VICTORIA will continue its fight against Queensland Fruit Fly which will keep international and interstate markets open to growers.
The Victorian Farmers Federation today declared a victory with the State Government announcing it will not declare QFF endemic.
The Department of Primary Industries earlier this year proposed cutting QFF funding and declaring the pest endemic across most of the state except in the Greater Sunraysia Pest Free Area.
VFF Horticulture Group president Sue Finger said declaring the pest endemic risked growers' access to markets worth more than $100 million each year.
"We're pleased the government has listened to growers. This decision ensures markets remain open," she said.
Victorian Agriculture Minister Peter Walsh today announced a QFF control plan for the season stating the government had "made a massive investment" in fighting QFF.
He said after consulting growers the DPI had decided to work with industry on control efforts.
Under the new strategy outbreaks in the Goulburn Valley and north eastern Victoria will be amalgamated into a single Suspension Zone. Outbreaks in East Gippsland have also been amalgamated into a single zone.
The Greater Sunraysia Pest Free Area will be retained.
Southern Victoria will retain its area freedom status until at least July 1, 2013.
- Read more in this Wednesday's The Weekly Times.