National Management Group (NMG) endorses the Exotic Fruit Flies in the Torres Strait Response Plan

​The National Management Group (NMG) for Exotic Fruit Flies in the Torres Strait, comprising all Australian governments and affected plant industry parties met on 4 November 2015 to discuss the Exotic Fruit Flies in Torres Strait Response Plan 1 July 2015 to 30 June 2018 (response plan).

Since 1996, the Commonwealth and Queensland Governments have collaborated on the Long-Term Containment Strategy for Exotic Fruit Flies in Torres Strait, an annual program to eradicate Oriental fruit fly (Bactrocera dorsalis), melon fly (Zeugodacus cucurbitae) and New Guinea fruit fly (B. trivialis). 

Acting on advice from the Consultative Committee on Emergency Plant Pests (CCEPP), the NMG agreed that it is technically feasible and cost beneficial to eradicate incidents of Z. cucurbitae, B. dorsalis and B. trivialis from Torres Strait on an annual basis to provide ongoing protection to mainland Australia from exotic fruit flies.

The NMG acknowledges the response plan is of considerable benefit to Australian horticultural industries. If any exotic fruit flies were to establish on the mainland of Australia, it is anticipated there would be severe implications to domestic and international trade. In the event of an incursion, the potential losses to producers from an exotic fruit fly incursion in mainland far north Queensland spreading to the rest of Australia are estimated at $2.1 billion.1

As such, the NMG agreed to the response plan from 1 July 2015 to 30 June 2018 and its revised indicative cost-shared budget of $1.213 million ($404 391 per financial year).  Affected Industry Parties who agreed to cost share the response plan are:

  • Apple and Pear Australia Limited
  • Australian Banana Growers Council
  • Australian Mango Industry Association
  • Australian Processing Tomato Research Council
  • Australian Table Grape Association
  • Avocados Australia
  • Canned Fruit Industry Council Australia
  • Cherry Growers Australia
  • Citrus Australia
  • Dried Fruit Australia
  • Summerfruit Australia
  • Wine Grape Growers of Australia

The Commonwealth and all state and territory governments have committed to this nationally significant response.
The eradication response is now being conducted by Queensland under the Emergency Plant Pest Response Deed (the Deed). This Deed is the agreement between the Australian Government, all state and territory governments, national plant industry bodies and Plant Health Australia to manage national responses to emergency plant pests.

Benefit-Cost Analysis of the Long-Term Containment Strategy for Exotic Fruit Fly in Torres Strait. ABARES 2014.