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Fruit growers counting the cost of the fruit fly outbreak

Fruit fly was first detected in Tasmania in January 2018, sparking concerns it could threaten the state's fruit fly-free status, and triggering control zones around the outbreaks.

Brett Rosendale, who owns Sheffield Berry Gardens in the north-west said he had lost about $70,000 since becoming part of the Spreyton control zone about six weeks ago.

The business has frozen as much produce as possible, but has to sell it for a fraction of the price, he said.  "[It's] financially devastating, emotionally terrible," Mr Rosendale said.  "It's just heart-wrenching to spend your whole season doing something ready for market then it's pulled out from under you through no fault of your own."  He said the profits from his business have been wiped out.

Turners Beach farmer Marcus Brandsema said he had received about $70,000 in compensation as he continues to battle fruit fly.  "Payment has been quite prompt and we need it to be because the package that we receive is for funds that we're paying bills for like fumigation, labour etc," he said.

(From ABC News - 12 April 2018) 

Updated information on the fruit fly response is available at the DPIPWE website, including grower assistance advice.

Anyone with concerns around fruit fly should contact the Biosecurity Tasmania hotline on 6165 3774.