CEO Update – June

Hi Everyone

I had a very interesting and varied month of activities in May. The following details the breadth and type of work I undertake on behalf of members:

  • Attendance at Nursery Industry Strategic Investment Advisory Panel (SIAP) meeting. I was there representing NGIA as a service provider (Biosecurity and Communications programs) to industry and due to my involvement on the “work in progress” meetings for the 20V Program.
  • Participation in the fortnightly meetings between NGIA and Cox Inall Communications to deliver the nursery industry communications program.
  • Chairing the NGIA office staff meeting. This occurs every month to ensure activities are being progressed and all staff aware of work being conducted.
  • Meeting with the Business Development Manager at IBIS World to determine how IBIS can assist in gaining accurate industry data to better represent members nationally.
  • Participated in the quarterly Project Steering Committee for Project NY 15004 – Building the resilience and on-farm biosecurity capacity of the Australian production nursery industry. The project is being conducted by the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries in Queensland and is an important contributing project to the Nursery Industry Biosecurity Program.
  • Attended the 20V Program monthly work in progress meeting. The key projects being progressed are:

o 2016/17 Strategy Planning – Strategy to be assessed by the SIAP
o Urban Forestry Workshops
o The My Park Rules community and consumer engagement campaign – winner announced
o Media and Public Relations – Australian Financial Review Roundtable conducted 27 May
o Research activities – how to incorporate in Pool 2 Green Cities fund
o Promotion material development including Grower’s hub, website updates, advertising, emails
o How to work with Cox Inall to coordinate communications of the 20V program
o The 20V Policy Guides – 3 publications
i. Guide 1 – The Playing Field
ii. Guide 2 – Rules and Regulations
iii. Guide 3 – Top Ten Opportunities

  • Participated in the Voice of Horticulture (VoH) Board and Members meetings. VoH is the industry representative body for the horticulture industry representative bodies including NGIA. The key issues currently being addressed by VoH are:

o HIA’s SFA and Constitution amendments to acknowledge VoH as the Registered Organisation representing Australian Horticulture Industries to HIA and the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources (DAWR).
o Industry SIAPs – to ensure they are used appropriately by HIA and not just a mechanism for HIA to advise they have “engaged with industry”.
o Development of an all of Australian Horticulture Strategic Plan using unallocated unmatched levy reserves on a pro-rata basis based on industry size.
o Key election issues for horticulture policy platforms eg Biosecurity, Backpacker Tax.
o Levy sunset clause

  • Meeting with Yates. They will wait for the outcome of the structure review process and review how best to interact going forward. A key point made was to identify the connectivity between plants and allied products.
  • Engagement with members – through phone discussion with NIASA members and visits to members businesses. I particularly enjoy the interaction and communication with members to ensure we are listening to your concerns and issues and endeavouring to meet your requirements and expectations.
  • Met with the CEO of the Australian Macadamia Society to discuss areas of common interest, in particular the delivery of benefits to members.
  • Organised and chaired the monthly teleconference with the State NGI CEOs. We welcomed Matthew Lunn to the role in WA. The key issues with the States currently are:

o Membership subscription fee to NGIA
o Nursery Award modernisation process
o NGI structure review process
o Transition arrangements for the Nursery Production Farm Management System
o NGIA interaction with HIA and key projects
o Nursery registration and how to progress with biosecurity being the main reason for registration

  • Participated in the 20V Program “roundtable” at the Australian Financial Review. There were representatives from the nursery industry, landscape architects, Green Building Council, NAB, Victoria University, Greater Sydney Commission and a local council. The day was facilitated by an AFR journalist with reports to be published on 6 June and 28 June.
  • Meetings and discussion with “green, living and liveable cities” researchers. They generally approach NGIA to request funding for projects given past relationships and the challenges of obtaining funding from HIA. A number of researchers are reluctant to interact with HIA, in particular through the Pool 2 Green Cities Fund, as they tend to use research ideas as their own and the time, effort, resource and process to obtain funding.
  • Attended Plant Health Australia (PHA) meetings – Plant Industry Members’ Forum, Emergency Plant Pest Response Deed (EPPRD) Signatories meeting and the PHA General Meeting.
  • On 1 June – attended Xylella fastidisa Preparedness Workshop organised by PHA and run in conjunction with DAWR. More detail on the workshop will be provided in due course.

At each of the meetings and interactions I keep in the back of my mind the new vision for NGIA – “We will create a climate for our members and industry to grow and prosper”. Following the meetings I make the decision if there are actions that are “core business” for NGIA to achieve the vision.

Please contact me at if you have any comments or would like to raise any issues with me. I look forward to hearing from you.


Peter Vaughan