National fruit fly strategy reinvigorated

May 7, 2014

Fruit fly management in Australia has been given a considerable boost this week by the announcement that additional funding has been secured for national coordination. Plant Health Australia (PHA), the coordinator of the plant biosecurity partnership in Australia, announced that a National Fruit Fly Strategy (NFFS) Advisory Committee will be established to strengthen national strategic oversight of the National Fruit Fly Strategy (NFFS).

PHA’s CEO and Executive Director, Greg Fraser, made the announcement following the securing of funding from the partners involved – the Australian Government, state and territory governments and Horticulture Australia Limited (HAL). 

Enhancing the management of these damaging pests will bring tremendous additional benefits to the horticulture sector, according to Greg Fraser. “Recognising that a number of crops can be impacted, a collaborative approach is the most effective way to manage fruit flies,” he said.

Mr Fraser added: “The NFFS Advisory Committee will provide national policy oversight of the domestic management of all fruit fly issues, endemic and exotic species. It will allow us to identify areas where efficiencies in processes can be achieved as well as opportunities for investment in research that has support from all stakeholders. It’s a significant step forward.”

The National Fruit Fly Strategy (NFFS) Implementation Action Plan was released in April 2010. While many of the plan’s recommendations have been put in place, the latest announcement on funding supports strategic coordination across the areas of regulation, policy and research and development. One of the first actions of the Advisory Committee will be to review the Strategy, the implementation plan and to revisit priorities.

Mr Fraser said that PHA welcomed the opportunity to form the NFFS Advisory Committee.  To engage all stakeholders and begin discussions, a workshop organised by HAL in conjunction with PHA will be held in Melbourne on 15 July. The workshop will provide an opportunity for all governments and industry bodies to have input and express views on the issues and opportunities arising from national fruit fly management.

PHA will be looking to convene the national Advisory Committee at the earliest opportunity.