Despite fruit fly detections in Tasmania, fruit grown outside of the fruit fly control area can continue to be exported with guidelines now in place for buying and selling fruit across mainland Tasmania for the next three months.
With fruit fly larvae detected in the backyard of a property in Acacia Hills in North West Tasmania and three properties on Flinders Island, trade to the mainland and international market became restricted.
Nic Hansen of Fruit Growers Tasmania said there were now clear guidelines people needed to follow if they were buying or selling fruit across mainland Tasmania for the next three months.
“Basically there is a 15km area from the detection site where fruit is not allowed to be moved outside that control zone from backyards, from people’s trees,” Nic said in an ABC radio interview on Tasmanian Country Hour (29 Jan 2018).
The 15km control zone extended from the centre point of the detection site at Acacia Hills and includes the Port of Devonport and the distribution centre for Woolworths and Coles. Biosecurity Tasmania has details of the location of control areas on their website.
Despite the initial restrictions, export trade can now continue, but “area of fruit fly freedom” certificates are now required.
“Fruit outside of the control zone can continue to be shipped, exported around the world safely and with no problems whatsoever,” Nic said.
“The complication in this matter is that the fruit has to travel through the control zone to actually board the Spirit of Tasmania ferry.”
It means that “fruit fly-free fruit” travelling through the control zone must be packaged to certifiable standards.
Inside the control area, the following protocol applies to producers who wish to export fruit to the mainland or overseas:
- Every orchard/growing area from which fruit will be moved must be subject to one crop inspection by authorised inspectors and their assistants prior to any movement occurring.
- Every consignment of host fruit intended for movement out of the Control Area must be subject to a ‘600 count’ inspection by an authorised inspector.
- Every consignment of host fruit must be packaged in secure conditions in accordance with Schedule 1B of the 2018 Plant Biosecurity Manual Tasmania.
- If the 600 count inspection for a consignment indicates absence of Queensland fruit fly (Qfly) and the requirements of Schedule 1B are met, the authorised inspector will issue a Plant Health Certificate endorsing freedom from Qfly and secure conditions for that consignment only.
- If the 600 count inspection indicates absence of Qfly and the requirements of Schedule 1B for secure conditions have been met, the authorised inspector will issue a Plant Health Certificate endorsing freedom from Qfly and secure conditions for that consignment only.
- If a business can verify that product has been cold stored at <3 Celsius for more than 16 days, the authorised inspector will issue a Plant Health Certificate endorsing freedom from Qfly, and secure conditions for that consignment only.
- An authorised inspector will also issue the business with a Direction under section 56 of the Plant Quarantine Act 1997. This Direction will also enable movement of host fruit out of the Control Area.
- Each consignment must then be transported under secure conditions, accompanied by the unique Plant Health Certificate, and a copy of the section 56 Direction.
Biosecurity Tasmania held grower workshops yesterday in the north-west and south of the state and work on eradication is continuing.
Growers may keep updated with by recent advisory updates and the status of fruit fly by visiting Biosecurity Tasmania’s Fruit Fly webpage or by calling their fruit fly hotline on 03 6165 3774.
In other news, Tasmanian Primary Industries Minister Jeremy Rockliff was reported in the ABC article Fruit fly financial help on offer to growers caught up in control zones (28 Jan 2018) saying:
“[We] are working to mitigate the impacts of movement restrictions and liaising with industry to implement necessary requirements to lift restrictions as soon as possible.”
“We are working with Fruit Growers Tasmania to identify those growers who will need financial and other assistance during this time,” he said.