Quarantine restrictions for a Queensland fruit fly outbreak in Loxton have today been lifted thanks to a successful eradication program delivered collaboratively by the State Government, industry and the community.
Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development Tim Whetstone praised the efforts of industry and community in successfully eradicating fruit fly from the Loxton area.
“It is important to acknowledge the efforts of all involved in the eradication process as battling a fruit fly outbreak requires considerable resources and effort from across the Riverland and beyond,” said Minister Whetstone.
“With the lifting of quarantine restrictions for Loxton, access to domestic markets will resume from the area without requiring expensive additional treatment.
“The international market access process takes longer, and we are working with the Commonwealth Government to have export arrangements back in place as soon as possible.
“The Riverland produces some of the best fresh produce in the world and maintaining South Australia’s fruit fly free status is critical to providing our growers with market advantage.
“That’s why when fruit fly infiltrates our borders, the State Government quickly implements an effective program to rid of the horticulture pest.”
Minister Whetstone said the use of Sterile Insect Technology (SIT) and zero tolerance at roadside inspections played a key role in eliminating wild flies from the Loxton outbreak area.
“South Australia is leading the way in SIT and this has proven to be a valuable tool when fighting fruit flies, with 16 million sterile flies produced at the Port Augusta based facility released at the Loxton outbreak area,” said Minister Whetstone.
“PIRSA had more than 50 staff on the ground during the response as part of baiting and hygiene activities with more than 35 tonnes of fruit collected.
“As an emergency response to this fruit fly outbreak, the State Government also implemented a zero-tolerance approach at the Yamba Quarantine Station and random roadblocks and these measures will now continue to protect the Riverland from the further threat of fruit fly.
“Almost five months into zero tolerance at Yamba, we are seeing a shift in attitude with visitors bringing less fruit fly host material into the Riverland.
“It is important to continually remind travellers that when coming into South Australia, leave fruit and vegetables behind and support the state’s growers by buying local and not putting our fruit fly free status at risk.”