Horticulture

SA issues new fines

By Country News

Motorists bringing fruit into South Australia will now be hit with a hefty fine as the state government steps up measures against fruit fly.

‘‘From roadblocks to quarantine bins, we will use every tool at our disposal to defend our vital horticulture industry against fruit fly and to protect our fruit fly-free status,’’ SA Primary Industries Minister Tim Whetstone told the Adelaide Advertiser.

As of last Friday, a $375 fine will be issued to those bringing in fruit, instead of the caution previously meted out.

Mr Whetstone said new electronic signs will tell drivers to ‘Eat it or Bin it’ on approach to the Yamba station on the border with Victoria, adding that declaring produce there without penalty was no longer an option.

Fresh fruit and fruiting vegetables cannot be carried from interstate into South Australia, unless they comply with import requirements. Commercial importers generally need a plant health certificate or plant health assurance certificate to bring these items into the state.

Uncertified fresh fruit and fruiting vegetables (those generally carried by the travelling public) cannot be brought into the state.

Plant health inspectors can search any vehicle at a quarantine station and take any restricted items.

Permanent quarantine stations are located on the:

■Sturt Hwy at Yamba between Mildura and Renmark.

■Eyre Hwy at Ceduna.

■Barrier Hwy at Oodla Wirra.

■Mallee Hwy between Murrayville and Pinnaroo.

Highways that do not have quarantine stations at entry points to the state have disposal bins that are signed.