Lions Club V5 district governor supports fruit fly project

By Jamie Salter

At a recent Lions conference in Yarrawonga, Lions District 201V5 governor Kumar Swaminathan agreed to join District 201V6 in support of the Goulburn Murray Valley Regional Fruit Fly Project throughout the area covered by his district, which includes City of Greater Shepparton. The V6 district extends along the Murray River from Albury to Echuca.

The Goulburn Murray Valley Regional Fruit Fly Project won the Victorian Regional Achiever of the Year Award in October.

The project's co-ordinator Ross Abberfield said he was pleased to have the V5 district come on board.

``We look forward to governing our relationship with the Lions club within the V5 district and supporting them to be a fruit fly information resource for their community,” he said.

Mr Swaminathan said he would try to sustain better fruit fly outcomes and cover the entire Goulburn Murray Valley area.

“It's to create awareness of fruit fly and to eradicate them,” he said of the collaboration with the project.

“We are the people on the ground to work with farmers and schools to identify the fruit fly.”

Mr Abberfield said the entire community shared responsibility for fruit fly management.

“The management of fruit flies within the Goulburn Murray Valley region involves community, industry and government to accept ownership in managing fruit flies to protect the region's economy and lifestyle.”

About 30 Lions clubs have been fully resourcing a primary school education program to deliver a syllabus within their communities across the Goulburn Murray Valley region.

This includes helping students to make almost 4500 fruit fly traps to raise awareness of the problem and help control fruit fly numbers.

The Lions have also supplied community signage, provided information packs and supported community events in an effort to promote the fruit fly control message.

The Goulburn Murray Valley Regional Fruit Fly Project is funded by the Victorian Government through a regional grants program.