Are you familiar with the requirements for importing a tractor into South Australia from an interstate Phylloxera Exclusion Zone? How about for importing winegrapes from Tasmania into Victoria? Or importing harvesters into Western Australia from South Australia? Or importing winegrapes from a Phylloxera Risk Zone into a Phylloxera Infested Zone in Victoria?

Vintage is a time when phylloxera bugs come out of the soil and travel up into the vine canopy and pose a higher risk of being picked up and spread.

Items that can harbor the insect, grape phylloxera, can be described as ‘phylloxera risk vectors’. They include machinery and equipment, propagation material, grapes and grape products and diagnostic samples. Movement of these items is regulated by state Plant Quarantine Standards, or equivalent.

As vintage is also a key time for movement of machinery and equipment and grapes and grape products, in particular, everyone working in the wine and grape industries, is obligated to be aware of and abide by these movement regulations when importing phylloxera risk vectors into their state and within their state where different Phylloxera Management Zones exist. If you’re not sure of Phylloxera Management Zone locations, click here.

If you’re receiving phylloxera risk vectors on your property that have been directly imported into your state or phylloxera management zone, you are also obligated, as part of your joint responsibility for biosecurity, to check that movements have been undertaken according to the importing state’s regulations.

You must assess the cleanliness from soil and plant material of all equipment and machinery that is brought onto your property and sight all biosecurity documentation that is required to accompany any movement into your state or phylloxera management zone prior to granting the machinery or equipment access to your vines.

Although we talk a lot about phylloxera, other pests such as mealybug and scale can be rife over vintage in certain seasons and anecdotally spread by grape harvesters. Consider how well you clean harvesters leaving your property and how well you inspect harvesters coming onto your property, even if they’re not subject to import requirements.

SA PQS review

As Vinehealth Australia has previously advised, we are currently undergoing industry consultation on a suite of proposed changes to the phylloxera-related conditions in the current South Australian Plant Quarantine Standard.

To view the proposed changes click here.

To view the current SA PQS, click here.

Vintage is a great time to reflect on how these proposed changes might impact your business in the future, should they be enacted. You can provide feedback to the proposed changes until 30 June. Refer to the section ‘To make a submission by email or post’ on our consultation webpage for further information.