Vinehealth Australia
eNewsletter: December 2016
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Hello from Inca Pearce

Welcome to our first newsletter as Vinehealth Australia! What a year of change it’s been. We’ve seen the organisation’s name move from Phylloxera and Grape Industry Board of SA, to Vinehealth Australia. I’ve joined you as CEO, and we’ve welcomed Technical Manager Suzanne McLoughlin. We’ve also welcomed a new
Board, chaired by Roseanne Healy. And we’ve created a plan for delivering better services and communication to you in 2017. For more than a century, Vinehealth Australia has been protecting the State’s clean-green status by overseeing industry initiatives, education and influencing policy to keep vineyards free of phylloxera and other pests and diseases.
For those who don’t know me, I’ve worked in the industry for the past 19 years. I bring strong industry perspective and a greater stakeholder focus to this role. I will drive Vinehealth’s activities to ensure outstanding biosecurity outcomes for growers, winemakers and other key industry groups.
With a renewed team and board comes a reinvigorated focus on delivering innovative programs and services, to further boost our biosecurity success. We will be re-engaging with wine regions and growers through various initiatives, to ensure the sustainability of our many great Australian vineyards and wine brands. 
In this issue we outline one of our newest and most exciting programs, Project Boundary Rider. We’re creating a virtual boundary – or geofence – around vineyards and using the latest smartphone app technology to monitor the movement of people entering vineyards.
We also outline the best farmgate hygiene practices you can implement to protect your vineyards against pest and disease outbreaks this vintage. 
If you’d like to chat, I welcome you to contact me at any time. Wishing you and your families a happy and safe Christmas, and a successful start to vintage.
Inca Pearce
CEO Vinehealth Australia

Geofence project launch

A cutting-edge vineyard cyber monitoring system, designed to keep South Australia’s $1.78 billion wine industry free of pests and diseases such as phylloxera, has been launched.
Project Boundary Rider creates a virtual boundary – or geofence – around vineyards and uses smartphone app technology to monitor the movement of people entering vineyards. Vineyard owners are alerted via an App when someone crosses their boundary line.

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Vintage: risky business

Vintage is a key risk time for pest and disease spread, due to the high movement of machinery, equipment and workers between regions.
 “Vintage results in rapid movement of biosecurity vectors, including bins, grapes, harvesters, labour, viticulturists, winemakers, liaison officers and even tourists,” says Suzanne McLoughlin, Vinehealth's Technical Manager.
Vinehealth Australia has put together a checklist for vineyard owners to minimise the risks.

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Public enemy #1

Xylella fastidiosa has been named the number one unwanted plant pest for Australia in 2016 and is a High Priority Pest for the wine industry.
“It’s a major threat due to multiple hosts and vectors, rapid impact and global spread, and we need to keep it out,” says Inca Pearce, Vinehealth Australia CEO.
“There are no treatments currently available to cure diseased plants in the field.”

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Big plans for 2017

A communications plan has been developed for Vinehealth Australia to ensure we do a better job of communicating our activities with our most important stakeholders: vineyard owners.
In 2017 we will deliver a range of activities including a regional roadshow where we will meet with growers, regional industry bodies and community members to discuss local issues and to deliver the latest information about biosecurity.

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Meet the Board

A Vinehealth Australia Board has been appointed, with Roseanne Healy elected as chair. She is joined by new members Anna Hooper, Prue McMichael and Andy Clarke (not pictured), and former members Ashley Chabrel, Marc Allgrove and Nigel Blieschke (not pictured). The board also includes acting executive director of Biosecurity SA, Geoff Raven, and University of Adelaide viticultural expert Dr Cassandra Collins.

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Services snapshot

Here's a snapshot of the serices that Vinehealth Australia offers:

  1. Advocacy for biosecurity issues.
  2. Mapping and other GIS capabilities.
  3. Pest and disease outbreak simulations.
  4. Management of SA's phylloxera plan.
  5. Aerial surveillance for vine decline.
  6. Toolkits for best practice biosecurity management.

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.

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