Local Queensland fruit fly management efforts have been boosted with a $375000 grant from the Victorian Government.
The new grant is in addition to the $559000 previously allocated to fund an extensive trapping program in the Goulburn Murray Valley fruit fly region, and the appointment of a regional fruit fly co-ordinator
The $6.7million Managing Fruit Fly – Regional Grants Program will see a co-ordinated and collaborative approach to fruit fly management across the Goulburn Murray Valley, Yarra Valley and Greater Sunraysia fruit fly regions.
The new grant will enable Moira Shire Council and the industry-led Goulburn Murray Valley Regional Governance Group to suppress the fruit fly population and reduce the number of potential host plants in the region.
It will also provide an extensive communication and engagement program to ensure people are aware of the fruit fly risks and the need for the whole community to work together if the pest is to be managed.
Victorian Agriculture Minister Jaala Pulford said managing fruit fly was everyone’s responsibility and the grants would allow industry and community to take ownership on issues relevant to their region for the best results.
‘‘Horticulture exports are growing fast, up 26 per cent in the last year,’’ Ms Pulford said.
‘‘Managing fruit fly numbers is so important for growers wanting to export their fruit to the world.’’
State Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes said it was a welcome boost for growers in the Goulburn Valley.
‘‘It means we have locals with knowledge on the ground managing what is a serious threat our horticulture industry,’’ she said.
‘‘If fruit fly numbers are not controlled it poses significant risk to our multi-million dollar fruit industry and home gardens in the region which include the towns of Cobram, Shepparton, Ardmona, Mooroopna, Tatura and Kyabram.’’
A second round of grant funding for other fruit fly programs will be released later in the year.
Regional action plans have been developed by local fruit fly regional governance groups comprising industry, state and local government and community representatives.
The grants will support the delivery of the regional action plans which align with the Andrews Government’s Managing Fruit Fly Action Plan 2015-2020.