A MILESTONE has been reached in the Mossman Botanic Garden project with the board today announcing that tenders will soon be sought for the master planning process.
The master plan is a critical step in the development of the world-class botanic garden and will provide a broad overview of what the project will look like, whilst demonstrating its economic viability, says John Sullivan, MBG chair.
“We are now in the process of receiving final payment of $200,000 from the Federal Government, which is the balance of the $1.4 million that was provided through an election commitment by Warren Entsch MP,” Mr Sullivan said today.
“This has enabled us to appoint Rebecca Pearse as Project Coordinator over a 12-month master planning process.”
Rebecca has recently moved to the Douglas area and Mr Sullivan said she was well-equipped for the role and will be able to manage the process and interact with stakeholders very effectively.
“The master planning is a really vital step because for the first time, the broader community will be able to have input regarding the make-up of the Botanic Garden,” he explained.
“There’ll also be consultation with key stakeholders and partners from the scientific and educational sectors, which will be crucial for us in establishing the Garden as a hub for research, innovation and conservation.
“Finally, we’ll be looking at working with the local indigenous community – how best we can interact and incorporate indigenous heritage and traditional knowledge at the site.”
The MBG project has now tax-deductible gift recipient (DGR) status. This allows tax-deductible donations for those who wish to donate to the project.
Further, the board has now expanded its expertise by appointing two new members – well-known Port Douglas resident Roy Weavers, who has extensive experience in media and marketing, and Heather Carle, who is the daughter of the Botanical Ark’s Alan & Susan Carle and has tourism development qualifications.
Federal Member for Leichhardt Warren Entsch, an ongoing supporter of the MBG project, welcomed the news that the master planning process had kicked off.
“This project is one that is really close to my heart – as the only botanic garden focused on showcasing unique plants from Australia’s Wet Tropics World Heritage Area, this will be a world-class facility,” he said.
“The master plan will be a blueprint moving forward and it’ll mean we can start identifying specific elements of the plan for which to seek appropriate funding.
“I’m particularly keen to see how the Betty Hinton Art Centre will be incorporated, as Betty’s work is world-renowned and will be a wonderful addition to the scientific, educational and conservation elements of the Garden.
“Congratulations to the MBG board – they’re making great progress and I’ve got no doubt that the community will be very keen to take part in the master planning process.”