Managing APPS and Biosecurity Programs during COVID-19

Greenlife Industry Australia (GIA) has been very active in the national discussions across multiple issues affecting industry due to the COVID-19 response as well as maintaining the momentum of key national projects and programs. GIA has ensured staff are continuing to provide services to industry across all key areas including those relevant to NY15004 National Nursery Industry Biosecurity Program and the Australian Plant Production Standard (NIASA BMP, EcoHort & BioSecure HACCP).


As the staggered isolation requirements implemented by states and territories were evolving GIA acted early and ceased the on-site visits by staff on 16th March 2020 and reassigned the NY15004 National Nursery Industry Biosecurity Program staff to focus on building or updating APPS resources for industry, from home isolation, including:

  • Development of a new NIASA sub-program: Ethical Plant Production Specification for businesses wishing to have their OH&S, Staff Management and Employment conditions assessed to a level meeting best practice
  • Updating the information and marketing materials for use by businesses accredited and certified under the programs
  • Provide technical assistance and market access advice via telephone and email
  • Reviewing and updating the technical resources on the GIA technical website located at www.nurseryproductionfms.com.au including new content and updating Nursery Papers
  • Drafting new technical papers of plant pests impacting on industry e.g. Fall armyworm
  • Testing and reporting on the Virtual Reality Crop Monitoring training module
  • Managing a range of on-going projects including assessing the cost/benefit of crop monitoring, updating pest information in the Pest ID Tool (www.pestid.com.au) with 535 new entries, creating new eLearning content
  • Development and testing of APPS programs recording templates that have been digitised and will allow you to allocate record keeping to staff who can access the templates via smartphone/tablet and automatically upload data for you to assess and guide your decision making.

National on-site auditing of all businesses within the APPS programs will only occur when and if the state and territory governments relax the contact rules, currently in place, giving GIA the legal ability to do so. GIA will also assess the very real issues of COVID-19 transmission risks, by or to staff, before face to face contact is reinstated in jurisdictions. GIA has been constructing a contingency plan to implement ‘remote’ auditing, not on-site, if required however based on the evidence to date it is likely that the bulk of the states and territories will rescind the draconian isolation measures within a month or two. GIA is adaptable to the situation and will implement the appropriate systems based on the evolving national situation.

For any further information please contact National Biosecurity Manager John McDonald on 0149 683 457 or email john.mcdonald@greenlifeindustry.com.au