As part of their participation in the Australian Plant Production Standard (APPS) accredited businesses (NIASA) can access reduced cost diagnostics through the following providers.

Grow Help Australia

Grow Help Australia is a service offered through the Queensland Department of Agriculture which provides pest and disease diagnostic services for all horticultural crops.  APPS accredited businesses are eligible for six free diagnostic tests each year with further tests available at a significant discount.  For further information on the services available to production nurseries through Grow Help Australia please visit the website below.

Australian Plant Production Standard (APPS) Technical Advisors 

Businesses engaged in the APPS can be supported by APPS technical advisors appointed by GIA.  APPS technical advisors must meet a number of criteria including but not limited to:

  • tertiary qualifications appropriate to horticulture, plant science agriculture or environmental management (majoring in plant based content)
  • technical competence in production nursery practices,
  • chemical application certification.

APPS technical advisors may be able to assist businesses in a number of ways such as preparing to meet audit requirements or through the provision of technical advice to improve on site operations.

Technical advisors may be available through levy funded mechanisms or through a fee for service basis.

The following lists the currently appointed APPS Technical Advisors.

John McDonald

Mob – 0419 683 457 

Email – [email protected]

John joined GIA in February 2016 to lead the industry biosecurity program as the National Biosecurity Manager.  Prior to this John worked with NGIQ for 19 years as the industry development manager and where he drove the development of EcoHort and BioSecure HACCP.  John has extensive experience in the nursery industry with a broad knowledge of nursery production practices, plant protection and biosecurity systems and an in-depth understanding of the Australian Plant Production Standard (APPS).  John is the recipient of the 2018 Australian Biosecurity Award for outstanding contribution to the integrity of Australia’s biosecurity and the NGIA Award of Merit.

John holds the following qualifications and training:

  • Graduate Certificate in Plant Biosecurity
  • Associate Diploma of Plant Protection (Distinction)
  • Advanced Diploma of Horticulture
  • Advanced Diploma of Nursery Production
  • SAI Global Lead Auditor Qualification
  • Certificate IV in Training and Assessment
  • AusChem Accredited

Lex McMullin – Consultant Queensland, Northern New South Wales

Mob – 0409 263 572

Lex has considerable experience in the industry as a private consultant having previously been a nursery production manager for one of Australia’s largest NIASA accredited temperate fruit tree production nursery’s.  Lex is also employed by NGIQ where he has spent a number of years auditing the programs under the Australian Plant Production Standard in Queensland as well as being contracted by GIA for auditing across Australia and internationally.  Lex provides technical extension to growers under the Rural Water Use Initiative managed by NGIQ and consults to businesses across states and Territories.  Lex has an extensive knowledge of irrigation management and has provided consultation services on this topic over a number of years.

Lex holds the following qualifications and training:

  • Bachelor of Applied Science (Horticultural Technology)
  • Diploma of Irrigation Management
  • SAI Global Lead Auditor Qualification
  • ChemCert accredited

Steve Blyth – Extension Officer Western Australia and Northern Territory

Mob – 0427 215 210

Email – [email protected]

Steve joined GIA in December 2017 as an Extension Officer and holds a considerable knowledge of production nursery management.  Steve’s experience includes firsthand familiarity of the APPS program gained through 20 years’ owning his own NIASA accredited production nursery.  He has also Lectured Horticulture, Conservation and land management and Landscaping at WA TAFE.

Steve holds the following qualifications and training:

  • Advanced Diploma of Horticulture
  • Certificate IV in Training and Assessment
  • SAI Global Lead Auditor Qualification
  • ChemCert accredited

Colin Hunt – Extension Officer New South Wales

Mob – 0418 667 558

Email – [email protected]

Colin joined GIA in November 2022 as an Extension Officer with a background in retail and production nurseries, consultancy, landscaping, and horticultural education. Colin’s experience includes plant breeding and propagation, managing a horticultural enterprise, growing interesting plant material, and a bit of botanical research as well. Colin brings over 30 years of experience in the horticulture industry to this role.

Colin holds the following qualifications and training:

  • Associate Diploma of Horticulture
  • Master of Education (with distinction)
  • Certificate IV in Training and assessment
  • Chemical accreditations AQF3 and AQF4 

Celeste Cook – Extension Officer Tasmania and South Australia

Mob – 0401 476 591

Email – c[email protected]

Celeste is an Extension Officer based in Tasmania and South Australia, and also is the Australian Plant Production Standard (APPS) Administrator, managing the programs of NIASA, EcoHort and BioSecure HACCP. Celeste has a background in animal and plant biosecurity, horticulture, systems auditing and teaching, and more than 10 years’ experience working both on-farm and in consultation services. She was also an Extension Officer for GIA in Queensland/Northern NSW from September 2019 through to April 2021 before moving to Tasmania..

Celeste holds the following qualifications and training:

  • Lead auditor (BSBAUD501, BSBAUD504)
  • Graduate certificate in teaching (tertiary education)
  • Bachelor in Applied Science animal and plant biosecurity – plants major (class 2 hons)
  • Diploma in Horticulture
  • Chemcert accredited

Barry Naylor – Extension Officer Queensland and Northern New South Wales

Mobile – 0413 733 313

Email – [email protected]

Barry joined GIA in mid May 2021 as the dedicated Extension Officer, with more than a 20 year background in nursery production as a business owner and 15 years in industry RD&E delivery in Queensland.  Barry has experience in NIASA BMP adoption, EcoHort education and adoption, Irrigation BMP and cost benefit analysis, climate change adaptation, invasive plants and natural disaster recovery and resilience program delivery.

Barry has the following qualifications:

  • Associate Diploma Farm Management (Horticulture) with Distinction
  • Certificate IV Training and Assessment
  • SAI Global Lead Auditor Qualification
  • ChemCert accredited

David Reid – Victoria, South Western New South Wales and Tasmania

Mob – 0421 885 257

Email – [email protected]

David is the Policy and Technical Manager at NGIV where he focuses upon state policy and technical issues. Prior to this, David was the NGIV Industry Development Officer.  David was previously employed by the Victorian Department of Primary Industries in various diverse roles including as a Plant Standards Officer.  His extensive involvement in auditing the APPS for Victorian and Tasmanian businesses and his prior employment with the VIC DPI enables him to bring considerable experience to growers in the APPS.

David holds the following qualifications and training:

  • Master of Environment (Biosecurity/Public Policy)
  • Bachelor of Science (Botany)
  • SAI Global Lead Auditor Qualification
  • ChemCert accredited

Technical support for industry may be provided by GIA under a funded project(s) or through the various state/territory Nursery & Garden Industry peak bodies as a member benefit or a fee for service activity.  Please contact the relevant body to seek information on the services provided.

National (GIA) – 02 8861 5100.  Email: [email protected]

Queensland (NGIQ) – 07 3277 7900.  Email: [email protected]

New South Wales (NGINA) – 02 9679 1472.  Email: [email protected]

Victoria (NGIV) – 03 9576 0599.  Email: [email protected]

Tasmania (NGIT) – [email protected] or [email protected]

South Australia (NGISA) – 08 8372 6822.  Email: [email protected]

Western Australia (NGIWA) – 0419 930 008.  Email: [email protected]

Northern Territory (NGINT) – 08 8983 3810.  Email: [email protected] [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]