Residents help shoo away damaging fly


Department of Agriculture and Food’s Chris Brandis at work.
Department of Agriculture and Food’s Chris Brandis at work.

The Department of Agriculture and Food (DAFWA) has commended residents of Alfred Cove and surrounding suburbs for their efforts in the eradication campaign against Queensland fruit fly (Qfly).

There have been no detections of Qfly in the outbreak area since six male flies were detected in November 2015 and the national requirements for reinstating Qfly area freedom have been met.

DAFWA Biosecurity and Regulation executive director Kevin Chennell said restrictions on the movement of non-commercial and homegrown fruit material had been lifted.

“Successful eradication is the result of a concerted and combined effort against this destructive pest, involving strong support from industry, the City of Melville and local residents,” he said.

“The patience of residents in complying with fruit disposal and movement restrictions, and accommodating visits to their properties by DAFWA inspection staff has been remarkable.”

More than 12,500 visits were recorded during the campaign, across 910 properties. The program included surveillance, trapping and bait spraying of host material such as fruit trees with organic bait.

Dr Chennell said if established, Qfly would pose a serious risk to the state’s highly valued horticultural industries and would make it difficult to grow backyard fruit.

Melville Mayor Russell Aubrey praised the success of the Qfly eradication program.

“With the Qfly outbreak here in our own backyard, DAFWA, the City and the community worked together to protect the state’s horticulture industry,” he said.

“I thank our residents for their support in co-operating at every stage of the program.”

WA’s horticultural industries also acknowledged the co-operation of residents.

Dr Chennell said because Qfly was present interstate, ongoing vigilance, regulatory measures and planning were required.

“We remind travellers that they must not bring risk material which could harbour pests and diseases, such as fruit and vegetables, into the state,” he said. “DAFWA operates strict interstate quarantine measures and runs an extensive trapping network to provide an early detection warning system against exotic fruit fly pests.”