N E W S O U T H W A L E S
(REPORT OF DIRECTOR OF BOTANIC GARDENS THEREON)
Ordered by the Legislative Assembly to be printed, 10 September, 1885.
[Laid upon the Table of this House by the Colonial Secretary, in answer to Mr. Lyne's Question No. 25 of the 10th September, 1885. ]
The Director, Botanic Gardens, to The Principal Under Secretary.
Sir, Botanic Gardens, Sydney, 1 September 1885.
I do myself the honor to forward, for the information of the Colonial Secretary, the following
report on the Phylloxera disease in this Colony.
Towards the end of March last my attention was called to the reported existence of the disease
among the vines at Camden Park, and shortly after I made a personal inspection of the place, and found it prevailing over a considerable portion of the vineyard. In my letter of 21st April last I recommended the employment of experts in order to ascertain to what extent the disease had spread. The proposal having been approved of, I employed Mr. H. Bonnard as chief expert, and Mr. E. G. Edelfelt as assistant, with workmen to open up the ground, and directed them to commence their duties in the Camden district. These gentleman have been engaged in this work continuously from 27th April to 31st ultimo, and have examined during that period 239 vineyards, representing an area of 585 acres, within the districts of Camden, Piction, Narellan, Campbelltown, Fairfield, Parramtta, Ryde, Rooty Hill, and Penrith. THe result of the inquiry is that Phylloxera vastatrix has been found only in Camden district–in five vineyards, comprising an area of about 15 acres, within a radius of 5 miles of Camden. Although the insect has not yet been detected elsewhere there cannot, in my opinion, be any doubt as to its having migrated to some at least of the other adjoining vineyards, in which it now exists most probably in a latent state, and where it will, in all likelihood, develop itself during the ensuing summer. On the 22nd of June last I reported by letter that I had made a personal examination and every inquiry with regard to the possible existence of the disease in the vineyards of Albury and Wagga Wagga districts, as well as those of Messrs. Wyndham, in the Hunter RIver district; but in none of these places was it found or heard of. With the exception of a rumour that the insect had been discovered in one of the Parramatta vineyards–of which no trace has been found by the experts–no other report of vineyards being infested has reached me up to the present. Presuming that some measures will be taken towards the eradication of this disease, I would venture to submit, for the consideration of the Government, the following alternative suggestions:–
- All vineyards within a radius of (say) 15 miles of Camden to be destroyed and uprooted, and trenched or subsoil-ploughed and disinfected to a depth of 2 feet.
- To similarly destroy only those vineyards that are known as infected.
- If, instead of destroying the vineyards, remedial measures be applied by means of approved disinfectants, the work should be carried out under official supervision, half the cost to be at the public expense, the other half at the owners. The owner of any infected vineyard refusing to apply the treatment prescribed, the Government should be empowered to destroy such vineyard at the owners' expense.
- All vineyards within the abovementioned radius should be quarantined; that is, no plants, cuttings, or leaves of vines to be allowed to be removed beyond the district. For better supervision herafter I would recommend that all vignerons in the Colony should be compelled to register their vineyards at the nearest Police office respectively. I am induced to make the foregoing suggestions in consequences of what transpired at the meetings of the Phylloxera Board, recently held at Melbourne, at which I was the representative of this Colony. The decision of the Board was that, as the efforts there made to eradicate the disease had proved almost a total failure, and costing about £30,000, some still more stringent measures should be adopted. The resolution then arrived at was similar in effect to the first suggestion herein proposed. At the Intercolonial Conference held in 1880, at