Fruit fly has again slipped across South Australia’s borders with the discovery of Queensland fruit fly maggots in plums bought at an Unley supermarket last week.
Shadow Minister for Agriculture David Ridgway said the State’s entire fruit fly program required a review to improve protection against future incursions of the horticultural pest.
“We’ve not only pledged an additional $500,000 over four years to the State’s fruit fly program but also, if elected, we will undertake a thorough review of the program to ensure it works more effectively,” Mr Ridgway said.
“Despite Minister Gago’s assurances about the program and her complaints about the Liberals holding her to account for its performance, South Australia is experiencing its worst fruit fly situation in more than 20 years.
“South Australians deserve an explanation from the Minister about how this latest breach happened -a breach which has resulted in the recall of fruit from more than 72 supermarkets.
”Member for Chaffey Tim Whetstone said the increased danger of fruit fly outbreaks in SA had been manifest for several years following an unprecedented number of outbreaks in eastern states.
“Labor’s measures to meet this increased risk have clearly failed,” Mr Whetstone said. “I’ve been warning all along about the increased danger of someone in SA biting into or opening a piece of fruit infested with maggots but this is the reality without a strong and effective fruit fly program in place.”
“Robust systems need to be in place to ensure fruit produced in outbreak-affected areas and destined for South Australia, is not infested with fruit fly. Fruit shipments should be inspected before they cross the border, not just the paperwork.
“The economy of a premier food bowl region like the Riverland relies on South Australia’s fruit fly-free status and the Government must maintain this status.”