Ross Abberfield has been appointed the Goulburn Murray Valley fruit fly regional co-ordinator.
Appointed by the Victorian Government, Mr Abberfield will help manage the destructive pest and protect one of Victoria’s most significant horticultural regions.
He will work directly with the Goulburn Murray Fruit Fly Regional Governance Group, which includes representation from major horticultural producers, local and state government and community members from the area.
‘‘While many methods are used to control fruit fly, the critical factor is people working together and my role is crucial for ensuring industry, community and government co-operate to effectively manage fruit fly,’’ Mr Abberfield said.
‘‘Having lived and worked in the region for over 25 years, I fully appreciate the ramifications that fruit fly can have on our fruit and vegetable growers and the community.
‘‘I look forward to using my knowledge of the area to bring life to the co-ordinator’s role.
‘‘It is my intention to unite our fruit and vegetable industry groups, government agencies and all facets of our community to monitor and subsequently control this pest which has the capacity to severely impact our economy.’’
Mr Abberfield said he would be responsible for implementing a number of fruit fly activities from the Goulburn Murray Regional Action Plan over the next 12 months.
‘‘Activities I am keen to carry out include a fruit fly monitoring program, managing fruit fly hot spots, communicating good hygiene best practice strategies to land owners, managing tree removal activities and co-ordinating community education and awareness raising activities,’’ he said.
‘‘The Goulburn Murray Valley has a hard earned reputation for growing Australia’s best produce and I am confident that as a united community we can control fruit fly and continue to enjoy the fruits of our labour.’’
The appointment is part of a $6.7million Managing Fruit Fly – Regional Grants Program to provide a co-ordinated and collaborative approach to fruit fly management across Victoria.