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    South Australian Primary Industries and Regional Development Minister Tim Whetstone.

AgLife: South Australians ramp border fruit security

One in five Victorian drivers at a random fruit-check roadblock at Bordertown this month were fined for transporting fruit across the border.

Each paid fines of $375. The result has prompted a warning from South Australian Primary Industries and Regional Development Minister Tim Whetstone.

Mr Whetstone said fruit fly represented one of the greatest threats to South Australian horticulture and his government would be policing the roads on the state’s borders to stop people bringing fruit in from other states. “Over just two days, careless Victorian drivers have donated $32,625 to the state budget and Victims of Crime coffers because they were caught trafficking fruit,” he said.

“In total 145 drivers were caught bringing fruit and prohibited material into South Australia during the two-day random roadblock at Bordertown on October 3 and 4.

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“There is absolutely no excuse for any drivers found bringing fruit into South Australia. 

“Permanent and electronic signs were in place at Bordertown that weekend warning motorists of the law. 

“Fruit fly is a primary concern but we are also inspecting for risk of drivers introducing the devastating wine grape vine pest, phylloxera, found in Victoria but not South Australia.

“It only takes one piece of infested produce to cause widespread devastation to the Riverland horticulture industry and its communities.”

Mr Whetstone said his government was investing more resources into random roadblocks to change the culture of interstate drivers ignoring biosecurity protocols. “More random roadblocks will be at Bordertown this season as well as key highways as far south as the Princes Highway,” he said.

“I thank Primary Industries and Regions SA, PIRSA, biosecurity staff and South Australian Police for their successful management of the Bordertown roadblock. 

“There is a clear and simple message for people travelling into South Australia – leave your fruit and vegetables at home.”

The entire October 30, 2019 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!

The entire October 30, 2019 edition of AgLife is available online. READ IT HERE!