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Wednesday, 3 November 1976
Page: 2328

Mr Lloyd (MURRAY, VICTORIA) asked the Minister for Health, upon notice:

(   1 ) Has the oriental fruit fly been discovered in any new areas of the Northern Territory or any of the States since the initial realisation that the pest was well established on the mainland.

(2   ) Has it been discovered in any varieties of fruit.

(3)   Is there now an adequate number and placement of traps actually to define and monitor its penetration of the continent.

Mr Hunt - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(   1 ) The Oriental Fruit Fly has not been discovered in any area outside that defined in Northern Australia in March, 1976. This area comprised 300 000 sq km of the top end of the Northern Territory. Apart from the location of a single damaged speciment at Kununurra in Western Australia in February, 1976, the pest has not been located in any State.

(2)   During 1975 and 1976 extensive field surveys in the Northern Territory by inspectors experienced in fruit fly attack have failed to detect any infestation of commercial fruit. However, a specimen originating in a mango from Darwin in 1969 was incorrectly identified at that time. A subsequent re-identification in 1976 proved it to be Oriental Fruit Fly.

(3)   In Northern Australia the monitoring program is being sustained at the March, 1976 level and this is considered adequate. Monitoring activities in other areas of the continent are the responsibility of State Governments.

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