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Horticultural research and development corporation appointments

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DPIE91/212C 21st A ugust 1991


The Minister for Primary Industries and Energy, Simon Crean, today announced the new appointments to the board of the Horticultural Research and Development Corporation (HRDC) for a three year term.

He also announced the reappointment of Mr Graham Gregory as chairman of the Horticultural Research and Development Corporation for a further three years.

"I am confident the new board and chairman will continue to build on the success o f the inaugural board, providing better coordination and administration of increased levels of funding for horticultural R&D," Mr Crean said.

The new board members are Dr Geoffrey Behncken, director of the Division o f Plant Industry, Queensland Department of Primary Industries; Mr Tony Biggs, director of Cardinal Horticultural Services Pty Ltd, North Richmond, NSW; and Mr Michael Keenan, a horticultural producer from Dareton, NSW.

The terms of the six inaugural members expired on 15 August, 1991. Mr Crean said he was pleased that continuity has been maintained on the board of the HRDC with the reappointment of three current board members.

They are Mr David Montgomery, managing director of Southern Tablelands Produce and marketing consultant at Crookwell, NSW; Mr David Pullar, a consultant in horticulture and environmental systems from Tatura, Victoria; and D r Rip van Velsen, chief, Plant Health and Regulation, Department of Agriculture, South Australia.

In addition to the six appointments, the HRDC board consists of the executive director, D r Chris Rigney; and government member M r Andrew Combe, of the Department of Primary Industries and Energy.

"The corporation has been successful in laying the groundwork for a sustained research and development effort, targeting problems identified by participating industries," Mr Crean said.

"The R&D budget of the corporation has increased from $185,000 in 1988-89 to an estimated $9.4 million in 1991-92. This growth in research and development in horticulture looks set to continue as more industries express interest in participating in the corporation.

"I see research and development as vital in the process of adding value to Australia's horticultural products," he said.

The HRDC commenced operations in 1988 with two levy paying industries, citrus, and apple and pears. Levy paying industries now include nursery, nashi fruit, potatoes, and avocados. Many other industries make voluntary contributions to the corporation.

M r Crean paid tribute to the former members of the HRDC board and thanked them for their valuable contribution to the corporation during its first three years of operation.

Information: Andrew Combe, Department (06) 272 5493 Barbara Sharp, Minister's Office (06) 277 7520