The Goulburn Murray Valley Fruit Fly Area Wide Management (GMVFFAWM) Project region is 16,354 sq km and encompasses the five local government areas of Greater Shepparton City Council, Campaspe, Moira, Strathbogie and Berrigan Shires servicing a population of 150,067 people. The gross value of Queensland Fruit Fly (QFF) host horticultural crops in the GMV is approximately $415,000,000 annually (ABS 2015-2016).

The Goulburn Valley is the largest pear producer in the Southern Hemisphere and the Murray Valley is Australia’s largest stone fruit producer. Unless QFF is effectively controlled in the GMV, the impact on Victorian exports, industry, jobs, tourism and our lifestyle could be devastating.

The project is overseen by a Governance Group, has a full-time Project Coordinator and is auspiced by Greater Shepparton City Council.

The aim of the Project is to create awareness, education and engagement amongst the community, industry and government through an innovative Fruit Fly Area Wide Management (FFAWM) strategy. This engagement relies on us instilling a sense of ownership across the wider community, so that the control is QFF is driven by all of us – the community, industry and local government agencies.

The funding provided by the Victorian Government’s Fruit Fly Grants Program, has enabled the support and coordination of the GMVFFAWM Project which has brought about a massive reduction in QFF numbers – nearly 60% across the GMV and 83% in Cobram.

We have made significant progress towards achieving Area of Low Pest Pressure status and a Sterile Insect Technique (SIT) Trial release commenced in Cobram in March 2019. The sterile fly release will continue for a three year period. This trial, is underpinned by the project FFAWM Action Plan and involves the airborne release of sterile male QFF over the township of Cobram with a control site at Mooroopna.

The project was also awarded both the Victorian Achiever of the Year Award and Victorian Agriculture Innovation Award in 2019.

Recognition and Awards

The Regional Fruit Fly project has been recognised as a leader in the area wide management of Queensland fruit fly.

In 2019 the project took out first place in the Prime Super Agricultural Innovation Awards at the Victorian Regional Achievement and Community Awards, and was selected from several hundred nominees from throughout Victoria and independently voted overall winner of the Victorian Regional Achiever of the Year Award.

The awards recognise the project’s achievements in working to reduce the spread of fruit fly.

The Governance Group is comprised of the following formal stakeholders:

Agriculture Victoria

Fruit Growers Victoria Ltd

Cobram and District Fruit Growers’ Association.

Goulburn Murray Water

Shepparton Preserving Company

IK Caldwell

Lions International

Greater Shepparton City Council

Moira Shire Council

Berrigan Shire Council

Campaspe Shire Council

Strathbogie Shire Council