SA bolsters its defence against fruit fly

Rules for importing stone fruit into South Australia from interstate will be further tightened after Queensland fruit fly larvae were recently detected in a commercial shipment from Victoria.

The larvae were detected in fruit purchased at a metropolitan Adelaide supermarket from a consignment of peaches from a Victorian supplier which has now had its certification suspended.

Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development David Basham said fruit entering South Australia from interstate from April 1 would no longer be accepted under the Interstate Certificate Assurance scheme (ICA-21) that was applied to this consignment.

“It is absolutely unacceptable that fruit fly larvae can find their way into South Australia via interstate commercial shipments,” Minister Basham said.

“The Victorian supplier was immediately suspended from exporting fruit into South Australia and the Marshall Liberal Government will now tighten requirements for all interstate stone fruit consignments.

“Interstate farmers will be required to implement treatments such as fumigation or cold treatment before we can be assured it is safe to allow commercial stone fruit consignments to enter the state.

“The decision to no longer recognise ICA-21 for stone fruit will not impact blueberry supplies from New South Wales and Queensland as there have been no cases of larvae detected in commercial blueberries.

“The April 1 commencement date is necessary to allow supermarkets and supply chains time to adjust, however immediate suspensions will apply to any further interstate businesses found exporting fruit fly larvae to South Australia.

“We are doing this to protect South Australia’s $1.3 billion horticultural industry at risk from fruit fly and the thousands of jobs across the state the sector supports.

“South Australians have worked incredibly hard over the past two years to help eradicate fruit fly outbreaks across the state so to have larvae found inside commercial consignments from interstate is very frustrating.

“In very pleasing news to South Australia’s horticulture industry Mediterranean fruit fly outbreaks in metropolitan Adelaide and Port Augusta, and three Queensland fruit fly outbreaks in the Riverland were successfully eradicated last month.

“As we continue to battle fruit fly outbreaks at Ridleyton in the city as well as in the Riverland it’s crucial we do everything we can to protect South Australia from this insidious horticultural pest.

“Our two-year, $68 million fruit fly eradication program has been successful thanks to South Australian households and businesses supporting the response by complying with fruit movement restrictions, reporting maggots and managing their gardens well.”

Restrictions due to Queensland fruit fly continue around the Ridleyton area until 22 February 2022, and around Pike River and Renmark West in the Riverland until 13 March 2022, as long as there are no further detections.

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