New phylloxera conditions in South Australia’s Plant Quarantine Standard (PQS) will help prevent the vine killing insect from entering the State.

Changes to the PQS have been approved by the Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development, the Hon. Tim Whetstone and will apply from 21 July 2020.

The review of the phylloxera-related conditions in SA’s PQS was led by Vinehealth Australia and undertaken using a risk-based approach to strengthen the rules under which items that can pick up and spread phylloxera may enter the State. Those items include machinery, equipment, grapevine material and grape products.

As part of the review, Vinehealth Australia undertook an extensive 12-month industry consultation. A Consultation Pack was distributed to more than 3,300 stakeholders seeking feedback. Vinehealth Australia CEO Inca Lee and Technical Manager Suzanne McLoughlin discussed proposed changes with more than 150 stakeholders across 39 meetings, covering 10 viticultural regions or zones in South Australia.

Following successful consultation, Vinehealth Australia and PIRSA-Biosecurity SA jointly recommended a range of changes relating to the management of grape phylloxera to the Minister for approval. These changes were accepted and incorporated into a consolidated Condition 7 in the South Australian PQS Version 17.

Key changes include:

  • Steam as a sterilisation treatment method for all machinery or equipment being imported into SA is now prohibited;
  • The entry of used netting, trellis posts, vine guards, dripper tube, wire and clips into SA is now prohibited;
  • The entry of winegrapes grown in a Phylloxera Risk Zone (PRZ) into SA is now prohibited;
  • Alignment of entry requirements for equipment from a PRZ with tougher standards applicable for equipment from a Phylloxera Infested Zone (PIZ) and Phylloxera Interim Buffer Zone (PIBZ);
  • Alignment of entry requirements for grape marc, with that of winegrapes.

“The intent of the review was to protect South Australia’s $2.15 billion wine industry from a phylloxera incursion,” Inca said.

While the new phylloxera conditions are a significant win for the South Australian wine industry, Inca said protection of the industry from phylloxera and other significant pests and diseases could only be achieved through the collective efforts of industry and government.

“It’s now up to all members of the wine industry to understand the changes in Version 17 of SA’s PQS, to assess the impacts to their businesses, to communicate relevant changes to their supply chains, and to implement changes to their operations, to ensure they comply,” Inca said.

“We also ask vineyard owners to strongly encourage their neighbours, suppliers and communities to follow the rules. And we urge you to also continue your focus on implementing strong farm-gate hygiene practices to the collective benefit of the South Australian wine industry.”

Vinehealth Australia acknowledges the considerable time and effort contributed by PIRSA–Biosecurity SA and industry to this review.

Click here for a Summary of the PQS Review.