Vinehealth Australia
eNewsletter: March 2021
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Hello from Inca Lee

I’m very proud to release our Strategic Agenda 2021 to 2026. We’ve been working on our new strategic directions since mid 2020 and have had many conversations with industry about our activities and focus areas.
It’s clear you want us to create biosecurity solutions, minimise pest impacts and help shape the regulatory environment to ensure it works for you. I encourage you to read the Strategic Agenda 2021 to 2026 and the one page Snapshot, and work with us as we bring this strategy to life.
It was terrific to see that biosecurity was a key theme of Ag2030, the recent ABARES Outlook 2021 conference. Head of Biosecurity at the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment, Andrew Tongue spoke about the opportunities and challenges for biosecurity as we look towards 2030.
Andrew said African Swine Fever could cost our pork producers up to $2 billion over five years if it arrived here. He also spoke about Xylella fastidiosa, our number one priority plant pest, which could cost our wine industry up to $7.9 billion over 50 years if an outbreak occurs and spreads in Australia.
“We are also seeing a greater complexity in global supply chains, intensified by COVID-19 disruptions,” Andrew said. “To respond to these challenges, Australia’s biosecurity system must evolve, keep pace with trade, and become better. Greater focus on innovation and technology, and closer partnerships with industry, will be critical in achieving reform.”
With those words in mind, we’re also pleased to report that development of Vinehealth’s new Digital Biosecurity Platform is progressing, following the appointment of our preferred technology partner, Coruscant Digital.
We are seeking SA Government support to source funding for the build of the platform, which will transform biosecurity management for the grape and wine industry in South Australia. It will put a digital map of their property into the hands of every vineyard owner. 

We also see the Digital Biosecurity Platform as a key tool to assist growers and government in managing prescribed burns and fruit fly.

Happy picking,
Inca Lee
CEO, Vinehealth Australia

In this issue

Last issue highlight

New Strategic
Agenda launched

Vinehealth Australia’s new Strategic Agenda 2021 to 2026 was officially launched yesterday by the Vinehealth Board. 
This new Strategic Agenda continues the biosecurity momentum created under our previous strategic plan, Towards 2020.
Our new plan identifies five priority areas essential to making the industry more resilient and future focused, and fulfils the functions detailed in our governing Act.

Read more

Fruit fly update

There have been changes to both the Riverland and metro Adelaide fruit fly outbreaks since our February e-news.
For current maps, Biosecurity Bulletins outlining movement requirements for industry and quarantine lifting dates, refer to our Current Outbreaks page for the Riverland and for metropolitan Adelaide.
We continue to provide assistance to PIRSA, growers, wineries and regional wine associations in relation to these outbreaks.

Read more

Autumn 2021
prescribed burns

Vineyard owners within 3km of proposed prescribed burns to be undertaken by National Parks and Wildlife Service SA in the Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges Region this autumn have been contacted by Vinehealth Australia with information about how to stay informed. 
Vineyard owners can also monitor the status of prescribed burns via this interactive map

Read more

Importing ‘other’ machinery into SA

In our January e-news we discussed importation requirements into SA for used grape harvesters. In this issue, we talk about importing machinery other than grape harvesters that has previously been used in the production and manipulation of grapes or grapevines or used on vineyard soil.
In Clause 2 of SA’s Plant Quarantine Standard, a machine is described as a device that uses energy to perform some activity and is generally large, complex and can’t be easily cleaned.

Read more

Why filter to 50 microns?

In our January 2021 e-news, we discussed importation requirements into SA under Condition 7 for grape and grape-related materials. In this issue, we talk about the relevance of 50 microns for juice filtration.
The requirements associated with the movement of grape juice centre around whether that juice is unfiltered and therefore potentially contains phylloxera – or treated in a manner to remove any phylloxera present.

Read more

Breakthroughs in trunk disease knowledge

Results from the national project aiming to improve trunk disease management for vineyard longevity have provided important insights into optimum pruning times.
“We’ve made huge inroads into wound protection, which is the number one management strategy with trunk diseases,” said project leader Dr Mark Sosnowski from the Department of Primary Industries and Regions research division South Australian Research and Development Institute.

Read more

SA Vineyard Records: submit your changes

Have you submitted your reviewed vineyard record through the Vinehealth Australia Kiosk? Did you hit ‘submit’?
We have 107 records that are still pending submission. To complete the review, please ensure that you click the submit button. Changes to vineyard records cannot be approved through the system by Vinehealth until they are submitted.

Read more

Increased penalties for breaches

Stronger biosecurity laws have passed in Parliament which raise the maximum penalty for non-compliance with our federal biosecurity laws to $1.11 million.
The new Biosecurity Amendment (Strengthening Penalties) Bill is designed to provide a stronger penalty regime that more appropriately reflects the seriousness of breaching the Biosecurity Act.  

Read more

Wine tourism reminder

The team at Vinehealth Australia is pleased to see the SA Government name 2021 the Year of SA Wine. We encourage wineries and tourists to keep biosecurity in mind when planning and attending events. Destructive pests, diseases and weeds can be spread on vehicle tyres, clothing and shoes, so the best approach is to set up your event away from vines and prevent entry into vineyards with barriers and signs.

Read more

Watch this

Messages for travellers

Have you seen the Australian Government's new incoming passenger video? The key message is: 'Make your arrival into Australia as easy as possible. Just declare it.' This will be promoted heavily when international travel picks up.

Watch the video here

Biosecurity supporters

Seppeltsfield, Barossa

“We placed our signs near our popular soil pit display. This way, many visitors see the signage and are educated not to enter the vineyards. We also have a biosecurity sticker at the front entrance to our cellar door, near the door handle so that it’s eye-catching. And we educate our staff so that when customers ask about biosecurity, we can answer.”

Kirsty Balnaves, Balnaves of Coonawarra

Biosecurity tips

  • #V21 Tip#4: Are you practicing a clean in, clean out policy? Have you set up wash down facilities for contractors to clean machinery and equipment of soil and plant material prior to leaving your property? #Vinehealth 
  • #V21 Tip#5: Do you know who’s coming onto your property? If not, you might need to upgrade your sign in procedures. Our printable visitor template is a good starting point. #Vinehealth
  • #V21 Tip#6: Communicating important biosecurity information to hand pickers? Use our Seasonal Workers multi-language fact sheet translated in six languages. #Vinehealth
  • #V21 Tip#7: Are you sure that the footwear of all people who enter your vineyard is pest and disease free? If in doubt, disinfest footwear according to the Footwear and Small Hand Tool Disinfestation Protocol. #Vinehealth
  • #V21 Tip#8: We know vintage is hectic but please don’t take shortcuts with farm-gate hygiene. A biosecurity breach might affect your business, region, state and Australia. #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