This is part of the Triple A update series covering AUSVEG’s advocacy activities written by AUSVEG National Manager – Public Affairs Tyson Cattle. Read the previous edition here.

It’s been a big year for horticulture.

There have been a number of examples in 2018 where a unified and coordinated approach to advocacy in the horticulture industry has delivered good outcomes for growers.

The most recent examples of this are improvements to the Working Holiday Maker Visa and the Seasonal Worker Program and the $16.9m committed by the Federal Government for smart fruit fly management.

A more cohesive and coordinated approach on significant horticulture issues such as labour and biosecurity can bring huge gains back to growers.

Collaboration in the industry has improved significantly, with fellow peak bodies delivering a consistent message to Canberra.

The work by the National Farmers’ Federation Horticulture Council has been a positive step forward in its initial 12 months, while at the same time AUSVEG’s advocacy activities have continued to grow with the support of its State Members.

While many of the outcomes we achieved in 2018 are not the ‘silver bullets’ that are going to solve all of industry’s issues, they are a significant step in the right direction.

The success of these outcomes should not be underestimated.

The feedback we have had from both sides of government is that it is great to see horticulture working together. Working towards a common goal and weight of numbers is always going to wield influence as a collective.

Horticulture collectively in production is valued at $9.3b – and that is set to rise to $10b by 2021-22.

It is a significant player in the agriculture sector, and to the national economy, and working together on common issues will only provide better outcomes for us all.

As we look to next year, with a likely May election, it provides significant opportunity for horticulture and AUSVEG to continue to build on the solid efforts in 2018.

Areas such as labour access and worker exploitation, industry non-compliance, a National Labour Hire Licencing Scheme, improved biosecurity, social licence, code of conducts, chemical use and food safety are some of the many issues which will shape AUSVEG’s advocacy activities for the next 12 months.

AUSVEG will work with both sides of government to continue to deliver a better outcome for growers and the next year provides plenty of exciting opportunities for the industry.

It’s been a big year for horticulture, and next year looks like it will be even bigger!

Have a safe and merry Christmas and please be in contact in the new year!

If you want to talk about AUSVEG’s advocacy activities, you can contact Tyson at any time via e-mail at

This post appeared in the AUSVEG Weekly Update published 18 December 2018. Subscribe to the Update using our online form to receive the latest industry news in your inbox every week!