Interstate travellers heading into South Australia during the school and Easter holidays are being reminded to leave fruit and vegetables at home and avoid risking a fine.
Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development Tim Whetstone said with fruit fly outbreaks at Loxton in the Riverland and at Ceduna and Thevenard on the state’s West Coast, the Marshall Liberal Government is leaving no stone unturned to protect the state’s vital $1.2 billion horticulture industry.
“We are well aware of the devastation fruit fly can cause interstate and that is why it’s important that we continue to remind people to buy local and not bring fruit and vegetables into South Australia and the Riverland,” said Minister Whetstone.
“Every single person entering South Australia must respect our strict quarantine laws that protect our fruit fly free status.
“Even one piece of infected fruit can contain dozens of fruit fly larvae, which can not only devastate our fresh fruit and vegetable crops, but also associated industries and the regional communities that support them.
“The risk is just too great, so whether you illegally carry one piece of fruit or 20 in your vehicle, you will be penalised.”
Minister Whetstone said the recently implemented zero tolerance policy at the Yamba Quarantine Station and random roadblocks is further designed to protect South Australia from fruit fly.
“No longer will it be acceptable to avoid penalty by surrendering or declaring fruit, because bringing fruit fly host material into South Australia is prohibited,” said Minister Whetstone.
“Motorists face fines and penalties of between $375 and $20,000 if found with restricted items.
“There are ample warnings leading into Yamba about disposing of fresh produce the correct way and if motorists ignore these warning they will be caught and fined. Do not throw fruit out of the vehicle window or littering offences will apply.
“Keeping South Australia fruit fly free is everyone’s responsibility and there is a clear and simple message for people travelling into South Australia, ‘Eat it or Bin it’, otherwise you will pay the penalty.”
For further information on how to keep South Australia fruit fly free visit www.pir.sa.gov.au/fruitfly