Santa to help keep SA fruit fly free this Christmas

South Australia’s efforts to keep our state fruit fly free have been given a boost with Santa helping to spread the message not to bring fruit or fruiting vegetables to South Australia when travelling this Christmas.

The message follows a recent random roadblock at Blanchetown where more than 60 kilograms of prohibited material was seized and 29 fines issued.

Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development David Basham said every traveller needs to do the right thing this holiday season.

“This Christmas holidays will see many friends and family reunite following a year of COVID-19 pandemic, but I plead to everyone visiting South Australia from interstate to bring yourselves and leave your fruit at home,” Minister Basham said.

“I have spoken to Santa and he completely understands how important South Australia’s fruit fly free status is, and he is happy to help our fruit and vegetable farmers and their families by following the rules.

“Santa’s elves will make sure he is across the requirements before he leaves the North Pole, and he encourages others to follow his example when they travel in the coming weeks.

“The risk of fruit fly is threatening our state’s $1.3 billion fruit fly vulnerable horticulture industry and travellers play a key part in protecting it.

“South Australia is proudly the only mainland state that is fruit fly free and we need travellers to help us keep it that way.

“To have more than 60 kilograms of prohibited material seized and 29 fines issued at a random roadblock at Blanchetown last weekend is disappointing.

“This shows that for some people the message still isn’t getting through that it is unacceptable to bring fruit and fruiting vegetables into South Australia.

“Anyone travelling through the South Australian Riverland needs to know there are zero excuses and if you are caught, you will be fined $375.

“Remember, if you travel from within South Australia into the Riverland, leave your fruit at home. Instead, support our local producers and buy local when you arrive.

“If you must bring fruit with you, make sure you purchase it from a retail outlet outside the current Adelaide fruit fly quarantine area and keep the itemised receipt.

“We have a suite of measures to protect our internationally recognised Riverland Pest Free Area, with quarantine bins along the way and random roadblocks held during this peak travel season.

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