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Completed project

Establishment of the Qfly SITplus facility in southern Australia (HG14035)

Key research provider: Primary Industries and Regions SA
Publication date: Tuesday, November 27, 2018

What was it all about?

This investment supported the development of a purpose built sterile Queensland fruit fly facility in Port August, South Australia. You can learn more about the facility and its first release of sterile fruit flies in this media release.

Prior to building the centre, joint funders Hort Innovation and the Government of South Australia investigated similar facilities around the world, listened to lessons learnt post-construction and applied this knowledge to the design.

Designed to allow production of at least 50 million flies per week, the Port Augusta facility has been engineered with strict environmental control and low energy use targets. Computer controlled environment systems, cool-room type wall insulation (bondor walls) and a lack of windows all contribute to the ability to manage temperature to within 0.5 degrees – which is important for consistency in fruit fly batches. The use of bondor walls allows low-cost expansion of the factory if demand exceeds current plans, and solar power means operating costs will be minimised.

The development of the sterile Qfly facility is just one facet in the more than $45 million ‘SITplus’ (Sterile Insect Technique plus) partnership that aims to deliver an integrated solution to the management of Qfly. The program – which is run by a consortium of research organisations and a funding organisation – comprises a host of individual projects each working on complementary facets of an overarching goal.