Will Hodgman

Premier of Tasmania

25 January 2018

Jeremy Rockliff, Minister for Primary Industries and Water

Fruit fly

The Hodgman Liberal Government takes the threat of fruit fly extremely seriously.

This morning I was briefed on the swift action being taken by Biosecurity Tasmania.

While fruit fly has been found in Tasmania before, in 2011, there is no room for complacency, we are prepared for this threat and we are doing everything possible to deal with the current situation.

Tasmania has a $50 million fruit export industry to protect and that is why in 2017 in collaboration with the fruit industry we launched the long-term Tasmanian Fruit Fly Strategy 2017-2050.

Since coming to Government, we have increased funding year on year to build Biosecurity Tasmania resources and ensure we can adequately protect our island resources.

Biosecurity Tasmania has strict procedures in place to react swiftly to any concerns raised and we support them in their efforts to protect our State.

The Hodgman Liberal Government has doubled biosecurity detector dog teams from six to 12, meaning we now have the capacity to target 100 per cent of flights into Launceston and Hobart airports as well as attending regional airports, ports, and mail centres.

Since implementing new TT-Line biosecurity arrangements three years ago, more than 50 tonnes of biosecurity risk material has been seized in Victoria preventing arrival in Tasmania, and more than 286,000 vehicles and 65,000 passengers have been screened.

Biosecurity officers also undertake follow-up inspections in Devonport.

Our fruit fly strategy is aimed at looking at long-term changes because of challenges posed by projected climate change, accompanied by changes to tourism and to export and import volumes.

The strategy identifies a number of key areas for future action with the fruit industry that we will regularly update as required.

Central to the strategy is the continued protection for Tasmania from pest fruit flies through to 2050, and is a key biosecurity commitment contained in the Agri-Food Plan.

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