Horticulture

Pest message

By Country News

The fruit fly community awareness and education campaign continues, with members from the Goulburn Murray Valley group spreading the message to holiday makers visiting the Murray River.

With the region the site of popular national parks, river banks and camping groups, Goulburn Murray Valley regional fruit fly co-ordinator Ross Abberfield said peak holiday season was the perfect time to reinforce the No Flies On Us! message.

‘‘With the tens of thousands of holiday makers entering the area we saw a real opportunity to create awareness about the threat that Queensland fruit fly poses to the Goulburn Murray Valley and surrounding regions,’’ Mr Abberfield said.

Queensland fruit fly field officers braved the heat to distribute about 500 No Flies On Us! information packs to Murray River campers during the Christmas and new year holiday period.

The information packs provided information on fruit fly habitat and life cycles, host fruit and simple actions those with access to a fruit tree or host plant can take to reduce the spread of fruit fly, as well as easy-to-follow instructions on how to make your own fruit fly trap.

Cameron Sharp was visiting from Canberra and said Queensland fruit fly was a national issue that had the potential to cause devastating economic losses.

‘‘This is not just a local issue, I’ve seen what the Queensland fruit fly can do. It’s a national issue that could really hurt the country’s economy,’’ Mr Sharp said.

Nathan Wilson had made his way to the Murray from Wangaratta and was all too familiar with the extent of the problem.

‘‘I’m a farmer from Wang and I can tell you, Queensland fruit fly is everywhere,’’ Mr Wilson said.

‘‘It’s time people realised that it’s our problem and we need to do something about it.’’

The campaign aims to educate the community on the simple control and prevention measures that are imperative to winning the fight against fruit fly.

■For information about reducing the spread of fruit fly, visit: www.gmv-qldfruitfly.com.au