Mr PEDERICK (Hammond) (12:30): I rise to support this excellent motion by the member for MacKillop:
That this house—
(a) acknowledges the Marshall Liberal government's strong biosecurity stance to keep pests and diseases out of South Australia;
(b) highlights the success of zero tolerance in keeping the Riverland fruit fly free; and
(c) recognises the importance of keeping South Australia phylloxera free.
Keeping South Australia phylloxera free is very important for our wine industries right across this state. I want to note that from information I received recently that in 2012 the former Labor government was going put the checkpoints at Yamba and Ceduna back to business hours. That is the historical context that I think is important in light of the debate.
In an electorate like Hammond, which borders Victoria, we have border control at Pinnaroo, which is currently very active with the police monitoring people to see if they are essential travellers or not. I have visited there twice and they are doing a great job alongside the people doing the excellent work making sure that fruit does not come through. We do have to have a zero tolerance approach.
I appreciate that the member for Florey has been lobbied by people who do not like the $370 fine, but the problem in this world is that if we do not hit people in the hip pocket, whether they are aware or not, they should be aware. This state prides itself on being fruit fly free. Currently, I think seven areas in Adelaide are under quarantine, with many thousands of dollars and many thousands of hours being put in to clean up outbreaks. We have to be vigilant; we absolutely have to be vigilant.
I am only human and I may or may not have invoked a speeding fine or two in my day. When you go through the process you think, 'Oh, hang on, you were right,' and you have to pay the fine. If you think $370 is expensive, wait until you see some of the speeding fines that you may or may not get. It is important to keep our $1.3 billion industry clean, and I want to reflect on the history of Murray Bridge, Mannum and the surrounding districts in years gone by.
When I was growing up, it was a massive area for growing apricots and other fruits. That has almost disappeared now, but it was a great production area. There is a little bit of horticulture production there now, including on a place belonging to the family of one my staff, Cheyanne. They grow a lot of apricots, and it is absolutely vital that we keep these places fruit fly free. I want to talk about the following horticultural organisations that support zero tolerance:
Women in Horticulture;
Adelaide Produce Markets Ltd;
the Almond Board of Australia Ltd;
Apple and Pear Growers Association Inc.;
Citrus Australia—SA Region;
Hortex Alliance Inc.;
the Australian Mushroom Growers Association;
Nursery and Garden Industry South Australia Inc.;
Olives South Australia Inc.;
Pistachio Growers' Association Inc.;
Summerfruit SA; and
the South Australian Chamber of Fruit and Vegetable Industries.
I must say that there has been some good work done in the past at the sterile fruit fly facility at Port Augusta, and I know it is mentioned in one of the amendments. I give acknowledgements where they are due: when that facility was opened, I think it was former minister Bignell, the member for Mawson who was the minister in charge. Several members from this place and other place, including me, went there to show bipartisan support because I think that is a good facility that has been ramped up, of course, in its use in more recent years under our government.
We must do all we can to keep our state fruit fly free. This has been not just an aim but what we want, and it has been an approach that has been there for many, many years. We note that zero tolerance was not invoked by the former government but we have, and it is noted by the decreased tonnage that has been picked up at the roadblocks. People just have to be aware because of the absolutely massive cost that must be invoked right as we speak in regard to these areas which are being cleaned up at the minute and which threatens this massive industry.
We cannot take our foot off the throttle in regard to zero tolerance, and we must keep up to it for the future of all our horticulture industries. I also want to make a brief comment about our huge wine industry in this state. I will say that, right across the state, to my mind we make probably the best wine in the world. We have many wine-growing areas. Langhorne Creek, I think, is premium, mainly because it is in my electorate, but they do make some very nice wine.
Sometimes wineries, like those in the Langhorne Creek area, are not brought up in the bigger scheme of things, but I will certainly back them to the hilt. To keep them free of phylloxera, which really knocks out vines, is a great thing as well. We must keep eternally vigilant, which is a term that has been used in a range of scenarios, but that is what we must do in regard to keeping South Australia fruit fly free.
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