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Farmers welcome regional co-ordinators to help combat Queensland Fruit Fly

Farmers in the Yarra Valley, Goulburn Murray Valley and Greater Sunraysia have welcomed the announcement that Victorian State Government funding has been approved for the appointment of three regional co-ordinators to help combat Queensland Fruit Fly (QFF).

The Victorian Farmers Federation has previously praised the Government for taking a proactive stand in controlling the spread of QFF through its $6.7 million Managing Fruit Fly – Regional Grants Program.

“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,” VFF Horticulture Vice President Emma Germano said.

The co-ordinators were appointed from grants of more than $1 million, while more than $261,000 has been approved to fund an extensive trapping program in the Goulburn Murray Valley.

The Government has said it is currently assessing additional grant funding for other fruit fly programs within the regions.

“We would encourage groups in these key regions to develop projects and seek funding through the grants program that ensures the region manages the pest and takes the community along with it,” Ms Germano 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 $100 million each year.