Dear Editor,

My office has been fielding enquiries from Riverland residents in response to the implementation of tougher restrictions aimed at curbing ongoing fruit fly outbreaks.

Under the new restrictions, travellers can no longer use a receipt to bring fruit and vegetables into the Riverland from other parts of South Australia.

There appears to be some confusion among the community about which level of Government is responsible for the design and implementation of these restrictions. Many constituents have indicated that they are being told this measure has been implements at the direction of the Federal Government. This is not the case.

State and territory governments are responsible for fruit fly management. They retain legislative authority to set conditions for interstate and intra-state movement of produce that will provide sufficient protection for any advantageous trade claims in their region, such as the Pest Free Area (PFA) of the Riverland.

State and territory certification of a PFA is a critical component of the international export certification process that gives the region significant trading benefits.

The Federal Government does not dictate or enforce conditions that are within the legislative remit of the states and territories.

The Federal Government does however, advise the State Government where domestic arrangements may impact international trade. This advice is offered to assist the State Government to protect local industry to ensure our growers can continue to enjoy the benefits of a PFA.

Specific restrictions such as those announced on July 28th about the movement of fruit and vegetables within our State are matters entirely within the remit of the South Australian State Government.

Tony Pasin MP

Member for Barker