From quarantine stations and roadblocks to a new public awareness campaign, the South Australian Government is stopping the threat of fruit fly, one of the most destructive fruit pests which can destroy commercial crops and home gardens, at every turn.
South Australia is currently the only mainland state in Australia to enjoy a fruit fly free status. To protect that status, uncertified fresh fruit and fruiting vegetables cannot be carried into South Australia, especially the Riverland Fruit Fly Exclusion Zone.
Interstate road travellers, particularly those coming in from Victoria, will be targeted during the Christmas period with random road blocks in addition to the quarantine stations at Ceduna, Oodla Wirra, Pinnaroo and Yamba.
Whether flying or driving into South Australia there are fines/penalties for anyone caught carrying fruit or vegetables.
The public awareness campaign also starts this week with metropolitan Adelaide residents urged to report ANY maggots found in fruit or fruiting vegetables, including those from a shop, IMMEDIATELY to the Fruit Fly Hotline on 1300 666 010. Any fallen or over ripe fruit should be regularly collected and disposed of.
The campaign coincides with the quarantine period in Adelaide's southern suburbs, affected by the Mediterranean Fruit Fly outbreak during 2016, to be officially lifted on 24 December following the successful eradication of the pest in the area.
For further information visit www.pir.sa.gov.au/fruitfly.
Quotes attributable to Will Zacharin, Acting Deputy Chief Executive, Primary Industries and Regions South Australia
South Australia is the only mainland state that is fruit fly free and we want to keep it that way.
South Australia's fresh fruit and vegetables vulnerable to fruit fly infestation – including wine grapes and almonds – had an estimated farm gate value of $1.15 billion in 2015-16.
The State Government uses every weapon possible to defend our precious crops spending $5 million each year to help ensure fruit fly and other pest plants are kept out of South Australia.
Quarantine stations, signs and disposal bins are at key locations across the state including highways and rail terminals. Road travellers are also targeted through random roadblocks.
So, if you are carrying fruit or vegetables: eat it, bin it, or declare it. Or pay the price.