Travelling throughout Western Australia in a caravan may be one of the best ways to see the State’s far-flung areas, but it is also how unwanted pests can move out of cities and into pest-free regional agricultural areas.
People packing up caravans and camper trailers need to be aware of quarantine requirements established at state and territory borders and between horticultural regions within Western Australia.
The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development aims to increase community awareness of biosecurity and quarantine requirements at the Great Southern Camping and Caravan Show in Albany on 14 to 15 October.
Department senior technical officer Ernie Steiner said the focus was on Mediterranean fruit fly, commonly known as Medfly, a serious horticultural pest which attacks a range of cultivated fruits and some fruiting vegetables in WA.
“The risk of Medfly and other plant pests spreading to new horticultural areas is increased when people purchase fresh fruit and vegetables from roadside stalls and continue on their journeys,” Mr Steiner said.
“To reduce the risk, people are required to dispose of fruit purchased ‘roadside’ before they reach quarantined areas such as the Gascoyne growing region.”
The campaign to educate travellers about Medfly control activities is intended to help maintain the significantly low number of Medfly in Carnarvon, achieved as a result of collaborative department, industry and community efforts.
Mr Steiner encouraged travellers to keep an eye out for roadside signs because quarantine requirements could change at short notice, depending on varying pest alerts and control activities.
“There are also restrictions on taking fresh fruit and vegetables into the Ord River Irrigation Area,” he said. “Strict quarantine helps ensure the area’s Medfly-free status is maintained, for the benefit of local producers and consumers.
“Fresh fruit and vegetables and other quarantine risk items can’t be brought into Western Australia by road from the Eastern States.
“WA’s horticultural industries are valuable and quarantine restrictions, and the community’s awareness of them, help protect the quality of the fresh food we eat, and regional economies.”
Visitors to the department’s stall at the camping and caravan show are encouraged to speak with staff about quarantine requirements.
The Great Southern Camping and Caravan Show is the largest tourism consumer event in the Great Southern region, attracting about 10,000 people.
Media contacts: Jodie Thomson/Dionne Tindale, media liaison +61 (0)8 9368 3937