As South Australians head out into the regions this long weekend, travellers are being reminded to play their part in the battle against fruit fly and leave their fruit and vegetables at home.
Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development Tim Whetstone said with seven Mediterranean fruit fly outbreaks currently occurring across metropolitan Adelaide it was more important than ever to do the right thing.
“With the further easing of the COVID-19 restrictions I anticipate many South Australians will take advantage of the short break to once again visit our regions, but please make sure you play your part in keeping our state fruit fly free,” said Minister Whetstone.
“Nearly 250 suburbs across metropolitan are currently under quarantine restrictions because of these outbreaks so if you’re travelling this long weekend please leave your fruit and vegetables at home.
“If you are visiting the Riverland do not take fresh fruit and fruiting vegetables with you in the car, even with a receipt.
“There are zero strikes and zero excuses for bringing fruit and vegetables into South Australia or into a pest free area and if travellers flout the rules, they will receive a $375 fine.
“Fruit fly is one of the world’s most destructive horticultural pests and we are prepared to use all weapons at our disposal to protect South Australia’s $1.3 billion horticulture industry vulnerable to fruit fly.
“It only takes one piece of infested fruit brought into Riverland and our other vital horticulture producing regions to cause widespread devastation to our industry.
“If you are living within one of the areas across Adelaide under quarantine restrictions, no matter where you are travelling within South Australia this weekend, do not pack any homegrown fresh fruit and vegetables with you.”
Minister Whetstone said despite the latest community awareness campaign 28 kilograms of prohibited material was seized during a recent random roadblock at Blanchetown.
“With so much at stake it is disappointing to see people still doing the wrong thing,” said Minister Whetstone.
“During the two-day operation at Blanchetown, almost 700 vehicles were stopped with a total of 28kg of prohibited material detected, seized and disposed of accordingly.
“Please, before you take to the road this long weekend make sure you aren’t packing any unwanted guests with you.”
For more information, including quarantine bin locations, food checker and details on current Mediterranean fruit fly outbreaks including a suburb checker visit www.pir.sa.gov.au/fruitfly