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SA Government to maintain fruit fly stations
Fruit growers say the South Australian Government's decision not to close the night shift at two quarantine stations has saved the economy millions of dollars.
The Government had planned to close the night shift at the Yamba (near Renmark) and Ceduna stations but after a review they will remain open 24-hours-a-day.
Agriculture Minister Michael O'Brien says recent fruit fly outbreaks in the eastern states suggest a need for increased vigilance.
Speaking on ABC Radio, Dino Ceracchi from the Fresh Fruit Growers Association said fruit flies could destroy production and export opportunities.
"It's those small percentages where people either accidentally or on purpose will come through and take advantage without any conscience at all and just have that pest or disease that could compromise South Australia's horticultural industry, cost the state millions of dollars. Why would you take that chance at all?"
Riverland MP Tim Whetstone said the Government was considering to close the night shift to save money.
"There is a wide-ranging effect of what a fruit fly outbreak would mean in the Riverland, particularly in the citrus industry it would cost in excess of a million dollars to ratify an outbreak," he said.
"The flow-on effect of that would be that it would have a huge impact on our markets, our reputation overseas."
Ceduna Mayor Allan Suter has praised the Government's decision.
"Oh let's give credit where credit is due - the Minister was flexible and had a good look and came up with a sensible decision, so I'm not going to lampoon the Minister - good on him for getting to the right place," he said.
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