Minister Reimburses Growers For Chestnut Blight Tree Removal

Minister Reimburses Growers For Chestnut Blight Tree Removal

Victoria Minister for Agriculture and Food Security Peter Walsh

Victoria’s Chestnut Industry On The Road To Recovery

Victor P Taffa

Victorian Growers affected by the outbreak of chestnut blight will be reimbursed a total of $787,000 for the removal of infected trees from their properties.

Minister for Agriculture and Food Security Peter Walsh said an offer had been made in writing to the six affected growers this week.

“The payments are an important step for affected growers who can now get on with the job of re-building.” Mr. Walsh said.

“A total of 4,600 chestnut trees in nine locations in the Ovens Valley have been removed and destroyed during the three-month eradication Program.”

“Most of the chestnut trees affected by chestnut blight or at risk of infection have now been removed and burnt.”

Mr. Walsh said as part of the reimbursement process, the Department of Primary Industries (DPI) commissioned an independent assessment of the impact of chestnut blight eradication on each grower.

“Reimbursements were calculated according to guidelines administered by Plant Health Australia.” Mr. Walsh said.

“The payments are tri-funded between the Victorian Government, the Commonwealth and other Australian states.”

“There will still be plenty of hard work required to ensure the area is free of disease but I am very hopeful that the chestnut industry is now on the road to recovery.” Mr. Walsh said.

Since September about 150,000 chestnut trees throughout Victoria have been surveyed for signs of infection. Precautionary inspections of 500 oak trees and 1,200 eucalypts in and around infected properties have also taken place.

DPI will continue surveillance work over the next three years to confirm chestnut blight, which is a declared exotic disease, has been eradicated.