Vinehealth Australia
eNewsletter: May 2021
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Hello from Inca Lee

With our financial year having ended on 30 April, it’s an opportunity to reflect on the year that’s been.

In March 2021, after significant industry consultation, we released our new 2021 to 2026 Strategic Agenda. The agenda is focused on creating biosecurity solutions, minimising pest impacts and helping to shape the regulatory environment to ensure it adequately protects you.

We’ve also progressed the new SA Phylloxera Outbreak Plan, which will be launched later this year. This is a contemporary, detailed and practical resource that will enable PIRSA and Vinehealth Australia to effectively respond to a phylloxera outbreak to minimise impacts on grape and wine businesses.

Working with UniSA, we have developed a final prototype fit-for-purpose shoe cover for vineyard use. Commercialisation discussions of the preferred design are underway.

Excitingly, we appointed a technology partner to build the Digital Biosecurity Platform, which will replace the Register. A discovery phase to detail the system requirements, design and architecture has been completed, to provide a roadmap for the build of the new platform.

And we’ve worked closely with PIRSA and industry during fruit fly outbreaks, communicating grape movement conditions to grape and wine businesses to ensure a smooth 2021 vintage.

This is just a taste of some of our work for you in 2020/21. We’ll share more in our Annual Report in a few months’ time.

Finally, it was good to participate in the National Xylella Action Plan Forum recently, hosted by the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment. We’ll be sharing our ideas with Wine Australia about delivering progress with this plan and positive outcomes for the grape and wine industry.

Inca Lee
CEO, Vinehealth Australia

In this issue

Last issue highlight

Chris Bennett: transforming vine improvement

Chris Bennett, in his role as Executive Officer of the South Australian Vine Improvement Association (SAVIA), is helping to create a roadmap for the sustainable supply of high health planting material to the Australian grape and wine industry. Chris is now working to ensure that vine improvement standards are underpinned by science and that the infrastructure is in place to support the standards.

Read more

Responsible sheep agistment

If you’re planning to agist sheep on your vineyard over winter, consider entering into an agistment agreement.
Including biosecurity risks in this agreement can help avoid a plant pest, disease or weed being inadvertently moved onto your vineyard.
As an agistor of sheep, you also become part of the chain of responsibility for animal welfare when you have the sheep on your vineyard and when you are consigning them for transport off your vineyard.

Read more

In focus: SA PQS Clause 1

In SA’s Plant Quarantine Standard, Condition 7 is all about entry requirements related to the grapevine pest, phylloxera. Clause 1 of this Condition relates to Grapevine material (including for planting and/or propagation).
Anyone planning to import such items into SA from interstate, must understand and abide by the entry requirements. For example, all grapevines in the form of whole grapevines or part thereof are prohibited entry into SA. 

Read more

Fruit fly update

With the completion of vintage 2021, Vinehealth advises that we are no longer posting updated fruit fly maps on our website under the ‘Current Outbreaks’ section. Instead, we refer you to PIRSA’s website for these maps and other industry information.
We are however maintaining a watching brief on the end quarantine dates related to all outbreaks and keep these current here for the Riverland and here for metro Adelaide.

Read more

Fruit fly: complexities and challenges

The 2021 National Fruit Fly Symposium was hosted online by the National Fruit Fly Council in early May. Vinehealth Australia Technical Manger Suzanne McLoughlin attended the symposium and said it was clear that national fruit fly challenges are significant.
“The key message for me was the need for a unified objective on the desired outcome of fruit fly management in Australia,” Suzanne said.

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Biosecurity now core to Diploma of Viticulture

The national Diploma of Viticulture has been updated and biosecurity is now one of six core units, along with topics such as 'develop a grape production plan' and 'manage water systems'.
“We know good biosecurity management is vital to the sustainability of the Australian grape and wine industry, and we’re thrilled to see this addition to the Viticulture Diploma,” said Inca Lee, CEO of Vinehealth Australia.

Read more

$370m for biosecurity

Keeping Australia safe from harmful pests and diseases is the focus of a $370 million biosecurity spend in the new federal budget.
The funding includes almost $100m for an offshore assurance program to identify freight containers for intervention, $35m for research about how pests can enter Australia, $20m for a pre-border passenger screening trial, $30m to improve biosecurity management of international mail and a $3.9m community and business awareness campaign.

Read more

Donkey does time

A story on Mirage News grabbed our attention recently, when we read that an American donkey had spent 28 days in quarantine before entering Australia.
The American Mammoth Donkey, named Diamond Creek Moonwatcher, was imported into Australia from the USA in April, in what is believed to be the first direct import of the breed.
Like all horses, donkeys and mules who are imported into Australia, Moonwatcher had to spend 14 days in pre-export and 14 days in post-entry quarantine.

Read more

Watch this

Please don't walk amongst our vines
video vignettes

Don't forget we have a range of short videos with biosecurity messages that are perfect for your cellar door or socials!

Watch one of the videos here

Biosecurity supporters

Keith Tulloch Wines, Hunter Valley

"The ultimate goal is to work as a family to produce the best possible fruit for our wines, in a sustainable and ecological way."

Keith Tulloch, Keith Tulloch Wines

Biosecurity tips

  • #V21 Tip#13: Don’t let grape marc spread pests or diseases. Be aware of the updated entry requirements for South Australia. Refer to SA’s Plant Quarantine Standard Condition 7 Clause 4. #Vinehealth
  • #V21 Tip#14: Looking to upgrade your biosecurity signage? Vinehealth Australia has tourist-facing signs and farm-gate signs to help with your farm-gate hygiene efforts. #Vinehealth
  • #V21 Tip#15: Planning a vintage debrief? Include a review of your biosecurity practices and note where you can improve. #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