A high-tech early warning system is the latest tool being made available to producers in Mayo as part of the national effort to combat fruit fly.
Liberal candidate for Mayo Georgina Downer today welcomed the Australian Government’s announcement of the system, designed to give growers advanced notice of Queensland fruit fly (QFly) movements.
“Fruit fly is the world’s worst fruit pest; this is a significant investment in the protection of our $12 billion horticulture industry and securing our access to crucial overseas markets,” Ms Downer said.
“It comes a year after the Coalition Government negotiated improved access to the Chinese market for growers in the Adelaide Hills by reducing their fruit fly treatment requirements, resulting in significant savings at the farm gate.”
Ms Downer said the Government’s total $16.9 million investment also included trials of new ‘smart-traps’, a national mapping program and putting extension officers on the ground to help growers adopt the technology.
“It’s great to see elements of the National Fruit Fly Strategy being implemented by the Coalition Government after years of neglect under Labor,” she said.
“South Australian Senator Anne Ruston in particular deserves credit for asking the hard questions since 2012 which resulted in the strategy being revived, and now we have millions of dollars being invested.
“This commitment includes funding through Horticulture Innovation Australia (HIA) for the sterile insect technology (SIT) facility at Port Augusta, and complements the South Australian Government’s fruit fly program valued at more than $4 million per year.
“I envisage a great deal more resources will be needed to manage, contain and ultimately eradicate fruit fly, and extend all cost and market-access benefits of being fruit fly free to growers in Mayo and across Australia.”