Legislative Council: Tuesday, May 03, 2022


Fruit Fly

The Hon. F. PANGALLO (16:45): My question is to the Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development. Can the minister provide an update to the chamber on measures undertaken by the previous Marshall government to control outbreaks of fruit fly—

The Hon. I.K. Hunter: Good question. They did nothing.

The PRESIDENT: Order, the Hon. Mr Hunter! The Hon. Mr Pangallo, continue, please.

The Hon. F. PANGALLO: —and whether those measures are continuing?

The Hon. C.M. SCRIVEN (Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development, Minister for Forest Industries) (16:45): I thank the honourable member for his question. It is a very important question because, of course, fruit fly is one of the world's worst plant pests. As I mentioned earlier in this question time, one of my first visits was indeed to the Riverland where I met with stakeholders in the horticulture industry and met with PIRSA staff also on the frontline who are fighting those fruit fly outbreaks in the Riverland.

I also met with various stakeholders in Renmark and Loxton and visited the Yamba Quarantine Station. I would like to just commend the work of the staff who are at the Yamba Quarantine Station. They have been working very hard to enforce a zero-tolerance policy, which was of the previous Liberal government and is also ongoing as we speak.

There have now been 11 outbreaks of Queensland fruit fly, which are being managed in the South Australian Riverland. That has been over the last 18 months, at Renmark West, Monash, Cooltong, Berri, Pike River, Pike River West, Loxton, Loxton North, Paringa, Waikerie and Renmark North. Three of those outbreaks have been successfully resolved, with fruit fly being eradicated from Monash, Cooltong and Berri in December last year. The remaining outbreaks are due for resolution at the end of 2022.

To retain our fruit fly free status is a very important goal, which I hope we all share. Certainly, when I was in opposition, I took the view that fruit fly wasn't something that should be used as a political football. The maintenance of our fruit fly free status is so incredibly important to our industry and to our exports, so I am hopeful. As in the past, eradication programs have been successful and of course we are once again working towards the same outcome.