Community nursery should get more support
YOU do not have to scratch too far below the surface to find really good people doing really good things for little or no reward and the Leschenault Community Nursery is one of those places.
Connotations of a few of life’s desperates hanging around a beat up old tin shed, potting a few geraniums knocked off from someone’s backyard is what springs to mind when you talk community nurseries, but you could not be further from the truth.
The Leschenault Community Nursery is a very sophisticated outfit and for expertise, knowledge and organisation, it runs rings around many other well-funded businesses.
There is much said in the hallowed halls of government about providing the opportunity for those a bit less fortunate than others and those who sometimes feel that age may have passed them by.
This nursery provides that opportunity and in fact its business model and its business practices, both from a training and a staff-support point of view, are an absolute eye opener.
Without any fanfare or fuss they have put together an operating plan that embraces a very strong and powerful community obligation. It has a charter that says it will provide training and opportunities for those who may have fallen on hard times, who may have a disability that does discriminate against them or maybe it’s just a bunch of school kids who want to learn more about the wonderful world of native plants.
They have a social conscience and very high levels of business acumen. They are local, they are not-for-profit, they have access to high levels of experience with native plants and they do it right here on our door step.
We should be showing groups like this a percentage of bias and they should get preferential treatment when major environmental jobs like the Koombana Bay foreshore revegetation comes up.
In fact, a percentage of all government jobs should go their way and while the commercial providers will whinge, the long-term community benefits to be derived from this commercial bias will far outweigh any negatives.
The Leschenault Community Nursery does not necessarily need or want to get all its work over the top of the big commercial nurseries. They just want enough work to ensure they are able to continue to provide a viable commercial operation and on top of that to be able to value add to the important work of enriching the lives of the people.