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South Australia's minister: With roadblock against fruit fly

Staff writer |
A random roadblock will be held in the Riverland in the lead up to the Easter long weekend in order to help keep South Australia fruit fly free.

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Agriculture Minister Leon Bignell said rules restricting the movement of fresh fruit and vegetables into the Riverland, particularly home grown produce, must be followed.

“The Riverland’s premium food and wine industry is of vital importance to the regional economy and we must all do our bit to keep fruit fly out of this region,” Mr Bignell said.

“South Australia remains the only Australian mainland state that is fruit fly free and this status has huge benefits in protecting the commercial production of fruit, vegetables, wine grapes and almonds in South Australia, particularly in the Riverland

“In 2014–15, the estimated farm-gate value of the state’s horticultural produce vulnerable to fruit fly infestation – including wine grapes and almonds - was $1.1 billion.

“The State Government, through PIRSA Biosecurity SA, is currently responding to a Mediterranean fruit fly outbreak in the metropolitan area,” he said.

“This clearly illustrates why it is so important all fresh home grown fruit and fruiting vegetables cannot be brought into the Riverland from anywhere else in the state.”

Mr Bignell reminded residents living within the Clarence Park/Kurralta Park quarantine zone who are planning to travel over the Easter break no fresh home grown fruit or vegetables could leave the area.

“It is important residents’ play their part in ensuring the outbreak is eradicated as quickly as possible. If you live in the quarantine zone you must leave all fruit and vegetables at home.”

Mr Bignell said the only exception on the restrictions was if the fruit or vegetable was bought from a retail outlet and there was an itemised receipt showing proof of purchase.

“While shop-bought fruit and fruiting vegetables are known to be fruit fly free, they should be kept in a plastic bag, lunch box or esky before travelling into the Riverland.

“It is also fine if your produce is either cooked, processed, stewed, preserved, dried, frozen or canned.”

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