The Victorian Department of Primary Industries is declaring a 15 kilometre suspension zone in Sunraysia following the detection of a Queensland fruit fly in Mildura.
DPI senior market access officer Gary D’Arcy said Mildura's location in a major fruit production area and within the Greater Sunraysia Pest Free Area, meant it was critical that the pest was eradicated as soon as possible to minimise the impact on fruit industries within the zone.
"Following the declaration, all host fruit will need to be certified under a DPI arrangement prior to leaving the 15 kilometre suspension zone and moving to other Victorian markets and sensitive interstate markets, including South Australia, Western Australia and the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area of New South Wales," Mr D’Arcy said.
"An eradication program will commence within a 1.5 kilometre radius of the detection site on Cureton Avenue, which is located in Mildura."
Mr D’Arcy added that the cooperation of residents would be crucial to the success of the program.
"Affected households in the immediate area will receive a leaflet describing the control program, and DPI field teams will be visiting properties to implement control measures," he said.
"We strongly encourage local residents to help by providing access to their backyards and by not removing any home-grown fresh fruit from their property."
Most fruits, including citrus, stone and pome fruit, berries, grapes, tomatoes, capsicums and chillies are potential hosts of Queensland fruit fly.
Mr D’Arcy said that the new outbreak highlights the need for continued vigilance by residents of Mildura and surrounding towns.