$130,000 for citrus industry to bolster biosecurity

The Marshall Liberal Government has teamed up with South Australia’s citrus growers to fight the war on fruit fly.

Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development Tim Whetstone said South Australia’s new representative organisation for citrus growers, Citrus SA, will receive $130,000 of industry funds to provide leadership in growing farm profitability and tackling biosecurity threats like fruit fly and gall wasp.

“It is pleasing to see our South Australian citrus industry grow and mature to the stage where we once again have a state-based organisation representing growers," said Minister Whetstone.

“National body Citrus Australia has done a commendable job over recent years supporting SA growers through the Citrus Growers Fund under the advice of the former Citrus Australia South Australia Region committee."

Minister Whetstone said Citrus SA applied to receive payments from the Citrus Growers Fund for 2019-20 and was best able to demonstrate its ability to represent South Australian growers and its commitment to pursue the war on fruit fly.

"The proposal put forward for the funds from Citrus SA represents best value for fund contributors’ money with its commitment to maintain investment in the Riverland Fruit Fly Coordinator position, Mypolonga trapping grid and the enhanced South Australian gall wasp program," said Minister Whetstone.

"As the only state to be fruit fly free, the South Australian citrus industry is committed to eradicating this pest.

"It is vital that decisions about the use of the South Australian citrus growers fund is being done at the grassroots level by local citrus producers and industry stakeholders.

"The citrus industry has now become like all other industries in South Australia with a local farmer body being responsible for advising on industry priorities and delivering projects using fund contributions.

"The South Australian Government has enjoyed a strong working relationship with Citrus Australia and will continue to do so with SA representing more than 20 per cent of national production and $136 million in farm gate value."

Minister Whetstone said he expected the new Citrus SA organisation to be a strong member of Citrus Australia to ensure local growers continue to gain the benefit of representation on national issues.

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