WA declared free of Queensland fruit fly after 15-month eradication campaign
State's $1.083 billion horticulture industries maintain market access
Western Australia has been declared free of Queensland fruit fly (Qfly) after a successful 15-month campaign to eradicate the destructive pest from the Perth metropolitan area.
The McGowan Government invested more than $13.5 million into the eradication efforts to protect the State's $1 billion horticulture industries and access to vital export markets.
A team of more than 550 with the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development worked closely with communities in and around Dalkeith and Coolbellup to carry out more than 173,000 property and baiting inspections, and collected and disposed of more than 35,000 kilograms of at-risk fruit.
More than 54.5 million sterile Qfly were released across both areas to prevent potential breeding and eradicate any surviving Qfly after baiting.
The final Quarantine Area Notice for Coolbellup and surrounds ends on Monday, May 24, meaning all restrictions for the movement and management of fruit in the Perth metropolitan area have been removed.
Qfly monitoring traps will remain in place in both areas, as part of the State's permanent early warning trapping grid.
To help prevent future outbreaks, it is important the community continues to keep their fruit and vegetable gardens well maintained and report any usual pests.
Any unusual pest activity can be reported via MyPestGuide app or by contacting the Pest and Disease Information Service on (08) 9368 3080 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Comments attributed to Agriculture and Food Minister Alannah MacTiernan:
"This was a mammoth effort from the department, and we thank the impacted communities and the WA horticulture industry on the tireless work they have done together to make sure we were able to rid this pest from our State.
"The McGowan Government's investment in a strong biosecurity system and incident response expertise is helping to protect our valuable primary industries.
"The success of these recent Qfly campaigns saved the State's horticulture industry and economy an estimated $38 million annually in lost production and market access.
"These responses are a timely reminder of the importance of not bringing fruit and vegetables into WA, which might carry Qfly as well as other pests and diseases.
"We all have a role to play in keeping our community pest-free to support our local growers."
Minister's office - 6552 6200
Photo: Fruit fly (Source: RNZ).
Acknowledgement: this article was reproduced from a media release by WA Government.