News of two fruit fly outbreaks in the Riverland are a concern for local growers and the Weatherill Labor Government must get proactive in eradicating the pest, according to Liberal Member for Hammond Adrian Pederick.
Eleven male fruit flies, found at Loxton and Pyap in the Riverland Fruit Fly Exclusion Zone, will now cost the Weatherill Labor Government $4 million to eradicate.
"South Australia has been a proud fruit fly free state, so this news is devastating," said Mr Pederick.
"$321.9 million of South Australia’s annual horticultural produce is vulnerable to fruit fly infestation.
"The Weatherill Labor Government must work hard to ensure growers outside of the Riverland area, such as Mypolonga, are not impacted by these outbreaks.
The local horticulture industry is in grave danger of being unfairly impacted by the outbreaks, according to Mr Pederick.
"Our local growers rely on South Australia’s fruit fly free status and the reputation of the Riverland Fruit Fly Exclusion Zone to access interstate and international markets," said Mr Pederick.
"I am concerned this news could significantly impact local growers in the Hammond electorate who are just rebuilding following the detection of a single male fruit fly in Mypolonga in mid-2013."
According to Mr Pederick, the Weatherill Labor Government has no one else to blame except themselves.
"The Weatherill Labor Government has seen fruit fly protection as a low priority for too long," said Mr Pederick.
"The Weatherill Labor Government has failed to improve protection measures, such as increased random road blocks to intercept fruit brought illegally into South Australia during high volume traffic days such as school and public holidays.
"The Weatherill Labor Government must do everything it can to right this wrong."