Queensland fruit fly response – Keep green waste free of untreated fruit

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Department of Primary Industry and Regional Development officers Adeline Blin and Kevin Lacey check green waste for any Queensland fruit fly host material. Residents in the Quarantine Area are reminded to ensure that untreated home-grown fruit or fruiting vegetables does not end up in green waste bins or verge collections.

Residents and gardening contractors in Dalkeith and surrounds are encouraged to ensure the correct disposal of green waste to help stop the spread of the serious agricultural pest, Queensland fruit fly (Qfly).

A Quarantine Area, which applies to all of Dalkeith and parts of Claremont and Nedlands, is in place to help eradicate Qfly.

Restrictions include not placing home-grown fruit that is a host of Qfly into Council waste bins, and not leaving fruit on branches left out for verge collection.

Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development senior development officer Rosalie McCauley thanked the local community for their support with response efforts so far.

“We’ve had great participation from local residents in allowing department officers to inspect their properties and by not moving home-grown Qfly host fruit (including some fruiting vegetables) outside of the Quarantine Area,” Dr McCauley said.

“A key area of focus for us at the moment, across the Quarantine Area, is ensuring untreated home-grown fruit or fruiting vegetables do not end up in green waste bins or verge collections.

“Moving green waste containing fruit which has not been properly treated can potentially spread this pest.

“To prevent this, all green waste must be stripped of fruit prior to disposal, and fruit must remain on site and be disposed of according to the guidelines listed in the Quarantine Area Notice.

“The easiest disposal option is to seal fruit in a heavy-duty black plastic bag which is placed on a hard surface in direct sunlight for a minimum period of seven days. The bag can then be placed in the general waste bin.”

Dr McCauley said other disposal options included immediate refrigerating until consumption, cooking, preserving or freezing for 24 hours.

“After applying one of these options, you can dispose of your fruit as you normally do,” she said.

“Department officers are working with the City of Nedlands and Town of Claremont to ensure appropriate green waste management.

“Community support for these measures will be critical to achieving eradication.”

A map of the Quarantine Area, full list of host fruit and more advice to residents is available from the department website.

Residents can obtain further information on fruit disposal by contacting the department’s Pest and Disease Information Service on 9368 3080 or padis@dpird.wa.gov.au.

Source: Media Release of Western Australian Department for Primary Industries and Regional Development.

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