South Australia commits to national fruit fly approach

The Marshall Liberal Government has committed to the Commonwealth Government’s Intergovernmental Agreement on Fruit Fly Management and is now urging other states to follow.

The Intergovernmental Agreement to strengthen Australia’s fruit fly management system was agreed in-principle at the Agriculture Minister’s Forum in Adelaide last month.

South Australia is committed to investing a further $1.09 million funding over four years as outlined in the agreement. This is on top of the $20 million the Government already expects to spend on fruit fly control over the next four years.

Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development Tim Whetstone said South Australia is backing industry calls for a nationally co-ordinated approach to battling fruit fly.

“While discussion at the Agriculture Minister’s Forum on a national approach to fruit fly was very positive, we recognise the importance of all states signing this Intergovernmental Agreement,” said Minister Whetstone.

“I’ve written to the nation’s agriculture ministers encouraging them to support a national approach to fruit fly management.

“Fruit fly is an increasing threat to Australia’s horticultural exports and South Australia is the only mainland state to maintain a fruit fly free status.

“The $16.9 million investment announced by the Commonwealth Government in the mid-year Budget will address national management of fruit fly as well as focusing on utilising greater technologies to combat this pest, such as Sterile Insect Technology.

“In particular, this investment will enable new research, development and extension programs to contribute to cutting edge work in fruit fly control.

“To minimise the impact of fruit flies on Australia, it is vital state governments collaborate better on early detection, diagnosis, stakeholder cooperation, international and domestic market access, emergency responses and ongoing management.

“South Australia plays a key national role providing a barrier that prevents the spread of Mediterranean fruit fly into the eastern states, and Queensland fruit fly to the west.

“The State Government recently introduced a zero tolerance approach at the Yamba Quarantine Station and random roadblocks to further the state’s protection against fruit fly at a time when we are eradicating outbreaks at Loxton, Ceduna and Thevenard.”

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