Vinehealth Australia has contracted viticultural consultant Liz Riley from Vitibit to assist in the development and delivery of a contactor biosecurity education program.

This program will raise contractor awareness of biosecurity, including the potential short and long term impacts of a plant pest incursion on a vineyard property and on their contracting business. Contractors will learn how their operations can impact pest spread and how to identify the key pests that vineyards want to keep out.

The program will also educate contractors about their legal and best practice obligations around biosecurity and a checklist will be provided that outlines the activities that must occur before, during and after work in the field.

“Vineyard contractors are a key service provider to the wine industry, but their movement between vineyard properties creates biosecurity risk,” said Vinehealth Australia Inca Lee.

“It’s vital that vineyard owners and contractors take responsibility to work together to minimise this risk and we’ve developed this program to assist. COVID-19 has delayed the rollout of the program, but we hope to be in regions later this year.”

More information will be provided about the workshops in due course.