MEDITERRANEAN FRUIT FLY
121. Hon ROBIN SCOTT to the Minister for Agriculture and Food:
I refer to question without notice
(1) Will the
minister confirm that on 11 December 2015, the Carnarvon Growers Association
met at the Dalmacija Club in Carnarvon to discuss the fruit fly program?
(2) Will the minister
confirm that an uncertified copy of the minutes of that meeting contains the
statement: ''Once the fly number have been reduced to a maintenance
level then the cost of running the surveillance and spot spraying program
should be minimal''?
(3) Has the fly number been reduced
to a maintenance level?
(4) If the fly
number has not been reduced to a maintenance level after more than three years,
what reason or reasons would growers have for accepting a levy to continue the
(5) Has the fruit fly eradication
program been discontinued or suspended; and, if not, why not?
ALANNAH MacTIERNAN replied:
I thank the member for the question.
(1) I understand
that the meeting held on 11 December 2015 was the Carnarvon Growers Association's
special general meeting.
department has sourced a copy of the minutes of that meeting. In those minutes,
Luke Skender from the CGA states —
Once the fly number have been reduced
to a maintenance level then the cost of running the surveillance and spot
spraying program should be minimal.
Mediterranean fruit fly eradication project aims to eradicate medfly from
Carnarvon and has made progress. The daily trap rates have declined from seven
flies per trap in 2015 to 0.5 flies per trap in January 2019.
(4) Medfly causes
production losses for host produce at Carnarvon. Trading partners require
evidence of the absence of pests of quarantine concern. Medfly is a leading
pest of quarantine concern in WA. There is strategic value in the eradication
of medfly from Carnarvon. To date, the state government has invested $3.8 million
and industry has invested $1.42 million—a significant investment—into
the control of medfly in Carnarvon. An economic benefits assessment indicates
that the eradication of medfly from Carnarvon will realise an estimated benefit
of $3.40 for every dollar spent as a result of fewer spray applications and
greater access to premium markets.
(5) The program
has not been discontinued. During the meeting with Carnarvon growers that I held
on 12 December 2018, about two-thirds of the growers in the room supported the
continuation of the program. We will consult with growers again before
extending the program beyond June 2019.