ANYONE found with fruit at roadblocks near the SA/Vic border will now be slapped with a fine as part of the state government’s new zero tolerance approach in the fight against fruit fly.
Primary Industries and Regional Development Minister Tim Whetstone said as part of the emergency response to the fruit fly outbreak in Loxton, there was no longer an option to declare produce at quarantine stations without penalty
“The zero tolerance policy is aimed at changing the attitude of motorists who flout the law and bring produce into SA,” he said.
“This type of behavior is putting Riverland industries and communities at risk of economic devastation from fruit fly.
“Electronic signs have been put in place, as well as roadside disposal bins to ensure the message is clear to motorists travelling into the Riverland to ‘Eat it or Bin it’.
“If motorists ignore these warnings they will be caught and penalised. Do not throw fruit out the window or littering offences will apply.
“Additional staff have been appointed at the Yamba Quarantine Station, which is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to support policing of the new zero tolerance measures.
“The state government is also taking a zero tolerance approach to random roadblocks held across the state. In fact, we have significantly increased the number of random roadblocks this financial year.”
Mr Whetsone said the suspension zone for the Qld fruit fly outbreak in Loxton would be lifted on March 25, without any further detections.
“To assist growers as part of the response to the Loxton outbreak, a team of dedicated PIRSA market access personnel have been deployed to provide advice in regards to the movement of produce and quarantine restrictions,” he said.
“There is a clear and simple message for people travelling into SA, do not bring in restricted fresh produce otherwise you will face fines and penalties of up to $100,000.
“From roadblocks to quarantine bins, we will use every tool at our disposal to defend our vital horticulture industry against fruit fly and to protect our fruit fly-free status.
“Keeping SA free of fruit fly is everyone’s responsibility.”
Mr Whestone said fines had already been issued in 2019.