Legislative Council: Tuesday, February 07, 2023


Fruit Fly

The Hon. N.J. CENTOFANTI (Leader of the Opposition) (14:54): I seek leave to provide a brief explanation before asking the Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development a question regarding fruit fly resilience.

Members interjecting:

The PRESIDENT: Order! Attorney-General, we don't need you to add anything at this point.

The Hon. H.M. Girolamo interjecting:

The PRESIDENT: The Hon. Ms Girolamo, we don't need a verbal commentary from you.

Leave granted.

The Hon. N.J. CENTOFANTI: On 14 December 2021, the then minister for agriculture, Northern Australia, the Hon. David Littleproud, and senator for South Australia, Senator the Hon. Anne Ruston, announced a $30m million funding boost from the Australian government to further build resilience in Australia's fruit fly management, with the majority being earmarked for South Australia. Since then, not a single dime has been delivered, despite industry repeatedly calling for a post-harvest treatment facility in South Australia to protect our fruit and to open up markets for growers. My question to the minister is: when will she deliver on this critical piece of infrastructure to protect South Australia from fruit fly now and into the future?

The Hon. C.M. SCRIVEN (Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development, Minister for Forest Industries) (14:56): I thank the honourable member for her question. The commonwealth did indeed previously announce $30 million to be made available over three years to build national resilience to manage fruit fly. As part of that, $20 million was allocated to South Australia.

An amount of $10.2 million will be spent on a range of measures, including expanding the Port Augusta Qfly SIT fly facility and the establishment also of a Medfly facility. That leaves $9.8 million. I understand that a funding schedule is currently being drafted by the commonwealth to allow funds to be made available to South Australia to undertake what is critically important work.

Following advice from the commonwealth on the management of these funds, a short consultation process has commenced in South Australia to confirm our post-harvest needs. Any interested party is able to participate in that process and will be considered to ensure that they are consistent with the objectives of the package and support the national interest. This will be an important step in terms of protecting our very important industry here in South Australia.