Mildura Weekly : Friday December 6 Vol 8 No 6
Mildura Weekly – 06/12/13 7 www.milduraphonebook.com.au By BEN PISCIONERI CITRUS industry leaders met with Victorian Ag- riculture Minister Peter Walsh in Mildura yester- day as part of a push for a new funding model to maintain the vitally im- portant Sunraysia Pest -Free Area. Up until recently, lev- ies charged by the Murray Valley Citrus Board were injected into maintaining the PFA, which is critical to avoiding the need for cold disinfestation, ul- timately lowering costs for growers and ensur- ing fruit arrives at export markets in better condi- tion, further increasing demand. However the recent demise of the MVCB in the wake of a Supreme Court ruling that the Board was not able to charge growers the man- datory levy, means a new model to tackle pests needs to be agreed upon. Mr Walsh, along with Member for Mildura Pe- ter Crisp, met with key citrus industry figures, in- cluding Sunraysia Citrus Growers chairman, Vince Demaria, yesterday to seek feedback on the cit- rus industry’s views. “The key thing, and it’s written into the pro- cess to establish a new order, is having com- munity consultation, in- dustry consultation,” the Agriculture Minister said yesterday. “It has to be pre- scribed in the consulta- tion what the order is for and how much is charged so people have a clear understanding on what they’re voting on, so all that’s built into the mechanism to develop an order.” Mr Demaria said the need to be pest-free, and remain pest-free into the future, was currently the missing link in what was an increasingly healthy citrus industry. “It’s essential to the survival of our industry going forward,” he said. “At the moment we’ve got our dollar that’s com- ing back, we’ve got boom- ing markets in China and we’ve got secure water, so if we can get fruit fly right, it will be positive news for the industry. “We want an order for the PFA that the growers are united behind, some- thing that is cost effective and something that is us- ing the best available sci- ence to...eradicate pest in Sunraysia.” Mr Demaria will meet with Citrus Australia leaders early next week as part of further talks on an appropriate PFA funding model. This week’s talks about how to best tackle pests, such as Queensland Fruit Fly, follow three new detections in Sunraysia in the past month. The first was in the Gol Gol area on Novem- ber 7, while the most re- cent was on November 27 at a Buronga property. Mr Demaria said it was hoped these detec- tions would be eradicated by the end of January. “It’s really the start of the season, and we’re hoping the work being done by the Department will help eradicate those flies and we’ll have pest free status by the end of January,” he said. Pest-free funding key to citrus industry future • FUNDING TALKS: Sunraysia Citrus Growers chairman, Vince Demaria, and Victorian Agriculture Minister, Peter Walsh, during yesterday’s talks. Pest-free funding key to citrus industry future Pilot training set to take off in Mildura SUNRAYSIA Institute of TAFE and pilot trainers, Fast Track Pilot Training, have joined forces to provide Diploma of Avia- tion training at Mildura Airport. Under the agreement, SuniTAFE will en- rol students, provide administrative servic- es, teacher induction and support, as well as quality assurance, while FTPT will provide the core pilot training, based at the Mildura Airport’s Hanger 61. SuniTAFE Business Development direc- tor, Jenny Grigg, said the new agreement would be a boost for both the Institute and the broader community. “Up to 100 students and instructors will live in Mildura for the duration of their training, from all over Australia and con- tribute to the local economy and social fab- ric of the community,” Ms Grigg said. The Mildura-based Diploma of Aviation (Instrument Flight Operations) comes as demand for airline pilots has hit an all-time high according to FTPT, which has estab- lished the world’s shortest, fully-integrated airline pilot training course. Students are able to go from zero hours experience to being able to fly a multi-en- gined aircraft within 22 weeks as part of the Diploma, allowing them to then enter the aviation industry to gain more experience. The new Diploma will be officially launched today by Victorian Minister for Higher Education and Skills, Peter Hall, and Minister for Technology, Gordon Rich- Phillips. SANTA IS ON HIS WAY! milduracentral.com.au Corner Deakin Ave & Fifteenth St Open 7 days and until 9pm on Friday Join in the fun with a Donut Decorating Workshop at Donut King 10am - 12pm Snaps with Santa 12pm - 2pm. Packages from $20.
Friday November 29 2013 Vol 8 No 5
Friday December 13 Vol 8 No 7