Long term residents of Albury Wodonga will remember the Fruit Fly road block on the Lincoln Causeway. It was set up in 1958 to protect the Victorian fruit export industry, the largest in the country. The road block was closed in 1980.
Does anyone recall that for a while they were also seizing pig meat products during an outbreak of swine flu?
Norm Jones, former state supervisor for Fruit Fly control told us in July 2000:
“To be honest, over the years I had some problems with various people on the blocks trying to take their fruit off them and they’d get fairly objectionable about it and you’d end up taking them to Court, but we had more trouble on the road blocks when they introduced the ban on pig meat than we ever had on just taking fruit and vegetables. I remember one Christmas time I went into a caravan of an elderly couple at the road block at Wodonga. They had tinned ham that was obviously going to be part of their Christmas meal and they’d obviously saved hard to buy this beautiful big tin of ham and I had to seize it. The instruction to us was that the cooking process didn’t destroy the virus and therefore not only did we have to secure bacon and ordinary cured ham but also tinned ham. That was one of the hardest things I had to take. I’ll never forget the looks on their faces, indeed the woman broke down and started to cry, it was pretty hard I can tell you, to take that, but that was our job and we had to do it. The disappointing part about it was that when the ban was lifted when they finally decided they wouldn’t continue the ban on pig meat, they felt they were in control of the virus in New South Wales, they told us about a week after they decided to lift the ban. They’d made the decision in Melbourne but hadn’t bothered to tell the guys up here. We were still taking hams, bacon and smallgoods and so forth about a week after the ban was lifted.”