15/09/2021 | John Gardner MP | David Basham MP | Better Services

Young South Australians will learn more about fruit fly at school with the launch of a new children’s booklet to further raise awareness about the devastating pest and help support eradication efforts.

The new booklet, Buzz Off Fruit Fly, brings to life in an engaging way a very serious issue currently affecting South Australia, as part of a new Schools Resource Kit available on the fruit fly website.

Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development David Basham said everyone needs to play their part in stopping the spread of fruit fly, as outbreaks continue to affect over 300 Adelaide suburbs, Port Augusta and the Riverland.

“We know a lot of conversations in the family home centre around what’s happening at school which is why this new booklet, Buzz Off Fruit Fly, will help raise awareness of the everyday things South Australians can do support fruit fly eradication,” Minister Basham said.

“Whether it’s knowing what fruit and vegetables fruit fly like, disposing of scraps the right way or helping tidy up the garden, there’s lots children and families can do.

“The Marshall Liberal Government is doing everything it can to protect our $1.3 billion horticulture industry vulnerable to fruit fly and the thousands of jobs the sector supports across the state and this new booklet is another example of this.

Buzz off Fruit Fly explores the impact of fruit fly in your own home garden and offers practical tips such as how to identify fruit flies and the importance of putting fruit in green bins rather than composting.”

Minister for Education John Gardner said new green bins were being distributed in September to government schools in Adelaide’s red outbreak areas to support the safe disposal of fruit on site.

“This new education campaign is all about helping raising awareness in our schools of the importance of keeping South Australia fruit fly free,” Minister Gardner said.

“Families with school-age students have done a fantastic job when it comes to abiding by the restrictions on fruit movement which have impacted what can be included in lunchboxes.

“I encourage schools with canteens, particularly in the red outbreak areas, to ensure they provide affordable, commercially-sourced fresh fruit to support families with healthy lunchbox options.

“Any uneaten fruit and scraps can be disposed of in green bins to enable schools to safely manage waste and break the fruit fly life cycle.”

Westbourne Park Primary School has been in a fruit fly red outbreak area since 12 January 2021 and Principal Jason Munro said ongoing communication with their school community has helped people understand the importance of fruit fly prevention.

“Our families, students and staff have been supportive of fruit fly restrictions because they understand if we don’t follow the rules there is a serious future risk to getting fresh locally-grown fruit,” Mr Munro said.

“This year we’ve kept families informed about fruit fly issues through the school newsletter and our online communication device. We’ve also run an educational workshop with KESAB Environmental Solutions on waste management.

“We have made sure fruit is available in the canteen so students can still access the fresh fruit they like, such as apples, oranges and bananas, by buying it at school. We also sell cut up frozen fruit which is a big hit on hot days.”

The Schools Resource Kit is now available for schools on the fruit fly website at fruitfly.sa.gov.au/schools-kit