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Statutory & other information
Human Resource Information
Staff representation levels for EEO groups
Trends in the representation of EEO groups
% of total staff*
* Excludes casual staff
Trends in the distribution of EEO groups
Distribution index* for total staff**
* A distribution index of 100 indicates that the centre of the distribution of the EEO group across salary levels is equivalent to that of other staff. Values less than 100 mean that the EEO group tends to be more concentrated at lower salary levels than is the case for other staff. The more pronounced this tendency is, the lower the index will be. In some cases the index may be more than 100, indicating that the EEO group is less concentrated at lower salary levels.
Botanic Gardens Officers - Staffing Statistics
* Other includes building and mechanical trades staff, clerical staff, casual teachers, education officers, herbarium assistants, librarian, sales and information staff, scientific officers and technical officers
Location of Officers
The numbers reported are equivalent full-time (EFT) employees.
The Botanic Gardens Trust is part of the Department of Environment and Climate Change NSW. Ethnic Affairs Priorities (EAPS) and trends in the representation of EEO groups are reported in the annual report of the Department of Environment and Climate Change (DECC). Separate EEO data for the Trust will be provided next year. Number of chief and senior executive officers, staff numbers, and work locations are reported below.
Occupational Health and Safety
The Trust has strengthened its commitment to providing a safe workplace for all staff and visitors. The number of Lost Time Injuries steadily decreased from last year, and the total days lost to injury remains low. Occupational Health and Safety and injury management statistics for the Trust are reported in the annual report of the Department.
The total number of medically treated injuries fluctuated throughout the year, with four months recording no injuries at all, and four months recording a relatively high number of incidents. Next year the Trust’s focus will move to improved reporting and response to near misses, as well as a renewed emphasis on major risks.
Trust figures are well on their way to meeting the NSW Public Sector OHS and Injury Management milestones, of the following targets that were set for 2008-09:
The GardenSafe strategy outlines the Trust’s safety system, and this year risk minimisation continued to focus on:
In the year ahead, supervisors and managers across the department will participate in OHS Risk Management Training; ‘Worksafe Online’, piloted at Mount Annan Botanic Garden, will be rolled out at all sites. Monthly contributions by OHS site committee to the Trust staff newsletter BGT News helps further promote safety awareness throughout the organisation.
Safety Culture Review
A Safety Culture Review was commissioned to improve our safety performance. While internal audits have found that the systems and procedures are adequate, our lost-time injury rate continues to remain a concern. The number of days lost and the severity of injuries remains low, but it has been difficult to reduce the number of losttime injuries to our target of zero.
Lloyd-Jones Meakin Group visited all estates and used focus groups, site walks and individual interviews to assess the approach staff take to hazards in the workplace, and how they manage risks.
The study found that the Trust was well advanced in achieving a safe working culture. It is strong on systems and skills and improving safety behaviour. There is a general attitude of personal responsibility for safety and staff responded positively to the review and to safety generally. All spoke of big changes in OHS over the last 10 years and it was clear that safety is taken seriously.
Major areas identified for improvement were in the areas of high risk and ‘actively caring’ for colleagues and visitors. The workplace includes a number of high risks, such as working at heights, dangerous plant and machinery, laboratories and motor vehicle use, which are generally well managed, but the focus on reacting to relatively low level lost-time injuries runs the risk of taking attention away from the big impact activities. Actions from the review in this area include reviewing all major risks and preparing a series of ‘life saving rules’ that local areas agree to never allow to be broken. The recent focus on reporting and analysing ‘near misses’ will also be encouraged further, so that major near misses are addressed immediately.
While there is a strong culture of personal care, the consultants felt that this should be extended further to active intervention and interaction to make sure that staff watch out for each other. Actions will include positive safety interactions - meeting and discussing safety aspects of the job - led by senior staff, and more regular reviewing of what is working well and what isn’t at Executive and Board level.
The Chairperson of the Trust, Mr Greg Martin, was Chief Executive Officer of Challenger Infrastructure, part of the Challenger Group which also includes Challenger Diversified Property Group (CDPG), who became lessees of the Domain Car Park in May 2008. Due to this connection, Mr Martin did not participate in any discussion or decision-making within the Trust or the Challenger Group in relation to the leasing process once CDPG submitted their Expression of Interest. This method of addressing Mr Martin’s conflict of interest was agreed to by an independent probity advisor who oversaw the tender and lease negotiation process. Written confirmation has been received from Challenger Group that Mr Martin did not participate in any aspect of the process within their organisation. Mr Martin ceased to have a conflict of interest in relation to this issue in October 2008.
