Min­is­ter, say ‘yes’

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - Shane Ni­chols

THE Moss­man Botanic Gar­den pro­ject took a ma­jor step this morn­ing with a meet­ing be­tween its Chair­man pres­i­dent John Sul­li­van, MP for Le­ich­hardt War­ren Entsch, and fed­eral min­is­ter for re­gional de­vel­op­ment Fiona Nash.

The meet­ing was specif­i­cally aimed at sell­ing the MBG pro­ject to the min­is­ter, with an eye on se­cur­ing $10 mil­lion fund­ing from the $297.7 mil­lion Build­ing Bet­ter Re­gions fund.

Un­der the rules of the BBR fund, the min­is­ter can­not talk to ap­pli­cants once they have lodged their ap­pli­ca­tion.

It has been a key part of the MBG strat­egy to gain gov­ern­men­tal buy-in on the pro­ject.

It’s first tar­get is to se­cure around $20 mil­lion to cre­ate the first stage of the huge gar­dens pro­ject.

MP War­ren Entsch, who points out his back­ing for the pro­ject ever since its in­cep­tion, stresses that dol­lar-for-dol­lar grants, with solid con­tri­bu­tions from the pub­lic, could see the pro­ject raise $20 mil­lion if the BBR fund comes up with $10 mil­lion.

There has been sig­nif­i­cant progress on the gar­den pro­ject be­hind the scenes, no­tably with the re­cruit­ment of for­mer JCU aca­demic Dr Rus­sell Joshua, who has of­fered to give­some of his time for free in help­ing the MBG with its fundrais­ing ac­tiv­i­ties.

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