CEO Update December 2019

Welcome to my final “brief” update on Greenlife Industry Australia (GIA) for 2019. It has been a momentous year for the industry with the unanimous vote of members to support the establishment of GIA as the new nursery peak industry representative body. Over the last six months we have managed the transition of activities, arrangements, project and intellectual property from NGIA to GIA with three key achievements:

  1. Greenlife Industry Australia is the “designated body” for the nursery industry pot levy;
  2. Greenlife Industry Australia is the signatory to the Emergency Plant Pest Response Deed (EPPRD) with Plant Health Australia; and
  3. The levy funded Biosecurity, Statistics and Communications projects have been assigned to Greenlife Industry Australia.

Greenlife Industry Australia (GIA) Strategy:
The final draft of the strategy will be presented to the GIA Board for review and discussion at their next meeting on 29 January 2020. The implementation of the strategy will focus on the following five imperatives based on the consultation and feedback for developing the strategy:

Strategic Imperative 1: Influence policy and programs to benefit the greenlife sector
Strategic Imperative 2: Promote the benefits of the greenlife industry
Strategic Imperative 3: Manage risks to ensure industry sustainability
Strategic Imperative 4: Develop industry skills and career opportunities
Strategic Imperative 5: Secure a strong stakeholder and funding base

Other aspects of the strategy include activities and key performance indicators (KPIs) for each of the imperatives, the measures of those KPIs and the budget and resources to implement the strategy. The full strategy and a “strategy on a page” will be provided after the Board meeting in January and presented at the conference in March.

Department of Agriculture:
Glenn Fenton and I have had various interactions with the Minister for Agriculture the Hon. Bridget McKenzie’s office and the Department of Agriculture to highlight the areas of interest and importance to the industry from a federal point of view, including Plant Biosecurity; Plant Importation; RDC Review; Drought and Water Use Efficiency; Marketing and Communication; and Leadership and Education.

For the RDC* review, we made a submission to the Modernisation of RDCs discussion paper released by the Minister in September. We acknowledge the importance of the collective investment of the nursery levy in R&D and marketing projects but need to ensure it is managed efficiently from a cost point of view and effectively to delivery outputs and value to the industry participants.

* Research and Development Corporation (RDC) – Hort Innovation is the RDC for the nursery industry levy. Around $2.4m. of nursery levy was collected in the 2018/19 financial year with approx. $2.8m. ($1.4m. levy and $1.4m. Govt matched) for Research and Development and approx. $1.0m for Marketing.

In Closing for 2019:
On behalf of the staff of GIA, I would like to wish you a very Merry Christmas, a safe and enjoyable festive season and a Happy New Year. It is hard to believe that it is 20 years since we partied “like it was 1999”. We need to make 2020 momentous, as we embark on a new era for the greenlife and nursery industry across the country, as it will be 2040 before we know it.

Please contact me at ceo@greenlifeindustry.com.au if you would like to provide comments or have questions on the activities of Greenlife Industry Australia.