NEW Plant Protection Officer appointed to Victoria & South Australia

Friday, 14 February 2020

Greenlife Industry Australia (GIA) is pleased to announce Kimberley Thomas as its new Plant Protection Officer for Victoria and South Australia, under the levy funded ‘National Nursery Biosecurity Program’ (NY15004).

With a background in plant biosecurity, production and retail horticulture, Kimberley brings over 25 years’ experience in the horticulture industry.

Kimberley previously worked as a Plant Biosecurity Officer with the Department of Agriculture for over 15 years, employed as a Supervisor and then Operations Manager of the Plant Quarantine Facility in Knoxfield, Victoria.

“I come from a plant biosecurity background, and I look forward to returning to this arena and sharing my knowledge with growers,” Kimberley said.

“I want to help them implement effective plant protection systems that will benefit their businesses and support the long-term sustainability of the Australian nursery industry.”

Using her experience in NIASA accreditation, Kimberley plans to assist Australian growers with the successful implementation of the NIASA, EcoHort and BioSecure HACCP programs, helping them improve management systems within their businesses, to boost profitability and ensure ongoing market access opportunities.

“Nursery hygiene and crop monitoring are critical to maintaining effective plant protection and biosecurity. My aim is to engage with growers, promoting and supporting the implementation of effective practices and protocols,” Kimberley said.

“With programs such as BioSecure HACCP in place, production nurseries, greenlife markets and growing media businesses will have a systematic approach to assess their on-farm hazards and detailed procedures, which will help them manage these identified risks.”

As Plant Protection Officer, Kimberley will take on the following roles and responsibilities:

  • Provide on-farm support to industry stakeholders in the implementation of key plant protection and biosecurity aspects of the programs under the Australian Plant Production Standard (APPS).
  • Contribute to the ongoing development and implementation of the National Nursery Industry Biosecurity Program; delivering a range of plant protection and biosecurity services across NIASA, EcoHort and BioSecure HACCP.
  • Industry engagement and liaison with production nurseries, greenlife markets and growing media manufacturers throughout Victoria and South Australia across all aspects of plant protection and biosecurity.

Welcome to the team Kimberley!

If you are a production nursery, greenlife market or growing media manufacturer in Victoria or South Australia and would like to get in touch with Kimberley, she can be contacted at: kimberley.thomas@greenlifeindustry.com.au

Kimberley’s role has been funded through the Research Agreement (RA) between Hort Innovation and Greenlife Industry Australia.