News

Experience added to Vinehealth Australia board

Monday 16 September 2019

Five new board members have been appointed to the Vinehealth Australia Board to oversee the efforts in ensuring South Australian vineyards remain free of phylloxera and other diseases and pests.


The new Vinehealth Australia board members include Dr Jo Luck, Dr Sally Troy, Alex Sas, Alec Gilbert and Richard Barrett. Existing members remaining on the board are plant pathologist Dr Prue McMichael, who was appointed for a second term, and South Australia’s Chief Plant Health Officer, Dr Ross Meffin.

Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development Tim Whetstone said for more than a century Vinehealth Australia has been protecting the state’s enviable status of being free of phylloxera, the vine destroying pest.

“Being phylloxera free has significant benefits for our $2.15 billion wine industry and our ongoing rigorous biosecurity measures have allowed South Australia to produce wines from some of the oldest vines in the world,” said Minister Whetstone.

“A strong field of candidates from across Australia applied for positions on the Vinehealth Board and through an independent selection process, seven members with considerable skills and experience with biosecurity in the wine and grape industry were appointed.

“The Marshall Liberal Government has a strong focus on biosecurity and keeping phylloxera and other diseases and pests out of South Australia.”

Vinehealth Australia Chief Executive Officer Inca Lee said she and her team were looking forward to working with the new Board to deliver results for the grape and wine industries.

“We will continue to work in partnership with vineyard owners, wine companies and all members of the grape and wine supply chain, to ensure South Australia is in the best position to successfully navigate the biosecurity landscape,” she said.

The Phylloxera and Grape Industry Board of SA, trading as Vinehealth Australia, is a statutory body funded by South Australian vineyard owners to safeguard vineyards from diseases, pests and other conditions that may affect vine health. For more information visit www.vinehealth.com.au

NEW BOARD MEMBERS

  • Dr Jo Luck is currently the Program Director for the Plant Biosecurity Research Initiative and has been instrumental in the management of biosecurity research programs, including for the horticulture and viticulture (wine, table and dried grapes) industries.
  • Dr Sally Troy, formerly Assistant Secretary at the Department of Agriculture, has 30 years’ experience in natural resource-related fields in both the Australian and Victorian Governments. She has strong technical skills, extensive biosecurity knowledge, and strategy and policy development experience.
  • Alex Sas has more than 25 years’ experience in the wine sector and is currently Senior R&D Program Manager for Wine Australia and also oversees management of a vineyard in McLaren Vale. His previous experience includes Chief Viticulturist at Constellation/Accolade Wines, and Viticulturist with BRL Hardy and The Australian Wine Research Institute/CSIRO.
  • Alec Gilbert is currently Chair of the National Wine Centre. A previous CEO of the Adelaide Convention Centre, he is now leading initiatives to develop improved collaboration across the wine industry and to leverage opportunities for visitor and industry education.
  • Richard Barrett is Chair of MedTEC South Australia and CEO of MedTEC Pharma Pty Ltd, advancing Australia’s Medicinal Cannabis and Industrial Hemp industries. He was previously Global Vice President – Wine and Spirits for Scholle Corporation, one of the world’s leading packaging firms, leading the development of significant new global wine packing markets including in the USA, Russia, Asia and Europe.

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