CITY residents have had their fruit freedoms returned following the long-awaited eradication of Mediterranean fruit fly across most of metropolitan Adelaide.
After two years of restrictions, residents from more than 170 suburbs can once again move fruit and vegetables from their properties, except in the Ridleyton area, where a Queensland fruit fly outbreak has been detected.
Primary Industries Minister David Basham thanked the SA public for their patience and for following the rules.
"From the northern suburbs to the southern suburbs and from beach to the hills, this has been a significant operation right across metropolitan Adelaide to eradicate Mediterranean fruit fly," he said.
"Now the majority of Adelaide residents can once again move fruit and vegetables from their property which will be a huge relief to many."
The Medfly outbreaks successfully eradicated in Adelaide are Angle Park, Black Forest, Blair Athol, Campbelltown, Croydon Park, Klemzig, Marleston, Pooraka, Rosewater, Semaphore Park and Warradale.
RELATED READING: Post-harvest treatment plant part of $30m package to fight fruit fly
Mr Basham said it was "by far the largest successful fruit fly eradication campaign ever delivered in Australia".
"It's been an extensive program visiting residents as our fruit fly officers went door-to-door undertaking organic baiting and checking fruit and I'd like to thank the residents of Adelaide for their support during this time," he said.
Since 2019, around 350 staff were employed at the peak of the response to eradicate Medfly from Adelaide's suburbs, visiting 177,000 homes and properties and releasing 677 million sterile flies.
The news comes as three regions of the Riverland have also had restrictions lifted following the eradication of Qfly in Berri, Monash and Cooltong, after a 12-month response program.
The restrictions ended in the last week of December, however ongoing detections of wild flies at Pike River has meant fruit movement restrictions in two other outbreak areas around Renmark West and Pike River will continue until March 13.
Mr Basham said the lifting of the outbreak areas in the Riverland meant many growers would once again be able to have the market advantage of being fruit fly free.
"But we know fruit fly is most active in summer and we ask everyone to remain vigilant to ensure we keep SA fruit fly free," he said.
"Please continue to pick fruit once ripe, collect fallen fruit, check fruit for maggots and call the Fruit Fly Hotline on 1300 666 010 if you see anything wriggling in your fruit.
"We have a zero-tolerance policy to people bringing prohibited fruit into the Riverland pest free area. Heavy fines will apply if caught smuggling fruit into the region.
"Residents and travellers coming into the Riverland are encouraged to shop locally and support local businesses. We all need to play our part to protect SA from fruit fly."
RELATED READING: Stonefruit stats show industry of impact
Riverland Fruit Fly Committee chair Jason Size said the eradication of these three outbreaks was testament to the hard work of the Department of Primary Industries and Regions (PIRSA) and the local community.
"This fruit fly eradication has been a huge effort, in particular from the biosecurity staff on the ground, and PIRSA's work in the Riverland with growers and residents has been untiring," he said.
"We're yet to fully understand the full economic impact these outbreaks have had, for example market access issues with trading partners are yet to be fully resolved, as well as the effects of the recent spring storms.
"We will continue to work with PIRSA on fruit fly preparedness and prevention, with a deeper understanding than ever before of the impact outbreaks can have and what's required to prevent and eradicate them.
"Even though three of the outbreaks have been lifted, there are still two areas remaining which means everybody must continue their efforts to ensure our region is clean and free of fruit fly."
Domestic trade has now been re-established under area freedom arrangements for those areas that have been reinstated and PIRSA, working with the federal government, aims to have export arrangements back in place soon.
Mr Basham said to prevent future fruit fly outbreaks, the state government will maintain the zero tolerance approach at the Yamba border checkpoint and random roadside inspections, with heavy fines for travellers caught bringing prohibited fruit into SA or the Riverland.
As long as there are no further detections, the Ridleyton Qfly outbreak is due to end on February 22, while the Port Augusta Medfly outbreak was successfully eradicated on December 12.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.