Thursday 25 October 2018
Victoria’s community fruit fly control programs will get an urgent $1 million lifeline under a Liberal Nationals Government.
Shadow Minister for Agriculture and Leader of The Nationals Peter Walsh and Member for Mildura Peter Crisp made the pledge when they met with fruit growers in Mildura today.
Growers are bitterly disappointed that the Andrews Labor Government has seemingly allowed funding for the community fruit fly traps program to lapse.
This latest frustration follows on from Agriculture Minister Jaala Pulford’s botched grower poll earlier in the year where government bungling undermined the future of the Greater Sunraysia Pest Free Area committee.
“These community trap programs work incredibly well and if the Liberal Nationals are elected we will make sure they continue” Mr Walsh said.
“Growers told us that the next round of traps should be starting to be distributed but there are fears that’s just not happening and enquiries to department authorities are falling on deaf ears.
“If we are elected we will make a priority funding allocation to the program to ensure it can complete its summer and autumn control activities.
“We will also make sure that Sunraysia growers get a proper say on the Greater Sunraysia Pest Free Area Committee after Minister Pulford botched the poll earlier in the year.”
The Nationals Member for Mildura Peter Crisp said Sunraysia’s horticulture industry was a critical part of the local economy and the community trapping program needed to continue.
“This program has been very well received by industry and our community and it has shown what is possible when we all band together with the common goal of supporting our fruit growers” Mr Crisp said.
“It’s in everyone’s interests to ensure our fruit growers continue to have access to export markets because that valuable trade directly supports thousands of local jobs and businesses right here in Mildura.”