South Australia's $1.4 billion horticulture industry says everything should be brought to bear to battle ongoing fruit fly outbreaks in the Riverland. South Australia is the only mainland state that claims pest-free status, and the Riverland has its own special, pest-free designation.
The pest-free status provides growers access to more international markets and also means Riverland fruit fetches a premium price, but 12 ongoing fruit fly outbreaks in the region are putting this under threat. Almost 18 months since the first outbreaks in December 2020, Primary Industries and Regions SA has held a meeting in Loxton to hear the industry's thoughts on how to proceed with an eradication program.
"We have a lot of tried and tested methods of eradicating fruit fly and we've been using those in outbreaks here and in Adelaide," Biosecurity SA executive director Nathan Rhodes said. "There may be things that industry and local government can put forward to challenge those ideas, to question the approach, and come up with some ideas we haven't thought of."