Legislative Council: Thursday, February 09, 2023


Fruit Fly

The Hon. N.J. CENTOFANTI (Leader of the Opposition) (14:24): I seek leave to provide a brief explanation before asking a question of the Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development on fruit fly.

Leave granted.

The Hon. N.J. CENTOFANTI: The Riverland has continued to experience several outbreaks of fruit fly in recent days and weeks. Industry stakeholders have been calling on the government to increase the capacity of the SIT facility since July of last year, with no movement and much frustration. My question to the minister is: why has it taken so long to get movement on the SIT facility expansion, and is this a reflection of resourcing cuts to her department?

The Hon. C.M. SCRIVEN (Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development, Minister for Forest Industries) (14:25): I thank the honourable Leader of the Opposition for her question; however, the basis of the question is incorrect as it is incorrect to say that there has not been movement. There has been considerable movement. Work has commenced to extend the Port Augusta facility to double its operational output to 40 million SIT flies every week—that is in regard to Qfly.

That work should be completed later this year so that extra SIT flies will be available for the high-risk season, which, of course, is the season starting in spring. It is also relevant to note that when you are looking at the reproduction cycles for sterile insects, it obviously takes time to build up to the 40 million in any case. The work is progressing. It will be completed in the near future and then the reproduction will commence to increase up to that 40 million per week.