Next Steps for on the Development of the National Tree Stock for Landscape Use Australian Standard AS2303

DSC02434 - CopyOn 21 April 2014, the six week public consultation (Round 2) on the draft AS2303 Tree Stock for Landscape Use closed. There were 307 individual comments and 3 grouped comments (147 further comments) received during this process. This was significantly higher than the 180 comments received during the first round of public consultation in late 2013 however, there were many ‘duplicate’ comments which made the meeting productive to cover key issues.

On 1 May 2014 the Standards Australia EVO18 Committee responsible for developing the draft met to consider these comments and the following was resolved:

  1. NGIA (represented by Tony Green and Anthony Kachenko) voted a negative to accepting the current draft due to the need for further refinements.
  2. Section 3 – Tree Balance. Three hours of debate was had to consider public comments requesting the ‘size index’ be removed. At the end of this debate, it was agreed that Section 3 – Tree Balance be removed until such a time when there is a national, tested and valid tree balance assessment process. Anthony Kachenko has been tasked with drafting a 2 page summary of why it is to be removed to ensure those not present at the EV018 Committee are comfortable with the decision to remove the assessment.  Anthony’s argument will incorporate feedback received through the public comments plus the lack of research and independent data to support the approach in Australia.
  3. Public comment indicated that the testing methodology was unclear. This was updated to make it clear how it is to be used and reinforce that Quality Assurance/NIASA is NOT a requirement.
  4. Appendix C – Informative Dispatch Checklist. Public comment said that this was too lengthy for a dispatch inspection. An option ‘B’ was agreed that would include a simple 1 page form that would provide space for the listing of ‘non-conformities’. NOTE – both templates are not to be confused with what a business may do as part of good business practice.
  5. Countless other changes were made and are still to be made to reflect discussion from the EVO18 Committee.

Next Steps

  1. As the drafter, Anthony will be required to implement all changes to the document by 30 May 2014 and send the revised copy back to Standards Australia. This includes providing feedback to each of the 454 comments and the 2 page summary of why the section on Tree Balance has been recommended for removal.
  2. From 30 May 2014 to 1 July 2014 Anthony will consult with the Australian Nursery Garden Industry on the updated document to garner further feedback. This will include a phone link with the NGIA National Tree Standard Steering Committee (NNTSSC) and opportunities for Q&A with growers/State Associations who convene meetings if required.
  3. On 10 July 2014 the EV018 Committee will reconvene to discuss the updates and cast a ballot to vote a positive or negative on adopting the document as a standard.

Contact Anthony Kachenko for further updates on the development of AS2303 Tree Stock for Landscape Use on anthony.kachenko@ngia.com.au or 02 8861 5106.