NURSERY OWNERS BEWARE!

Nursery Industry Changes

NURSERY OWNERS BEWARE!

29 December 1999

Thomas George, Member for Lismore, today warned the nursery industry about proposed legislation being introduced by the Minister for Land & Water Conservation, The Hon Richard Amery.

The concerns expressed to me by the industry about repealing the Horticultural Stock and Nurseries Act (HSNA) are as follows -

1. it will place in jeopardy valuable research being undertaken by NSW Agriculture staff at Wollongbar and Alstonville, with regard to nursery nutrient management and water run off, disease management and irrigation management;

2. it will slow industry development through the possible loss of the Industry Development Officer, who services the whole state;

3. it will reduce surveillance of plant products for pests, diseases and true to type labelling;

4. it could have a flow-on effect to orchardists sourcing pest and disease free, true to type stock and

5. will set the professional standing of the nursery industry back 30 years, ie producing plants in jam tins in disease ridden soil with incorrect labels.

The industry strongly believes that the reasoning for its concerns is -

1. services to the nursery industry from NSW Agriculture have been continually downgraded since the Carr Government has been in power. A significant loss has been the position of a District Horticulturist (Mullumbimby). The Carr Government has demonstrated they are not interested in a North Coast industry worth $140m farm gate value and growing;

2. they are not satisfied the Plant Disease Act has any teeth, as surveillance of pests and disease has been funded through the HSNA and

3. there is no guarantee that an Industry Services Committee will be established and/or how contributions will be made.

"I now call on all nursery owners to have input into the legislation. Copies of the "Review of the Horticultural Stock and Nurseries Act" can be obtained by contacting my office on 66213624,".

Lismore Contact Details:

Office: 55 Carrington Street  LISMORE
Postal: PO Box 52  LISMORE  NSW  2480
Telephone: 02 6621 3624
Facsimile: 02 6622 1403
Email: lismore@parliament.nsw.gov.au

Murwillumbah Contact Details:

Telephone: 02 6672 7577