$32,600 fruit fly sting for Victorian drivers

One in five Victorian drivers pulled over at a Bordertown random roadblock in the lead up to the Labour Day long weekend were found concealing fruit and will be fined $375 each.

Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development Tim Whetstone said fruit fly is one of the greatest threats to South Australian horticulture and the Marshall Liberal Government will be policing the roads on our borders to stop people bringing fruit in from other states.

“Over just two days, careless Victorian drivers have donated $32,625 to the state budget and Victims of Crime coffers because they were caught trafficking fruit,” said Minister Whetstone.

“In total 145 drivers were caught bringing fruit and prohibited material into South Australia during the two-day random roadblock at Bordertown on 3 and 4 October.

“There is absolutely no excuse for any drivers be found bringing fruit into South Australia.

“Permanent and electronic signs were in place at Bordertown that weekend warning motorists of the law.

“Fruit fly is a primary concern but we are also inspecting for risk of drivers introducing the devastating wine grape vine pest, phylloxera, which is found in Victoria but not in South Australia.

“It only takes one piece of infested produce to cause widespread devastation to the Riverland horticulture industry and its communities.”

Minister Whetstone said the Marshall Liberal Government is investing more resources into random roadblocks in order to change the culture of interstate drivers who want to ignore our biosecurity protocols.

“More random roadblocks will be held at Bordertown this season as well as key highways as far south as the Princes Highway,” said Minister Whetstone.

“Frequent random roadblocks will continue to be held at Blanchetown to protect the Riverland and following the recent detection of fruit fly larvae in passionfruit from an Adelaide Woolworths store. Due to this heightened risk, we urge people to leave at home any passionfruit purchased in Adelaide during October - do not bring it into the Pest Free Area.

“I thank PIRSA biosecurity staff and South Australian Police for their successful management of the Bordertown roadblock.

“Keeping South Australia fruit fly free is everyone’s responsibility and there is a clear and simple message for people travelling into South Australia – leave your fruit and vegetables at home.”

The random roadblocks complement the State Government’s zero-tolerance approach at Yamba Quarantine Station in protecting South Australia’s $1.2 billion industry which relies on our fruit fly pest-free status to market their quality produce.

mediarelease feature