IK Caldwell AGnVET were the successful tenderer, with the contract giving them responsibility for the trapping and monitoring of Queensland Fruit Fly across Greater Shepparton.
Mayor, Councillor Shane Sali, said Council were pleased to see this important contract awarded to a local business.
“It is always great when contracts are awarded as they mean important work can now begin, however it is even better when Council can award a contract to a local company to ensure the money is reinvested back into the region,” he said.
“Queensland Fruit Fly attack and damage a wide range of fruit and vegetables and is recognised as a serious pest across Greater Shepparton and Goulburn Murray Valley.
“This contract is an important one in helping us combat this potentially devastating pest. The spread of Queensland Fruit Fly poses a serious threat to the region’s horticulture industry along with domestic and international trade opportunities.”
The Goulburn Murray Valley Regional Fruit Fly Group was launched in 2016 to strengthen fruit fly management across the region. Measures and strategies have since been funded by the Victorian Government's Managing Fruit Fly Regional Grant Program.
Regional Fruit Fly Coordinator, Ross Abberfield, said the Goulburn Murray Valley Fruit Fly Area Wide Management Program is based on creating awareness, education and engagement in the community, industry and government to reduce the economic impact of fruit fly.
“Our education and engagement programs are based on monitoring fruit fly population data gathered from our extensive regional trapping grid. Since 2017, the program has generated great public interest and now has a community volunteer base of approximately 5,000 people who donate their own time to help prevent and manage fruit fly,” he said.
“Over 500 awareness road signs have been erected throughout the region and over 5,000 reports identifying ‘hot spots’ have been acted upon, by targeting those areas and offering free removal of unmanaged and unwanted fruit trees.
“Over 108,000 fruit trees have been removed so far, representing a huge amount of unmanaged fruit fly habitat.”
Between 2017 and 2019, a reduction of 60 per cent in Queensland Fruit Fly trapping numbers was measured across the Goulburn Murray Valley region, proving how effective the program had been.
Mr Abberfield said the contract awarded at Tuesday’s Council Meeting would help ensure the success of the program could continue.
“Queensland Fruit Fly trapping and monitoring is extremely important in ensuring we know what we are up against. This information received helps us tailor the program to ensure we are achieving positive results right across Greater Shepparton and the Goulburn Murray Valley.”