Today Biosecurity Tasmania expanded the control zone across the north-west to the north-east of the State.
Head of Biosecurity Tasmania, Dr Lloyd Klumpp, said ongoing surveillance activities as part of the fruit fly response have trapped a total of five adult flies as well as detecting larvae in a backyard orchard in the north-east town of George Town.
"Following the detection of the single adult fly last week in the Statewide surveillance trap monitoring program, the Department immediately implemented an intensive surveillance program, including the inspection of fallen fruit and placement of additional traps around the detection site," Dr Klumpp said.
"Biosecurity Tasmania have already commenced implementing control measures at the site and would be talking to surrounding landowners about the detection and how they can assist the work."
Because of the detections at George Town, the Control Area in the north of the State was increased today from the area around Devonport, Spreyton and Sassafras to the north-east coastal regions of Beechford, Leroy and Kimberley in the south.
New Northern Tasmania Control Zone
Dr Klumpp saw the initial single fly detection at George Town under the State's 1400 trap regime as positive as it allowed Biosecurity Security staff to
move into the area and implementing necessary control measures.
"The detection highlights the value of systems we have in place," he said.
"Our State-wide surveillance program detected a single fly and based on more intensive surveillance we have been able to identify the site for action."
"It is critical that we identify any sites where there is possible fruit fly activity so we can target these sites. Further surveillance and inspection is being undertaken as part of this."
Signage placed on major highways (Image ABC Tasmania)
Fruit Growers Tasmania last week requested the Department to investigate the potential hosts which may have bought the fruit fly into the State.
Dr Klumpp said an investigation was already underway into the possible sources across mainland sourced fruit and vegetables.
"We're aware that other parts of Australia are dealing with similar situations and so we are working closely with all our national partners to reinforce our national system."
"Good biosecurity systems are vital to all State and territories and so there is a cooperative effort to identify if there has been an issue here and if so how can it be addressed."
For growers within the initial Devonport Control Zone, the waiting period of three months is again re-set from today.