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Historical document

Nursery industry development officer at a national level (NY95018)

Key research provider: Nursery Industry Association of Australia
Publication date: June, 1998

This is a final research report from Hort Innovation’s historical archives. Please note that as these reports may date back as far as the 1990s, the content and recommendations within them may be superseded by more recent research.

What was it all about?

The original aims of the National NIDO project, approved in early 1995 were:

  1. To provide a professional and cost effective technology transfer service to the nursery industry in line with the 5 year R&D plans strategies.
  2. To manage the technical aspects of the industries quality management scheme, NIASA, and increase the level of awareness about the benefits of QM to the industry.

In 1995 growers were asked to rate a range of information sources in terms of how often they used them and their level of satisfaction with the information. 62 per cent used and commented favourably about conferences, workshops and trade days. 73 per cent said they wanted a nationally coordinated information network including magazines or newsletters.

Previously researchers were given little direction about how to best assist industry when publishing the results of funded projects and there was a significant backlog of HRDC Final Reports whose results had not been publicised to the industry at large. "The Nursery Papers"

(TNP) series was developed and over 30 were published in the national magazine which was distributed nationally to over 8,000 people around Australia. 

At the beginning only 2 states had state based NIDO's and there were no formal or even informal linkages between NIDO's. There were now 5 state based (VC funded) NIDO's who met at least annually and were in regular contact with the National NIDO and each other. This had been a key task allocated to the National NIDO by NIAA & HRDC.

Prior to 1995 there was no coordinated plan for the development and implementation of NIASA as a unified national scheme. A coordinated plan for the development and implementation of NIASA and therefor industry was developed in 1997 and was in use.

In 1995 there were only 75 businesses NIASA accredited nationally, none at all in SA, NT or Tasmania. Over 150 businesses were accredited as of June 1998. There were at least 2 accredited in every state and the NT. This had been a joint effort of the State Technical Officers, NIASA Committees and the National NIDO.

There had been a marked increase in awareness of the benefits of Quality Management schemes in general. In particular there was much less confusion about the respective roles of NIASA and ISO9002 with the common view being that they were complimentary systems.

In 1998 NIAA's R&D Committee and HRDC supported the continuation of the National NIDO position. Jolyon Burnett, CEO of NIAA, commented "The national IDM also had the formal role of reporting back to the HRDC on its $400,000 annual investment in the NIDO program. The coordination and efficient operation of the network requires a level of management only achievable nationally and Ian fulfils that role well."


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Funding statement:
This project was funded by Hort Innovation (then Horticulture Australia Limited) with the voluntary financial support of the nursery industry.

Copyright © Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited 1999. The Final Research Report (in part or as whole) cannot be reproduced, published, communicated or adapted without the prior written consent of Hort Innovation (except as may be permitted under the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth)).