The Victorian Coalition Government yesterday announced a new plan to fight the notorious Queensland Fruit Fly (QFF) and help the horticultural industries in Sunraysia deal with the pest and protect their reputation in valuable export markets.
According to the media release issued by the Premier of Victoria, Peter Walsh, Minister for Agriculture and Food Security said that the first measures to eradicate the fruit fly would be implemented during the course of the next few weeks.
The Minister also revealed that the Victorian Coalition Government has set aside an extra $1.1 million intended for implementing a wide range of control activities over the remainder of autumn and winter.
“As part of this plan the Victorian Government will continue to target declared QFF outbreaks in Sunraysia in an effort to eradicate them and protect trade in the region. As part of this new eradication push, it has been agreed with the Commonwealth and New South Wales Governments that area freedom status for export markets will be temporarily suspended to enable additional eradication work to be done and to develop a more adaptive and robust system for managing QFF,” Mr Walsh said.
“This means that in the short term, fruit exported from the region to key international markets will need to continue to be treated during its journey or at an accredited treatment facility. In addition, the Victorian Government is working with our interstate colleagues to minimise the effects on domestic trade, noting that a number of treatment options are available.”
Mr Walsh further added that it was high time for industry to step up and do its part in the battle against QFF in the future while the Victorian Government is working with Commonwealth and state biosecurity agencies to strengthen national governance arrangements for fruit fly management.
“Controlling QFF is a joint responsibility and if the Victorian Government is to continue funding beyond October this year, it expects a similar commitment from industry. The result will be a more resilient Pest Free Area (PFA) that helps to protect our status in key markets, paired with effective control works funded by both government and industry. By taking a proactive approach, the Victorian Government is moving to protect Sunraysia’s fruit industries and help ensure they are well placed to take advantage of unprecedented global demand for fresh produce in the coming decades.”
For more information, visit www.depi.vic.gov.au/qff