Lions clubs members get tips on tackling fruit fly

By Thomas Moir

Trap building and awareness about tackling Queensland fruit fly were the buzz at a session at Shepparton’s Goulburn Ovens Institute of TAFE on Thursday.

Goulburn-Murray Regional Fruit Fly co-ordinator Ross Abberfield said the session was a train-the-trainer workshop with about 20 representatives from 10 Lions clubs.

Once trained, each representative will then deliver education sessions in their respective areas.

‘‘The club will organise with the schools to have a fruit fly education day,’’ Mr Abberfield said.

‘‘The representatives have been trained in fruit fly recognition ... trap making, which involves plastic bottles to make fruit fly traps out of.’’

Part of the Goulburn Murray Valley Regional Queensland Fruit Fly Project, the event marks a partnership with local Lions clubs to build community awareness about the pest.

The program incorporates community engagement and an education focus to reduce the spread of Queensland fruit fly.

Thursday’s session included an induction and training workshop for Lions club members.

The hope is for them to go out into their respective communities and roll out the Queensland fruit fly school awareness program, involving trap making, fruit-fly education and the importance of control measures in the home garden.

A ‘‘collaborative approach’’ has been adopted to tackle spread of the pest, boost prevention and protect home gardeners and the horticulture industry.

Mr Abberfield said a reduction in fruit-fly detection had been identified in the past year.

The lower fly numbers this growing season compared to last growing season tells Mr Abberfield that advice is likely being heeded.

However, the message remains not to become complacent following growing seasons.

‘‘Be aware of post-harvest hygiene, disposing of fruit still on trees or on the ground correctly... to prevent an increase in fruit fly numbers,’’ Mr Abberfield said.