Horticulture Australia Limited (HAL) has been working closely with Government over the last four months to implement much of the recent report "Better Value for Growers – a Future for HAL" prepared by ACIL Allen Consulting.
As a consequence of the recommendations in this report a new company, Horticulture Innovation Australia Ltd (HIA Ltd), was created with the specific purpose of assuming the role of industry services/export control body at the expiry of HAL's statutory funding agreement (SFA) on 4 November 2014. This company will have a new constitution and will transition to grower levy payers as registered voting members in November 2015.
Progress towards this goal has generally been on track. The company has been established and the new board was welcomed by the Federal Minister for Agriculture on 7 October 2014.
HIA Ltd has been advised by the Minister that it will receive all of HAL's industry assets and liabilities through a declaration that will come into effect on 4 November (today). By declaration dated 23 October 2014, HAL ceased to be industry services/export control body at midnight on 3 November 2014. HAL's SFA expired simultaneously.
HIA Ltd will not be declared the industry services/export control body until the negotiations regarding a new constitution and SFA are concluded. These negotiations are still in progress, and hopefully they will be completed by the end of this week.
HIA Ltd has been advised by the Department of Agriculture that due to administrative protocols the estimated date of the outstanding declarations could be delayed until 24/25 November, although earlier resolution is possible.
HIA Ltd has also been formally notified that it cannot expend any Commonwealth funds until the effective date of the declarations. It will also not receive any additional Commonwealth funds, including research and development and marketing amounts or matching funding.
(Excerpt from HIA notice on 4 November 2014)