Fruit fly allegedly discovered near commercial orchard in Devonport

EXTENDED FLY ZONE: Image depicting fruit fly larvae in fruit flesh. DPIPWE is investigating reports of fruit fly around George Town. Picture: DPIPWE
EXTENDED FLY ZONE: Image depicting fruit fly larvae in fruit flesh. DPIPWE is investigating reports of fruit fly around George Town. Picture: DPIPWE

UPDATE 4.50PM: 

A peak fruit grower body has called for confidence in the ‘resilient’ industry after more fruit fly scares.

A suspected adult fruit fly was found near George Town, while larvae have been discovered near a commercial grower in the Devonport control area.

Fruit Growers Tasmania business development manager Phil Pyke said finding new fruit flies would hit the growers, but they were resilient.

A South Australian fruit grower industry body was confident the fruit fly would be dealt with in Tasmania, although there was a long way to go, Mr Pyke said.

He hoped other mainland states would take biosecurity as seriously as Tasmania and South Australia did, he said.

The industry body requested anyone who might have bought fruit that appeared off and disposed of it, to contact Biosecurity Tasmania.

UPDATE 4PM:

Suspected fruit fly larvae have been found near Devonport near a commercial orchard.

Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment Biosecurity Tasmania general manager Lloyd Klumpp said the Department would immediately implement its requirements for a larvae detection.

“Although this detection has occurred within the current control area for Greater Devonport, because it is near the eastern boundary we will need to extend the current control area boundary,” Dr Klumpp said. 

“This is in accordance with agreed national protocols and to ensure we target all possible areas in our eradication activities.”

Dr Klumpp said the detection near the eastern boundary was found in a fruit tree of a kitchen garden at a site adjacent to a commercial orchard.

It was unlikely to be movement of a population from the Spreyton detection site, he said.

“We have evidence there may have been problems on mainland Australia in the supply of fruit and we will be investigating that as well as part of our traceback investigations.

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EARLIER:

A suspected fruit fly has been spotted near George Town, which would be the furthest east the flies have been found on mainland Tasmania.

The adult male fruit fly was allegedly caught in a trap.

When asked to confirm the reports, Tasmanian Primary Industries Minister Jeremy Rockliff said he understood it was likely to be a fruit fly.

Any detection was concerning, Mr Rockcliff said.

“We’re taking this very, very seriously indeed.”

It was unknown whether an exclusion zone would be set up around the area, he said.

“Biosecurity Tasmania remain vigilant.”

More traps would be installed to ensure there would be good data about further detection, Mr Rockliff said.

“This is not just a Tasmanian problem at this present time, we have fruit fly detection in both South Australia and Western Australia. Naturally we’re sharing resources and expertise.”

He received afternoon briefings from Biosecurity Tasmania about the incursion, Mr Rockcliff said.

“One of our biggest barriers to maintaining our fruit fly free status in Tasmania is in fact our barrier of winter.”

Labor Leader Rebecca White said she would wait to see if there was confirmation it was a fruit fly.

“Our brand is where the value comes from for everything we do, the only way we access those markets internationally is because of our disease-free status,” Ms White said.

“We need to protect that and Biosecurity Tasmania is the front line in protecting the Tasmanian brand.”

Visit dpipwe.tas.gov.au/fruitfly for more information.

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