Nursery industry natural disaster risk mitigation and recovery plan (NY18008)

Thursday, 25 July 2019

A new project will assess the potential for natural disasters and severe weather events to impact upon Australia’s nursery industry. It will also develop useful resources aimed at better preparedness, speedier recovery and stronger resilience.

The two-year project, which commenced in July 2019, is managed by Nursery & Garden Industry Queensland (NGIQ) and funded by Hort Innovation using nursery industry levies and funds from the Australian Government.

Phase one of the project is underway, with the team examining the various vulnerabilities faced by Australian production nurseries. For instance, the fact that many nurseries are necessarily located on flat land with close proximity to a water source, potentially increases their risk of flood.

Another vulnerability centres on the sheer number of production nurseries based along the coast, which is home to some of Australia’s strongest winds, increasing their exposure to both cyclones and extreme weather events.

After an extensive assessment of climate vulnerabilities, the team from NGIQ will develop a risk mitigation map, with the assistance of independent agency, Cohga. The map will highlight at risk zones for natural disasters and used to inform phase two of the Project.

Flooded road next to a nursery in the Gold Coast Hinterland.

From January 2020, the team will work with 16 production nurseries around Australia to develop a new suite of business continuity templates that will assist nurseries in the preparedness, recovery and resilience of natural disasters and extreme weather events.

These 16 nurseries will be identified from a diverse range of geographies, production types and sizes, with the majority based in high-risk areas. Priority will be given to nurseries that are both familiar with best management practices and EcoHort accredited.

The templates will be a useful tool for nurseries pre, during and post event. The resources will also be provided to industry peak bodies to assist their teams on how to navigate their members through an extreme weather event, including tried and tested ways that help businesses through tough times.

In light of recent natural disasters, this project aims to improve the overall sustainability and resilience of the Australian nursery industry. To stay up to date about the project and its outcomes, regularly check the Your Levy @ Work website and e-newsletter.

For any further information about the project, please contact Kerry Battersby on (0417 767 534) and (recovery@ngiq.asn.au)

Project code: NY18008