SA Plant Quarantine Standard Review

Project name: SA Plant Quarantine Standard Review

Project collaborators: Vinehealth Australia and Biosecurity SA

Project objectives: To strengthen the conditions under which items that can pick up and spread phylloxera, may enter the State

Project timeline: 2019/2020

Project description

Vinehealth Australia has led and completed a multi-year project into the review of the phylloxera-related conditions in South Australia’s Plant Quarantine Standard (PQS). This work was undertaken using a risk-based approach to strengthen the conditions under which items that can pick up and spread phylloxera, may enter the State.

As part of this comprehensive review, Vineyard Australia completed:

  • A gap analysis of Conditions 7, 7A, 8 and 8A to identify silences on some requirements and inconsistencies in how import requirements were being applied for risk vectors from the same phylloxera management zones between different Conditions;
  • A review to identify layout changes to improve readability, including separating machinery and equipment import conditions and presenting importer registration and direct inspection requirements to improve understanding;
  • A review of scientific literature underpinning the disinfestation procedures prescribed in the NPMP and recommended changes to remove or alter some disinfestation procedures to ensure efficacy against known key endemic phylloxera strains; and
  • A state Pest Risk Analysis for phylloxera based on the then current Version 13 of the SA PQS using findings from the above work.

This work led to identification of a large number of proposed changes to Condition 7, 7A, 8 and 8A which were initially refined with Biosecurity SA and then workshopped with industry during a 12 month industry consultation stage. After distribution of a Consultation Pack to more than 3,300 stakeholders, proposed changes to the PQS were discussed with more than 150 stakeholders across 39 meetings, covering 10 wine regions or zones.

Following this consultation stage, Vinehealth Australia and Biosecurity SA jointly recommended a range of changes relating to the management of grape phylloxera to the Hon. Tim Whetstone, Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development for approval as a consolidated phylloxera Condition, Condition 7, as part of an updated SA PQS Version 17.

Some key changes as a result of this project include:

  • Increase in dry heat treatment duration at 40˚C from two to three hours;
  • Prohibition of steam as a valid sterilisation treatment method for all machinery or equipment being imported into SA;
  • Prohibition of entry of used netting, trellis posts, vine guards, dripper tube, wire and clips;
  • Prohibition of entry of winegrapes grown in a Phylloxera Risk Zone (PRZ);
  • Alignment of entry requirements for equipment from a PRZ with tougher standards applicable for equipment from a Phylloxera Infested Zone (PIZ) and Phylloxera Interim Buffer Zone (PIBZ);
  • Alignment of entry requirements for grape marc, with that of winegrapes.

This review has highlighted three areas that require additional discussion with PIRSA-Biosecurity SA, interstate counterparts and industry that Vinehealth continues to actively progress, being:

  1. Current entry of grape harvesters from a PRZ, PIZ, PIBZ into South Australia.
  2. Current entry of must or unfiltered juice from a PIZ or PRZ into South Australia for winemaking under ICA-22.
  3. Current lack of certification for filtered juice entering South Australia, sourced from grapes grown in a PRZ, PIZ or PIBZ.

Background

The review of the SA PQS was motivated by a desire to protect South Australia’s wine industry, which is worth $2.15 billion to the state’s economy.

We are operating in a heightened biosecurity landscape. The industry is more interconnected than ever, with increasing movement of grapes, grape products, machinery, equipment and people between countries, states, regions and individual properties.

In 2009, the National Phylloxera Management Protocol (NPMP) was published as an industry standard to define a set of agreed conditions under which a regulated or non-regulated phylloxera risk vector may be moved from one phylloxera management zone to another, to limit spread of phylloxera from those zones in which it is known to occur. State jurisdictions including South Australia, have adopted the conditions in the NPMP to underpin their import requirements of regulated risk vectors. This document has not been reviewed since 2009 and has been recognised by both industry and government to be out of date and subsequently in need of an urgent full review. A full review of the grape phylloxera conditions (7, 7A, 8, 8A) in South Australia’s Plant Quarantine Standard (PQS) had also not been undertaken since the NPMP was published.

Since 2009, phylloxera research undertaken at Agriculture Victoria’s Rutherglen Research Centre has indicated that not all currently used disinfestation procedures are effective against our known key endemic phylloxera strains, therefore putting industry at risk. Phylloxera also continues to spread in Australia and impact our wine industry, indicative of policies and procedures in place that are ineffective.