South Australia has tightened its rules around the importation of fruit and vegetables from Victoria following two Mediterranean fruit fly outbreaks.
Larvae of the destructive agricultural pest have been discovered in backyard fruit in Port Augusta and Warradale.
While the outbreaks are not believed related to fruit or vegetables from Victoria, SA Primary Industries Minister David Basham says Victorian fumigators will have to undertake detailed inspections of fruit before shipping, update packaging and improve traceability.
The measures also follow a spate of Queensland fruit fly larvae discoveries in SA supermarkets earlier this year.
Mr Basham said the arrangements had been installed to protect the state’s $1.3 billion horticulture industry and the 37,000 jobs and 4000 businesses it supports.
“In response to the detections of live fruit fly larvae in fumigated fruit imported into South Australia earlier this year, the Marshall Liberal government has required the Victorian government to strengthen the current fumigation requirements for fresh produce destined for South Australia,” Mr Basham said.
“The movement of fresh produce from Victorian fumigator FreshMax to South Australia was immediately halted and following extensive auditing of their processes, stronger control measures have been put in place, enabling the business to trade again.”
An eradication response is underway with baiting and ground treatment at the new outbreak sites in Port Augusta and Warradale, with 1.5km red outbreak areas and 7.5km yellow suspension areas established.
In Port Augusta, the red area takes in the town of Port Augusta.
In Warradale, the red area includes Brighton, Dover Gardens, Hove, Marion, North Brighton, Oaklands Park, Seacombe Gardens, Seacombe Heights, Somerton Park, South Brighton, Sturt and Warradale.
Subject to no further detections, the restrictions will be in place until at least November 18 in Port Augusta and until at least December 20 in Warradale.
People in outbreak areas are urged to check home-grown fruit for larvae and report anything unusual.
SA Fruit Fly Hotline 1300 666 010.