Home' The Loxton News : The Loxton News Contents 4 -- The Loxton News, Wednesday, January 22, 2014
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By Emma Walter
The Loxton Waikerie Council is looking
at various ways to support the community
throughout the fruit fly outbreak.
At Friday's monthly meeting, elected members and
directors expressed their concern for growers and the
Councillor Trevor Norton called for a meeting with
Biosecurity SA representatives, in order to determine
"how best to help".
"The result of the outbreak has a vast effect on our
industry and the potential loss of markets," he said.
"I think we've got the most important role to play
as we are closest to the issue. Yes there's the state
approach, but as local government we are here -- we
are the ones that live this. We can avoid the politics
"I'd like to see (council) take a leadership role in
this situation -- help get the message out to everyone
in our region; locals and visitors. This can be both in
policy and operations... and can assist us in making
sure this doesn't get a foothold in our community."
Cr Norton said it was "very important" all council-
lors had a thorough understanding of the situation.
"I assisted with the 1991 outbreak and a lot has
changed since then... there will be increased costs
incurred by growers and packers to meet restrictions
(and quarantine audit procedures)," he said.
Councillor Jody Flavel agreed, saying the outbreak
needed a "whole district" approach.
"I think we should be getting the other two councils
on board (Berri Barmera and Renmark Paringa) and
tackling this at a regional level," he said.
Deb Thiele said the outbreak's timing, during peak
tourism season was "the last thing we want".
"It's just one more strike for the region and it's bad
enough as it is (for local growers)," she said.
"Any way we can help, we should be doing it."
Chief executive officer Peter Ackland, who met with
State Agriculture Minister Gail Gago on Friday, said a
number of factors needed to be considered including
the storage and collection of green waste.
by Stephanie Gropler
State Agriculture Minister Gail
Gago met with industry leaders and
growers on Friday at the Loxton
Research Centre, following the
recent fruit fly outbreaks.
Ms Gago said she was confident the pest
would be eradicated in a timely manner.
"From time to time here in South
Australia, we have had outbreaks," Ms
"We know what to do, we have done it
before. It has always worked before, we
are absolutely confident that this erad-
ication program will hopefully quickly
Ms Gago said she was still unsure of
what the cost of the eradication efforts
The quarantine conditions stay in place
for 12 weeks after the last fly is caught.
"We don't know if there is going to be a
12 week process or a 20 week process or
longer," she said.
Ms Gago said she was "overwhelm-
ingly impressed" with the resilience of
Riverland producers. "The Riverland really
know how to just roll up their sleeves and
get down and do the job," she said.
"They have had a lot of practice at hav-
ing to manage in really challenging times
and they just get on and do the job."
Ms Gago said she met with the 40 casu-
als and additional staff, which will be
based at the Loxton Research Centre, as
part of the control response.
"They will be out on the ground this
afternoon and they will have a key role in
the eradication efforts, setting traps and
also the farm hygiene. They will be able to
remove fruit from the ground.
In the 1.5 kilometre quarantine area,
strict rules apply to the movement of fruit.
People living and working within the
quarantine areas must not remove fresh
fruit or vegetables from their properties,
or compost fruit and vegetables, while the
12 week eradication program is underway.
Home grown fruit and vegetables can-
not be removed from the quarantine areas
unless it has been cooked or processed.
In the 15 kilometre restricted area, less
stringent rules on the movement of fruit
She said while it cannot be determined
where the fruit flies have come from, she
said it was highly likely it came from
Victoria or New South Wales.
"If you look at the incidents of outbreaks
in Victoria, they have expediently taken
off (since the deregulation of eradication
efforts). If you look at the Sunraysia area,
shocking," she said.
"They have 22 outbreaks and something
like 600 detections of Q-fly. And that is sit-
ting on the Riverland's doorstep. That puts
us at enormous risk."
State Agriculture Minister Gail Gago met with Loxton Waikerie Council chief executive officer Peter Ackland, along with other local
industry leaders and affected growers at the Loxton Research Centre on Friday afternoon.
-- Will Slee photo
Minister meets with growers
Devastating news for region
Member for Chaffey
Tim Whetstone has called
for State Government
support for Riverland
last week's declared
outbreaks of Queensland
Mr Whetstone said it was
"devastating news" for the
"The Riverland's fruit fly
free status is integral to our
food producers' ability to
access vital export markets
and is part of the region's
clean, green reputation," Mr
He said the responsibil-
ity fell on the State Labor
Government due to "cost
recovery", rather than pro-
tecting the Riverland from an
"It is therefore critical the
Weatherill Labor Government
commits all necessary
resources to eradicate these
Queensland fruit fly out-
breaks, which includes con-
ducting a fruit and vegetable
hygiene program immediately
on the affected properties,"
"It's not just the damage
to the crops. It's the dam-
age to our image on inter-
state and international mar-
kets, and it's all because the
Weatherill Labor Government
hasn't been proactive enough
in tackling this issue."
After Agriculture Minster
Gail Gago's visit to the region
on Friday, Mr Whetstone said
it was a case of "too little, too
"The Minister should have
been in the Riverland meet-
ing with key stakeholders
and the Riverland Fruit Fly
Committee as soon as she was
informed about detections in
the region," he said.
Mr Whetstone said that the
cost to eradicate the pest in
the region, could tip $2 mil-
lion per outbreak, "the cost of
almost the entire allocation of
funding for the overall fruit
We tlan d
BO OKP URNONG
KATA RAP KO
W ILLIA M
G ERA LDT
S AD LIER
OKP UR NONG
C RASE RD
NITSCHK E RD
AN DERS ON RD
DRUM M OND
K ING STONRD
BO OK PURNONG TCE
A LAMEIN AVE
STANI TZKI RD
KOK ODA TCE
KIN GSBUR Y RD
KE NNA RD
C HOWNE RD
EDM ONDS ON RD
BULLWIN KLE RD
R ATTEY RD
TREN ER RY
GO RDON RD
QU AST RD
H ABEL RD
K ATARAP KO CRES
MAC KEY RD
REI CHSTEIN RD
FA IRWEATHERA VE
A map showing the 15km 'restricted area.'
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