In early August we advised through an Industry Notice that the Department of Primary Industries and Regions (PIRSA) has reclassified the Mornington Peninsula as a Phylloxera Exclusion Zone (PEZ) from a Phylloxera Risk Zone (PRZ), for the purposes of imports into South Australia.

Entry requirements for regulated phylloxera risk vectors from the Mornington Peninsula have therefore changed according to South Australia’s Plant Quarantine Standard.
With Vinehealth mandated under the Phylloxera and Grape Industry Act 1995 to assess the relative threat to the State’s vineyards posed by phylloxera, we advise industry that:

  • Our in-depth assessment of the rezoning program has determined that this change is not without risk to South Australia.
  • In articulating the risks identified, Vinehealth advised contrary to the PIRSA decision.
  • Vinehealth’s and PIRSA’s risk appetites and viewpoints on this decision vary but are both valid.

Vinehealth advises that PIRSA and Minister Scriven’s Office have received some direct enquiries from industry as to the reasoning behind this decision.

Given the risks inherent with serious pests such as phylloxera that are difficult to see and detect, slow to show impact in the vineyard, and are spread by a range of vectors ─ the best protection for all vineyard owners and industry personnel is to ensure your own biosecurity measures are in place.

What you need to do

Be informed and stay focused on what you can control – that being the operations associated with running your own vineyard, or those you work on, or visit.

If you are importing phylloxera risk vectors into South Australia (e.g., grapevine planting material, machinery and equipment used in vineyards, grapes, grape products (including wine, juice, must and marc) and diagnostic samples and vineyard soil, take the time to comply with the entry requirements:

Review your operations and always know where machinery, equipment and people have been before coming onto your property.

Discuss biosecurity openly and often with your staff, contractors and suppliers, and ensure your expectations around biosecurity are being met.

Ask all visitors to your vineyard which wine regions they and their machinery/equipment have visited in the 29 days prior, and record this for traceability purposes.

Implement best-practice farm-gate hygiene for footwear and clothing, which can pick up and spread phylloxera.

Know the visual symptoms of phylloxera in a vineyard. Monitor your vineyard blocks and identify any unusual vine growth symptoms. Mandatory reporting of phylloxera in every state is required by law. In South Australia, contact Vinehealth (8273 0550), PIRSA (8207 7814), or the Exotic Plant Pest Hotline (1800 084 881).