Victorian drivers feel fruit fly sting at Bordertown

ROADBLOCKS: Fines totalled $32,625 during Bordertown's random roadblock earlier this month.
ROADBLOCKS: Fines totalled $32,625 during Bordertown's random roadblock earlier this month.

One in five Victorian drivers pulled over at Bordertown's random roadblock in the lead up to the Labour Day long weekend were found concealing fruit.

The drivers who were found concealing fruit will be fined $375 each.

Minister for primary industries and regional development Tim Whetstone said fruit fly is one of the greatest threats to South Australian horticulture.

He also said the Marshall Liberal Government will be policing the roads on the state's borders to stop people bringing fruit in from other states.

"Over just two days, careless Victorian drivers have donated $32,625 to the state budget and Victims of Crime coffers because they were caught trafficking fruit," Minister Whetstone said.

"In total 145 drivers were caught bringing fruit and prohibited material into South Australia during the two-day random roadblock at Bordertown on 3 and 4 October."

Minister Whetstone continued by explaining there is "absolutely no excuse" for any drivers be found bringing fruit into the state.

"Permanent and electronic signs were in place at Bordertown that weekend warning motorists of the law," Minister Whetstone said.

Although fruit fly is one of the state's major concerns, Phylloxera, a devastating wine grape vine pest, is just as dangerous for the region, as it found in Victoria but not in South Australia.

"It only takes one piece of infested produce to cause widespread devastation to the Riverland horticulture industry and its communities," Minister Whetstone said.

The Marshall Liberal Government is investing more resources into random roadblocks in order to change the culture of interstate drivers who want to ignore our biosecurity protocols.

"More random roadblocks will be held at Bordertown this season as well as key highways as far south as the Princes Highway," Minister Whetstone said.

With more roadblocks planned for Bordertown in the near future, Minister Whetstone is positive about the success of the previous roadblocks. He also thanked the SAPOL and PIRSA biosecurity staff.

"I thank PIRSA biosecurity staff and South Australian Police for their successful management of the Bordertown roadblock," Minister Whetstone said.

He declared that keeping fruit fly out of South Australia is everyone's responsibility and following protocols could save potential damage in the future.

"Keeping South Australia fruit fly free is everyone's responsibility and there is a clear and simple message for people travelling into South Australia - leave your fruit and vegetables at home," Minister Whetstone.

The random roadblocks complement the State Government's zero-tolerance approach at Yamba Quarantine Station in protecting South Australia's $1.2 billion industry which relies on our fruit fly pest-free status to market their quality produce.