Botanic gar­dens waits on grant

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - Shane Ni­chols

THE Moss­man Botanic Gar­dens project is mov­ing ahead, with the or­gan­is­ing com­mit­tee hav­ing iden­ti­fied and agreed on a 20 ha block of land in the town precinct.

The or­gan­is­ers are now wait­ing on the re­ceipt of the $1.4 mil­lion which fed­eral MP for Le­ich­hardt War­ren Entsch had promised and which now has to be rat­i­fied by the govern­ment.

Cru­cially to fur­ther fundrais­ing, the or­gan­is­ers have also been mov­ing ahead with ef­forts to se­cure the govern­ment’s DGR clas­si­fi­ca­tion which would al­low the pri­vate sec­tor – com­pa­nies and in­di­vid­u­als – to claim tax de­duc­tions for dona­tions to the project.

MBG me­dia spokesper­son Tony Woodall said the land would cost $1.2 mil­lion. It is be­hind the chil­dren’s play­ground at Rain­trees on the north­ern edge of the town.

Re­gard­ing the land pur­chase, Mr Woodall said ‘‘we shall have ac­cess to it once the cane has been har­vested’’.

He said one of the rea­sons ‘‘War­ren Entsch is be­hind this project is be­cause this is the per­fect block of land’’.

He also said the MBG had been of­fered other four other ar­eas of of cane­field land around the area, at ‘‘very dis­counted’’ prices.

‘‘In the long term we may look at some or all of these for ex­ten­sions of the gar­dens.’’

‘‘We are given to ex­pect that the money will be ap­proved within the next two months,’’ Mr Woodall said. He said var­i­ous pub­lic ser­vants at the fed­eral level were at the mo­ment go­ing through the fine de­tail of the grant. These de­part­ments had worked with the com­mit­tee to fi­nalise the grant and had sug­gested mod­i­fi­ca­tions that would help the process.

When the grant is re­ceived the com­mit­tee will hold a pub­lic meet­ing at which it will call for vol­un­teers to sit on var­i­ous spe­cial­ist sub­com­mit­tees it will es­tab­lish.

These sub-com­mit­tees will be pre­sented with a spe­cific task which when com­pleted they will be dis­banded.

Re­gard­ing the hor­ti­cul­tural plans for the Port Dou­glas round­about, for which the MBG com­mit­tee has of­fered its ex­per­tise and re­sources, Mr Woodall said the com­mit­tee had writ­ten to the coun­cil and were wait­ing to hear back, but they [the coun­cil] have ‘‘a lot on their plate too. We don’t want to push them in any way.’’

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