Mornington Peninsula’s vines declared phylloxera free

Mornington Peninsula vineyards are officially free from phylloxera, thanks to the hard work of dedicated survey teams.

Minister for Agriculture Mary-Anne Thomas visited Montalto winery in Red Hill to announce the region free from the disease and congratulated Mornington Peninsula Wine and the Mornington Peninsula Shire which helped verify the region’s phylloxera-free status.

“We are proud to support the growth and prosperity of the Mornington Peninsula’s wine industry and we thank all those involved for their work to help declare the region phylloxera free,” she said.

“I encourage all grape growers, vignerons and vineyard workers to keep up their good biosecurity practices to ensure the region remains free of this deadly pest.”

Phylloxera is a very small, yellow insect that feeds on rooted vines, leading to a decline in the grapevine’s health and potentially death. It is the main threat to grapevines in Australia and can decimate crops.

In 2017 the Victorian government provided $1.8 million through its Tackling Phylloxera Program to survey the region for the grapevine pest, enabling the region to transition from an undetermined status to phylloxera-free.

Over the past four years, survey teams have meticulously inspected hundreds of grapevines, totalling 965 hectares, for the presence of phylloxera. There was no evidence to verify that the pest was present in the region.

“After four consecutive years of inspection of all commercial vineyards, we’re pleased this devastating pest has not been found in the region – it highlights the responsibility we have to protect our vineyards to keep phylloxera out,” Mornington Peninsula Vignerons Association CEO Olivia Barrie said

The completion of the project is a major milestone in the five-year Victorian Wine Strategy 2017-2021

This formal declaration enables the Mornington Peninsula viticultural industry to trade more easily with other regions. It also gives growers confidence to continue to implement farm-gate biosecurity strategies to keep the pest out.

The Victorian Budget 2019-20 invested $142.5 million to boost the state’s biosecurity systems.

The funding backs Victoria’s Agriculture Strategy, ensuring local growers are well placed to respond to biosecurity risks while promoting and building confidence in the sector.


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