Talks to find fruit fly solution

Fruit growers Brett DelSimone, Wilma Byl and Peter Casotti meet with Opposition Agriculture spokesman Joel Fitzgibbon.
Fruit growers Brett DelSimone, Wilma Byl and Peter Casotti meet with Opposition Agriculture spokesman Joel Fitzgibbon.

Mr Fitzgibbon first met with Hills Orchard Improvement Group (HOIG) representatives in Canberra in December to discuss issues relating to the Mediterranean fruit fly infestation in the Perth Hills.

HOIG spokesman Brett DelSimone said the discussions then and on Friday had focused on how growers could forge a path towards finding effective non-traditional fly controls.

The need for this became apparent after the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority restricted use of the traditional pesticide fenthion in late 2012.

Shortly afterward, the WA Government declared the Perth Hills infested and growers began to report crop losses of up to and over 50 per cent, which continued last year.

A Senate committee is holding an inquiry into the impact the fenthion restriction has had and how else the pest could be controlled.

A public hearing was held yesterday as this paper went to press ” look out for the report in a coming issue.