New Campaign Launched To Eradicate Queensland Fruit Fly

New Campaign Launched To Eradicate Queensland Fruit Fly

Victoria Minister for Agriculture and Food Security Peter Walsh

Coalition Backs Growers With Fruit Fly Offensive

Victor P Taffa

The Victorian Coalition Government has launched a new campaign to eradicate Queensland fruit fly (QFF) in the Greater Sunraysia region and control it in other parts of the state.

Agriculture and Food Security Minister Peter Walsh today said the program would involve visiting thousands of properties to inspect and apply repeated chemical treatments.

Mr. Walsh said while a return to wetter seasonal conditions was welcome for food and fibre producers it had also created ideal conditions for fruit fly outbreaks.

“The Victorian Coalition Government is committed to reducing the impact of fruit fly on the state’s fruit industries to protect jobs and ensure growers remain competitive in vital export markets.” Mr. Walsh said.

“We are focusing our efforts where we expect to get maximum impact and value for money. More than $500 Million worth of production including table grapes, dried fruit, wine grapes and stone fruit occurs in Sunraysia’s pest free area much of it for export markets.”

“Our aim is to eradicate fruit fly in Sunraysia and restore the region to domestic area freedom status to minimise the need for producers to treat fruit, which will make it cheaper and easier for growers to export.”

“At the same time we will be suppressing QFF across the rest of the state to very low levels.”

Mr. Walsh said two management centres would be established in Mildura and Swan Hill to coordinate the deployment of staff and contractors to priority areas as required.

“The size of the outbreaks detected within the Greater Sunraysia region remains very small, which will greatly assist efforts to control them over the next six months.” Mr. Walsh said.

“In comparison, the majority of outbreaks in the Goulburn Valley and East Gippsland appear to be larger and with multiple outbreaks, so suppression is the best option for these regions at this stage.”

Mr. Walsh said DPI, industry and the community needed to work together to target outbreaks before they could become established in developing fruit crops.

DPI will target residential areas and engage growers to treat QFF on commercial properties.