Quantifying grape-related machinery and equipment movements during vintage is important for our industry as a part of monitoring the potential movement of plant pests, diseases and weeds into our state.

It also helps us review compliance of these imports with our Plant Quarantine Standard (PQS), and understand the areas in which we must improve education and awareness and strengthen our accreditation systems.

With Vinehealth Australia nearing conclusion of its industry consultation on the proposed changes to the phylloxera-related conditions in the SA PQS, this quantification of movements is vital.    

In June 2018, we reported that at Yamba during February and March, PIRSA Biosecurity SA officers recorded more than 2,000 trucks carrying grape bins into SA, with approximately 30% of these full. Approximately 930 wine tankers entered the state as well as nine trucks carrying machinery (six of which were harvesters).

Once again during vintage 2019 at Yamba, grape-related machinery and equipment movements were recorded, this time during February and March but also extending until mid-April. PIRSA Biosecurity SA officers recorded more than 1,850 trucks carrying grape bins into SA, again with approximately 30% of these full as per the previous year. Wine tankers entering the state were recorded at 583; 37% down on the previous year, and one load of winery equipment also entered.

From two years of data we’re starting to see some consistency in the volume of full and empty grape bins moving into SA, but understand that many movements are seasonally-related to yields.

These statistics validate the work that PIRSA and Vinehealth Australia are undertaking prior to vintage 2020, to develop an accreditation system for empty grape bin movement from a PEZ to ensure cleanliness from soil and plant material upon arrival into SA, to put the onus onto the accredited business sending the bins to ensure compliance.

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