A Victorian Government scheme to remove trees on neglected northern Victorian orchards has resulted in only 15 000 being taken out so far.GEOFF ADAMS May 20, 2014 3:00am
The biosecurity law was amended about 12 months ago to enable DEPI to move onto neglected or abandoned orchards in the wake of the SPC Ardmona fruit intake cuts.
Some industry figures were concerned growers would not be able to afford to maintain their trees when their income was slashed and the resulting increase in pests and diseases could cause biosecurity risks to viable orchards.
Meanwhile, many growers have taken their own action and paid for removal of mostly peach trees around the Goulburn Valley.
Fruit Growers Victoria general manager John Wilson said a survey would be carried out and the figure could run to several hundred hectares.
When SPC Ardmona first announced its cuts last year the total area of fruit not required was about 750
Mr Wilson said he never believed there would be a big uptake in the government’s tree removal scheme.
‘‘One thing we can’t forget is that the removal of the trees does not necessarily prepare the property for alternative use,’’ he said.
‘‘All they are doing is removing the risk of pest and diseases, not preparing the ground for another crop.’’
DEPI’s strategy and governance in regulation and compliance manager Stuart Holland told Country News the department had negotiated with three growers to remove their trees and a fourth was almost finished.
The cost of tree removal remains with the property until sold, or the owner pays it off.
Most of the 15
He said while DEPI didn’t want to have to pull out trees, he said sometimes action had to be taken.
‘‘Our preference is to see the industry remain viable.
‘‘We don’t want to force someone out of business. We don’t take this issue lightly.
‘‘We are always prepared to talk about options and that’s what we talk about on our first visit.
‘‘There have been some who have said, ‘I will look after it’ — and that’s been done.’’
Mr Holland said SPC Ardmona’s decision to go back to some growers and ask for more fruit after successful marketing campaigns may have been responsible for a pause in the numbers of people expected to seek DEPI intervention.
He said he was quite happy that the level of intervention was on a much smaller scale than anticipated.Fruit fly threat
The biggest pest threat emerging this season was from Queensland fruit fly, Mr Wilson told Country News.
‘‘QFF is now rife,’’ he said, after the DEPI had moved away from controlling the pest in northern Victoria.
He said growers had had to ramp up their management programs to fight the pest.
‘‘Within a couple of seasons people will not be able to grow tomatoes in their backyards of Shepparton because it will be full of fruit fly.’’
Shepparton men will take a stand against violence towards women today at a White Ribbon Day breakfast in Shepparton.
The Yarrawonga Chronicle and Travel and Cruise Yarrawonga are offering shoppers a chance to win an incredible cruise package this summer.
Last week Victorian Collections passed a major milestone, with the 50000th historical object record from the state’s heritage collections uploaded to the site.
Another slow start has hurt the Echuca-Moama Pirates in the Country Basketball League north-east conference, going down to Wallan.
Sharelle McMahon has opened the Opperman Sports Museum in Rochester.
Fourteen parties and 37 candidates will contest the Northern Victoria Region for the Victorian upper house at the November 29 election, with the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) claiming the top billing on the ballot paper.
Playgroup of the Month for November.
Andrew Richardson and Matt Jackson have been appointed co-coaches of Finley's senior football side.
Two new Neighbourhood Safer Places for the Pyalong and Tooborac communities have been announced.
Roadworks begin for new roundabout, but authorities assure shoppers, motorists and businesses of minimal disruption.
Abattoir reopening has property investors circling.
Goulburn-Murray Water says it will be taking steps to ensure industrial action will not interfere with water delivery this week.
Scott Upston had a decorated career as a paralympic coach before moving to Benalla this year.
Discover unbelievable local deals from local businesses every week in the Goulburn and Murray Valley area with Leapon.com.au!
Search properties for sale or rent across North Central Victoria and Southern NSW. Visit your local website for local homes....
Search for published and unpublished photos from McPherson Media Group newspapers and magazines. All our photos are available to purchase.
Place an advertisement in any one of McPherson Media Group's local newspapers.