The importance of Fruit Fly prevention was raised this week in Parliament, with a focus on adequate population controls.
Nationals Member for Ovens Valley, Tim McCurdy, raised the matter with the Minister for Agriculture, seeking to establish a clearer picture of what steps the Government are taking to assist local fruit growers.
“Fruit growers contribute almost 1 billion dollars to the Victorian economy, yet pests such as the Queensland Fruit Fly are starting to undermine the industry and cause farmers millions of dollars in lost fruit.
“I have always been an advocate for a strong campaign on fruit fly prevention, and assistance for local farmers, as well as community members, to help stop fruit fly spreading.”
Mr McCurdy also asked whether the Government had considered removing fruit trees from road reserves, major highways, and residential roads.
“These trees often are not getting checked for infestation, or sprayed, and are not in a controlled environment.
“This does present a very real risk to our fruit growing communities.”
Mr McCurdy noted the importance of fruit growers in many regional areas, and the need for increased funding for fruit fly prevention campaigns.
“Unfortunately, we have seen the Labor Government cut the funding for fruit fly prevention.
“I am calling for a restoration of this funding, as this recognises the importance of not just our growers, but Landcare groups as well, who work hard to ensure our local communities are sufficiently protected.
“I will continue to raise this issue until we have the funding needed to prevent further fruit fly spread across Victoria.”