Bushfire-affected wine grape growers in the Adelaide Hills and on Kangaroo Island are receiving more support with a new $4.5 million program to remediate or replace vines damaged in the 2019/20 bushfires now open for applications.
Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development David Basham said the new ‘Viticulture Rebuild and Recovery Program’ is yet another sign the Marshall Liberal Government is committed to working with wine grape growers on the long rebuild following the devastating bushfires.
“Many local wine grape growers are still feeling the effects of the 2019/20 bushfires and we know recovery is long term,” said Minister Basham.
“That’s why this Marshall Liberal Government is working with the Commonwealth Government to continue supporting our growers to replant and remediate some of the vineyards lost.
“This $4.5 million support program will help bushfire affected wine grape growers return to full production much more quickly and in some cases reduce the recovery time from 10 years to three years.
“There are about 70 active wine growers in the Adelaide Hills and Kangaroo Island who will qualify for this funding, with up to $400,000 available per property.”
Minister Basham said in the immediate aftermath of the fires in the Cudlee Creek region and on Kangaroo Island, a vineyard assessment and mapping program was undertaken.
“It is estimated there are up to 550 hectares of vines that would require replanting or remediation,” Minister Basham said.
“This new program will assist those who have not yet begun their recovery work but will also provide direct economic assistance to those who have already undertaken remediation work.
“This funding recognises eligible activity expenditure since 21 December 2019, with the timing of this program recognising peak industry workloads such as harvest.”
Rejuvenation funding (up to $7500/ha) provides growers with the opportunity to undertake remedial activities such as pruning or vine training on existing wine grape vines, and replacement of damaged posts, wires and irrigation infrastructure.
Replanting funding (up to $15,000/ha) provides growers with the opportunity to undertake activities to support re-planting and re-establishing fire damaged wine grape vineyard blocks, such as the cost of new vine material, posts, wires and irrigation infrastructure.
The program is being provided through the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements, jointly funded by the State and Commonwealth governments. To apply or for further information, visit pir.sa.gov.au/viticulture-funding-program