Visiting friends and family are being reminded to ‘Eat It or Bin It’ this festive season and avoid putting the state’s fruit fly free status at risk by bringing any fresh fruit and vegetables back into South Australia or the Riverland.
Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development Tim Whetstone said with the latest Queensland (Q-fly) outbreak at Loxton and ongoing responses to Mediterranean fruit fly (Med-fly) outbreaks at Ceduna and Kilburn, it is more important than ever that everyone plays their role in keeping South Australia fruit fly free.
“From quarantine bins to roadblocks, the State Government uses every tool at its disposal to defend our vital $1.25 billion horticulture industry against fruit fly. However, keeping South Australia free of fruit fly is everyone’s responsibility,” said Minister Whetstone.
“With the advent of warmer weather, fruit fly are now at their most active so if you have friends and family visiting, remind them not to bring any fresh fruit and vegetables into the state, and in particular into the Riverland.
“There are ample reminders on signs as travellers head into quarantine zones, as well as roadside bins to relinquish produce. However, if motorists choose to ignore these reminders, they face fines and penalties of up to $100,000 if found with restricted items.
“PIRSA inspectors will take a zero tolerance approach to people caught bringing fruit illegally into the Riverland to send a strong message that people cannot continue to do the wrong thing and put the state’s fruit fly free status at risk.
“As the Member for Chaffey representing the Riverland, the region is the fruit bowl of South Australia and grows a large selection of fresh fruit and vegetables, so I encourage visitors to leave their fruit and vegetables at home and shop local.
“If you are staying at home this Christmas, you still can play a role by checking your fruit trees and vegetable crops to make sure they are healthy and picking up any items that have fallen on the ground.
“If you do find any maggots in fruit or vegetables or suspect fruit fly or other plant pests and diseases call the hotline – 1300 666 010 – to report it immediately.”
Find out how you can help keep South Australia fruit fly free at www.pir.sa.gov.au/fruitfly