Riverlanders urged to rally in support of local growers

Riverland residents are being asked to step up in the fight against fruit fly and strip their backyard fruit trees as the State Government, horticulture industry and Riverland growers continue to work to contain the recent outbreaks.

Member of the Legislative Council the Hon Nicola Centofanti and Member for Chaffey Tim Whetstone are together urging the Riverland community to back the local horticulture industry in the battle against fruit fly incursions.

The Hon Nicola Centofanti said the Riverland fruit fly detections affect many growers and create challenges for the upcoming harvest.

“Each fruit fly detection triggers a suspension zone whereby fruit within that zone cannot be moved outside of the zone,” said the Hon Ms Centofanti. “Unfortunately, many local growers are in a suspension zone, meaning they can’t get their fruit to market without costly treatment.”

Ms Centofanti said that it is important that the Riverland community works together to beat the fruit fly outbreaks.

“Now is the time to support our growers,” said the Hon Ms Centofanti. “If we are to overcome these outbreaks, our community must work together in partnership with growers, and closely follow the directions of PIRSA and the State Government.”

“Please consider stripping your backyard fruit trees to remove host fruit, ensure none is left on the tree or the ground, and help reduce the risk of fruit fly spreading across the Riverland.”

“We are attacking the outbreaks head-on and by abiding by the outbreak restrictions the community can help the Riverland keep our pest-free status which is our region's unique strength.”

Member for Chaffey Tim Whetstone said the Riverland community have a vital role to play in protecting the Riverland’s Fruit Fly Free Status.

“The Government is committed to supporting the Riverland in this fight and it’s now up to the Riverland community to play their part,” Mr Whetstone said. “Fruit fly is one of the world’s most destructive pests and the Riverland horticulture industry has spent decades working to achieve and maintain a Fruit Fly Free status.”

“Since the first outbreak in December 2020, that state Government has committed significant resources to PIRSA to be on the ground in the Riverland, finding and containing these outbreaks.”

“The five Riverland Fruit Fly detections have all been in backyard fruit trees, which is why we are urging the community to strip fruit off their trees and ensure nothing is left on the ground.”

“If you’re living in a suspension zone you shouldn’t be moving any fruit, residential grown or commercially bought from outside of that zone. We’re also asking that backyard grown fruit not be removed from the property regardless of whether it is in a suspension zone or not.”

“We cannot emphasise enough the importance of the community’s cooperation in stopping further spread of fruit fly in the region, and I encourage everyone to visit the PIRSA website for suspension zone information and what our responsibilities are during this outbreak.”

Visit www.fruitfly.sa.gov.au to see a full list of what fruit and vegetables are at risk, and what areas are in suspension zones.

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