MORE than 600 fines have already been issued to motorists carrying fruit and vegetables throughout SA and Vic school holidays, reiterating that the Yamba Quarantine Station upgrade was vital to help protect the state's fruit fly free status.
The $2-million upgrade of the station has been completed with new entry and exit routes, an additional pull-off area to enable further investigations when fruit fly host materials are detected, and extra office accommodation for increased staff numbers needed at the facility to enforce the state's zero tolerance approach.
Primary industries and regional development minister, Tim Whetstone said further investment in strengthening the state's borders demonstrates the commitment to keeping SA fruit fly free.
"This infrastructure upgrade is aimed at providing ongoing and practical support to our zero-tolerance approach implemented in January this year," Mr Whetstone said.
"The Yamba infrastructure upgrade, along with the recruitment of 14 additional staff members, is aimed at changing the culture of bringing fruit fly host material into SA," he said.
"There is clear signage leading into the station that warns people to rid of their produce and if you ignore this message, you will be fined."
To ensure the travelling public are aware of SA's restrictions and zero tolerance approach, a public advertising and awareness campaign will be launched across SA and in key transport routes and border areas in Vic and NSW.
About 1284 kilograms of fruit and vegetables have been seized to-date throughout the school holidays.
"With visitors from interstate travelling into SA during the holiday period, we need to be ever vigilant in being aware and managing the risk of fruit fly," Mr Whetstone said.
"With almost 600 motorists receiving fines at Yamba, it is clear there is much more work to be done."
As SA continues to feel the pressure from fruit fly at all entry points, Mr Whetstone said that was why further zero tolerance zones were being investigated.
"It only takes one piece of infested fruit to cause devastation to the state's horticulture industry and supporting regional communities," he said.
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