Victorian councils and community groups are set to find local solutions to Queensland Fruit Fly, with the Andrews Labor Government’s grants program to help manage the serious plant pest.

Minister for Agriculture Jaclyn Symes today announced $2 million worth of grants while meeting with recipients from two community groups in Benalla.

Benalla Rural City Council will receive almost $5000 to remove unmanaged fruit trees from nature strips and reserves, and assist elderly and people with disabilities to manage fruit trees in their gardens.

The Rotary Club of Benalla will also receive support for activities like trap building and distribution, community information sessions, tree pruning, removal and netting, roadside signage, and distribution of information packs.

The grants also include funding for four larger, region-focused grants, which share in $1.4 million to implement Regional Action Plans for fruit fly management, as well as $520,000 for the continuation of three regional coordinators.

These grants are part of the Labor Government’s $7.8 million Managing Fruit Fly in Victoria Regional Grants Program, which supports a co-ordinated and collaborative approach to fruit fly management across the state.

The Government is investing heavily in Victoria’s biosecurity – with an unprecedented investment of $142.5 million in the Victorian Budget 2019/20 to keep our agricultural sector secure and prevent the spread of pests and diseases.