Member for Barker Tony Pasin has called on the State and Federal Government’s to take action on Fruit Fly in the long and short term in the wake of last week’s detection of the pest in Loxton.

Last month the Federal Government announced a $16.9 million dollar package to deliver high-tech fruit-fly management across Australia.

While the Federal Government has put this package on the table is requires cooperation from the States. “While there has been in-principle agreement to support and fund a national program, we are still waiting for an agreement on funding and an implementation plan,” Mr Pasin said.

The Federal Government is seeking support and co-investment from the South Australian Government.

“The recent detection of fruit fly in Loxton is a timely reminder to all parties that more needs to be done. I would urge all parties to not delay in getting a national program up and running.”

“The Riverland’s horticulture industry is just too important to delay this program. While it doesn’t fix the short term issues it will help make the Riverland industry and its fruit fly free status more sustainable in the long term,” Mr Pasin said.

Mr Pasin said he had formally written to the Federal Minister for Agriculture, the Hon David Littleproud MP, this week urgently requesting Federal funding assistance to help deal with the current situation.

“There are many additional costs for growers and government. For example, I’m hearing that local growers within the 15km suspension zone are really struggling with the additional costs associated with treatments required to export their crops,” Mr Pasin said.

“The Tasmanian State Government received $20 million from the Federal Government in May this year to establish a Biosecurity Emergency Response and Research Fund following detection of the pest in the north of Tasmania. I would expect a similar funding contribution to be made to the South Australian Government,” Mr Pasin said.

Contact: Charlotte Edmunds 8531 2466