Riverland Biosecurity

Mr PEDERICK (Hammond) (14:51): My question is to the Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development. Can the minister update the house on the progress of the election commitment to install two new quarantine bins leading into the Riverland?

The Hon. T.J. WHETSTONE (Chaffey—Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development) (14:51): Thank you, member for Hammond, and I thank him for his question.

Mr Malinauskas interjecting:

The SPEAKER: Is the leader still interjecting?

Members interjecting:

The SPEAKER Order!

The Hon. S.S. Marshall interjecting:

The SPEAKER Order! The Premier is warned. The member for Waite is warned for a second and final time. The member for Hammond is warned. The minister will be heard in silence. It is the end of the sitting week. I have no hesitation in sending members out of the chamber under 137A(1), if I must, to retain order. Minister.

The Hon. J.A.W. GARDNER: Point of order, Mr Speaker: I believe it is unparliamentary to be turning your back on the Speaker.

The SPEAKER: Yes it is, and I will watch carefully that that does not happen. Minister.

Members interjecting:

The SPEAKER: The minister will be heard in silence. Minister.

The Hon. T.J. WHETSTONE: I thank the member for Hammond for his very important question. It is all very well for the opposition to laugh about such an important question, because obviously you do not—

Members interjecting:

The SPEAKER Order!

The Hon. T.J. WHETSTONE: —understand what biosecurity means for food safety in this state and in this country. We have threats on our border on a daily basis, whether it be from fruit fly, whether it be from pests and weeds, whether it be from phylloxera to wine grapes, whether it be to the fishing sector. We have biosecurity threats every single day. What I do ask the opposition is, have you ever bitten into a peach and got a mouthful of maggots? We are so quiet now, so listen to the explanation.

Members interjecting:

The SPEAKER Order!

The Hon. T.J. WHETSTONE: Leading up to the election, the Marshall Liberal government made a commitment to further secure our borders from the invasive insect, the Queensland fruit fly. I am sure that the previous agriculture minister would understand the importance of biosecurity in South Australia. We hold being fruit fly free as one of the jewels in our production crown, particularly in the Riverland. Just recently, through negotiations with the state government and the federal government, we were given pest-free status into China. That has been a huge coup for South Australia. We are now the only state—not just the only mainland state—the only state in the country to be fruit fly free and that is—

Members interjecting:

The SPEAKER Order!

The Hon. T.J. WHETSTONE: What I will say is that the South Australian Liberal government has seen the necessity to further bolster our biosecurity needs with regard to fruit fly. We will install more fruit fly bins on two of the arterial roads leading into the Riverland. The Riverland is one of the largest horticulture production areas in this state. It is the engine room of the wine industry. It is a huge economic driver to South Australia's economy, and it is a market advantage into international and domestic markets.

It's really important to understand that the bins come with a package, and that package will be that we will see more signage and better education programs—and that makes Biosecurity SA's job just that little bit easier. But they will be relentless. They will make sure that those random roadblocks are upheld; they will make sure that those education programs are put in place to complement this Liberal government's initiative to further bolster biosecurity in this state. I cannot overemphasise how important it is to make sure that the world knows that South Australia has a fruit fly-free status. It's important to note that our international markets are watching every day as to whether there are incursions with fruit fly.

That message that goes to them rings alarm bells in those markets to make sure that they are buying produce that is clean, green and, more importantly, safe—that when they buy a box of peaches, when they buy any food product out of this state, it has a gold-clad guarantee of being fruit fly free. As I have said, it's critically important that we all spread the message that we have to be vigilant with cleaning up fruit around the trees, making sure our monitoring traps are monitored and making sure that Biosecurity has the resources it needs to keep this state's reputation second to none. I will say that the Marshall Liberal government has underpinned biosecurity here in South Australia, and I expect that we will do more because there is always more to be done to uphold our reputation with biosecurity.