‘No Flies On Us’ community awareness and education campaign targets campers and holiday makers

The Murray River is a Mecca for tourists during December and January and this year is no exception.

Together, the Shires of Moira and Campaspe account for over 400kms of river frontage which includes popular National Parks and State Forests. The region’s successful Queensland Fruit Fly community awareness and education campaign was this year extended to reach those visiting the area’s river banks and camping grounds and saw visitors support the ‘No Flies On Us’ cause.

Goulburn Murray Valley Regional Fruit Fly Coordinator, Ross Abberfield said the peak holiday season was the perfect time to reinforce the ‘No Flies On Us’ message. “With the tens of thousands of holiday makers entering the area we saw a real opportunity to create awareness about the threat that Queensland Fruit Fly poses to the Goulburn Murray Valley and surrounding regions,” Mr Abberfield said.

Queensland Fruit Fly Field Officers braved the heat to distribute approximately 500 “No Flies On Us!” Information Packs to Murray River campers during the Christmas and New Year period.

The Information Packs provided information on fruit fly habitat and life cycles, host fruit and simple actions those with access to a fruit tree or host plant can take to reduce the spread of fruit fly, as well as easy to follow instructions on how to make your own fruit fly trap. The message was received loud and clear with Field Officers taking the time to chat face-to-face to those visiting the area, increasing awareness of the pest and its threat to the both the local and national horticultural industry.

Katherine McCallum visited the area from Townsville and now feels better informed about the pest and what can be down to reduce its spread.

“Campers love fresh fruit and are really keen to help stop Queensland Fruit Fly. They’re on holiday and they have the time to read the information pack and make the home made traps. I love the way you’re getting the message out there, the logo is great and the kids love making the traps,’ Ms McCallum said.

Cameron Sharp was visiting from Canberra and described the issue of Queensland Fruit Fly as a national one that had the potential to cause devastating economic losses.

“This is not just a local issue, I’ve seen what the Queensland Fruit fly can do. It’s a national issue that could really hurt the country’s economy,” Mr Sharp said. The refreshing respite offered by the Murray River attracts people from near and far with Queensland Fruit Fly a talking point for all during the visits from Field Officers. Nathan Wilson had made his way to the Murray from Wangaratta and was all too familiar with the extent of the problem.

“I’m a farmer from Wang and I can tell you, Queensland Fruit Fly is everywhere. It’s time people realised that it’s our problem and we need to do something about it,” Mr Wilson said.

The region’s extensive community awareness and education campaign has been successful in ensuring the community is aware of the potential devastation the spread of Queensland Fruit Fly can have on the Goulburn Murray Valley’s multi-million dollar horticulture industry. The campaign aims to educate the community on the simple control and prevention measures that are imperative to winning the fight against fruit fly.

For more information about the simple steps you can take to reduce the spread of fruit fly, go to www.gmv-qldfruitfly.com.au

Caption: This group of campers were only too happy to help the spread the ‘No Flies On Us’ message. From left to right: Tom Vincent, Cameron Sharp, Karly Vincent, Jenny Shief, Andrew Moore, Kathyn McCallum, Maria and Nathan Wilson.