Mildura Weekly : Friday February 27 2015 Vol 9 No 16
NEWS 03 FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 27, 2015 MILDURAWEEKLY.COM.AU BY Ben piscioneri THE group charged with rescuing Sunraysia’s agriculture industries from the fruit fly epidemic grip- ping the district says a more in- novative, even experimental ap- proach is needed to eradicate the pest, which is costing the region millions of dollars a year. The newly formed Greater Sunraysia Pest Free Area Indus- try Development Committee gathered for a marathon 10-hour meeting on Wednesday as part of work to develop a strategic plan to tackle the pest, which inde- pendent chair Paul Grigg yester- day described as being in its very raw stages. Mr Grigg said while the plan was still several weeks away from being presented to key industry stake-holders, it was very clear from the outset that a new ap- proach was needed. “What has been tried in the past hasn’t been terribly success- ful,” he said yesterday, adding that Sunraysia has been on the back foot in terms of fruit fly since the drought broke and the region was hit by record rains several years ago. “Those factors provided the ideal background for the fruit fly explosion we’re seeing now. “It’s certainly very challeng- ing, but the new approach that we intend to take is a bit left of centre and experimental, and it’s certainly recognised that it’s time to try something different.” Mr Grigg said the strate- gic plan would feature a much stronger focus on communicat- ing the fruit fly message to ‘urban dwellers’. “This is just as much an ur- ban problem as it is a commer- cial problem,” he said. “We certainly need an all-of- community approach. The com- mercial sector is well aware of how it impacts on them, but it needs to be broader than that.” The new committee has al- ready held talks with the Mildura Rural City Council, Swan Hill Rural City Council and Went- worth and Gunnawarra Shire Councils in a bid to inform the general community about the risks of fruit fly and how to com- bat the pest. “They’ve been very support- ive in providing some resources to their front offices to handle inquiries and disseminate bro- chures. I can’t speak highly enough about the response from the four councils we’ve worked with,” Mr Grigg said. The Committee’s efforts to tackle fruit fly were given a boost earlier this month when new Vic- torian Agriculture Minister Jaala Pulford announced $780,000 to combat the pest. Mr Grigg said while a small proportion of those funds would be injected into existing pro- grams, the bulk of the money would be set aside for future measures to combat the pest as part of the strategic plan. He said these measures could include a new program to help people, such as the elderly, re- move unwanted fruit trees from their properties in urban area in cases where they are unable to prune or maintain them. Mr Grigg said this program has been trialled successfully in other areas and is among a raft of measures being considered. He said it was hoped the strategic plan would be ready to present to industry in about a month. “Within the next four weeks we’ll have a pretty good idea of our plan, which will be present- ed to various stake-holders,” Mr Grigg said. “It also has to go to industry, as it’s industry that is responsible for funding the organisation, so they have to tick off on the stra- tegic plan as well.” • Continued Page 8 Fruit fly crisis needs totally new strategy • ON THE FRONT FOOT: Member for Mildura Peter Crisp, former Victorian Agriculture Minister Peter Walsh, Greater Sunraysia Pest Free Area Industry Development Committee members Vince Demaria and Barry Pedersen and Committee chairman, Paul Grigg. “What has been tried in the past hasn’t been terribly successful.” – Paul Grigg Phone: 0406 811 652 242 10th Street Mildura - Cnr Ontario Ave AP Sugar Hair Removal The New Smooth • Hair is removed in its natural direction of growth (eliminating ingrown hairs and infections) • Hair can be removed as short as 1.5mm • 100% Eco Friendly, Natural, free from bacteria, artificial colours and fragrance • Safe to perform on skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema • Commit to a course of permanent hair reduction treatments & you can achieve 60-80% permanent reduction in the fi rst 6 months. 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Friday February 20 2015 Vol 9 no 15
Friday March 6 2015 Vol 9 No 17