Dealing with a big pest
Queensland Fruit Fly and the threat the pest poses to commercial growers, home gardeners and the greater Goulburn Murray Valley region was a focal point at the No Flies On Us Expo in Cobram on August 27.
Day one of the week-long expo drew a large crowd with the event successful in increasing community knowledge and awareness of the devastating effects of fruit fly.
There was information and advice aplenty on the best way to manage and control QFF, with the program featuring a community information session, trap-making workshops with local primary school students and a grower information forum.
A community barbecue cooked by Cobram Rotary Club and giveaways throughout the day added to the flutter of activity at the Cobram Civic Centre as part of the Cobram leg of the expo.
Goulburn Murray Valley regional fruit fly co-ordinator Ross Abberfield said the event brought together a range of specialists and provided an opportunity for the community to tap into the knowledge and expertise of leading specialists in the field.
‘‘It is great to be able to bring together a range of service clubs, schools and industry groups and work together to spread the word on fruit fly control and management,’’ he said.
The roving expo also visited Mooroopna, Euroa, Echuca, Shepparton and Berrigan in readiness for the warmer weather which typically signifies an increase in fruit fly activity.
‘‘Our horticulture industry is vital to our local economy and not only generates much-needed jobs for rural and regional Victoria, but also supports many businesses across the region,’’ Mr Abberfield said.
‘‘By working with the community to ensure fruit trees and host plants in the home garden and orchard are monitored and protected against fruit fly, we are allowing our horticultural industry to continue to grow and flourish.’’
District grower Adrian Conti was one of many guest speakers on the day.
As Summerfruit Australia deputy chairman, Mr Conti has provided a positive representation for growers in relation to the major issues confronting the industry.
He is also actively involved as a member of the Cobram and District Fruit Grower’s Association.
The expo was delivered through the Goulburn Murray Valley Regional Fruit Fly Group, which takes in the local government areas of Campaspe, Greater Shepparton, Moira, Strathbogie and Berrigan.
Proud as punch: Cobram Anglican Grammar students had a blast at the fruit fly expo.
All smiles: Lacey Eddy, Livinia Vescio and Maleah Harding were excited to learn about Queensland fruit fly at the Cobram Civic Centre.
Knowledge is power: The fruit fly expo gave these St Joseph’s students the chance to do some practical learning.
In the thick of it: Ovens Valley MP Tim McCurdy, Federal Member for Murray Damian Drum and Moira Shire Mayor Libro Mustica get involved in the fruit fly trap making.
Sustenance: Cobram Rotary Club members cooked a mountain of sausages for the hungry school kids.
Fruit fly hunters: St Joseph’s Primary School students show off their fruit fly traps.