The Weekend Post - Cairns Eye - - Front Page -

The big shifts in re­tail­ing and how we buy stuff are chang­ing how we do busi­ness, even with a gar­den. In an on­line world, the av­er­age Joe Gar­dener has a for­est of in­for­ma­tion to choose from, dis­cover just about any­thing and find­ing that Google is his or her best go-to gar­den mate.

The so­cial struc­ture of gar­den shar­ing is also chang­ing. You would re­mem­ber you grand­mother and mum traips­ing around the gar­den to have a look at what was new and dif­fer­ent plants that could be grown from a ‘slip’ to de­prive a nurs­ery of a sale. It was how it all hap­pened. With all this came years of ac­cu­mu­lated gar­den skills and tech­niques on how to grow plants, where they would grow and what to ex­pect of them.

Be­yond Google the Gar­dener, Face­book, Ama­zon, Gum­n­tree and ebay each play a big part in what gar­dens will look like. Any­thing is pos­si­ble, from a morsel of in­for­ma­tion to a few seeds of what some­one is sell­ing as a rare plant.

At the same time post and par­cel dis­tri­bu­tion are grow­ing ex­po­nen­tially to match the on­line busi­ness.

This is, of course, un­til some­one in­ter­rupts the de­liv­ery pro­cess of your par­cel be­cause of quar­an­tine reg­u­la­tions. Im­port­ing plants, their parts and seeds and pos­si­bly soils, is of keen in­ter­est at our borders, as you would know if you ever landed and bought a piece of fruit home by mis­take. There you see the vig­i­lance of the AQIS (Aus­tralian Quar­an­tine and In­spec­tion Ser­vice) swing into ac­tion to pro­tect the nat­u­ral biose­cu­rity of this is­land na­tion.

When you buy seeds or plant parts take a look at the quar­an­tine re­quire­ments. Some are OK to im­port, oth­ers are not for a va­ri­ety of rea­sons. You need to check with BICON (Aus­tralian Bio Se­cu­rity Im­port Con­di­tions) at www.agri­cul­ture.gov.au where it lists 20,000 plants you can look up and see their biose­cu­rity sta­tus.

Of­ten the source or the sale point of your pur­chase will of­ten know what ‘we’ re­quire in terms of im­port­ing. They should know if you need an Im­port Per­mit or Phy­tosan­i­tary Cer­tifi­cate stamped by the ex­porter’s govern­ment bio agency (it’s a govern­ment to govern­ment thing).

A bit of home­work will en­sure you fin­ish up re­ceiv­ing what you paid for and not a no­ti­fi­ca­tion to say they were de­stroyed.

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