Research blueprint to tackle fruit fly

The launch of a research, development and extension plan aimed at enhancing Australia’s capability to manage fruit fly is a significant step in the ongoing battle against the world’s worst horticultural pest.

Senator for South Australia Anne Ruston today welcomed the launch of the plan, developed by the Plant Biosecurity CRC.

"Managing fruit fly is an important issue for Australia’s $9.3 billion horticultural industry, particularly with respect to its ability to access lucrative export markets," Senator Ruston said.

"This plan, developed by the PBCRC as part of a national effort to review and improve the National Fruit Fly Strategy, provides a blueprint for research priorities to better manage the pest."

Senator Ruston said the Australian Government had played a critical leadership role in the formation of the National Fruit Fly Strategy Advisory Committee and development of the research plan.

"Concerns from industry that action on the 2008 National Fruit Fly Strategy had not progressed prompted the Minister for Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce, to provide funding for the advisory committee, which was subsequently added to by state and territory governments and industry bodies," she said.

"The challenge ahead is for industry to take up the challenge in a nationally coordinated way and implement the strategy with all due dispatch, with the aim of reducing the importance of fruit fly as a factor in Australian horticultural export market access.

"Now that a research plan has been finalised, industry now must focus on implementing proven management measures in fruit growing areas.

"Ultimately this will mean better access to lucrative export markets, more competitive pricing for Australian horticultural produce in these markets, and improved returns for our growers."

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