The Marshall Liberal Government will operate additional random roadblocks into the Riverland and appoint a dedicated coordinator as part of a suite of measures to ramp up protection against fruit fly for the coming summer.
Recognising the increased pressure from fruit fly with the pest rampant in neighbouring states, the government is working with industry to deliver extra biosecurity protection including:
- Appointment of a dedicated Riverland Fruit Fly Coordinator to work with industry
- An increase of random roadblocks from 11 in 2017-18 to 14 in 2018-19
- Two new quarantine bins installed at key entry points into the Riverland
- Opening the seasonal quarantine station at Pinnaroo earlier
- Additional signage leading into the Riverland, at main entry points into the state and around quarantine bins
- Sterile insect technology release and male annihilation technique baiting in an interstate buffer zone to protect the Riverland Pest Free Area (PFA)
- Higher scrutiny at quarantine stations to ensure empty fruit bins being transported are properly cleaned and extra bin inspections at Yamba and Pinnaroo quarantine stations. Trucks with rotting fruit will be turned around at the border
- Increased audits of accredited businesses transporting produce into the state
- Continuation of checking 7,500 trap sites across the state (over 100,000 trap checks per year)
- Launching a newly branded fruit fly awareness campaign
Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development Tim Whetstone said extra investment in the biosecurity program is crucial in protecting the state’s $1.25 billion horticultural industry vulnerable to fruit fly.
“I’ve been working closely with industry on ways we can increase the state’s fruit fly protection and it’s important these extra measures are in place as we come into the warmer months,” said Minister Whetstone.
“Recognising the importance of coordinating the Riverland’s fruit fly preparedness, industry and the State Government are co-funding a new Riverland Fruit Fly Coordinator who will be based at the Loxton Research Centre.
“Through these extra measures we will be checking more vehicles and sending a strong message to anyone coming into our pest-free areas to adhere to strict quarantine rules.
“This government is being proactive instead of reactive when it comes to biosecurity in this state.”
The new Riverland Fruit Fly Coordinator position will be undertaken by Brett Kennedy and his key responsibilities include early detection and diagnosis, prevention, risk mitigation, grower and industry liaison, and response preparedness.
“Mr Kennedy will work closely with the Riverland Fruit Fly Committee which includes key industry groups across a range of commodities such as citrus, wine, stonefruits, cherries and pears” said Minister Whetstone.
“This new position will be important in further educating growers about their responsibilities to keep the Riverland fruit fly free.”
Citrus Australia SA Region Chair Steve Burdette said the dedicated resource demonstrates industry and government’s collaboration towards the important cause.
“The new Riverland Fruit Fly Coordinator co-funded by industry and PIRSA demonstrates our region’s commitment to collaborate jointly to address the biosecurity risks in our region and to protect the Riverland PFA at all costs,” said Mr Burdette.
Summerfruits Australia Committee Member Jason Size said the new coordinator role will help maintain the economic benefits being fruit fly free has for the region.
“The new position of a Riverland Fruit Fly Coordinator is a great step and tool in the proactive management of the Riverland’s PFA – it definitely helps in maintaining the economic benefits that being fruit fly free gives, not only to various industries but the region in general,” said Mr Size.
Mr Kennedy holds a Diploma of Production Horticulture and brings extensive technical experience in horticulture for a range of commodities.