Independent Member for Shepparton District Suzanna Sheed has called on the Minister for Agriculture Jaclyn Symes to continue funding for an anti-fruit fly initiative that is vital to the economic health of her region and that of the wider State of Victoria.
“Funding is scheduled to cease in June 2020 for the Goulburn Murray Valley Regional Fruit Fly Project and my constituents want to know whether the Victorian State Government will provide continued funding for this important project that ensures the security of our horticultural industries,” Ms Sheed told the Victorian Parliament on Tuesday.
“The Goulburn Murray Valley Regional Fruit Fly Project is a critical project across our region, strengthening the management and awareness of Queensland fruit fly and what we can all do to help eradicate it in our fruit-growing region.”
The loss of the initiative could have a very harmful effect on one of the most important agricultural sectors in the State of Victoria, according to Ms Sheed.
“The project has contributed massively in recent years to a 60 per cent reduction in the Queensland fruit fly population in my region,” Ms Sheed said.
“It has contributed to the protection of over 455 000 tonnes of fruit and vegetables susceptible to fruit fly, which generate $777 million of annual regional produce and 44 per cent of Victoria’s production, and my constituents are very concerned that the project continue.”
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