Roadblocks increased to stop fruit fly

Roadblocks increased to stop fruit fly

Horticulture
Increased precautions will be taken to reduce the chance of fruit fly incursion into SA. Photo: EDDIE JIM

Increased precautions will be taken to reduce the chance of fruit fly incursion into SA. Photo: EDDIE JIM

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MORE random quarantine roadblocks will be in place during the 2019-20 season to help protect SA fruitgrowers from the threat of fruit fly.

Aa

MORE random quarantine roadblocks will be in place during the 2019-20 season to help protect SA fruitgrowers from the threat of fruit fly.

An extra seven roadblocks have been planned, bringing the number to 20 - with a focus in the Riverland, Vic border and South East.

Primary Industries and Regional Development Minister Tim Whetstone said the random roadblock season began in spring with warmer temperatures meaning fruit flies become more active, coinciding with a rise in people travelling.

"We recognise the increasing pressure on SA's borders from interstate fruit fly incursions and as a result we have almost doubled the number of random roadblocks from the program held last year," he said.

"The government last year introduced a zero-tolerance approach for random roadblocks to deter motorists from bringing in prohibited fruit and vegetables and putting our $1.2 billion horticulture industry vulnerable to fruit fly at risk.

"The 2018-19 random roadblock campaign had an average non-compliance rate of almost 13 per cent but what we saw was a drop to under 8pc for the last four random roadblocks of the season so it is clear the zero-tolerance approach is working."

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Almost 20,000 vehicles passed through random quarantine roadblocks in 2018-19 with one tonne of prohibited fruit seized and 494 motorists fined.

A further 267 people received formal warnings in the 2018-19 season before the zero-tolerance policy was implemented.

Mr Whetstone said this season's random roadblock program would extend further into the SE to strengthen entry points into the state.

"Our government recognises the need to protect the state's borders from the threats of fruit fly and phylloxera," he said.

"That's why we've increased the focus on random quarantine roadblocks across SA.

"It only takes one piece of infested fruit to cause devastation to our horticulture industries and as we have seen recently in Loxton, it costs millions of dollars to eradicate a fruit fly outbreak.

"The increased roadblock program complements the zero-tolerance approach at the Yamba Quarantine Station to send the message to motorists that if you are travelling into SA, leave fruit and vegetables at home or you will be fined."

SA is presently responding to fruit fly outbreaks at Thevenard on the West Coast and at Lindsay Point in Vic.

  • Details: pir.sa.gov.au/fruitfly
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