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New detection of Queensland fruit fly south of Perth

By January 6, 2021 No Comments

Queensland fruit fly (Qfly) has been detected in Coolbellup, according to the Western Australian Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD).

The Coolbellup detection is separate to the March 2020 Qfly detections in the western suburbs, Dalkeith, Nedlands and Claremont.

DPIRD has launched an eradication program and a quarantine area is planned to take effect around the suburb, as well as parts of Bibra Lake, Hamilton Hill, Kardinya, North Lake, Spearwood and Samson, from Friday.

Growers, residents and businesses are being urged to cooperate with authorities and allow access to their properties when asked.

vegetablesWA CEO John Shannon explained that a single female Qfly was trapped in December 2020 and diagnostics confirmed the female fly was carrying eggs, which triggered the incident response.

He said this development was extremely alarming for the WA horticulture industry and could have serious consequences for growers.

“There are vegetable growers in this quarantine area who will be directly impacted by this incursion,” Mr Shannon said.

“DPIRD has indicated that a large-scale outbreak of Qfly would cost WA around $38 million per year to manage.

“It could also lead to an increase in the reliance of chemical pesticides, as well as people’s ability to grow and enjoy fruiting plants in their gardens, which no-one wants to happen.”

Mr Shannon said an outbreak of Qfly would considerably impact the trade of the State’s avocados, table grapes and strawberries.

DPIRD has a legislated responsibility to eradicate the pest and protect WA’s commercial fruit and vegetable industries.

Growers, residents and businesses in the quarantine area can expect an initial visit from government inspectors to check for the presence of Qfly host plants.

Inspectors will also be applying insecticide bait to trees and installing Qfly lure traps.

Under WA regulations, anyone who fails to comply with the Quarantine Area Notice could be fined or face remedial action under section 133 of the Biosecurity and Agriculture Management Regulations 2013, or both.

MORE INFORMATION:

We encourage you to regularly check the the Western Australian Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development website for official updates.

Which plants are Qfly hosts?

The Qfly host list is extensive, including, but not limited to yard favourites such as citrus, bananas, stone fruit, olives, tomatoes, avocados, mangoes, passionfruit, tomatoes, capsicum and chillies. It also affects ornamentals such as clivia, lilly pilly, orange jessamine and Indian hawthorn.

How was Qfly detected?

Qfly was detected by DPIRD through its permanent grid of surveillance lure traps located across the Perth metropolitan area.

In December 2020 a single female Qfly was trapped. Diagnostics confirmed the female fly was carrying eggs, which triggered the incident response.

What is the Quarantine Area?

The Quarantine Area covers an approximately 1.5km radius from where Qfly have been detected, and will be in place until further notice.

It will come into effect on 8 January 2021 over all of Coolbellup, and parts of Bibra Lake, Hamilton Hill, Kardinya, North Lake and Samson.

Media contacts:
John Shannon, vegetablesWA chief executive officer
08 9486 7515 / 0488 111 526

Amber Atkinson, vegetablesWA communications and policy officer
08 9486 7515 / 0438 123 562