Yamba Quarantine Station

Mr PEDERICK (Hammond) (14:38): My question is to the Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development. Can the minister update the house on the state government's infrastructure upgrades at Yamba quarantine station?

The Hon. T.J. WHETSTONE (Chaffey—Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development) (14:38): I thank the member for Hammond for that very important question. He knows as well as I do how important biosecurity is to our horticulture sector here in South Australia. What I can say is that the Marshall Liberal government has further strengthened biosecurity here in South Australia with a further spend of $1½ million in upgrades to the Yamba quarantine station.

We currently have works underway. There are large amounts of infrastructure improvements up at the quarantine station, roadworks to provide new entry and exit points into the facility, together with truck layover, line marking and signage and the development of new site offices for that facility. There are minor works that are in train as well—lighting upgrades, footpaths, installation of bollards—and a new security system will also be undertaken.

It's imperative that South Australia upholds the strictest biosecurity measures, particularly in combatting the pressures on our borders. Our borders are seeing a continual increase in pressure, not only from the east but also from the west. But when we are talking about the quarantine station at Yamba, we are seeing in anticipation the added pressure on our Queensland fruit fly. We have just eradicated the Queensland fruit fly outbreak at Loxton, but sadly we have had another incursion at Lindsay Point.

Lindsay Point, for those who don't know, is in Victoria. But the 15-kilometre exclusion zone comes into South Australia, and that is now putting more pressure on the horticulture sector. Sadly, the citrus industry has just kicked off, and for some of those horticulturists who are impacted by this fruit fly outbreak it means that they will now have to cold sterilise and fumigate their produce. It also means that logistically none of that produce to be packed can come through the non-exclusion zones.

What it means is that we, as a government, now have to further bolster our biosecurity measures. Not only have we put $1½ million into the upgrade of Yamba but we have increased the signage. We have increased the number of fruit deposit bins on the Sturt Highway. The zero tolerance approach is working. The culture has been historically that we would have people continually coming into South Australia, continually coming from the west, the east and the south into the Riverland, bringing fruit and vegetables. That culture has to stop. To do that, the zero tolerance approach is what this government has seen best fit to make sure we reduce that pressure.

We are now issuing on-the-spot fines. We are now not being used as fruit deposit bins. We are now making sure that people get the message through the education programs, making sure that the signage is there loud and clear, making sure that there are bins that people can put their fruit into so that they don't put a $1.2 billion horticulture industry at risk. What I can say is that the eradication at Loxton was successful. The eradication at Lindsay Point is now underway. It's imperative that people coming into South Australia uphold the biosecurity laws that we have in place.

The Marshall Liberal government is serious about keeping biosecurity as an absolute top-of-agenda item. As the minister, I will continue to enforce those biosecurity measures because we know that #RegionsMatter.

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