The exact boundaries of Australia’s Phylloxera infestation and risk zones are now as close as your computer or tablet.
The Phylloxera and Grape Industry Board of South Australia (PGIBSA) has created an online map that allows users to zoom in to see specific areas and individual roads in any wine region.
“We think this is a really important tool because it allows people to plan the route vehicles should take, or track the route they have taken, to ensure they avoid problematic areas,” said the PGIBSA’s Chief Executive Officer, Alan Nankivell.
“Until now we have only had paper maps, which aren’t as accessible, don’t provide pinpoint accuracy and can’t be quickly updated if and when boundaries change.”
The map superimposes designated Phylloxera Infestation Zones (PIZ), Phylloxera Risk Zones (PRZ) and Phylloxera Exclusion Zones (PEZ) over all registered GI.
Created by the PGIBSA’s Spatial Information Services Administrator Brendan Tully in collaboration with Precision Management Solutions, it has been framed to suit tablets, and can also be viewed on smart phones.
Mr Nankivell said there was a real risk of Phylloxera establishing new infestations when machinery and equipment that had been in vineyards within PIZs and PRZs was moved between states and regions.
The map would be of direct benefit to vineyard and winery owners and had the potential to increase general awareness of, and compliance with, the National Phylloxera Management Protocol and the relevant State Plant Quarantine Standards.
“There is now no reason for anyone to have any doubts about whether a given road passes through either a PIZ or a PRZ,” he said.
“That makes it easier for vineyard owners both to show anyone visiting their properties how and why they have to plan ahead and to justify insisting on vehicles being cleaned before entering the property if there are any doubts.
“The same rules and expectations must apply to vineyard workers, contractors, fire trucks or utilities such as electricity or phone crews.”
Mr Nankivell said there was evidence of an increasing understanding in the wine and grape growing industry of the Phylloxera risk and how it spread.
“People are more aware of what they are looking for and are coming forward when they see something of concern,” he said.
Greg King, a Fruit Biosecurity Officer with the Victorian Department of Environment and Primary Industries, said the new map would be valuable for anyone buying machinery or grapes from Victoria.
“Wherever you live you can accurately determine the Phylloxera status of where your potential purchase is coming from and make the best decision on how to proceed,” he said.
The map can be accessed via the Interactive Maps button on the PGIBSA website at www.phylloxera.com.au
Contact: Alan Nankivell CEO 0428260430