The state government’s new policy announced on Friday comes following a December outbreak of the Queensland fruit fly pest in Riverland, which was internationally recognized as being pest-free.
Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development Tim Whetstone said the new arrangements at Yamba – close to the border with Victoria – follows the implementation of a ‘zero-tolerance approach’ at all random roadblocks last month.
“As part of an emergency response to the fruit fly outbreak in Loxton, as of today there is no longer an option to declare produce at the Yamba Quarantine Station without penalty,” said Whetstone.
“The zero tolerance policy is aimed at changing the attitude of motorists who flout the law and bring produce into South Australia. This type of behavior is putting Riverland industries and communities at risk of economic devastation from fruit fly.”
He said electronic signs and roadside bins have been put in place to ensure the ‘Eat it or Bin it’ message to motorists is clear before approaching the Yamba Quarantine Station, where additional staff have now been appointed.
“The State Government is also taking a zero tolerance approach to random roadblocks held across the state. In fact, we have significantly increased the number of random roadblocks this financial year,” he added.
“The suspension zone for the Queensland fruit fly outbreak in Loxton will be lifted on 25 March, 2019, without any further detections.
“To assist growers as part of the response to the Loxton outbreak, a team of dedicated PIRSA market access personnel have been deployed to provide advice in regards to the movement of produce and quarantine restrictions.”