Fresh from his comedic turn on In Canberra Tonight Mayor Rattenbury has announced a restructure plan for the iconic Yarralumla Nursery:
As the Yarralumla Nursery heads towards its 100th birthday next year, Minister for Territory and Municipal Services, Shane Rattenbury, today announced new plans for the historic nursery to consolidate and improve its viability.
“The heritage-listed Yarralumla Nursery holds a special place in Canberra’s history,” said Mr Rattenbury.
“It was established in 1914 and has played a crucial role in the development of Canberra by growing the trees seen in our streets, parks and gardens, as well as the National Arboretum.
“The Government will offer the Garden Centre for public sale as an ongoing business. The sale is expected to be concluded in 2013-14. The Garden Centre has been part of the nursery since 1994.
“The drought of the last decade, along with competitive pressures, mean the Nursery needs to reposition itself to ensure it continues to play an important role in the history of the ACT.
“The Nursery will return to its original focus of being a wholesale nursery which provides cool-climate plants for Canberra’s public parks and streets as well as to landscaping contractors and retail outlets in the surrounding region.”
The Nursery’s small tree farm at Pialligo, which has focussed on tree production, will close from 31 August 2013 as it is located on land owned by the Australian Government and is being returned in 2014 in preparation for the Canberra Airport runway extensions.
“There will be no loss of permanent staff in the changes and the disability employment program through Koomarri and vocational program with Black Mountain School will continue without impact. The Heritage Nursery next door, which is privately run, will not be impacted.”
Mr Rattenbury said that these changes to the Nursery’s operations were part of a suite of initiatives to improve the Nursery’s viability and preserve its heritage. Other improvements include improved plant propagation techniques, new sales, production and marketing plans and onsite improvements.
The free plant issue scheme, which has operated since 1930, will continue with the same conditions. It is planned that sessions will be arranged regularly for people to book in and visit the wholesale section of the Nursery to talk to staff and choose their plant selection.