Viticulture biosecurity strategic plan
The Victorian Viticulture Biosecurity Committee (VVBC) was established as a direct result of the Victorian Government's commitment to improving Victoria's capability for managing emergency plant pests and diseases. The VVBC was a collaborative venture between the Department of Environment and Primary
Industries Victoria (DEPI) and key stakeholders in the viticulture industries, including the winegrape, tablegrape and dried fruit industries, plus the nursery and vine improvement sectors.
The VVBC has a key role to play in the Victorian viticulture industries. A critical factor in its success will be its ability to lead, work with and complement similar state and national initiatives and ensure the plant health needs of Victoria's viticulture industries are well understood and considered at the state and national level. With this role in mind, the VVBC has developed this strategic plan.
- To provide a biosecurity policy forum for government and major industry stakeholders involved with the cultivation, processing and marketing of vines and vine products in Victoria.
- To provide leadership in the planning and management of state vine health issues including the identification and implementation, where possible, of biosecurity research and development needs.
The VVBC comprises industry representatives with interests in table grape, wine grape and dried fruit production, winemakers, regional industry organisations, the nursery industry and DEPI Victoria.
Terms of Reference
- Monitor the impact of Government biosecurity policies and regulations and provide advice and feedback, in helping to identify and counter existing and new biosecurity threats.
- Ensure joint Government and industry input into the development of a state vine health strategy and contribute to the planning, funding, implementation and monitoring of agreed priority programs.
- Improve the quality of Victoria's input into vine health policies in national forums, including National Vine Health Steering Committee, Plant Health Australia (PHA), Domestic Quarantine and Market Access Working Group, Certification Services Working Group and Plant Health Committee.
- Oversee Victoria's role in supporting the national preparedness response framework for grape industries under PHA. This should include overseeing the development of grower and plantings databases required to ensure effective emergency responses.
- Provide informed advice to Government and industries on matters referred to the Committee concerning vine health.
Biosecurity challenges facing Victoria
The biosecurity challenges facing Victoria are well stated in a range of industry and Government strategies and are reinforced in the Biosecurity Victoria Strategy (Department of Environment and Primary Industries, Biosecurity Victoria Strategic Plan May 2009).
Biosecurity issues which have special importance to the viticulture industries include the need to exclude or contain existing and new pests and diseases, for example, phylloxera, exotic virus and virus-like diseases and their vectors, the Pierce's Disease bacterium, grapevine rust, black rot fungus
and fruit flies (endemic and exotic).
There is also a significant number of regional pests and diseases which, if spread more widely or not well controlled, could provide long-term problems for the industry. This risk could be seriously heightened through economic circumstances and the threats posed by neglected vineyards (and other crops) as sources of pests and diseases. There is also increasing pressure on the viticulture (and other) industries to reduce their use of pesticides and/or to find alternative control measures without losing market access or escalating production costs.
It is this context which has framed the development of this strategic plan. While VVBC recognises it can't fix all the biosecurity issues facing the industry, it is determined to provide leadership and well thought out policy and investment advice to industry and government on key viticulture biosecurity issues.
The Victorian Viticulture Biosecurity Committee (VVBC) has made some solid achievements since its establishment in late 2008 and it is appropriate that the committee reflects on and reviews its objectives for 2011-14.
A highlight was consultation with interstate departments of agriculture about interstate harmonisation of regulations. The clear message is that interstate harmonisation for the movement of phylloxera host materials requires support from the most senior levels of government and this will continue to be a key area of focus, especially where impediments and costs to doing business can be reduced without compromising the health of the viticulture industries.
Phylloxera rezoning activities are progressing well and the VVBC has provided assistance in terms of regional data collection and endorsement of strategies for the areas being rezoned.
From a national perspective, a most positive development is the formation of the new National Wine Biosecurity Committee and in recognition of the key role the VVBC plays in Victoria the VVBC has been invited to be a member. This again reinforces the key role the VVBC will play at the state and national level.
Whilst representing Victoria at a national level, it is important that the VVBC also maintains an industry focus at the local level. A fundamental role for the VVBC will continue to be the collation and distribution of targeted vine health information to the Victorian industry.
A review of the Strategic Plan 2011-2014 has resulted in updated priority actions for 2011-2012, which will require commitment from the VVBC to achieve.
The new Plant Biosecurity Act, which was passed by the Victorian Parliament in late 2010, now provides for the introduction of a Property Identification Code (PIC), which is fully supported by the VVBC and is a task that we can assist in implementing. A key benefit of this PIC system is the potential (with industry agreement) to establish a register of all commercial Victorian viticulture enterprises, which would greatly enhance our ability to access timely information about biosecurity issues which may face our industries. At the moment this can be a bit of a hit or miss affair and relies heavily on industry membership data which is incomplete.
In an effort to reinforce the value of biosecurity in viticulture, it is proposed that the VVBC will commission a benefit/cost analysis study on a viticulture biosecurity program for Victoria. This study is intended to commence in the first half of 2011.
Since its establishment in 2008, and our first strategic plan, there have been some changes to the VVBC Committee, with Brian Englefield from the Murray Valley Winegrowers being replaced by Michael De Palma, who was subsequently replaced by new CEO Mark McKenzie. The Victoria Wine Industry Association is now to be represented by Mark Walpole, who replaces Joanne Butterworth-Gray. Despite these changes, which are expected to occur from time to time, the VVBC continues to well represent the various viticulture industry sectors in Victoria and also build its connections at the interstate and national levels.
I would like to thank all the VVBC members (past and present) and industry organisations for their commitment and participation during 2010 and I look forward, with your help, to meeting the priority actions identified for 2011-2014.
Victorian Viticulture Biosecurity Committee
Effective biosecurity for profitable viticulture industries.
Our goals for Victorian viticulture
- To minimise the impact of outbreaks of major pests and diseases
- To provide leadership in the coordination of biosecurity management strategies
- To increase stakeholder awareness of major pest and disease issues
- To achieve a sustainable resource base for the activities of the VVBC
Victorian Viticulture Biosecurity Committee 2011-14 strategic plan summary
|1. To minimise the impact of outbreaks of major pests and diseases||2. To provide leadership in the coordination of biosecurity management strategies||3. To increase stakeholder awareness of major pest and disease issues||4. To maintain a sustainable resource base for the activities of the VVBC|
|Our priorities for 2011-14|
|Map and prioritise the PHA biosecurity pest and disease database and others with respect to Victorian regions||Use the stakeholder chart to improve communications and effective development of policy||Develop a communication strategy for the VVBC to prioritise messages to the stakeholders||Conduct a cost/benefit analysis of a biosecurity program for Victoria|
|Model the impact of a biosecurity outbreak of the vector of Pierce's Disease in Victoria||Review the business-relevant biosecurity template and encourage its application for all industry participants||Establish and maintain links with key national biosecurity organisations||Formalise the resource commitment of VVBC members|
|Develop a protocol for an improved early detection system for Phylloxera||Advocate for the establishment and maintenance of harmonised regulations between the states||Establish secretariat for the VVBC from 1 July 2012|
|Stakeholders, in collaboration with DEPI, implement a property identification code complementary with other systems, state and federal||Endorse phylloxera re-zoning projects and provide input into their development and validation processes to retain PEZ status|
|Develop and maintain appropriate register of industry supply chain service providers|