Creating a legacy
THE proposed Botanic Gardens project in Chinchilla highlighted in last week’s edition has stimulated considerable debate about how our rates are being spent, particularly just after receiving another rate rise. The consultation process by Council on the project with the community hasn’t been perfect but there is a broader agenda at play.
This project is not about plants and the name should be changed. It is about creating a platform for a long-term phased economic development (creating an asset and adding to it, just like Bulldog Park has developed over 4 decades) and diversification (add tourism and more events to our other industries) of the town. It’s about a first-class events space, a home for a future megafauna museum and STEM education centre plus an extension of our existing museum, a place for travellers to stop and stay a night to explore, a community space for markets and families to gather, a potential new home for our visitor information centre when the highway is changed, and so much more.
All of this potential adds to Chinchilla’s prosperity and livability. A lot of community volunteers, CCCI and its tourism committee, and Council have been working on different versions of this project for over a decade. We still need further funding and relentless energy to build an enduring legacy. It’s really easy to throw rocks at Council (the CCCI has been throwing a few lately but behind closed doors) without knowing the full picture. The second phase of consultation by Council starts this month so please stay positive, get involved, and think of the possibilities.