For the first time in almost a year, the Tasmanian mainland has reclaimed its title of being fruit fly free.
Farmers and fresh produce businesses across the North and North-West were hit hard by the fruit fly incursion in January 2018.
Minister for Primary Industries and Water Guy Barnett said it was the single largest biosecurity action of its kind in Tasmania.
“Lifting of restrictions on mainland Tasmania is a huge respite for fruit growers and our economy more broadly, especially within rural communities,” Minister Barnett said.
“Our fruit industry is worth approximately $154 million a year at the farm gate, multiplying to over three times that value when it is processed and sold as food products.”
Minister Barnett said the achievement couldn’t have been possible without the cooperation of the community and industry.
“Our eradication efforts continue on Flinders Island, and we also look forward to the Island being fruit fly free in March, should there be no further detections,” he said.
“While achieving Pest Free Area status on mainland Tasmania is great news, we all must remain vigilant and take our Island’s biosecurity very seriously in order to protect our agricultural industries.:
Fruit Growers Tasmania chief executive Stuart Burgess said for everyone involved in the industry the incursion lift will have a major impact.
Mr Burgess said that the climate indications show that fruit fly won't be able to overwinter on the Tasmanian mainland.
He said he would have a better indication of how much growers have lost during the incursion on Thursday after the grant deadlines have closed.
“It’s a significant loss for individual growers and one of the key things is we try to work in getting markets open again… and make sure we get ready for the following season,” he said.
If you see signs of fruit fly on your property or anything suspicious call the Biosecurity Tasmania on (03) 6165 3774.
More information about Queensland Fruit Fly can be found on the website: www.dpipwe.tas.gov.au/fruitfly