Legislative Council: Wednesday, November 30, 2022


Fruit Fly

The Hon. R.P. WORTLEY (14:33): My question is to the Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development. Will the minister update the chamber on the partnership between the District Council of Loxton Waikerie and the Department of Primary Industries and Regions on the ongoing eradication fruit fly in the Riverland.

The Hon. C.M. SCRIVEN (Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development, Minister for Forest Industries) (14:34): I thank the honourable member for his question and his ongoing interest in the Riverland. I know he has spent quite a large amount of time there over the years. As Minister for Primary Industries, I am constantly looking for ways to ensure that South Australia is best prepared to deal with any biosecurity threats that the state faces. We have seen many challenges relating to biosecurity risks over the past 12 months, and responding to fruit fly outbreaks has, course, been one of the key challenges.

In this year's state budget, the government announced $13 million in additional funding to respond to fruit fly outbreaks in the Riverland. Since August this year, more than 171 million sterile fruit flies have been released throughout the Riverland. We know, however, that responding to fruit fly outbreaks requires a range of different responses. That is why the District Council of Loxton Waikerie and the Department of Primary Industries and Regions have partnered to cover the cost of 700 Cera Traps. These traps will provide additional coverage in the ongoing fight against fruit fly and in support of eradication efforts in the Riverland.

These traps will be available for residents who live in Loxton and Waikerie in the red outbreak zone and the yellow suspension fruit fly areas. The traps are free. All residents need to do is put them in their yards and they will attract and kill, potentially, fruit flies that are in the area and will help protect any homegrown produce that residents might be growing in their backyards. I strongly encourage residents who live in either Waikerie or Loxton, in either the red or yellow zones, to consider engaging with the council and taking advantage of this initiative.

I'm advised that residents who live in the yellow suspension zone areas can collect traps from the Loxton council office or the Waikerie Library and Visitor Information Centre. Residents who live in the red outbreak area can call PIRSA and request the traps, and they will be delivered to their house and installed by PIRSA staff. Waikerie and Loxton residents living in the yellow zone will receive advice about how to use the traps, along with information about how to scan and register the location in the event that fruit fly is caught in the traps.

Six of the 16 current fruit fly outbreaks are based in the Loxton Waikerie council area, and this is why it is critical that as many residents as possible take up the opportunity to participate in this initiative. I want to thank the Loxton Waikerie council and its CEO, David Beaton, for once again showing outstanding leadership in working with the Department of Primary Industries in the ongoing battle to ensure that our state remains fruit fly free. We know that retaining the pest-free area provides enormous advantages in the export market for the Riverland growers, who have the ability to trade throughout the world.