Vinehealth Australia has lodged a submission to Primary Industries and Regions SA (PIRSA) in response to the public consultation on developing a new Biosecurity Act for South Australia. You can read the submission here.

Vinehealth Australia supports the development of a new Biosecurity Act, consolidating the Plant Health Act 2009, Livestock Act 1997 and Impounding Act 1920.

This submission outlines significant matters in relation to the development of a new Biosecurity Act for the grape and wine industries, which are detailed in three sections:

  • The connection between the Phylloxera and Grape Industry Act 1995 (PGI Act) and a new Biosecurity Act;
  • Future opportunities for Vinehealth to deliver improved outcomes for the grape and wine industries; and
  • Responses to specific points of interest in the Technical Directions Paper.

“Significant work is still required by PIRSA, Vinehealth Australia and industry to determine the best way forward for the connection between the PGI Act and a new Biosecurity Act, and to explore future opportunities for Vinehealth to enhance its services to industry,” said Inca Lee, Vinehealth Australia CEO.

Opportunities for the grape and wine industries include:

  • Vinehealth to be the accreditation authority and play a more strategic role in the implementation and monitoring of accreditation schemes pertinent to the grape and wine industries (in addition to preserving the current accrediting function with respect to propagation facilities outlined in section 13(1)(h) of the PGI Act);
  • Greater involvement in preparedness activities such as outbreak modelling and response planning for the industry;
  • Expansion of the Register to include all medium-high risk creators in the grape and wine supply chain;
  • Vinehealth to provide a feed from the Register to Biosecurity SA for the proposed new PIC system for plant industries, i.e. the Register is the source of truth for all vineyards planted in South Australia;
  • Greater scope for involvement in the propagation sector for the grape and wine industries to ensure high-health propagation material for industry (in addition to current primary function 13(1)(g) outlined in the PGI Act);
  • Greater scope to develop and implement surveillance programs for industry with funding shared between industry and government;
  • Clarification of roles and responsibilities of Biosecurity SA and Vinehealth, including Vinehealth’s regulatory functions and link to matters under the Emergency Plant Pest Response Deed that impact the grape and wine industries; and
  • Broadening of Vinehealth’s existing role of working with Biosecurity SA to determine action to control an outbreak, to include supporting industry to recover from an incursion and transition to management.

“We look forward to working with PIRSA and industry to ensure the best outcome to support a prosperous industry,” Inca said.