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Coolbelup Queensland Fruit Fly response

On March 4, 2021, members of the WA horticulture industry help a Zoom meeting to discuss the Coolbelup Qfly response and special challenges that have arisen from the Perth Markets being in the Quarantine Area.

Panellists:
Sam Grubiša,
sam.grubisa@vegetableswa.com.au
vegetablesWA Regional Development Officer.
Sonya Broughton
, sonya.broughton@dpird.wa.gov.au
Chief Plant Biosecurity Officer, Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development.
David Cousins, david.cousins@dpird.wa.gov.au
Controller, Coolbellup Qfly Response, Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development.
Rebecca Moore, rmoore@perthmarket.com.au
CEO, Perth Markets Group Ltd.
Rohan Prince, rohan.prince@dpird.wa.gov.au
Director Primary Industries Development, Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development.

Useful Contacts:
Rod McPherson
, rmcpherson@marketwest.com.au
Market West CEO
Inci Humberstone, inci@marketwest.com.au
Market West Member Services Manager

0:00 Introduction by vegetablesWA regional development officer Samantha Grubisa

4:46 A lot more plastic is now required to cover pallets and get them to markets. Are there any other options for covering a pallet as there is a price and waste concern.

8:14 What happens once a market agent has purchased the produce?

8:49 Since there has been a new Qfly detected, has the quarantine area been expanded?

9:27 What can industry do to help this situation?

10:09 Do protocols differ when Qfly is detected in a residential zone, compared with an agricultural zone?

10:41 Has DPIRD considered launching a collective program, and joining forces with all of industry, to drive extension with on farm biosecurity?

13:06 Are the distribution warehouses and the likes of Aldi, Spudshed, Coles and Woolworths, being monitored the same way as the Perth Markets?

16:02 Every day there is a large amount of rejected fruit and vegetables dumped at the markets. How is the department and markets managing that problem?

18:16 Some people collect rejected fruit and vegetables from the market and take it home for domestic and animal use. This produce isn’t wrapped. How is this being managed?

19:25 Is the male fruit fly located in Coolbelup related to the female found in Dalkeith?

20:38 Where can growers get more information about the life cycle of a male and female Qfly and what they look like?

21:23 What protocols or risk assessments do the Perth Markets have in place if there is a similar risk, with a different pest, at a later date?

22:24 Could there be better practices put in place?

22:43 Brisbane and Melbourne have upgraded their markets with fans at the entry and exits. Are there any similiar plans for the site at Canningvale?

23:23 Are there biosecurity networks already in place?

28:13 The current Qfly protocol has many implications across the supply chain. Is the protocol as effective as it should be or could improvements be made?

31:00 When there was an outbreak of TPP, there were a series of grower meetings in all production regions. Will DPIRD do this for Qfly?

32:31 About grower access to markets

On 26 February 2021, a second Qfly (male) was found close to the original detection point in the Coolbellup area. This one Qfly is the only new detection but it impacts the eradication program with the packaging and movement restrictions on the Perth Markets to continue until the end of April 2021.

Activities in the new Quarantine Area In response to the new detection, the existing Quarantine Area (QA) will be revoked and a new QA will be determined.

The current Quarantine Area will be expanded by an additional 500m at the northern part and the new Quarantine Area Notice (QAN) will be published on the DPIRD website once the gazettal process is complete.

In accordance with the National Fruit Fly Code of Practice, the following activities are now being carried out in the newly defined QA:

  • Stripping of all Qfly host fruit from premises within 200 m of the recent Qfly detection;
    Twice weekly baiting of all premises and street trees within 200 m of all detection points;
  • Release of Sterile Insect Technique (SIT) Qfly will continue for another week. The program will then be paused to enable the baiting program to be conducted. If no further Qfly are detected, the SIT program will be reinstated once the baiting program concludes.
  • The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) has introduced new conditions for Perth Markets that growers dealing with Qfly host produce must comply with.

Wider Quarantine Area

The new detection has little impact on the boundary of existing Wider Quarantine Area (15 km radius from the detection points). It will mean that the packaging and movement requirements for horticulture businesses, including sellers and buyers at the Perth Markets, will continue during the eradication program.

This means that host fruit, fruiting vegetables and plants with fruit/berries grown in the Wider Quarantine Area must not be taken out of the Area unless under secure conditions or treated in an approved manner.

Secure conditions mean:

  • Contained in a screened building, cold room, truck, transport depot distribution centre or other containment which has gaps no larger than 1.6mm.
  • Continuous cold storage.
  • Unvented packages.
  • Vents secured with mesh or liner sheets

All Qfly produce destined for interstate markets must continue to be moved in accordance with the import requirements of the interstate market. Quarantine WA can provide advice on this – refer to https://www.interstatequarantine.org.au/

Where can I get further information?

Enquiries can also be directed to DPIRD, Industry Liaison
David Windsor
P. 0429 530 378
E. David.Windsor@agric.wa.gov.au

Host fruit to be securely packaged, stored and transported relates to commercial host produce grown outside of the quarantine area, and moved from the wider quarantine area (the quarantine area that is not within the outbreak area) to other areas within Western Australia.

ASSISTANCE OFFERED
The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) will provide assistance with compliance through education for members to meet the requirements.

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