Fruit Flies Knows No Boundaries

Fruit Flies Knows No Boundaries

Tim Whetstone Liberal Member for Chaffey

NSW Fruit Fly Outbreaks Highlight Risk To Riverland 

Victor P Taffa

Recent fruit fly outbreaks in the Riverina Region of New South Wales have served to highlight the risk to the Riverland and the importance of maintaining 24-hour operations at the Yamba roadblock.

Member for Chaffey Tim Whetstone said it was now more important than ever for the State Government to ensure the nightshift at Yamba was maintained.

“Outbreaks of Queensland fruit fly have occurred at Griffith and Hillston, within the Fruit Fly Exclusion Zone, and the Riverland’s only defence against this threat is a round-the-clock operation at the Yamba roadblock.” Mr. Whetstone said.

“It simply makes no sense to close the nightshift at Yamba, which will substantially increase the risk to the Riverland’s fruit and vegetable industries.”

Mr. Whetstone said that in estimates committee hearings earlier this year, Minister for Agriculture Michael O’Brien had admitted the Government was seeking a financial contribution from industry to maintain the nightshifts at the Yamba and Ceduna quarantine stations.

“The Minister’s announcement in October that it would close the nightshifts was effectively an attempt to bully our horticultural industries into paying for a service which has always been a Government responsibility.” Mr. Whetstone said.

“It was a reckless and short-sighted announcement which placed valuable export markets at risk by creating a perception in those markets that South Australia was no longer serious about biosecurity.”

“Queensland fruit fly outbreaks in NSW and Mediterranean fruit fly outbreaks in Adelaide provide all the evidence the Minister needs to understand the importance of maintaining 24-hour operations at Yamba and Ceduna, and protecting horticultural industries worth many millions of dollars to the State’s economy. Mr. Whetstone said.

“South Australia’s Quarantine Regime cannot be compromised.” Mr. Whetstone said.