Fruit fly roadblocks are being set up around Kerang over the next few weeks to detect any people travelling into the area with fruit.
Agriculture and Food Security Minister Peter Walsh said Victorian and interstate motorists planning to travel to the Mildura field days or visit the Sunraysia district needed to be aware bringing fruit into the district was illegal.
Motorists found carrying fruit at any of the Department of Primary Industries (DPI) random roadblocks in operation could be issued with a $600 fine.
“DPI has been operating mobile roadblocks throughout May and will continue until early June in the battle to control Queensland fruit fly in the Greater Sunraysia Pest Free Area,” Mr Walsh said.
“Fruit fly host fruits include apples, pears, stone fruit, grapes, tomatoes and chillies and it is crucial that people do not carry any of these into the Sunraysia Pest Free Area.”
A full comprehensive list of host fruit and vegetables can be viewed at www.dpi.vic.gov.au/qff
Victoria is experiencing one of the worst fruit fly outbreak periods on record which is being prolonged by mild summer and autumn weather conditions.
Industry and local residents are being praised for their co-operation so far and it is vital their best efforts aren’t laid to waste by travellers who don’t abide by the rules.
“Queensland fruit fly is a real threat to many businesses in the Sunraysia area and these measures are essential to protect them,” Mr Walsh said.
“The co-operation of motorists and travellers makes a huge difference to the success of control and eradication programs.
“We are appealing to motorists and travellers to do the right thing and help protect the region’s valuable fruit and vegetable industry, upon which many livelihoods depend,” Mr Walsh said.
If you are travelling to the Sunraysia Pest Free Area look for the roadside warning signs and dispose of any host fruit in yellow quarantine bins provided.