against fruit flies.

  • Cost-benefit and beneficiary analysis of the Sterilised Medfly Production facility in Western Australia which will analyse the costs and benefits of maintaining the facility and report on the beneficiaries of the facility.

  • Investigating the effect of packaging to improve current fumigation practices.

  • Developing biologically based control of Mediterranean fruit fly using entomopathogenic microorganisms to attack fruit fly eggs and larvae.


Photo: Fruit fly (Source: Produce Plus).


Acknowledgement: this article was reproduced from a media release by The Australian Government, Hon David Littleproud MP.

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