The consultation phase to develop South Australian’s new Biosecurity Act is now open and will close on Tuesday. PIRSA has released a Technical Directions Paper and other materials to support the consultation phase and we encourage you to have your say.

In partnership with the South Australian Wine Industry Association (SAWIA) and Wine Grape Council of South Australia (WGCSA) we have been liaising with PIRSA on the development of the new act since mid 2019.

We formed a small industry working group in mid 2020 to discuss the Government’s previous position to repeal the Phylloxera and Grape Industry Act 1995 (PGI Act) and replace it with the new Biosecurity Act.

The new Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development David Basham made the decision in August 2020 not to repeal the PGI Act. He said the PGI Act will be retained as a separate piece of legislation if that is the preference of the viticulture industry and that it will be at the discretion of the viticulture industry as to whether the PGI Act is incorporated into the new Biosecurity Act in the future.

Minister Basham encouraged the viticulture industry to remain an active participant in the development of the new Biosecurity Act. In that spirit, Vinehealth Australia will be putting in a submission.

Our submission will consist of three major themes:

  1. Opportunities for Vinehealth to strengthen its capacity and capability to support the grape and wine industries with biosecurity management by, for example:
    • Playing a more strategic role in the implementation and monitoring of accreditation schemes pertinent to the grape and wine industries in SA;
    • Providing greater scope to develop and implement surveillance programs for industry with funding shared between industry and government; and
    • Supporting the propagation sector for the grape and wine industries to ensure high health propagation material for industry.
  2. Providing commentary on (1) the core principles on which the new Biosecurity Act will be developed and (2) key components such as governance and administration, compliance and enforcement and emergency management, for example:
    • Agreement with the core concept of shared responsibility and the proposed General Biosecurity Duty, but seeking investment by PIRSA to educate industry and the public as to their obligations under this new General Biosecurity Duty; and
    • Support for penalties to be commensurate with the risk of non-compliant activity and the value of the industry to the State’s economy.
  3. The link between the Phylloxera and Grape Industry Act 1995 and the proposed new Biosecurity Act:
    • Given the position of the Minister, we will be confirming that Vinehealth and the industry seek particular information to ensure that it can make an informed assessment of whether the PGI Act should remain as a standalone Act or should be consolidated into the new Biosecurity Act. The outcome being to ensure the provision of strong and ongoing biosecurity management expected by the South Australian grape and wine industries; and
    • If the PGI Act is to remain a separate Act, then updates to the PGI Act will be required to reference the new Biosecurity Act.

We encourage anyone in the wine industry to consider a submission. You can get more information about the consultation process here.

Vinehealth Australia will make its submission available to industry for their information. Please contact Inca Lee (inca@vinehealth.com.au or 0418 818 543) if you require further information.

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