Vinehealth Australia
eNewsletter: November 2020
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Hello from Inca Lee

The 2020 National Biosecurity Forum was held virtually over four days last week. The event provides an opportunity to discuss biosecurity challenges, achievements and future directions with government, industry and community representatives.
In his opening address to the forum, Andrew Tongue, Deputy Secretary and Head of Biosecurity, Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment, said that to support the National Farmers' Federation's vision to exceed $100 billion in farm-gate output by 2030, we need investment in biosecurity.
Andrew said a greater focus on innovation was required, particularly at the border to check incoming cargo, consignments and people. He said we also need to improve our national level of preparedness – COVID-19 has taught us what to expect with ‘black swan’ events.
The opening address also called for more local community engagement about biosecurity, an activity we are passionate about, and greater international engagement with our near neighbours to assist them with their biosecurity systems, which will in turn protect us.
This address set the scene for presentations on the latest in biosecurity innovation, communication and engagement initiatives, and collaborative efforts that are underway to strengthen Australia’s biosecurity system.
This forum combined with the recent release of a CSIRO report about biosecurity (see our article below) has made me reflect on the challenges ahead to protect our vines, but also the exciting opportunities to harness new technology and ways of doing things to keep pests and diseases out.

Finally, we send our congratulations to all recipients of 2020 Australian Biosecurity Awards that were announced during the forum.

And congratulations also to the finalists and winners of the 2020 ASVO Awards for Excellence, including our Technical Manager Suzanne McLoughlin, who was a finalist in the Viticulturist of the Year award.

Stay safe and positive during these testing times.
Inca Lee
CEO, Vinehealth Australia

In this issue

Last issue highlights

New Biosecurity Act: have your say

The consultation phase to develop South Australian’s new Biosecurity Act is now open and will close on Tuesday. PIRSA has released a Technical Directions Paper and other materials to support the consultation phase and we encourage you to have your say.
In partnership with SAWIA and WGCSA, we have been liaising with PIRSA on the development of the new act since mid 2019.

Read more

Australia’s biosecurity system: the future

A new CSIRO report, Australia’s Biosecurity Future: Unlocking the next decade of resilience, says Australia’s biosecurity systems won’t cope with the challenges ahead.
The report says that unless our biosecurity systems become more resilient, coordinated and collaborative, Australia will experience increased disease outbreaks and pest incursions, weakened exports and damage to our global trading reputation.

Read more

Are you vintage ready?

As the start of vintage 2021 approaches, what score would you give yourself in relation to biosecurity preparedness? If you’re like most of us, you probably have a long list of jobs to do. We’re here to help. Our handy Vinehealth Australia Vintage Toolkit includes a range of resources to help you keep your vines safe.
The toolkit covers: understanding your key biosecurity risks; visitor planning; preventing unwanted entry to your property; keeping visitor records; communicating with seasonal workers on biosecurity; disinfesting footwear and small hand tools; and moving diagnostics or grape samples.

Read more

Know your PQS

Now is the time to re-familiarise yourself with your state’s Plant Quarantine Standard or equivalent. These documents outline the prohibited and allowable movements between states and phylloxera management zones. And, for allowable movements, the cleaning, disinfestation and documentation required.
For South Australian-based businesses or those importing into South Australia, the current consolidated phylloxera condition (Condition 7) in South Australia’s Plant Quarantine Standard (PQS) Version 17.0 has been updated since last vintage.

Read more

Sterile fruit flies launched in SA

PIRSA is releasing 100 million sterile fruit flies across Adelaide's suburbs in an all-out assault against eight current metropolitan fruit fly outbreaks. Sterile Insect Technology (SIT) flies are being released on outbreaks in Blair Athol, Croydon Park, Angle Park, Rosewater, Semaphore Park, Pooraka, Campbelltown, Klemzig and surrounding suburbs. The SIT flies mate with wild flies and overwhelm the wild fly population.

Read more

Vineyard records coming soon

Keep an eye on your mailbox – your 2020 Vineyard Record will be issued shortly for you to check, amend and return to us.
An up to date Register enables Vinehealth Australia to work with industry to prepare for and prevent an outbreak of a significant pest or disease.
You can amend your records via the Grape Industry Kiosk, or via the Annual Return form, which can be emailed or posted back to us.

Read more

Adrian Hoffmann appointed WGCSA chair

Congratulations to Barossa grapegrower Adrian Hoffmann who has been appointed chair of the Wine Grape Council of South Australia (WGCSA), replacing Heather Webster.
Adrian is a sixth-generation Barossan and a fifth-generation grower, in charge of 135 hectares of vines in the northern part of the region. He’s been the Barossa rep on the WGCSA for many years and was a board member of Barossa Grape and Wine for six years.

Read more

If you spot me,
report me

With rapid vine growth and unpredictable weather at this time of the year, you’re bound to be on the lookout for traditional pests and diseases in your vines.
If you come across any unusual leaf symptoms or an insect you’ve never seen before in the vineyard, we recommend you cross-check these against Vinehealth Australia’s eye-catching ‘If You Spot Me, Report Me’ poster.

Read more

Read this: hosting visitors fact sheet

As some states reopen for business and vintage approaches, there will soon be greater movement of tourists and contract labour gangs across the wine industry. To help you identify and manage the risks associated with visitors to your vineyard, we created a Biosecurity Planning for Vineyard Owners Hosting Visitors fact sheet.
This detailed fact sheet includes practical steps and flowcharts, and covers individual visitors, small and large groups, and major events.

Read more

Watch this

Ko Tātou This Is Us

The New Zealand Government has launched a new video. Ko Tātou This Is Us asks viewers to take a moment to think about how biosecurity protects our way of life, the outdoor environment where we fish, farm,
hunt and explore, the beautiful biodiversity of our unique ecosystem and even the food we eat.

Watch the video here

Biosecurity supporters

National Wine Centre

“As a high volume tourism venue, we need
to ensure visitors get the message about biosecurity.”

Jason Bird, General Manager, National Wine Centre, South Australia.

Biosecurity tips

  • Pre #V21 Tip#1: Vintage is a time when there is significant movement of people, machinery and equipment onto and off properties. Use Vinehealth Australia’s handy Vintage Toolkit to help you to be biosecurity-ready for #V21. #Vinehealth
  • Pre #V21 Tip#2: What’s in your induction program for vintage employees and contractors? Have you included your biosecurity practices and expectations? See our top 10 poster for inspiration. #Vinehealth
  • Pre #V21 Tip#3: Are you planning to import a grape harvester from interstate for #V21? Ensure it meets the legal entry requirements into SA prior to and upon importation. Refer to the updated SA PQS for details. #Vinehealth

What is biosecurity?

Biosecurity is a system to reduce the risk of entry, establishment and spread of pests, diseases and weeds that threaten the economy and environment. It’s also a system for managing and recovering from an incursion of a pest and disease by minimising its impact through eradication, containment and ongoing asset protection. Biosecurity is a shared responsibility – we need to work collaboratively.

Copyright © Phylloxera and Grape Industry Board of South Australia,
trading as Vinehealth Australia and governed by 
The Phylloxera and Grape Industry Act 1995