Botanic gardens waits on grant
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.’’