Account Payment Performance
Age analysis at the end of each quarter
Accounts paid on time within each quarter
Consultancies equal to or more than $30,000
There were two consultancies totalling (unaudited) $86,920:
Consultancies less than $30,000
There were 12 consultancies less than $30,000, totalling (unaudited) $129,866.
Provision of Information Services
Inquiries for Plant Identification
The Plant Disease Diagnostic Unit (PDDU) received close to 300 requests, eight per cent more than last year. Over half of these were for detection of soilborne pathogens, particularly those species causing Phytophthora root rot. The Trust’s online plant information service, PlantNET, recorded almost 600,000 visits. The Botanical Information Service received approximately 3000 inquiries; eightyone per cent of which were answered within seven days.
Gardens Shops and Visitor Centres
The Trust operates four combined visitor centre/shops at Mount Annan and Mount Tomah Gardens, the Royal Botanic Gardens and the Sydney Tropical Centre. These centres provide information about Trust services and facilities, and sell a comprehensive range of botanical and horticultural books, souvenirs and gifts.
Corporate Credit Card Use
Use of corporate credit cards was in accordance with Treasury directions.
There are 3.6 million visits to the Trust’s three botanic gardens each year and a similar number in the Domain. Excluding New Year’s Eve in the Domain (see below), only 52 visitors raised issues of concern in writing or by phone.
The most frequently raised concern, but with only seven complaints, was the impact of public events in the Domain, specifically the noise or the related closures of public space. Each complaint was passed to the Event Manager to respond to the complainant and, where appropriate, to also communicate with the organisers regarding noise levels at future events.
Right of access and appropriate use of the Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain was a recurring theme. Joggers, cyclists and Falun Gong loudspeakers were all sources of irritation or anger for their impact on others, as were the large tourist buses double-parking at Mrs Macquaries Point. Homeless people and rubbish on the Sir John Young Crescent side of the Domain Car Park also generated correspondence. In most cases rangers dealt with issues raised. Cyclists proved particularly problematic, with repeated instances of cyclists being unaware that cycling is not permitted in the Gardens.
Concern about the preservation of heritage structures and art generated five letters and required explanations about why it was not appropriate or possible for the Trust to undertake the proposed cleaning or repair.
Bubblers not working and uneven or slippery surfaces, which generated five communications, were repaired. The path on Art Gallery Road, which was one of the sites of a fall, is scheduled for complete resurfacing.
The increase of fees at Mount Annan Botanic Garden generated a single letter to the Trust. There were also a number of letters for and against the fees published in the Sydney Morning Herald and local Macarthur papers which are not included in this feedback tally. A response from the Executive Director was published in the Sydney Morning Herald.
Disappointment at events or the Gardens themselves were expressed only four times - two for the ‘Sex and Death’ exhibition at the Tropical Centre, one for the ‘Midnight at the Oasis’ New Year’s Eve event, and one for Mount Annan Botanic Garden.
Cleanliness, service and food quality at the kiosk in the Gardens was the subject of three complaints which were passed on to the lessee.
Two people who requested earlier opening hours for the Royal Botanic Gardens received explanations as to why this was not possible - to protect the Gardens and ensure people’s safety.
Two complaints about parking fines (both of which were refunded) are included in the feedback tally, but this is not representative of communications related to parking fines which are usually handled by the Trust’s Business Services.
New Year’s Eve
The Trust received over 170 calls on New Year’s Eve, including 20 calls from the queue of people trying to access Mrs Macquaries Point. Complaints were about the long wait (up to 4-6 hours) in the heat, lack of information, lack of monitoring of the queue, and insufficient and dirty toilets. These complaints were further to grievances passed to staff at the onsite information stall at the start of the queue. All complaints were discussed in the post-event review to improve visitor services for 2009-10.
Ten enquiries concerned disabled car parking, which was not available on New Year’s Eve as all spaces had been booked in advance. Twenty calls concerned ticketed events which were sold out but which did not have this information on the website. Most other enquiries were about access to views for the fireworks, which were directed to the City of Sydney and Botanic Gardens Trust websites.
Freedom of Information
The Trust is committed to the principle of transparency of decision making and public access to its documents. Key documents are available through the Trust’s website, or through the Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water. There were no requests under the Freedom of Information Act 1989 in full or part this year.
Royal Botanic Gardens & Domain, Mrs Macquaries Rd, Sydney 2000
Mount Annan Botanic Garden, Mount Annan Dr, Mount Annan 2567
Mount Tomah Botanic Garden, Bells Line of Rd, via Bilpin 2758