Fly fight hits the road

October 11, 2017

Goulburn Murray Valley regional fruit fly coordinator Ross Abberfield with the mass of prickly pear found near Cobram

Goulburn Murray Valley regional fruit fly co-ordinator Ross Abberfield has struck the first blow in ridding Cobram’s roadsides of Queensland fruit fly breeding grounds.

Mr Abberfield is working with VicRoads and government agencies to identify and remove rogue fruit trees and vegetables growing on public land across the Goulburn Murray region.

Recent inspections along the Murray Valley Hwy between Cobram and Yarroweyah identified large clusters of prickly pear, a Queensland fruit fly host plant.

‘‘Prickly pear is just one host fruit that attracts Queensland fruit fly,’’ Mr Abberfield said.

‘‘There are many fruit and vegetable varieties growing wild on public land providing an ideal breeding site.

‘‘We are currently liaising with VicRoads who will begin spraying the area.’’

Mr Abberfield encouraged members of the public to report rogue fruit trees and vegetables on roadsides and public land to their council.

‘‘We are asking for public assistance in the reporting of areas of concern on roadsides or public land,’’ he said.

‘‘In protecting the region against fruit fly it is important that we adopt a uniform approach to managing host plants on public land which involves working closely with VicRoads, councils and other government agencies.’’

The invasive prickly pear is one of many host plants that bear high level attractant fruit in which the fruit fly can lay its eggs and is a declared a noxious weed in Victoria.

●To report rogue fruit trees or vegetables growing wild on public land, contact the customer service desk at your local council and complete a Rogue Fruit Tree Registration Form.

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