Calls for fruit fly project funding to continue

By Country News

Calls are growing for the Victorian Government to provide urgent funding to continue the Goulburn Murray Valley Fruit Fly Project as the budget deadline looms.

The project's funding is currently set to run out on June 30, with no confirmation funding will continue into the next financial year.

State Member for Northern Victoria Wendy Lovell said it was crucial the program was funded and continued.

“The impact the GMVFFP has had reducing the population of Queensland fruit fly in the Goulburn Murray region, in some instances by more than 70 per cent, is unquestioned and the program is vital to protect our precious fruit export industry,” Ms Lovell said.

A Victorian Government spokesperson said the situation was still being considered.

“We understand the importance of controlling the presence of fruit fly and are currently considering future management arrangements,” the spokesperson said.

It is estimated the work of the GMVFFP over the past three years has reduced fruit fly numbers by more than 73 per cent in Cobram and by 60 per cent across the Greater Shepparton, Moira and Strathbogie local government areas.

The program also received an award at last year’s Victorian Regional Achievement and Community Awards where it took out Regional Achiever of the Year as well as the Agricultural Innovation Award.