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From the Editors DeskKeep the Riverland Fruit fly free
By Peter Ppiros
The announcement by the State Government on 22 December that a Riverland man had been caught at a random roadblock carrying almost 600 kilograms of fruit into the Riverland fruit fly exclusion zone, raises a number of questions that need to be addressed by the Government, industries and grower representative bodies.
Firstly, if a random roadblock which lasted only a few hours, uncovered 600 kilograms of fruit that was not supposed to be coming from Adelaide into the Riverland fruit fly exclusion zone, one can imagine how much fruit will be coming into South Australia from interstate if the Yamba inspection station is unchecked during the night. We urge the Government and industry bodies to negotiate a viable plan that will keep the Yamba station in operation 24 hours a day keeping the fruit fly out of our region.
Secondly, we would like to stress that the direct selling of fruit in Adelaide particularly in tough economic times usually caused by low commodity prices, drought or heavy rains and floods, is a survival exercise particularly for growers of non English speaking background. It is a practice which has been embedded to the new Australian culture and it has worked well for many farming families - as well as for the consumers. We think it needs to be examined whether there was adequate information and education of local growers about their obligations in relation to the fruit fly risks when bringing unsold fruit or vegetables back to the Riverland. Problems and concerns arising from the direct selling of fruit must be addressed by the Government after discussions with grower representative bodies only and nobody else.
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