The Victorian Government has appointed a co-ordinator for the Goulburn Murray Valley fruit fly region to help manage the destructive pest and protect one of Victoria’s most significant horticultural areas.
Ross Abberfield has been employed to work directly with the Goulburn Murray Valley Fruit Fly Regional Governance Group, which includes representation from major horticultural producers, local and state government and community members from the area.
‘‘While many methods are used to control fruit fly, the critical factor is people working together and my role is crucial for ensuring industry, community and government co-operate to effectively manage fruit fly,’’ Mr Abberfield said.
‘‘Having lived and worked in the region for over 25 years, I fully appreciate the ramifications that fruit fly can have on our fruit and vegetable growers and the community.
‘‘I look forward to using my knowledge of the area to bring life to the co-ordinator’s role.
‘‘It is my intention to unite our fruit and vegetable industry groups, government agencies and all facets of our community to monitor and subsequently control this pest which has the capacity to severely impact our economy.’’
Over the next 12 months, Mr Abberfield will be responsible for implementing a number of fruit fly activities from the Goulburn Murray Regional Action Plan.
‘‘Activities I am keen to carry out include a fruit fly monitoring program, managing fruit fly hot-spots, communicating good hygiene best practice strategies to land owners, managing tree removal activities and coordinating community education and awareness raising activities,’’ he said.
‘‘The Goulburn Murray Valley has a hard-earned reputation for growing Australia’s best produce.
‘‘I am confident that as a united community we can control fruit fly and continue to enjoy the fruits of our labour.’’
Mr Abberfield’s appointment is part of the Victorian Government’s $6.7million Managing Fruit Fly Regional Grants program, which aims to provide a co-ordinated and collaborative approach to fruit fly management across the state.
■For more information, email Ross Abberfield at [email protected]oira.vic.gov.au