Thank you for your ongoing investment in Vinehealth and your support for the work we continue to undertake every day to protect your vineyards.

I acknowledge that times have never been tougher for many of you, and that biosecurity is not always at the forefront of your minds. Nonetheless, these are the times when shortcuts may be taken and with biosecurity threats rising, vigilance is key.

While the successful levy increase of 2023 was a major milestone achievement for the organisation, I acknowledge that much work is yet to be done to demonstrate value back to vineyard owners for this investment. Action on the ground must be the core focus of the next chapter of Vinehealth.

To my team: Jo, Brendan, Warren and Cindie, thank you for your ongoing support, drive to improve systems and services, and willingness to navigate change. I look forward to watching from the sidelines and supporting the next chapter of your work.

Looking back, there are a number of Vinehealth activities I have had the honour of being involved in over my eight years with the organisation, for which I am particularly proud. I believe these have collectively demonstrated Vinehealth’s biosecurity expertise on a national scale and contributed to raising the profile of biosecurity as an industry threat:

  • Maintaining a Register of South Australia’s vineyards, which represents 50% of the national vineyard area, from which we have had the opportunity to share insights and intel on aspects such as vine age and planted area by variety and region over time.
  • Empowering industry with biosecurity knowledge through various communications resources, including our website (, fact sheets, biosecurity alerts, industry notices, e-newsletters, tips and posters.
  • Increasing the protection of SA vineyards from phylloxera by:
    • Undertaking a significant update of South Australia’s Plant Quarantine Standard to strengthen the state’s import requirements of phylloxera risk material. This included increasing the required duration of dry heat treatment undertaken at 40C.
    • Completing a comprehensive review of the Mornington Peninsula rezoning program to document gaps in the current National Phylloxera Management Protocol that must be addressed by industry and government.
    • Developing a suite of phylloxera preparedness and response documents for industry and SA government.
  • Providing one-on-one assistance to hundreds of vineyard owners and industry personnel each year on quarantine matters, biosecurity materials, mapping and virus.
  • Strengthening ties with the SA propagation sector to advance vine health. This includes coordinating Grapevine red blotch virus surveillance across the state’s propagation sector to ensure that South Australia is in the best position to understand its virus status, and in turn inform national discussions for the benefit of protecting the state’s vineyards.
  • Measuring and communicating the performance of grafted vines through long-standing work on the Coonawarra Rootstock Trial.
  • Understanding the benefits and limitations of biosecurity track and trace technology through Project Boundary Rider, before it became commonplace.
  • Understanding the benefits and limitations of various phylloxera detection methods through completion of a project comparing DNA, dig and emergence traps.

There is still much work to be done at the industry level in biosecurity. With many industry organisations looking to play a role in the biosecurity space, we need strong leadership, clear communication, defined roles and coordination of this effort to ensure collective advancement.

To those passionate supporters who continue to provide unwavering support for Vinehealth’s leadership and biosecurity activities ─ you make our work meaningful. For that we truly thank you.

Lastly, I implore each and every one of you to take a moment to ask every visitor the one simple question, ‘Where have you been?’. These four words might be enough to protect your most valuable assets, your vines from a pest and disease incursion.

Suzanne McLoughlin

Acting CEO Suzanne McLoughlin