MOST of us were relieved when the Victorian Government reversed its decision to declare Queensland Fruit Fly endemic.
The Victorian Farmers Federation claimed it as a victory.
The Department of Primary Industries last August proposed cutting funding for QFF control and declaring the pest endemic across most of the state.
With the available funds and staff, and facing hundreds of outbreaks, DPI senior bureaucrats realised the fight was lost.
The Government late last year agreed to the VFF's plan to circle the wagons around Sunraysia to protect its rich exports of table grapes and exports.
What most of us missed in the Government's late-November announcement is that it is one thing to say the war against fruit fly will continue, but it is another thing to actually do anything about it.
There was no extra money to get rid of the devastating pest, most of that now comes from the growers.
The Government says it has spent many millions more than the last government on eradication, but admits now the focus is on management and control.
In the face of a first-ever outbreak in Echuca this year, DPI plant biosecurity and product integrity director Russell McMurray said eradicating the pest in Victoria would cost $26 million a year over three or four years, and even then growers would still face a constant threat from NSW.
"Is it a good use of taxpayers' money to continue to fight something we no longer believe is eradicable?" he said.
He said not spending money on eradicating fruit fly meant more efforts could be put into combating new and emerging pests.
As of today, fruit fly is endemic - or regularly found - across Victoria. Telling the truth will help taxpayers, not just commercial growers but ordinary gardeners, deal with the devastation of the infestations.
Community education programs are what's needed now to equip everyone to do their bit.
It's a battle in the backyard now.