Murray Pioneer – Strip Trees

Murray Pioneer – Strip Trees

24 March 2021

RIVERLANDERS have been advised to strip backyard trees in an effort to stop the spread of fruit fly, after two more local outbreaks were declared last week.

Outbreaks of Queensland fruit fly were last Wednesday declared in Berri – after maggots were found in home-grown fruit – and Pike River, where larvae was discovered in a commercial consignment.

Riverland-based Legislative Council Member, Nicola Centofanti, said removing potential host material from backyards would reduce the risk of fruit fly spreading across the region.

“Each fruit fly detection triggers a suspension zone whereby fruit within that zone cannot be moved outside of the zone,” Ms Centofanti said.

“Unfortunately, many local growers are in a suspension zone, meaning they can’t get their fruit to market without costly treatment.

“Please consider stripping your backyard fruit trees to remove host fruit (and) ensure none is left on the tree or the ground.

“We are attacking the outbreaks head-on and by abiding by the outbreak restrictions the community can help the Riverland keep our pest-free status which is our region’s unique strength.”

Ms Centofanti’s Liberal Party colleague, Chaffey MP Tim Whetstone, said co-operation throughout the community was required to keep the region’s fruit fly free status.

“Fruit fly is one of the world’s most destructive pests and the Riverland horticulture industry has spent decades working to achieve and maintain a fruit fly free status,” Mr Whetstone said.

“The five Riverland fruit fly detections have all been in backyard fruit trees, which is why we are urging the community to strip fruit off their trees and ensure nothing is left on the ground.

“If you’re living in a suspension zone you shouldn’t be moving any fruit, residential grown or commercially bought from outside of that zone.

“We’re also asking that backyard grown fruit not be removed from the property regardless of whether it is in a suspension zone or not.”

PIRSA Biosecurity SA executive director Nathan Rhodes said more than 61,000 kilograms of fruit – mostly from backyard trees – had been collected across Renmark West, Monash and Cooltong.

“Immediate eradication activities are under way in the outbreak areas in Berri and at Pike River, including organic baiting and fruit checking, with additional staff assisting in a bid to get on top of these new outbreaks,” Mr Rhodes said.

“In the Renmark West, Cooltong and Monash outbreak and suspension areas there are almost 8000 residences, so it is critical we ask people to check their backyard fruit trees and vegetable gardens.

“The Department is working closely with affected producers so they can continue to meet export requirements for their produce and I must reiterate the Riverland’s fruit fly free status remains in areas outside of the outbreaks.”

Further information regarding suspension zones and quarantine periods in the Riverland can be found by visiting the PIRSA website (

Read the original article here.


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