The Marshall Liberal Government is providing $75,000 towards a nation-leading project which will see South Australian vineyard biosecurity launched into a new digital era.
Led by Vinehealth Australia, the development of a Digital Biosecurity Platform will provide real-time data on South Australian vineyards to enhance responses to devastating diseases and pests, such as phylloxera.
Announcing the funding today at Penola, Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development Tim Whetstone said the adoption of an AgTech approach to biosecurity through this platform will provide the wine and grape sector with advanced technology to meet serious biosecurity threats.
“The Marshall Liberal Government sees this project as a key opportunity for the wine industry to adopt rapidly evolving technology in the fight against incursion threats,” said Minister Whetstone.
“The new platform will establish South Australian grape growers as global leaders in biosecurity and propel our wine and grape industries into next generation technology in this area.
“South Australia is in the enviable position of being phylloxera free and this status enables us to maintain some of the oldest vines in the world.”
Vinehealth Australia chief executive officer Inca Pearce said the development of the new platform will replace the existing Vineyard Register, providing greater ability to protect South Australia’s vineyards from pests and diseases.
“Increased global trade and tourism, agricultural expansion and intensification and changing consumer expectations are increasing our biosecurity exposure,” said Ms Pearce.
“By enhancing the Vineyard Register with contemporary technology, we can better support all parts of biosecurity management, including preparedness, prevention, response, surveillance and recovery.”
The new Digital Biosecurity Platform, which will utilise a number of technology platforms including cloud, geospatial data, big data analytics and remote monitoring, is expected to be in operation by next year.
To further strengthen South Australia’s phylloxera free status, the State Government has also partnered with Vinehealth Australia to fund nine new biosecurity signs at key border locations highlighting the strict quarantine requirements associated with the entry of phylloxera risk items into the state such as vineyard machinery, equipment, soil and grapes.
Travellers or companies caught breaking the rules when crossing the border or entering the state’s wine regions face fines of up to $100,000.
Local Member for MacKillop Nick McBride said that the biosecurity signs sent an important message to those travelling through the region.
“South Australia is one of the few places in the world that is free from the grape destroying pest phylloxera,” said Mr McBride.
“Phylloxera presents a huge risk to our local wine industry and it’s crucial that we remain vigilant in implementing the highest quarantine measures at the border and in our vineyards.
“I welcome the increased signage, particularly in the electorate of MacKillop, as it sends a strong message.”
The new signs have been installed at the following locations:
• Dukes Highway, Bordertown
• Wimmera Highway, Hynam
• Edenhope Road, Wrattonbully
• Casterton-Penola Road, Penola
• Glenelg Highway, Mount Gambier
• Princes Highway, Mount Gambier
• Glenelg River Road, Mount Gambier
• Sturt Highway, Yamba
• Mallee Highway, Pinnaroo