South Australia's Primary Industry Minister says fruit coming from the eastern states poses the largest risk to the state's Riverland's horticulture industry, while grower bodies raise concerns about multiple fruit fly outbreaks in Adelaide.
The Riverland is one of two internationally recognised pest-free areas in Australia that support growers with a massive trade advantage when exporting, but it must remain fruit fly free to maintain this edge.
There are currently eight outbreaks of Mediterranean fruit fly in suburbs across Adelaide.
The outbreaks are occurring despite the number of interstate travellers dropping sharply due to the closure of the SA-Victoria border.
The Department of Primary Industries and Regions released data to the ABC that revealed the number of travellers that attempted to bring fruit through the quarantine station reached 1,200 in September last year and 900 a month earlier.
Those figures are compared with just six and four attempts in September and August respectively this year.
Despite the decreased figures, Primary Industries Minister David Basham said the border was still likely the way that fruit, possibly containing fruit fly, could enter the Riverland.
He said it was also where prevention efforts were most heavily targeted and would continue to be targeted.
"I think it's very important that we do make assessments of where people are moving, but we also need to understand where the significant risks are of fruit being moved," he said.
Staff at the Yamba Quarantine Station check vehicles for fruit before they enter SA. (ABC News: Sowaibah Hanifie)
Acknowledgement: this article was reproduced from a media release by ABC Riverland.