Media Release

Getting fruit fly under control a national priority

7 May 2014

The Australian Government today committed $80,000 in new funding to the coordination of the National Fruit Fly Strategy.

The funding commitment was made as Plant Health Australia announced the establishment of a National Fruit Fly Strategy (NFFS) Advisory Committee to oversee the implementation of the strategy.

Minister for Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce, welcomed the initiative, saying that enhanced national coordination was essential to managing the significant impact of fruit fly.

"Fruit fly is a particularly damaging pest that has serious economic implications for Australia's horticulture industry and the Coalition is absolutely committed to the National Fruit Fly Strategy," Minister Joyce said.

Initiatives under the National Fruit Fly Strategy are  important in supporting the effective management of fruit fly and the future of our domestic and international horticultural market access.

"This funding commitment will enhance national policy and regulatory oversight of all domestic fruit fly issues, including identifying efficiencies in processes as well as targeting research and development," Minister Joyce said.

Implementation of the National Fruit Fly Strategy will also reduce the impact of fruit flies and the costs for industry across the supply chain and ultimately lead to better returns at the farm gate for producers delivering produce to market.

The total value of Australian horticulture production in 2012–13 was over $8 billion. Over 75 per cent of all our fruit and vegetable exports, valued at around $640 million in 2012–13 are susceptible to fruit fly.

Effective management of fruit fly is therefore a significant issue for Australian industry.

"Protecting Australia's reputation as a high-quality exporter of clean produce is essential to maintaining our value in the international marketplace and the returns the horticulture industry makes to the national economy," Minister Joyce said.

Plant Health Australia is the national coordinator of the government-industry partnership for plant biosecurity in Australia. 

The National Fruit Fly Strategy can be found the Plant Health Australia website at http://www.planthealthaustralia.com.au/national-programs/fruit-fly/draft-national-fruit-fly-strategy.