We’re pleased to share our 2020/21 Annual Report, which was tabled in parliament in September. The report details our activities over the 12 months to 30 April 2021. You can also read our Activities At a Glance snapshot which summarises our key work.
Through the turmoil of COVID-19 restrictions, we continued our sharp and successful focus on protecting the South Australian grape and wine industry from pest impact.
We responded to 16 plant pest biosecurity incidents, including four endemic plant pest incident investigations and one joint vine health incident investigation for an exotic plant pest.
We also invested significant time in supporting the fruit fly response in South Australia to ensure industry had up to date information to get through vintage 2021 regarding movement restrictions they needed to comply with.
In March 2021 we officially launched our new Vinehealth Australia Strategic Agenda 2021 to 2026, which identifies five priority areas essential to making the industry more resilient and future focused, and fulfils the functions detailed in our governing Act, the Phylloxera and Grape Industry Act 1995.
Another key piece of work was the drafting of a comprehensive Phylloxera Response Plan for South Australia in partnership with PIRSA. The Response Plan is a contemporary, detailed and practical resource that will enable PIRSA and Vinehealth Australia to effectively respond to a phylloxera outbreak to minimise the impact on grape and wine businesses.
We have also progressed the development of the new Digital Biosecurity Platform, which will replace the Register and transform biosecurity management in South Australia. We’ve appointed a technology partner and completed a discovery phase. We’re now working through funding opportunities to build the platform.
We continued to operate a deficit budget, as the cost of doing business increased, the number of activities we needed to do increased in response to a rapidly changing and complex biosecurity landscape, and our levy continued at the same rate as set in 1996.
To that end, we will commence conversations with industry next year, to ensure we have sustainable funding to fulfil our primary functions.