Donít let a handful of cherries ruin your Christmas travels
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With the festive season fast approaching, locals and visitors to the Riverina are being urged not to put the region’s valuable horticultural industry at risk, and avoid giving fruit fly a lift into the Fruit Fly Exclusion Zone.
NSW Department of Primary Industries Senior Regulatory Officer, Southern Zone, Wayne Norden, said a number of random roadblocks were planned for the holiday period.
“People who disregard the signs and enter the zone with host fruit will face on-the-spot fines of $200,” he said.
Mr Norden said large areas of NSW, such as the Riverina, were part of the long-established Fruit Fly Exclusion Zone, along with northern Victoria and eastern South Australia.
“Fruit fly cannot travel far without hitching a ride in fresh produce,” he said.
“Ignorance is no excuse and travellers should be diligent in checking their vehicles for fruit fly hosts material and act responsibly before they enter the zone.
“The message is simple - please keep Queensland fruit flies out of the Fruit Fly Exclusion Zone.
“The Riverina is the largest citrus growing region in Australia, and many communities and jobs depend upon the industry remaining free of Queensland fruit fly.
“There are road signs warning people to dispose of any host fruit or vegetables in the road-side bins when approaching the zone.”
Fruit flies can infest:
- Pome fruits - apple, loquat, quince and pear;
- Tropical or sub-tropical fruits - avocado and banana;
- Citrus fruits - orange, lemon, lime and mandarins; and
- Fruiting vegetables - capsicum, chilli, eggplant and tomato.
“The fruit or vegetable that is infested may look fine on the outside, even when it’s full of maggots on the inside,” Mr Norden said.
That’s why we are simply asking everyone to avoid bringing fresh fruit or vegetables into the zone to help protect the region from any possible risk.”
More information is available at www.industry.nsw.gov.au
Media contact: Sarah Chester 02) 6036 2110 or 0417 207 669.