Biosecurity Tasmania has advised that changes can be made to Control Area restrictions to enable growers to sell their fruit within the Control Areas.
The Commonwealth have agreed that these changes are appropriate at this stage of the response.
From 1 October, untreated fruit will be allowed to be moved and sold within the 15km Control Areas, but existing control measures must stay in place for those properties within the tighter 1.5km Infected Areas where fruit fly was found last summer.
The decision reflects the work undertaken to date, plus ongoing negotiations with growers, industry, state and federal governments to tackle the fruit fly incursion and prepare for the upcoming season.
Movement of fruit from inside to outside the Control Areas is still not allowed, unless fruit is appropriately dealt with under required protocols.
Currently the target date for reinstatement of the Pest Free Area status, based on the National Fruit Fly Management Protocols, is 9 January 2019.
A number of factors will come into play to determine the final reinstatement. This includes finding no further fruit flies and acceptance by our trading partners that Queensland fruit fly no longer is present in Tasmania.
The State Government has also announced targeted support for growers impacted by the fruit fly detection.
A Transitional Assistance Program (TAP) for growers within Infected Areas and Control Areas including treatment costs and hire of treatment equipment, labour costs, transport costs and packing or repackaging costs.
Reasonable biosecurity and farm hygiene costs will also be covered for commercial growers within the Control Areas to reduce the biosecurity risk from any unpicked fruit. The State Government will continue to pay for the disposal of fruit.
A new $4 million Fruit Fly Concessional Loan Scheme facility will be offered to provide support to affected businesses for operating costs necessary to restart or redevelop their operations, as well as provide short-term working capital for the immediate season; and
As an additional safety net, eligible growers in difficulty can access a ‘break-even’ payment under certain circumstances to assist them to continue to trade and maintain their place in the market.
Work is continuing with industry to ensure biosecurity systems remain well-placed to respond to any potential future pest incursions. Both industry and the general public are thanked for their support and vigilance.
For more information;
Biosecurity Tasmania Division
Tel: +61 1300 368 550