Securing Victoria’s grapevine health

Posted by Josette Dunn on 16th April 2010

The Labor Government today launched a new strategic plan to help protect and secure Victoria’s $1.3 billion wine industry from threats such as phylloxera.Speaking from Mount Langi Ghiran Vineyard near Ararat, Mr Helper said the viticulture industries, comprising the dried, table and winegrape industries were collectively the largest horticulture industry in the state.

“The spread of grape phylloxera and exotic pests and diseases poses a serious threat to Victoria – and Australia’s viticulture industry,” Mr Helper said.

“These industries are a key priority for Victorian plant biosecurity and feature prominently in our $205 million Future Farming Strategy.

“The strategy allocated $3 million over four years to improve biosecurity and market access for a number of Victorian grape-growing regions, and to establish the Victorian Viticulture Biosecurity Committee (VVBC).”

Mr Helper said the VVBC aimed to improve Victoria’s capability for managing emergency plant pests and diseases through a strategic plan.

“The VVBC is a collaboration between the Victorian Department of Primary Industries (DPI) and six industry associations, including representatives of the wine grape, table grape and dried fruit industries, plus the nursery and vine improvement sectors,” he said.

“The plan aims to minimise the impact of outbreaks of major pests and diseases and provide leadership in the coordination of biosecurity management.”

The VVBC Strategic Plan for 2009-12 has been developed to lead and compliment similar state and national initiatives, and ensures that the plant health needs of Victoria’s viticulture industries are well understood.