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Working together in fruit fly area-wide management

Research & Extension

The Goulburn Murray Valley (GMV) Fruit Fly project has helped contribute to a 60 per cent reduction in the Queensland fruit fly, when comparing peak periods over the last two years.

The project has brought together community, government and industry to combat the impact of the fruit fly, which is considered one of the most serious pests for growers in Queensland, Victoria, New South Wales and the Northern Territory.

The GMV Fruit Fly Governance Group recently met with Agriculture Victoria and the Manager of the National Fruit Fly Council in Cobram, Victoria to discuss opportunities to further enhance the coordinated management of the pest.

“The project has successfully increased awareness, education and engagement of fruit fly within the community, industry and government,” said GMV Fruit Fly project Coordinator Ross Abberfield.

The GMV project is currently collaborating with Macquarie University in running the SITPlus pilot in Cobram, where adding caffeine to the diet of fruit flies to speeding up sexual maturation has been a key part of the study. It is hoped that by increasing the sex drive of sterile fruit flies would more effectively spread infertility in the pest population.

SITPlus Program Director Dan Ryan said it was pleasing to see the early results of the pilot.

“The pilot is establishing the basis for effective urban suppression to help growers in the Cobram region,” Dan said.

“I’m very happy to see good collaboration happening between Agriculture Victoria, Moira Council and the SITPlus partners for the benefit of the Cobram growers.”

The recent collaboration between key agencies was also an opportunity to discuss the National Fruit Fly Strategy 2020-2025 which provides a framework for national cooperation on fruit fly issues. The strategy identifies four key strategic objectives for area wide management in Australia:

  • Maintaining freedom from exotic fruit fly
  • Minimise the incidence and spread of fruit fly
  • Implement national systems that support market access.
  • Facilitate a cooperative and committed national approach to fruit fly management.

The Strategy’s implementation will be guided by work plans containing prioritised activities based on agreed risks, opportunities, benefits and costs.

PHA hosts a website dedicated to helping the community improve fruit fly management in Australia:

For further information about the GMV project visit

For guidelines on reducing your Queensland Fruit Fly problem visit the Area Wide Management commercial grower site

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