South Australia Minister for Primary Industries Tim Whetstone
Increased Random Roadblock Program To Combat Interstate Fruit Fly Threat
Victor P Taffa
Marshall Government will boost the number of random quarantine roadblocks in the 2019-20 season to further protect South Australia from the threat of fruit fly.
An extra 7 roadblocks have been added to the 2019-20 season to bring the total number to 20 with the program focused on the Riverland, the Victorian border and the South East.
Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development Tim Whetstone said the random roadblock season begins in Spring with warmer temperatures meaning fruit flies become more active and we see a rise in people travelling.
“We recognise the increasing pressure on South Australia’s borders from interstate fruit fly incursions and as a result we have almost doubled the number of random roadblocks from the program held last year.” Minister Whetstone said.
“Marshall Government last year introduced a zero-tolerance approach for random roadblocks to deter motorists from bringing in prohibited fruit and vegetables and putting our $1.2 Billion horticulture industry vulnerable to fruit fly at risk.”
“2018-19 random roadblock campaign had an average non-compliance rate of almost 13 % but what we saw was a drop to under 8 % for the last 4 random roadblocks of the season so it is clear the zero-tolerance approach is working.”
Almost 20,000 vehicles passed through random quarantine roadblocks in 2018-19 with one tonne of prohibited fruit seized and 494 motorists fined. A further 267 people received formal warnings in the 2018-19 season before the zero-tolerance policy was implemented.
Minister Whetstone said this season’s random roadblock program will extend further into the South East to strengthen entry points into the state.
“Our government recognises the need to protect the state’s borders from the threats of fruit fly and phylloxera that’s why we’ve increased the focus on random quarantine roadblocks across South Australia.” Minister Whetstone said.
“It only takes one piece of infested fruit to cause devastation to our horticulture industries and as we have seen recently in Loxton, it costs millions of dollars to eradicate a fruit fly outbreak.”
“Increased roadblock program complements the zero-tolerance approach at the Yamba Quarantine Station to send the message to motorists that if you are travelling into South Australia, leave fruit and vegetables at home or you will be fined.” Minister Whetstone said.
South Australia is currently responding to fruit fly outbreaks at Thevenard on the West Coast and at Lindsay Point in Victoria.