The Liberal Member for Northern Victoria Wendy Lovell has called on the Andrews Labor Government to protect the local horticulture industry by providing ongoing funding for the highly successful Goulburn Murray Valley Regional Fruit Fly Program.
Administrated by the Goulburn Murray Valley Regional Fruit Fly Group, the program was established to strengthen management of Queensland Fruit Fly to protect the precious horticultural produce grown in the Goulburn and Murray Valley region.
In a constituency question to Agriculture Minister Mary Ann Thomas in State Parliament, Ms Lovell said that after providing $800,000 to the GMV Fruit Fly Program since 2017, the Andrews Labor Government made a last-minute announcement in June last year, reducing the funding to $680,000 for just one year.
Ms Lovell said with this latest funding due to conclude on 30 June this year, there are significant concerns amongst growers that no further funding will be provided after this date.
Ms Lovell asked Ms Thomas to provide a funding commitment of at least $800,000 a year for the next three years to ensure the Goulburn Murray Valley Regional Fruit Fly Program continues to protect local horticultural produce from the devastation caused by the Queensland Fruit Fly.
Comments attributable to Member for Northern Victoria Wendy Lovell:
“The reduced funding for the GMV Fruit Fly program for just one year is proof the Andrews Labor Government is not serious in protecting Victoria’s valuable horticultural produce from Queensland Fruit Fly.
“With the current funding ending on 30 June, I call on the Minister to recommit to protecting our crops by provide the funding required to allow the Goulburn Murray Valley Regional Fruit Fly Group to continue their important work for the next three years.”
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