By Matthew Lunn, Executive Officer, Nursery & Garden Industry Western Australia
In partnership with the Water Corporation (WC), NGIWA has worked collaboratively for over 20 years in delivering the Waterwise Garden Centre Program through its garden centres and nurseries across Western Australia.
In more recent times, the Minister for Water, Mr Dave Kelly, highlighted that these programs do add value by communicating to the general public about the importance of sustainable gardening practices. Therefore, retail nurseries and garden centres have a vital role going forward. At this year’s Perth Garden Festival, which will be held in October, the WC and NGIWA will be teaming up to promote the waterwise message through their organisations, and to demonstrate the fact that nurseries in Western Australia and the Water Corporation are the go-to people for the best advice, as well as where to buy Waterwise plants.
On another positive note, earlier this year through open discussions with NGIWA and the Minister, the state government agreed to support the industry further by retracting from its original plan of cutting water allocations by 10% to nurseries supplied through the Gnangara Mound, the unconfined Superficial Aquifer which is Perth’s largest source of groundwater.
We were obviously delighted for our members, and the industry as a whole, as this decision clearly demonstrated that nurseries are seen as an essential commodity in tackling climate change. In our discussions with government, we highlighted the value of green public spaces, landscaping for the home owner and the importance of canopy cover across so many facets of our living and working spaces. To achieve this, there need to be plants and cutting water allocations would have had a devastating effect on the supply chain, particularly as Western Australia braces itself for a rise in population from 2.7 million to 4.5 million within the coming 20 years.