Independent Member for the Shepparton District Suzanna Sheed has welcomed today’s announcement by the Victorian State Government to continue funding fruit fly control measures to a total of $1.72 million for the 2020/21 financial year.
“We were worried about the prospect of funding for this import measure ceasing last month,” Ms Sheed said.
“Fruit fly threatens the production of over 455,000 tonnes of fruit and vegetables susceptible to the pest, over $777 million of annual regional produce which accounts for 44 per cent of Victoria’s production.”
Minister for Agriculture Jaclyn Symes’ announcement of $522,800 for Moira Shire and the Goulburn Murray Valley Regional Fruit Fly Project is an important investment for the region, according to Ms Sheed.
“The Independent Member for Mildura Ali Cupper and I have both lobbied on this issue and I’m sure she will welcome the $511,900 investment her own area will be receiving,” Ms Sheed said.
“The loss of this investment could have had a very harmful effect on one of the most important agricultural sectors in the State of Victoria.”
The late nature of the announcement was concerning, according to Ms Sheed, as was the lack of recurrent funding.
“I am concerned we waited until the last minute, and I hope we don’t have to go through this lobbying process again next year,” Ms Sheed said.
“For now, I am satisfied the Andrews Government has recognised the importance of combatting fruit fly with this substantial investment.”
Myles Peterson 0467 035 840│firstname.lastname@example.org