Increasingly local Australian industries are expected to lead local collaborative efforts to address pest issues. A prime example is area-wide management (AWM), a key recommended approach to address Queensland fruit fly (QFly) (Bactrocera tryoni). AWM requires a critical mass of risk contributors—such as growers, backyarders, peri-urban landholders—to effectively manage the pest on their land. It is well recognised that the chances of achieving success with AWM are boosted by effective fruit fly management technologies and conducive local ecology and climate conditions. Less well understood is the influence of the local social profile of the growers and communities involved on achieving their buy-in and support. In this presentation we explore the findings from three case studies of where industry-driven QFly AWM has been achieved or is attempted. These are Central Burnett (Queensland), the Riverina (New South Wales) and Young-Harden (New South Wales). Ostrom’s principles for managing a common-pool resource are applied to highlight what social factors enable and/or hinder establishing sustainable collaboration. This work shows that the social profile influences the transaction cost involved, such as the level of negotiation and the effort needed to achieve and maintain buy-in from QFly risk contributors. Such transaction cost can influence the feasibility of AWM and it is easily overlooked in standard cost benefit analysis of AWM. Key social factors identified include the level of grower heterogeneity, the level of social capital, the presence of existing social mechanisms to monitor on-farm compliance and the ratio between AWM supporters and risk contributors who have little incentive to manage the pest. Some suggestions forward are discussed.