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Adelaide's two year, $70m fruit fly battle declared over

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The State Government has claimed victory in a two year campaign to wipe out fruit fly across metropolitan Adelaide, with residents finally allowed to freely move fruit from their properties.

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In a statement this morning, Primary Industries Minister David Basham declared the government had successfully eradicated 12 Mediterranean and Queensland fruit fly outbreaks following what he described as “by far the largest successful fruit fly eradication campaign ever delivered in Australia”.

The outbreaks impacted large areas of Adelaide including the Hills, and forced restrictions on the movement of fruit. More than 300 suburbs were affected.

Since 2019, around 350 staff were employed at the peak of the response to eradicate the pest, visiting nearly 200,000 properties and releasing nearly 700 million sterile flies.

Basham said the government had spent more than $70m on its campaign to protect the horticultural industry.

“The two-year battle has seen dedicated orange overall-wearing fruit fly officers going door-to-door right across metropolitan Adelaide undertaking baiting and checking fruit,” he said.

“By working together as a community, we have protected our local $1.3 billion fresh fruit industry vulnerable to fruit fly and the thousands of jobs the sector supports.

“This means Adelaide residents can once again move fruit and vegetables from their property which will be a huge relief to many and I thank everyone for following the rules and doing the right thing.”

But Basham said there were still Queensland fruit fly outbreaks affecting the Riverland and asked those living in the region to carefully check the map on the government’s fruit fly website.

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