Prominent Victorian growing region confirmed as fruit fly-free

Posted by Isobel Drake on 18th January 2010

Victoria’s Agriculture Minister Joe Helper today announced the reinstatement of the Goulburn Valley as Queensland fruit fly (QFF) free, nine months after its discovery.”QFF was found in Shepparton in early April 2009 and the successful eradication of QFF in the Goulburn Valley is a great relief for local industry,” Mr Helper said.

“Fruit production is a mainstay of the local economy and the presence of fruit fly in the area adds significant costs to industry in relation to the treatment and certification of fruit bound for sensitive interstate and overseas markets.”

Mr Helper said while it is fitting to celebrate the reinstatement of the Goulburn Valley as QFF free, last week’s outbreak in Mildura demonstrates why Victorians must remain vigilant keeping fruit flies out of the Fruit Fly Exclusion Zone and the Greater Sunraysia Pest Free Area.

“Random roadblocks are operating in regional Victoria and substantial fines can apply if uncertified host produce is taken into an exclusion zone,” he said.

“Eradicating the Shepparton outbreak has involved a lengthy program of baiting, searching and fruit removal from back yards by the Department of Primary Industries (DPI), and would not have succeeded without the cooperation of Shepparton residents.”

The Goulburn Valley is one of the largest growing regions in the country and home to Australia’s largest producer of packaged fruit – SPC Ardmona.