The Federal Government has refused to fund the removal of fruit trees from Victoria’s troubled Goulburn Valley region.
The decision to pull some 750,000 unwanted trees from the region has come after SPC Ardmona announced that they will no longer be accepting fruit from 170 fruit growers from 1 May this year, resulting in a 10 percent decrease of pear and peach trees in the state.
Growers fear that failure to destroy the trees will result in the attraction of fruit flies, pests and associated diseases to the area – however growers require government assistance to do so.
Agriculture minister Joel Fitzgibbon recently visited the devastated region.
"Money, doesn't grow on trees, excuse the pun," Fitzgibbon told ABC Rural.
"We're very careful to allocate money where we have direct responsibility.”
Fitzgibbon believes that the Victorian Government needs to support local growers.
"This is clearly a responsibility for the Victorian Government,” he said.
"But we have got to be careful not to let the Victorian Government shirk its responsibilities.
"It is their job first and foremost, but I am happy to help where I can."