President's Report June 2020

Greenlife Industry Australia will celebrate its first year of operations on 1 July. It has been a year of achievement and progress with many priorities for the national peak body achieved. With our strategic plan ratified the association is prioritising activities to deliver on the five imperatives for GIA, identified by our Members last year.

The national organisation’s presence with the Federal Government is at an all-time high. At every opportunity GIA has represented the interested of the greenlife industry. Members have informed us of their continued concerns with Nursery Award 2020. We are a unique industry and we need to build in as much flexibility into the award as we can. An industry representative group will be formed to review inconsistencies across the award, particularly regarding penalty rates, categories of employment and appropriate levels of remuneration. Thank you to NGIV for providing support with the review.

We have actively worked to promote the industry through the major supply channels for greenlife. The landscape market support will be progress through an alliance with our colleagues in the landscape and turf sectors; a retail consumer program has been delivered through #PlantPals and work continues with the Hort Council through the NFF to promote growers to the production horticulture sector. A Market Committee with broad Member representation has been operating since March this year and will focus next on Spring 2020.

We are very proud to be supporting the initiative for sustainable packaging in horticulture in conjunction with the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation and Garden City Plastics. Under our strategic plan we are setting ambitious waste reduction targets, and this program, coupled with the EcoHort module, under the APPS program, it will support our industry’s environmental credentials and social licence to operate. This is also an opportunity to raise awareness of our industry in federal arena and with the Australian public. I encourage you to take the pledge at the website and support success of the scheme.

This week we are seeking Expressions of Interest for the Careers Pathway, Training and Development sub-committee of the Board. As we strive to achieve a goal of 90% of businesses employing horticulturalist, we are founding the careers strategy on outcomes from a previous industry project. Further, our collaboration with RMCG Consulting has been successful in securing the levy project for Developing Nursery Career Pathways which will support our GIA’s careers strategy. I urge anyone interested in joining the sub-committee to apply online. You can read more about it here.

Finally, I would like to welcome GIA Founding Members who have joined us this month. Thank you for acknowledging the efforts of GIA during its first year of operation. We undertake to remain focused on delivering benefits and outstanding service to you, as we continue to raise the profile of the industry.