The Marshall Liberal Government is reminding travellers to leave their fruit and vegetables at home prior to travelling into South Australia during the upcoming school holiday period so they don’t put the state at risk of the devastating horticultural pest – fruit fly.
The reminder comes with Victorian school holidays just starting and South Australian school holidays beginning at the end of the week.
There were 831 fines issues during the last school holiday period at the Yamba Quarantine Station with more than 1,400 kilograms of illegal fruit seized as part of the State Government’s zero-tolerance approach.
A random roadblock at Blanchetown last weekend, the first of the 2019-20 season, resulted in 34 vehicles receiving fines and a non-compliance rate of under eight per cent.
Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development Tim Whetstone reminded visitors to adhere to the state’s strict quarantine rules when entering South Australia.
“With the weather getting warmer, the risk from fruit flies increases so it is vital that visitors do not bring prohibited fruit and vegetables into South Australia,” said Minister Whetstone.
“The Marshall Liberal Government has a zero-tolerance approach to bringing fresh produce into Yamba Quarantine Station and also at random roadblocks across the state.
“It only takes one piece of infested fruit carried into South Australia to cause widespread devastation to our horticulture industries and we have seen the impact a fruit fly outbreak can have at Loxton and Lindsay Point.”
Minister Whetstone said while it was encouraging to see the first random roadblock of the year deliver a lower non-compliance rate than the 2018-19 average, motorists continue to put South Australia at risk by flouting the law.
“A total of 452 vehicles were checked over two days at the Blanchetown quarantine roadblock, with 34 motorists fined and 35 kilograms of fruit seized and disposed of,” said Minister Whetstone.
“The State Government will do everything we can to protect our vital $1.2 billion horticulture industry and that’s why we have increased random roadblocks held in the 2019-20 season to 20.
“There is ample notice of restrictions as you travel into the Riverland Fruit Fly Exclusion Zone including permanent and electronic signage, along with strategically placed disposal bins, so that you can dispose of any fresh produce. The message is loud and clear, if you are travelling into South Australia or the Riverland, leave fruit and vegetables at home or you will be fined.”
For more information on keeping South Australia fruit fly free visit www.pir.sa.gov.au/fruitfly