Queensland fruit fly fight to go national
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.