Narrogin council will increase its fruit fly control measures and investigate the introduction of a trap subsidy in the next financial year after it was petitioned by Wickepin gardener John Mearns. But councillors did not resolve to supply and monitor fruit fly traps as requested by Mr Means through the petitions he presented to council in July. The first petition received 168 signatures, and the second 25. At last month’s meeting, Shire of Narrogin councillors voted to develop a fruit fly control brochure for residents, to be published on its website by April. Control measures will be brought in for public trees that are known to attract the pests, while the Shire will ask the Gnarojin Community Gardens committee to bait and trap. The Shire will also liaise with the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development to ask what support the department can provide. An officer’s report to the council estimated the cost of a fruit fly program at $150,000 for the first year, with ongoing expenditure of $100,000-$120,000 a year. Although no money was allocated to a fruit fly program in the 2020-21 financial year, councillors voted to consider the introduction of a trap subsidy in 2021-22 at an estimated cost of $5000. Mr Mearns said he was very disappointed with the Shire’s decision. “They didn’t even acknowledge in the report that they do have a massive problem with fruit fly here,” he said. Mr Mearns told the Observer in April people in the district did not accept fruit fly was something they had to fix themselves. “Most locals inherited their fruit trees,” he said. “They need guidance and support, both local and State, such as inspectors, which I remember in my younger days.” Shire president Leigh Ballard said during last month’s meeting there would always be people who would not get on board with a fruit fly program. “There will always be untouched fruit trees harbouring the issue, no matter how many traps we give out,” he said.