Queens­land fruit fly fight to go na­tional

The Cobram Courier - - NEWS - By Patrick Tansey

The man­age­ment and con­trol of Queens­land fruit fly will soon adopt a na­tional ap­proach with the Fed­eral Govern­ment to fund a $16.9 mil­lion na­tional pro­gram.

The pro­gram will see the Fed­eral Govern­ment lead na­tional fruit fly man­age­ment, which one lo­cal ac­tion group be­lieves will have a pos­i­tive flow-on ef­fect in lim­it­ing the im­pacts of the pest in home gar­dens and on ru­ral prop­er­ties.

Mem­ber for Ovens Val­ley Tim McCurdy was joined by Fed­eral Agri­cul­ture and Wa­ter Re­sources Min­is­ter David Lit­tleproud to an­nounce the new pro­gram last week.

‘‘This na­tional pro­gram is a huge step for­ward in fruit fly con­trol. Fruit fly doesn’t recog­nise bor­ders,’’ Mr McCurdy said.

There will be a na­tional ap­proach to man­age­ment and trade reg­u­la­tion of fruit fly and the pro­gram will work with the states to im­prove fruit fly man­age­ment and im­prove re­search and de­vel­op­ment.

‘‘Queens­land fruit fly has been a huge is­sue for Vic­to­ria’s hor­ti­cul­tural in­dus­try. It costs the in­dus­try mil­lions ev­ery year in con­trol mea­sures and pro­duc­tion loss,’’ he said.

‘‘This pro­gram is good news for our pro­duc­ers and ul­ti­mately all of us as con­sumers.’’

Re­gional Fruit Fly Gov­er­nance Group chair­man and or­chardist Doug Brown wel­comed the news that sim­i­lar mea­sures al­ready be­ing un­der­taken here would be adopted na­tion­ally.

‘‘When Mr Lit­tleproud made an­nounce­ment, I thought to my­self ‘that’s what we’re do­ing in this area’, so it’s pleas­ing from our point of view we’re al­ready do­ing what the Fed­eral Govern­ment is go­ing to roll-out for the whole of Aus­tralia,’’ he said.

‘‘I’m not say­ing we’ve got all the an­swers in this area but I think we’ve done a pretty good job with the way our co­or­di­na­tor Ross Ab­ber­field has writ­ten the GMV pro­gram and the way the com­mit­tee has gov­erned the pro­gram.’’

He said de­spite the group be­ing one of the na­tional lead­ers in fruit fly pre­ven­tion, it was still learn­ing and im­ple­ment­ing new strate­gies to con­tain and mon­i­tor the im­pacts of the pest.

‘‘We’ve done a lot more mon­i­tor­ing than what we’ve done in the past so we’re a bit more knowl­edge­able of what the prob­lem is,’’ Mr Brown said.

‘‘We still have to learn more though be­cause it’s a rel­a­tively new prob­lem — pest flies in this area.

‘‘We’ve had plenty of other fruit and veg­etable pests for as long as we can re­mem­ber but now fruit fly is here and peo­ple have had to learn how to deal with that.’’

Mr Brown said the most pleas­ing as­pect of Mr Lit­tleproud’s an­nounce­ment was that pos­i­tive fruit fly man­age­ment in other states would have a trickle-down ef­fect on our bor­ders.

‘‘I use the anal­ogy that we can say we’re a neu­tral state and we don’t want to be in­volved in the war, but when the war gets close it’s pretty hard to a be a neu­tral state,’’ he said.

‘‘What hap­pens fairly close to you does af­fect you so it’s great to see the money is for a na­tional ap­proach and hope­fully all states come on board.’’

Progress: Mem­ber for Ovens Val­ley Tim McCurdy and Fed­eral Agri­cul­ture and Wa­ter Re­sources Min­is­ter David Lit­tleproud at Wandin Val­ley Cher­ries.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.