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Ideas sought for world's most popular garden
Media release: 10 May 2013
Environment Minister Robyn Parker today called for the community to get involved in the development of the first ever master plan for the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney and the Domain.
Ms Parker said that the public will have input into the planning process to develop the plan following a recommendation by an international team of experts who examined the Gardens, benchmarking them against botanic gardens around the world.
'The Garden attracts more visitors than any other in the world yet it has never had a master plan to help promote the important scientific and educational role of the Garden from a botanic, entertainment and visitor perspective,' Ms Parker said.
'The master plan will help create an unrivalled experience for locals and tourists, capitalising on its stunning location next to Sydney Harbour.
'I’m calling for people who work, volunteer or visit the Garden to have their say on how things could be improved.
'People will be able to get involved in the process through a series of workshops, direct interviews and online surveys to help guide the plan.'
One of Australia’s leading architectural firms, Cox Richardson, has been appointed to develop the first-ever master plan.
'Cox Richardson has formed an impressive consortium that includes Grant Associates, a world-leading British architecture consultancy with high-level garden design expertise,' Ms Parker said.
'Grant Associates helped to create the world renowned Gardens by the Bay South in Singapore and the Earth Centre in the UK.'
Founding Partner of Cox Architects, Professor Philip Cox said their vision is to restore a sense of unity and completeness to the Garden, as well as to create business plans and opportunities for investment in future projects.
'With 64 hectares, the sites are almost as big as the Sydney CBD and form one of the most important parts of Sydney, yet they are seen as a series of fragmented parts,' Professor Cox said.
'We wish to devise a plan which will be embraced by the people of Sydney both in leisure and in pleasure, whilst maintaining the scientific aspect and opportunities within the Garden for botanical research and public education.
'There’s an opportunity to increase the amenity of the Garden and Domain to develop events that take place, particularly on a weekday, for those in the CBD and for visitors to the city. Mrs Macquaries Point is presently a tourist mecca for visitors and yet this location is poorly serviced.
'The Garden could attract even more people to it by making the botanical collections more legible and understood. Interpretation is of concern and the creation of seasonal and permanent interest nodes to ensure future interest is a priority,' he said.
The master plan is due for completion by December 2013.
John McCormack (0428 968 499) Environment Minister
Karla Davies (0427 482 477) Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust