Horticulture

Funds to fight fly

By Country News

Growers, community groups and the horticulture industry are encouraged to apply for government funding to combat Queensland fruit fly.

The third round of the Managing Fruit Fly Regional Grants Program opened last week, with funding to be provided for community-led projects across northern Victoria to deliver resources needed to protect and manage the impact of fruit fly on local produce.

State Member for Northern Victoria Mark Gepp said the grants were a ‘‘fantastic opportunity’’.

‘‘We know that growers across northern Victoria are fed up with Queensland fruit fly so we are reaching out to local communities to back them in their efforts to get rid of this pest,’’ he said.

Grants will fund projects that support community action on Queensland fruit fly by building awareness and increasing capacity to control Queensland fruit fly locally.

Queensland fruit fly monitoring, netting, host tree removal, workshops and other community engagement activities are eligible for funding through the grants program.

Horticultural industry groups, local government authorities, not-for-profit organisations and community groups in rural and regional Victoria are invited to apply for grants, valued at up to $5000.

Larger grants, aligned to existing Regional Action Plans, are available in the regional areas of Greater Sunraysia and Goulburn Murray Valley.

Applications are now open and close on May 3.

■For more details about the Managing Fruit Fly Regional Grants Program and how to apply, visit: www. agriculture.vic.gov.au/qffgrants