Goulburn Murray Valley hosts 7th Australian Biology of Tephritid Fruit Flies Conference

A national contingent has converged on Shepparton for the Australian Biology of Tephritid Fruit Flies Conference, bringing together researchers, scholars and industry leads. The Goulburn Murray Valley Fruit Fly Project hosted the national conference which ran over Tuesday 28 and Wednesday 29 May 2019 at Riverlinks Shepparton and attracted approximately 150 delegates from across Australia.

The conference theme of “Blue Sky Applied” highlighted blue sky research that can be ‘applied’ to provide practical solutions for Australian horticulture. The event was aptly held in Shepparton, the pome fruit capital of Australia and brought together key research, findings and emerging opportunities in the management and control of the pest.

In addition to profiling the latest fruit fly research, the conference provided a conduit and extended the connections between National Research, the Sterile Insect Technique (SIT Plus Consortium) and Fruit Fly Area Wide Management. A range of presentations informed and updated stakeholders of the latest progress and outcomes in fruit fly research and the practical implications involved for Australian horticulture. This event was hosted by the Goulburn Murray Valley Fruit Fly Project, which takes in the local government areas of Greater Shepparton City Council along with Moira, Berrigan, Strathbogie and Campaspe Shires.

Greater Shepparton City Council Mayor, Kim O’Keeffe delivered a welcoming address to kick off the event which was warmly received.

Goulburn Murray Valley Fruit Fly Project Coordinator Ross Abberfield described the conference as an invaluable opportunity to bring the sharpest of minds in the field together.

“This is a national event and brings together researchers from each end of the professional spectrum. It enables them to look, listen, learn and connect with their peers and recognised fruit fly research scholars,” he said. Key sessions and talking points over the two days included biosecurity and market access, fruit fly ecology and microbial interactions, molecular biology and genetics along with chemical ecology.

The region is recognised as the largest producer of pears in the southern hemisphere. The Murray Valley is the nation’s largest producer of stone fruit with the region also renowned for its kiwi fruit, pomegranate, grape and vegetable production.

The Goulburn Murray Valley Fruit Fly Project brings together grower groups, industry, the community and government to strengthen fruit fly management through coordination and collaboration, improvement of QFF management and support and prioritisation QFF research in the GMV region.

The Goulburn Murray Valley Fruit Fly Project is funded by the Victorian Government’s managing Fruit Fly Regional Grants Program.