More fruit flies and larvae found in Tas
A fruit fly exclusion zone in Tasmania's north has been extended, with the state's biosecurity department believing an active population of the invasive pest exists.
Five adult flies and larvae have been trapped at a backyard orchard at George Town after outbreaks at Flinders Island and Spreyton last month prompted Taiwan to suspend fruit imports from affected regions.
Tasmania relies on its fruit-fly-free status for access to million-dollar premium markets in Japan, Korea, the USA and China.
Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment Biosecurity Tasmania general manager Lloyd Klumpp said the latest discovery indicates an active population in the area.
Dr Klumpp said investigations into how the flies arrived is ongoing but mainland supply chain "issues" couldn't be ruled out.
"We are aware that other parts of Australia are currently dealing with a similar situation," he said.
The control area has been extended to George Town, east of Devonport.
A $2 million assistance package to help growers has previously been announced by the state government.
The Queensland fruit fly is found along Australia's eastern seaboard and in the Northern Territory and was declared a list-A pest in Tasmania in 1997.
© AAP 2018