Liberals commit to fruit fly facility in Port Augusta

A state-of-the-art fruit fly research facility in Port Augusta will go ahead regardless of who wins the March 15 state election.

FRUIT FLY: A multi-million dollar fruit fly research facility will be built regardless of who wins the March 15 state election.

FRUIT FLY: A multi-million dollar fruit fly research facility will be built regardless of who wins the March 15 state election.

A spokesperson for the Shadow Minister for Primary Industries David Ridgway confirmed the Liberal Party would follow through with the idea if elected.

Premier Jay Weatherill announced the facility development in November last year.

He said the new $3 million facility will develop only sterile Queensland fruit flies, known as Q-fly.

The sterile male Q-flies will be used to eradicate outbreaks interstate, where the pest is endemic in many areas, as well as in South Australia if isolated detections are found.

Last week Mr Ridgway said it was important to protect South Australia against the ravages of fruit fly outbreaks.

"Considering the value of our primary industries, we must be prudent in protecting them," Mr Ridgway said. 

"A severe biosecurity threat has the potential to bring these industries to their knees. Without sensible defences, our economy is exposed to potentially disastrous threats. 

"South Australia needs to maintain its fruit fly free status so producers can access vital export markets.

Mr Ridgway said that a Marshall Liberal Government will:

- Commit $125 000 per annum over four years* in additional fruit fly program funding, boost public education, increase fruit fly measures and enhance border protection, and work with industry to establish Mypolonga as a fruit fly exclusion zone.

- Work collaboratively with industry to help with the control of fruit fly and potential threats and review the $5 million fruit fly program to ensure it meets the State's needs in view of the increased risk.

- Support the establishment of a facility to develop male-only sterile Queensland fruit flies.

- Commit to 24/7 staffing of permanent quarantine stations at Yamba and Ceduna.

- Continue to establish industry group partnerships in order to implement the National Fruit Fly Strategy, with particular focus on the Sterile Insect Technique.

Building for the $3 million facility on Prosser Street is set to commence later this year.

This story Liberals commit to fruit fly facility in Port Augusta first appeared on The Transcontinental.