Applications for the second round of funding to manage Queensland fruit fly across Victoria are now open.
Regional and rural horticulture groups, local government or not-for-profit and community groups can apply for grants up to $5000 as part of the $6.7 million Managing Fruit Fly – Regional Grants Program.
Groups could also apply for larger grants, up to $800,000, under the managing fruit fly in Victoria Action Plan and associated Regional Action Plan.
Applications must be submitted by March 2.
The program supports a coordinated and collaborative approach to Queensland fruit fly management across Victoria with a special focus on projects that contribute to protecting local horticulture industries.
Queensland fruit fly pose a significant threat to Victoria’s growing horticulture industry, disrupting production and trade worldwide.
Victorian Agriculture Minister Jaala Pulford said community support was vital to protecting the state’s multi-million dollar fruit industry and home gardens.
“Queensland fruit fly is a serious pest and needs a collaborative approach to reduce its impact on the state’s horticultural industries, which are worth $1.1 billion to Victoria’s export economy,” the minister said.
“Managing fruit fly is everyone’s responsibility and these grants are enabling industry and the community to take ownership on issues relevant to their region, which we know give us the best results.”
Eight grant applications were approved in the first round of the program – including more than $1 million to Moira council – and Agriculture Victoria expected demand for grants would be extremely competitive.
Round two grants would be awarded to projects focused on supporting community action on fruit fly and projects that encourage community or industry to build awareness and increase control of Queensland fruit fly through best practice management activities at a local level.
Queensland fruit fly trapping, netting, host tree removal, workshops and displays are all activities that have potential to be supported through the program.
“The program builds on work already done in the sector and will play an important role in helping the community and industry to continue to manage Queensland Fruit Fly,” Ms Pulford said.
Information about both grants can be found at agriculture.vic.gov.au/qff-grants.