The Australian National Botanic Gardens (ANBG) will invest in a new horticulture centre and fire suppression system, following a Federal Government funding announcement.
Up to $10 million will be funded to the ANBG, as part of a larger funding initiative to boost tourism and build infrastructure in Australia’s Commonwealth National Parks.
ANBG General Manager Peter Byron said the funding would be of great benefit to both the venue and the local economy.
“The new horticulture maintenance centre will replace one that was built in the 1960s and will allow us to open up our central garden for more visitor experiences,” he said.
“We will be putting in a boundary fire suppression system with that funding as well, which is essentially a giant sprinkler system we can use if there is a bushfire to protect all of the native plants we have here.”
The venue has been reopened to the public since May, following a forced shutdown due to COVID-19 restrictions.
ACT Senator Zed Seselja welcomed the funding and said it would help the ANBG continue to play a vital role in protecting native plants, while new construction would create jobs in the Territory.
“The Botanic Gardens are not only there for display, they play a vital role in classification and biology of our native species and, importantly, in the protection of Australian threatened plant species,” he said.
“This funding will provide for the jobs needed to build the critical infrastructure the Gardens require to protect the internationally significant collection of plant species from the risk of bushfire, as well as essential services and the maintenance of existing critical infrastructure and workshops.”
The investment was part of a larger $230 million commitment from the Federal Government into Australia’s Commonwealth National Parks.
Senator Seselja said improvements to the Gardens will continue to bring visitors to the ACT and stimulate the local economy.
“With more than half a million visitors through their gates every year, the Botanic Gardens attracts visitors from across Australia and internationally to our city,” he said.