Tack­ling pest

Shepparton News - Country News - - NEWS -

Home gar­den­ers, com­mer­cial grow­ers and com­mu­nity groups have been en­listed to stop the spread of Queens­land fruit fly.

Through­out the week-long No Flies on Us Expo a num­ber of guest speak­ers and in­dus­try ex­perts vis­ited com­mu­ni­ties and towns across the re­gion to spread the mes­sage.

Goul­burn Mur­ray Valley re­gional fruit fly co-or­di­na­tor Ross Ab­ber­field urged the com­mu­nity to get on board and learn more about the sim­ple steps home gar­den­ers and the broader com­mu­nity could take to pro­tect against the pest.

‘‘The re­gion’s multi-mil­lion-dol­lar hor­ti­cul­ture in­dus­try is a crit­i­cal driver for the lo­cal econ­omy and by work­ing to­gether with grow­ers, home gar­den­ers and the broader com­mu­nity we are best placed to pro­tect our re­gion from the dev­as­tat­ing ef­fects of QFF,’’ he said.

Queens­land fruit fly at­tacks and dam­ages a wide range of fruit and veg­eta­bles, and is recog­nised as a se­ri­ous pest.

When fruit is at­tacked it is ined­i­ble, mean­ing fruit fly out­breaks limit pro­duc­tion for grow­ers and re­sult in re­duced in­come through lost trade op­por­tu­ni­ties.

While Queens­land fruit fly is na­tive to east­ern Queens­land and north-east NSW, the preva­lence of hosts in Vic­to­ria and NSW has ex­panded the area in which it is found.

Queens­land fruit fly ac­tiv­ity gen­er­ally in­creases in spring as the weather be­comes warmer, how­ever is not re­stricted to a par­tic­u­lar sea­son.

The expo, which fin­ished on Mon­day, in­cluded vis­its to Co­bram, Mooroopna, Euroa, Echuca, Shep­par­ton and Ber­ri­gan.

‘‘The expo ex­pands on the great re­sults achieved in 2017-18 and pro­motes an on­go­ing proac­tive re­sponse in the 2018-19 sea­son. It’s about cre­at­ing own­er­ship of the is­sue and in­creas­ing com­mu­nity aware­ness about the threat QFF poses to our unique re­gional life­style and econ­omy,’’ Mr Ab­ber­field said.

‘‘Our aim is to pro­vide the com­mu­nity with the knowl­edge and ex­per­tise nec­es­sary to pre­vent, con­trol and man­age fruit fly in their back­yards, com­mer­cial crops and on pub­lic lands.’’

■ For more in­for­ma­tion on how to pre­vent the spread of Queens­land fruit fly visit: gmv-qld­fruit­fly.com.au/qff­pre­ven­tion

Lead­ing the way . . . It was a full house at a Queens­land fruit fly event in Co­bram last Mon­day, with State Mem­ber for Ovens Valley Tim McCurdy, Fed­eral Mem­ber for Mur­ray Damian Drum and Moira Shire Mayor Li­bro Mus­tica learn­ing from St Joseph’s Pri­mary School stu­dents about how to con­trol fruit fly.

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