PRIMARY Industries Minister David Basham is urging motorists to leave fruit and vegetables at home this long weekend, revealing close to 1000 fines had been issued during the 2020-21 fruit fly roadblock campaign.
Mr Basham said more than 10,000 vehicles were inspected during that period, with 1839 kilograms of fresh produce seized and 944 fines handed out - nearly one in ten motorists breaking the rules.
"It is disappointing that people continue to ignore the strict and important fruit fly rules in place and put the Riverland at risk of further incursions from the horticultural pests," he said.
"With fruit fly outbreaks in metropolitan Adelaide, the Riverland and Port Augusta, it's more important than ever not to move fruit and vegetables into and around SA.
"The message is clear - if you carry prohibited fruit and vegetables into the Riverland, you will be caught and you will be fined.
"If you're in a red outbreak area in Adelaide, the Riverland or Port Augusta, you cannot move fruit out of that area - once purchased or picked, it must stay at home."
Mr Basham said teven though fruit flies historically were not as active in winter months, it was important to remain vigilant against the pest.
"Despite the colder weather kicking in, we have taken the proactive approach to extend the random roadblock program to protect the Riverland Pest Free Area," he said.
"Fruit fly can only travel when people carry fruit and vegetables around. This long weekend, shop locally - leave your fruit at home.
"There is no excuse for doing the wrong thing as you travel into the Riverland Pest Free Area.
"You can't miss the signage and strategically placed quarantine bins to dispose of any fresh produce before you enter the area.
"Everyone must play their part in protecting South Australia from fruit fly."
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