The Victorian Government has committed $6.7million to fight Queensland fruit fly across a number of regions, including the Goulburn and Murray valleys.
The funding, which will be used for new regional co-ordinators and a number of grants, will also contribute $261000 to fund an extensive trapping program in the Goulburn and Murray valleys.
Victorian Agriculture Minister Jaala Pulford said the initiative would help a growing export industry.
‘‘Managing fruit fly is everyone’s responsibility and the new Goulburn Valley regional co-ordinator will co-ordinate industry and community efforts so we can get the best result,’’ Ms Pulford said.
‘‘Horticulture exports are growing fast, up 26 per cent in the last year. Managing fruit fly numbers is so important for Goulburn Valley growers wanting to export their fruit to the world.’’
VFF horticulture vice-president Emma Germano said fighting the Queensland fruit fly was key.
‘‘The appointment will help industries in key horticultural production areas develop action plans to manage the pest which will in turn provide greater export opportunities,’’ Ms Germano said.
Goulburn Murray Valley Fruit Fly chair Doug Brown welcomed the funding.
‘‘This is a positive step forward to have someone locally based to co-ordinate the fruit fly control program and will provide some valuable information to base next season’s control program on,’’ he said.
The Queensland fruit fly attacks a wide range of host plants, lowering production and making fruit inedible, with the potential to cost fruit growers more than $100million each year.
The grants will also support the implementation of regional action plans in the three fruit fly regions: Greater Sunraysia, Yarra Valley and Goulburn Murray Valley.