Matthew Lunn – EO Nursery & Garden Industry Western Australia (NGIWA)
Tackling water issues through advocacy
With the on-going pressure from WA’s State Government for nurseries to reduce their use of water and improve their efficiency, NGIWA has been proactive in the past few months in pushing the government back and promoting the advances many nurseries have made in their water management.
A letter to the Minister for Water outlined the importance of the nursery industry, particularly with WA’s population on the rise from 2.5million inhabitants to an estimated 4.5 million in the next 25 years. This increase in population will of course see a healthy need for more plants to be grown as housing increases. As the cost of building a new nursery will also be on the rise, NGIWA is therefore on the front foot in protecting nurseries that presently operate.
A Growers Forum was held at the end of March to provide further support to its members, with presentations from the Dept of Water & Environmental Regulation, Netafim, and Green Industry Australia’s Plant Protection Officer, Steve Blyth.
To fight this ongoing battle of planned reductions in allocation to our nurseries, particularly around the Gnangara Mound Water Allocation Plan, it is critical we work with our state government in educating them on the value of our industry, and how through programs like the Australian Plant Production Standard, we are educating our members on the various monitoring systems that can assist in the more efficient use of water.