Legislative Council: Thursday, July 07, 2022


Fruit Fly

The Hon. N.J. CENTOFANTI (Leader of the Opposition) (15:20): Supplementary question: what is the minister and her department doing to communicate the important message regarding restrictions and fruit tree management to those in the community who have existing fruit trees?

The Hon. C.M. Scriven interjecting:

The PRESIDENT: I think it does, because you gave a reasonably broad-ranging answer with regard to that, so answer it how you see fit.

The Hon. C.M. SCRIVEN (Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development, Minister for Forest Industries) (15:20): Certainly. I thank the honourable member for her supplementary question. It comes down to the wide range of responses that are needed. As I mentioned, there has been a large effort from the commercial growers in terms of addressing the fruit fly issue and looking at different opportunities that exist to eradicate fruit fly from the Riverland. There have also been a number of communications activities.

As I mentioned, I was in the Riverland earlier this week on Monday and I met with a number of our local councils. It was a very useful conversation to have, to have their on-the-ground perspective on how the existing educational and informational brochures and other mechanisms had been received, what could be done differently and what more needed to be done. A wideranging communications plan is administered by PIRSA, and my staff met recently with them about that plan to get an update on where the different opportunities are and what some other opportunities might be going forward.

It is really important that issues such as fruit fly, biosecurity in general but in this case fruit fly, is addressed with a multipartisan approach. Often it will be different ideas coming from different parts of the community, and I am very happy to receive any such suggestions from the honourable member or any other members of the community because we really want to make sure that the message is getting through to all parts of the community, to everyone who has trees in their backyard, who need to be aware of what is required, and potentially to look at where the gaps are, if any.

We know that fruit fly has been an issue for a long time but a more serious issue over the last 18 months to two years. There is the opportunity always to be looking at what aspects are being implemented and how we can do it differently in terms of communications. I think the former government certainly tried very hard in terms of communication activities, but no-one would expect something to be perfect, and I am sure there is still room for improvement now going forward as well.