RFS & NSW Wine Communications Protocol
Following on from the devastation of fire and smoke from the 2019 /2020 bushfires, NSW Wine has been working with the NSW RFS on an agreement and strong communication platform between the NSW Wine Industry and the relevant parties to work together to minimise where possible the impacts of fire and smoke on winegrapes from hazard reduction activities.
An agreed Communications Protocol is now in place at a whole of State level to allow local wine regional bodies to engage at the local level with their RFS area command centres on schedule burns and hazard reduction activities with an aim to minimise the potential impacts on wine grape crops, but at all times keeping in mind that community safety is a priority.
NSW Wine has also arranged for the following information and data for NSW RFS;
- The latest impacts and knowledge on the effects of smoke on wine grapes has been forwarded to NSW RFS to update their knowledge, and also presented in a virtual seminar to district managers in a workshop last year.
- The GAIA mapping data for all vineyards within NSW to be uploaded into the RFS mapping systems, so they can identify the location of vineyards
- The approx. timings of risk for periods winegrapes in each NSW region
We have agreed to utilise the attached communications protocol as a blueprint for each wine region to work with their local RFS Area Command and RFS Fire Control Centres to set up formal communications.
View the Communications Protocol here.
We urge all wine region representative bodies to take advantage of this framework and fill in the document with their local region contacts and keep on file.
Please make contact with your local NSW RFS Fire Control Centre to establish your local region key contacts for planning meetings, dealing with hazard reduction burns, as well as pre-season briefings and post-season reviews.
The list of NSW RFS Fire Control Centres is available via this link:
Also, you can check all upcoming hazard reduction burns via this link:
Both the NSW RFS and the NSW Wine agree that good local communication is the key to achieving a good local outcomes. If regional issues are intractable and after considered discussions and negotiations fail at the local level, the very last step in our agreement is that NSW Wine executive and NSW RFS executive will meet to attempt to resolve any intractable matters.
In consultation with industry, SafeWork NSW and the NSW Wine Industry Association and its members have contributed to the development of this guide. This guide provides practical guidance for persons conducting a business or undertaking and workers on managing health and safety risks within the winery. It should be read in conjunction with other codes of practice relevant to wine production work.
Vineyard Biosecurity Induction
To help you protect the NSW wine industry and ensure all your staff and vineyard workers have a good understanding of biosecurity, NSW DPI has created a short Vineyard Biosecurity Induction video that can now be accessed free of charge via their website HERE.
They have also created an Induction Register to help you keep track of who has completed the vineyard biosecurity training within your business - click below.