Tackling Phylloxera Program

Posted: December 28, 2017
Category: Uncategorized


A strategic approach towards improving phylloxera management in Victoria


A prominent issue and industry priority is ongoing management of the biosecurity challenge posed by phylloxera. Grape phylloxera is the number one threat to grapevines in Australia.

The Victorian Government acknowledges the impact and potential risks to industry posed by the spread of phylloxera, particularly into new grape growing areas.

Implementing enhanced on-farm biosecurity measures to contain and prevent the further spread of phylloxera is now critical. While the government continues to engage with industry on progressing the strategic priorities embodied in the Victorian Wine Strategy 2017-2021, an opportunity has now presented itself to allow for immediate work to begin in the biosecurity space as a consequence of funding provided by the Agriculture Infrastructure and Jobs Fund (AIJF) – Program Stream.

AIJF is the Victorian Government’s commitment to farmers and agribusinesses to strengthen the performance and resilience of the agriculture sector. It is a key component of the Government’s strategic direction to drive economic growth, create jobs and boost exports.

This $200 million state-wide fund invests in enabling economic infrastructure and agriculture supply chains to boost productivity, increase exports and reduce costs so Victorian farmers, businesses and industries can stay competitive. It also supports them to better position their businesses to capture market opportunities and manage risk.

Tackling Phylloxera is a program that takes a strategic view for improving phylloxera management in Victoria. The program aims to deliver those biosecurity outcomes articulated within the Wine Industry Development Strategy, which addresses amongst several matters phylloxera containment and business risk management to improve the long-term performance and sustainability of Victoria’s wine industry.

$1 million will be spent over three years to deliver improved phylloxera management and mitigate its business risks through six individual projects.

The Tackling Phylloxera Program aims to deliver on the projects listed in the Wine Industry Development Strategy.

Six individual projects 2017-2020

1) Development and adoption of innovative, science based protocols and procedures to enable rapid and accurate phylloxera diagnostics

  • Improved surveillance standards.
  • Increased understanding of management strategies available to industry/growers.
  • Application of R&D outcomes within revised NPMP.

2) Development of a strategic long term plan for phylloxera management in Victoria

The project will focus on resolving how phylloxera should be managed in Victoria in the future. This includes:

  • Better understanding of the mechanisms and strategies required to contain phylloxera.
  • Increased awareness of how current containment strategies may look over a 20 to 30 year period.
  • Better understanding of the knowledge gaps that have the potential to impede phylloxera containment programs.

3) Explore the barriers to grower and associated supply chain participants’ adoption of phylloxera management arrangements

The project will focus on gaining an understanding of the barriers to industry adoption of phylloxera best practice management procedures. This includes:

  • Better understanding of barriers to adopting good biosecurity practice by growers and operators within commodity specific supply chains, including any economic drivers.
  • Better understanding of the mechanisms required to deliver change.
  • Better understanding of the relationships and networks required to deliver change.

4) Undertake a state wide awareness program aimed at improving business adoption of on-farm biosecurity best practice measures and associated material

Building on initial social research activities in Project 3, the project will create a suite of communication tools and build awareness of a broad biosecurity program. These include:

  • Delivering a novel, statewide biosecurity information program for Victorian viticulturists to improve grower and industry adoption rates of good biosecurity practice.
  • Promoting proven solutions to managing phylloxera by implementing best practice biosecurity measures.
  • Delivery of consistent messaging to all Victorian viticulture industry and community groups on key messaging required to improve phylloxera management.
  • Deliver greater industry participation in biosecurity management.

5) Undertake a review of the alignment of the VVBC with industry expectations and ensure that these also closely align to the core objectives the Wine Ministerial Advisory Committee (WineMAC)

The project will focus on reviewing the operating structure and objectives of the VVBC. The review will also consider the membership of the committee, how it relates to the Victorian Chief Plant Health Officer, and potential structural alignments with industry. Watch an interview with Damien Sheehan.

6) Undertake vineyard inspections (rezoning) to enable declaration of the Mornington Peninsula region as a Phylloxera Exclusion Zone (PEZ) and having the region recognised as such by industry and trading partners.

Watch an interview with Geraldine McFaul, a local grower in the Mornington Peninsula.

Although separate, these projects have natural synergies that will perform in combination to deliver a holistic approach to better phylloxera management in Victoria’s grape growing regions.

For more information go to www.agriculture.vic.gov.au/tacklingphylloxera

Or watch the video