Researchers at the University of Adelaide have been engaged in research and development of eucalypt species for ornamental horticulture since 1996. This has involved breeding and selection, along with postharvest and production trials. In 2010, the University and Horticulture Australia Ltd, in partnership with three Australian nurseries, began a project to ‘NY09023 – Gain a better understanding of ornamental eucalypts’, involving research into reproductive biology, flowering phenology and environmental influences, and clonal propagation. The Voluntary Contribution (VC) project was funded through the nursery industry levy with support from the Australian Government through Horticulture Australia Limited (HAL).
Nursery and Garden Industry Australia have just released Version 2 of their Plant Labelling Guidelines. The updated Guidelines were developed in close consultation with growers, label manufacturers, retailers and industry representatives including a legal team with a specialist interest in intellectual property within the nursery industry. Originally released in 2007, the guidelines were designed to provide industry with an easy to follow guide in the preparation of accurate and unambiguous labels and marketing materials for plants.
You may have wondered why the January Your Levy at Work Blog update email didn’t appear in your inbox on January 1. The reason for this was that the Blog had been ‘hacked’ over the Christmas/New Year period which prevented us from circulating the update email. Fortunately we have resolved this issue and the system is back on track.
Consequently, there are several important updates on industry activities that have been summarized into this post.
1. NGIA response to the Senate Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Legislation Committee on the Biosecurity Bill 2012 and the Inspector-General of Biosecurity Bill 2012.
Just before Christmas we submitted our position on the proposed Biosecurity Bill 2012 and the Inspector-General of Biosecurity Bill 2012. On 29 November 2012 the Australian Senate jointly referred the Biosecurity Bill 2012 and the Inspector-General of Biosecurity Bill 2012 for inquiry and report to the Senate Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Legislation Committee. NGIA highlighted several issues in the response including the process proposed to asses import risk, the lack of independent review as well as hidden costs. The Senate Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Committee is expected to hand down their report in late February.
Often the question is raised regarding what NGIA does for members at the National level. Over the past couple of months we have been actively involved with submissions on behalf of the Nursery sector covering the following:
- Biosecurity Legislation review: a new Biosecurity Bill is before the Senate. Industry made submissions during drafting of the bill and have also submitted our position to the Senate Review Committee. We will be involved with input regarding the new regulations.
- DAFF review of Government charges: Industry has had input into the cost recovery process for Exports, and will continue to ensure our industries position is represented to Government. More
The comment is often made that we constantly need to change to stay still. Ideas for improving production processes can come from a range of sources, sometimes unexpected applications in one area will have an impact on your business. At the TreeNet (Trees, Roads, experimentation and Education Network) Conference in 2011 there was a presentation on how street trees can manage stormwater, and the opportunities for permeable pavers. Tim Johnson an arborist with City of Mitcham and PhD student at University of South Australia presented data on the ability of trees to utilise water against water tension gradients by equalising the water pressure when the stomata were closed and there was no transpiration. By running tests predawn the research showed that trees would reach their potential before stomata opened and water was lost to the environment. More
For those of you who haven’t yet seen it, last month’s Nursery Paper was on Minor Use Permits for the Nursery Industry. You can read the paper in the Hort Journal or find an archive copy at the NGIA website. Keep an eye out for next month’s Nursery Paper, which will be on the results of an industry survey of attitudes to Urban Forest management.
The Minor Use Pesticide program is an important levy funded intiative that provides growers access to chemicals, which do not have legally approved label registration for use in non-registered crops through an APVMA minor use permit.
This offers growers a much wider suite of products for better pest and disease control and management of resistance.
If you have a pest or disease situation which is not currently addressed or a need for a product to be accessible, then please contact your industry development officer. NGIA can progress an application for a minor use permit to the APVMA to assist you and the wider industry in legally accessing better disease and pest controls.