Motorists' $300,000 school holiday sting
The Marshall Liberal Government’s zero tolerance approach at the Yamba Quarantine Station has netted 831 fines totalling $311,625 during the South Australian and Victorian school holidays.
Of great concern, from the 1 July to 22 July, more than 1,400 kilograms of illegal fruit was seized at the Yamba Quarantine Station as part of the Government’s zero tolerance approach.
Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development Tim Whetstone said it is disappointing motorists continue to ignore signs and messages along the Sturt Highway into South Australia.
“More than 800 motorists have been fined over a three week period for bringing fruit fly host material and putting South Australia’s horticulture industry at risk of devastation from this agricultural pest,” said Minister Whetstone.
“By fining motorists under zero tolerance, we are sending the message it only takes one piece of produce infected by fruit fly larvae to cause widespread devastation in South Australia.
“The main aim of introducing zero tolerance measures has been to change the attitude of these motorists who put our $1.2 billion horticulture industry at risk.
“Keeping South Australia free of fruit fly is everyone’s responsibility and the Marshall Liberal Government will use every tool available to protect our state.
“There is a clear and simple message for people travelling into South Australia and the Riverland from within the state, do not bring restricted fresh produce or you will face fines and penalties.
“So if in doubt when travelling to South Australia, I encourage people not to bring fruit and vegetables, leave them at home.”
Minister Whetstone said in support of zero tolerance measures the State Government has recently completed a $2 million upgrade of the Yamba Quarantine Station to enable all cars to be inspected and processed quicker.
“To complement the zero tolerance approach, the Government has employed 14 extra staff and implemented safety upgrades, as well as the installation of permanent signs and quarantine bins at Bede Road on the Sturt Highway.
“Fruit fly can only be brought into South Australia from interstate and as we continue to feel the pressure at both our western and eastern border points we need to be ever vigilant against the pest.
“While we welcome the many visitors to South Australia over the school holiday period, it is important they follow our strict quarantine measures and not put South Australia at risk of fruit fly devastation.”
Acknowledgement: reproduced from a media release by the Department of Primary Industries South Australia