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Time for the Botanic Gardens to grow up?

By johnboy - 15 June 2009 12

Having witnessed the spectacle of the National Botanic Gardens withering while the golf course pumped water out of the lake to keep itself lush I concluded that the gardens’ management lacked clout.

The ABC now explains why.

    The Friends of the Australian National Botanic Gardens in Canberra say the gardens are in trouble and the management structure needs to be overhauled.

    The group want the gardens to be managed by an independent statutory authority with an expert advisory panel instead of by the federal agency Parks Australia.

It’s hard not to agree that the gardens should be on the same footing as other national institutions.

What’s Your opinion?


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12 Responses to
Time for the Botanic Gardens to grow up?
monomania 6:25 pm 21 May 11

Blingerific said :

I think this highlights that water management as a whole is an absolute shambles. While households are not permitted to water vegetables for the table on a daily basis Brindabella and Fairbairn Business parks have enough water to soak lawns and flower beds that have no reason to exist other than to look pretty, every day. They are watered so heavily that the water runs off across the road. But as they’re using bore water that is all ok. Which is as stupid as Wagga’s water restrictions (or near total lack thereof) based on the idea that it’s all ok as the water comes from an aquifer(having lived there for the past two years, it’s a shambles). Golf courses are no better an example.

I hate to tell it to the poorly (water) educated pollies and senior executives out there who make these decisions but the water in an aquifer, into which bores tap, comes from the same systems as the water in our rivers and dams. I would much prefer the ANBG to have a bit more water than the lawn of a business precinct, or Parliament House, or the GG’s residence etc.

Wake up to yourselves people.

Having enough water is last year’s issue. Not being able to use and its price are the current ones.

Blingerific 6:57 am 16 Jun 09

I think this highlights that water management as a whole is an absolute shambles. While households are not permitted to water vegetables for the table on a daily basis Brindabella and Fairbairn Business parks have enough water to soak lawns and flower beds that have no reason to exist other than to look pretty, every day. They are watered so heavily that the water runs off across the road. But as they’re using bore water that is all ok. Which is as stupid as Wagga’s water restrictions (or near total lack thereof) based on the idea that it’s all ok as the water comes from an aquifer(having lived there for the past two years, it’s a shambles). Golf courses are no better an example.

I hate to tell it to the poorly (water) educated pollies and senior executives out there who make these decisions but the water in an aquifer, into which bores tap, comes from the same systems as the water in our rivers and dams. I would much prefer the ANBG to have a bit more water than the lawn of a business precinct, or Parliament House, or the GG’s residence etc.

Wake up to yourselves people.

ant 9:39 pm 15 Jun 09

Clown Killer said :

One person I know said that they felt it would be better to say in their CV that they were in a drunken stupor for nine months rather than admit that he had been acting in a role that was responsible for the Botanic Gardens because it wouldn’t look as bad to prospective employers.

Rather amusingly put!

It’s really sad though, that something as good as the Botanic Gardens has been let get to this point. I used to love the “valley of the mist” when I was a kid, it was so un-Canberra-like. The dragon pond is great too. I hope it can be rescued from the brink. There’s stuff growing there that shouldn’t survive in Canberra, and yet does, due to crafty siting and planting decisions.

sepi 8:53 pm 15 Jun 09

I thought their problems were huge budget cuts, huge staff cuts, political disinterest and not even getting an exemption for water restrictions.

One in seven plants have died and they sacked the experienced staff who had collected and grown the plants from the rainforest areas and the antarctic.

Clown Killer 1:47 pm 15 Jun 09

I understand that one of the problems they face is the fact that their staff are now getting to an age where a lot of the physical work is beyond them – the will is there but the body just isn’t up to it. This means that a lot of stuff dosn’t get done anymore.

astrojax 1:25 pm 15 Jun 09

why don’t they make a real effort to look at why the management structure is failing and fix the reason, not assume it is simply because of who is or is not doing the job now… independent authority, parks australia, what does it matter as long as it is effective – which it plainly isn’t now.

first step is government will. how do you get that? “cost what? money? oh look, a duck…”

housebound 1:16 pm 15 Jun 09

ANBG used to be fantastic. Then they got merged with some bit of CSIRO (the organisation that sacks its best and brightest). It was really all downhill from thereon in.

But wait, there’s more, they introduced pay parking by the hour, just to make sure people wouldn’t stay very long, and still they didn’t even have enough money to water their plants.

The Friends (of which I a not a member) have it right. Make them a stat authority and I would add in excising the CSIRO canker as well. And pay someone who has a track record in turning things around to fix things up without resorting to mass sackings and nasty cost-cutting measures.

sepi 12:35 pm 15 Jun 09

It is hardly the Bot Gardens’ fault they have no ministerial access. It is probably run by an EL2 on a package.

Clown Killer 11:04 am 15 Jun 09

I understand that even from within the department, the Botanic Gardens are viewed as a basket case. Apparently recruitment for senior management is difficult because many do want to get their names associated with it.

One person I know said that they felt it would be better to say in their CV that they were in a drunken stupor for nine months rather than admit that he had been acting in a role that was responsible for the Botanic Gardens because it wouldn’t look as bad to prospective employers.

johnboy 10:42 am 15 Jun 09

Inappropriate said :

Is it management’s fault they have no money?

I’d say it’s the management structure’s fault that they don’t have direct ministerial access though.

Inappropriate 10:37 am 15 Jun 09

Is it management’s fault they have no money?

caf 10:36 am 15 Jun 09

It seems to work well for places like the National Library.

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