FIVE pieces of fruit infested by fruit fly larvae have been found and seized when entering the Riverland in the past four months by Biosecurity SA inspectors.
The larvae were discovered on five separate occasions by inspectors at the Yamba Quarantine Station who check every car entering SA on the Sturt Highway.
Fruit fly larvae were uncovered in a peach, cherry tomato, figs and dragon fruit.
Primary Industries and Regional Development Minister Tim Whetstone said the seizure of infested fresh produce highlighted the importance of zero tolerance and the fact it was working.
"I commend the hard-working biosecurity staff at Yamba whose sharp eyes have stopped these illegal and infested fruits from making their way into the Riverland," he said.
"It only takes one piece of infested produce to cause widespread devastation to the Riverland horticulture industry and its communities.
"All vehicles entering Yamba are stopped, inspected and any fruit is seized and investigated and disposed. In the rare occasions larvae are found, they are destroyed on site."
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Mr Whetstone said more than 10,000 kilograms of illegal fruit and vegetables have been seized at Yamba.
"There are ample warnings leading into the Yamba Quarantine Station reminding motorists to dispose of any fruit fly host material," he said.
"Drivers choosing to ignore these warnings will be fined.
"Keeping SA fruit fly free is everyone's responsibility and there is a clear and simple message for people travelling into SA - leave your fruit and vegetables at home."
Mr Whetstone said the issue of fruit illegally entering SA needed to be brought home to everyone.
"Recently I had a city-based Labor MP write me a letter in which they described bringing illegal fruit into SA is a 'trifling' matter," he said.
"The MP claimed a motorist from their electorate detected bringing five tomatoes, three mandarins, a lemon, pear and avocado into the state should be let off without fine because 'the nature' of the offence was 'trifling'.
"Tell that to the state's fruit growers in a $1.2 billion industry who rely on our fruit fly pest-free status to market their quality produce."
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