Fruit Fly Council boasts greater industry representation

Fruit Fly Council bolstered by new members

Horticulture
RECRUITS: The National Fruit Fly Council now boasts 17 members including six new horticulture industry representatives to bring a broader perspective to issues concerning the pests.

RECRUITS: The National Fruit Fly Council now boasts 17 members including six new horticulture industry representatives to bring a broader perspective to issues concerning the pests.

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The National Fruit Fly Council has lifted its profile and reach by appointing a full time manager and welcoming new industry-based members.

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THE National Fruit Fly Council (NFFC) continues to bolster its credentials with the appointment of a full time manager and six new industry representatives.  

Darryl Barbour has been appointed national manager, entering the role with a background in entomology and experience in biosecurity, pest management, market access, and codes of practice for both Mediterranean and Queensland fruit flies.

Mr Barbour was employed with the Australian Government Department of Agriculture and Water Resources where he was responsible for developing import risk analyses and leading market access negotiations for Australian horticultural commodities.

Plant Health Australia (PHA) executive director and CEO Greg Fraser said Mr Barbour was an excellent choice for the role. 

“Darryl will be ideal because of his thorough understanding of the issues, and an ability to work with a range of stakeholders including regulatory officials, growers, packers and industry bodies,” Mr Fraser said.

“The Council will need to ensure that everyone is engaged in fruit fly management.”

Membership of the Council has also been broadened in order to further carry out its mission to coordinate fruit fly management activities at a national level.

There are now 17 members on the council including representatives from the stonefruit, citrus, cherry, pome and mango industries.

The NFFC brings together government and industry members to drive the delivery of a national system that prevents fruit flies being a constraint to sustainable production or a barrier to trade and market access. 

It considers the management of Mediterranean fruit fly and Queensland fruit fly, which affect yield and market access for Australian produce. 

It also oversees efforts to prevent exotic species from establishing.

NFFC independent chair Jon Durham said it was essential to expand membership to increase the representation of people affected by fruit flies, in order to develop a truly national solution.

“We have invited people who will bring a range of experience to the Council including government, peak industry bodies, regional groups, as well as growers and researchers,” Mr Durham said. 

NEW FACE: Darryl Barbour has been appointed the national manager of the National Fruit Fly Council.

NEW FACE: Darryl Barbour has been appointed the national manager of the National Fruit Fly Council.

“Membership also covers pest free areas and places where fruit flies are endemic or transitional.”

The members of the National Fruit Fly Council are:

  • Jon Durham, independent chair
  • Mike Ashton, general manager, Plant Biosecurity and Product Integrity, Biosecurity Queensland
  • Darryl Barbour, national manager, Fruit Fly Council, Plant Health Australia
  • Steve Burdette- business development manager, citrus category, Costa Group, Renmark, SA
  • Tom Eastlake, president, Cherry Growers Australia, Young, NSW
  • Greg Fraser, executive director and CEO, Plant Health Australia
  • Peter Hall, chair, Goulburn Valley QFF Taskforce; pome and stoneruit grower, Mooroopna, Vic
  • Satendra Kumar, director plant biosecurity and product integrity, Department of Primary Industries NSW
  • Jo Luck, director research, education and training, Plant Biosecurity Cooperative Research Centre
  • Ben Martin, director, Australian Mango Industry Association; mango grower, Bowen, Qld
  • David Moore, general manager, research, marketing and investments, Horticulture Innovation Australia
  • Gabrielle Vivian-Smith, chief plant health officer, Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources, Vic
  • Sally Troy, assistant secretary, plant health policy, Australian Government Department of Agriculture and Water Resources
  • Mark Wilkinson, stonefruit grower, Maida Vale, WA
  • Joelene Williams, Greater Sunraysia PFA industry development committee; stonefruit grower, Swan Hill Vic
  • Bill Woods, senior entomologist, Department of Agriculture and Food, WA
  • Will Zacharin, executive director, Biosecurity South Australia

Meanwhile, Primary Industries and Regions South Australia (PIRSA) declared an outbreak of Mediterranean Fruit Fly earlier this month following the discovery of flies in the Highgate area.

A 1.5 kilometre quarantine area was established around the outbreak and an eradication program has begun.

PIRSA Manager Plant Health Operations Biosecurity SA Nick Secomb said the quarantine area includes the suburbs of Highgate, Fullarton, Unley, Parkside, Myrtle Bank, Frewville, Glen Osmond, Glenunga, Netherby, Urrbrae, Kingswood and Malvern.

"Residents and businesses within the quarantine area will be receiving information from Biosecurity SA about the outbreak and associated quarantine, detailing what part they can play in preventing its spread," he said.

"As part of the eradication program, Biosecurity SA officers will be contacting home owners within the quarantine zone to apply organic fruit fly bait to properties and to pick up any fallen fruit. Extra fruit fly traps have also been set up in the area."

Mr Secomb said South Australia is the only Australian mainland state that is fruit fly free and it is important that it stays that way.

"In 2014-15 the estimated farm gate value of South Australia's horticultural produce vulnerable to fruit fly infestation, including wine grapes and almonds, was $1.1 billion," he said. 

"This status also helps to secure producers' access to lucrative citrus markets such as Japan, USA, Thailand and New Zealand, which in 2014-15 was worth approximately $40 million.

"Successful eradication of isolated fruit fly detections such as this one helps to maintain our state's fruit fly free status."

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