Greenlife industry gathers in the west

Wednesday, 11 March 2020

Last week, Mr Reece Whitby MLA, Western Australian Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer and to the Minister for Environment officially declared the Greenlife Industry Australia national conference open in front of over 250 delegates, exhibitors, industry stakeholders and media and research partners.

The declaration kicked off two full days of education and inspiration centred around the theme of ‘Healthy Plants, Healthy People’. Running from Wednesday, 4 – Thursday, 5 March, the conference focused primarily on plant health to ensure it remains at the forefront of the national conversation, as does its direct and proven link to human health.

The exhibition hall was a hive of activity during the event with nursery levy funded project research partners and commercial partners showcasing the latest innovations in greenlife.

A virtual reality demonstration managed by the Greenlife Industry Australia plant protection team was one of the most popular exhibits as delegates were able to conduct pest inspections via an immersive virtual reality headset. Still in development, this technology will eventually be rolled out nationwide as part of the National Nursery Industry Biosecurity Program (NY15004).

Levy-funded research projects featured prominently in the program, giving the opportunity to hear project updates and interact with team members. This included presentations on the following projects:

  • Nursery Industry Statistics 2017-21 (NY17008)
  • Nursery industry natural disaster risk mitigation and recovery plan (NY18008)
  • Industry extension and development of Plant Life Balance (NY18005)
  • Understanding the attitudes to urban green space for government and business audiences (NY18006)
  • Australian nursery industry communications program (NY18001)
  • National nursery industry biosecurity program (NY15004)

Matt Brand, CEO of Hort Innovation addressed the conference on day two, delivering an update on Hort Innovation’s strategic plan and the levy. Importantly he covered updates from Hort Innovation on their updated approach to adoption and extension and fielded a range of questions from levy payers in attendance.

The conference concluded with one of the most inspirational stories attendees are likely to hear. West Australian veterinarian, cave diver and joint 2019 Australian of the Year Craig Challen joined the conference to share his story of planning, perseverance and bravery as he joined the rescue efforts to save the Thai Wild Boars soccer team stranded in a cave in 2018.

At the gala dinner, Greenlife Industry Australia welcomed two new life-members:

  • Mr Glenn Fenton, Nationwide Trees, President Greenlife Industry Australia
  • Mr Colin Groom, Domus Nursery

Congratulations to both Glenn and Colin, who have shown incredible dedication and made outstanding contributions to the industry throughout their storied careers.

Greenlife Industry Australia thanks all delegates, sponsors and exhibitors. In particular, GIA would like to thank Nursery & Garden Industry Western Australia for its partnership in the delivery of an outstanding event.

The Greenlife Industry Australia National Conference is supported by Hort Innovation as a strategic investment under the Nursery Fund (NY19005).