Fruit- fly risk to export markets

Scrapping the fruit fly detection nightshift at the Ceduna roadblock sends the wrong message to domestic and overseas markets about our ‘fruit flyfree’ status.

This decision to cease the nightshift demonstrates how the Agriculture and Food Minister Michael O’Brien has failed to account for the risks to the State’s fruit industries, Liberal Member for Flinders Peter Treloar said today.

“This is an illadvised costsaving measure which undermines SA’s quarantine regime, and sends the wrong message to export markets that we are not serious about remaining fruit flyfree.

“Clearly the Minister has underestimated the value of the domestic and overseas fruit exports that the State produces, and Ceduna is critical in combating the threat of fruit fly to the industry.

“We’ve got to remain vigilant to the dangers posed by this pest – just because there has been a reduction in outbreaks in recent years, doesn’t mean the war against fruit fly is over.

“The quarantine station at Ceduna doesn’t just protect us from fruit fly, it also protects us from a whole range of other biosecurity threats such as phylloxera on plant material and exotic weeds.

“South Australia’s quarantine regime is absolutely essential to the viability of our agricultural sector and it must not be weakened to save a few dollars.

“You can’t be complacent when it comes to fruit fly threatening one of SA’s important regional industries,” Mr Treloar said.

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