No people have been fined for bringing fruit into a restricted area in Victoria in 2018. However, Victoria’s Agriculture Department said its approach to managing fruit fly was different to South Australia’s “zero-tolerance” tactics because the pest was already well established within Victorian borders.
South Australia began enforcing a hard-line approach to motorists entering its borders with prohibited fruit last Friday, issuing fines to anyone found with produce where warnings would previously have been handed out. Victoria’s policy, in contrast, is aimed at ensuring fruit fly-infested produce is not moved around the state or over the border.
“Last year, this involved the regulation and audit of 374 certification, accreditation and compliance agreements with producers who move fresh produce within Victoria and interstate,” Victoria’s chief plant health officer Rosa Crnov said.
In Victoria, the maximum fine for taking a prohibited host fruit or vegetable into a restricted area is $9671 for an individual or $48,357 for a company. Individuals can also be slapped with $322 on-the-spot fines while companies can be fined $1611.
The Victorian Government gave Mildura Council $441,000 late last year so fruit fly management efforts across the Greater Sunraysia Pest Free Area could continue until June after an industry development committee was disbanded.