With the extension of the free Urban Fruit Tree Removal Program, residents in Strathbogie Shire can have unwanted fruit trees removed from yards to reduce potential breeding grounds for fruit fly.
Property owners with unwanted fruit trees in residential urban yards now have until the end of November to apply to have them removed at no cost.
Goulburn Murray Valley Regional Fruit Fly Coordinator Ross Abberfield said property owners who had taken part in the program had played an active role in protecting the region against the spread of Queensland fruit fly through the elimination of potential breeding grounds.
‘‘There has been strong demand for the program and a steady flow of applications received to have unwanted fruit trees removed, as the community becomes more aware of the role they play in helping to reduce the spread of QFF,’’ he said.
The program has led to the successful reduction in potential breeding grounds found in untended urban fruit trees and rotten fruit left on the ground or on trees.
Mr Abberfield said QFF was a serious risk to the region’s multi-million-dollar horticulture industry, backyard orchards and vegetable gardens.
‘‘An area-wide management strategy is essential in reducing QFF numbers, with the program just one component of this strategy,’’ he said.
‘‘Fruit fly are generally relatively dormant during winter when the weather is too cold for them to be active, however start to become more active in spring — so now is the time to take action.’’
The program is one of several actions identified and implemented by the Goulburn Murray Valley Regional Fruit Fly Group, which consists of members from local and state government, horticultural producers, industry representatives and community members.
For more information about the free Urban Fruit Tree Removal Program contact the Customer Service Centre at Strathbogie Shire Council or visit www.gmv-qldfruitfly.com.au