In March 2011, after more than 18 months of improvements, Coolum Community Native Nursery attained NIASA (Nursery Industry Accreditation Scheme Australia) Accreditation.  Several on-site visits and audits by NGIQ – Nursery & Garden Industry Queensland – have led to this milestone for the Community Nursery.  Fortunately, being a young nursery facility (built in 2007), many design aspects were correctly put in place from day one by the engineers and design consultants of the nursery grounds, including drainage, all-steel benches, rainwater harvest, solar orientation, airflow aspects, and sealed carparking.

Initiatives that have been completed since first applying to NIASA for accreditation include:

  • Installation of water efficient sprinkler heads in new sections of sun-hardening area
  • Increase in bench space in propagation houses that allow more than triple the amount of seedling trays than were originally under irrigation
  • Instigation of partial hand watering regime in propagation houses that reduces overall water usage
  • Replacement of all plastic pipe clamps with cobra steel clamps to eliminate irrigation failure
  • Ongoing monitoring and audits of water usage
  • Installation of spoon drains around potting media bays to eliminate overland runoff entering media
  • Improved chemical storage and signage
  • Phasing out of porous propagation containers
  • Phasing out of plant stock displayed on drainage gravel

These actions coupled with the existing nursery design have given Coolum Community Native Nursery the final tick of approval from NGIQ.

NIASA is the national program for the adoption of best management practice for production nurseries.  NIASA provides a set of guidelines that details industry Best Management Practice for crop hygiene and management practices, water management and general site management.  NIASA Accreditation is the formal recognition of a business’s commitment to continuous improvement underpinned by a professional system to reduce business risk.

NIASA Accreditation is the stamp of professional excellence that delivers:

  • Consistent product quality and performance
  • Environmentally sound work practices
  • Improved profitability and efficiency
  • Independent audits, guidance and technical support from Nursery Industry Development Officers