Federal Register of Legislation - Australian Government

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Plans/Management of Sites & Species as made
This plan is the Australian National Botanic Gardens Management Plan 2012-2022.
Administered by: Environment and Energy
Registered 28 May 2012
Tabling HistoryDate
Tabled HR18-Jun-2012
Tabled Senate18-Jun-2012

DNP-stacked

 

 

Report of the

Director of National Parks

                                                   on the third        

Australian National Botanic Gardens
Management Plan

 

Responses to public comments on the Draft Management Plan

 

 

Contents                                                                                                            Page

 

1.      Introduction                                                                                                        2

2.      Planning process                                                                                                  2

3.      Features of the new Management Plan                                                               3

4.      Summary of comments received on the Draft Management Plan                      3

5.      Summary                                                                                                             4

 

Appendix A – Public comments that have resulted in changes to plan                    5

Appendix B – Public comments that have not resulted in changes to plan              6

 

 

 


1   Introduction

The third management plan for the Australian National Botanic Gardens (ANBG) has been prepared in accordance with Section 368 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Act 1999 (EPBC Act) and replaces the second management plan prepared under the EPBC Act, which ceased to have effect on the 8 January 2008.

Since 8 January 2008 the ANBG has been managed under Section 357 of the EPBC Act, in a manner consistent with the Australian International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) management principles for the IUCN category assigned to the ANBG by the expired plan.

In doing this, the management of the ANBG has been guided by the actions and principles of the previous management plan until the third plan comes into effect.

2   Planning process

On 17 December 2008, consistent with Section 368 (1) (a) of the EPBC Act, a notice was published in the Australian Government Gazette, the Australian newspaper, the Canberra Times and placed on the department’s website, inviting comments on the proposal to prepare a draft management plan. A Have Your Say brochure was also circulated to stimulate awareness of the planning process and the opportunity to contribute to the plan. This initial comment period closed on 13 February 2009 and twenty nine public submissions were received.

Under Section 368 of the EPBC Act, the Director prepared a draft management plan and in November 2011 invited comments on the draft from the public and stakeholders. The development of the draft plan involved extensive consultation with local and national stakeholders beginning in 2009, coinciding with a reorganisation of the Gardens’ management structure and the appointment of a new Executive Director and General Manager.

The draft management plan was released on 23 November 2011 and a 70 day public comment period was approved to provide sufficient time for stakeholders to consider the draft plan and provide comments. The public comment period closed on 31 January 2012. Nine submissions on the draft management plan were received.

Invitations to comment on the draft plan were published in the Australian Government Gazette, the Australian newspaper, the Canberra Times and on the department’s website. An e-newsletter was sent to stakeholders with an invitation to comment (including those who provided comments towards the preparation of the draft plan). Copies of the draft plan were made available from the ANBG, the ANBG’s website and through the department’s Community Information Unit.

The Director has considered all public submissions and has changed aspects of the plan as a result of his consideration of these submissions. The final plan has been submitted to you for approval, together with this Director’s report. The Report includes a record of all public comments made on the draft management plan and the views of the Director on those comments.

Once the management plan is approved, it is required to be registered on the Federal Register of Legislative Instruments in accordance with the Legislative Instruments Act 2003. In the absence of a specified date of effect within the management plan, it will come into effect on the day after registration. After the plan is registered, it is required to be considered by both Houses of Parliament (as management plans are disallowable instruments). The plan is subject to consideration by both Houses and, in accordance with the EPBC Act, may be disallowed after this stage.

3   Features of the new management plan

The draft plan provides the overarching framework for management of the Australian National Botanic Gardens for the next ten years. It places no additional burden on individuals or businesses.

Much of the substance of the management plan is consistent with the intent and direction of the previous plan. The plan consists of two parts: Part 1 explains the context for managing the ANBG, including the legal context. Part 2 sets out how the ANBG will be managed. It applies the requirements of the EPBC Act and associated regulations and provides greater flexibility in management arrangements.

The structure of the plan has been amended to conform to the Key Result Areas of the Director of National Parks, and is consistent with the approach for other management plans for Commonwealth reserves since the introduction of the EPBC Act. This provides greater alignment with reporting and financial structures used by the Director, enabling consistent reporting across the agency.

More generic language has been used for the plan. This allows for reasonable responses to maintain or enhance the values of the ANBG in the face of unforeseen circumstances and to provide an adaptive framework to deal with the uncertainties of climate change and its implications for the management of the ANBG over the life of the plan.

The draft plan proposed to strengthen horticultural science, seed biology research and conservation research programs, further develop the seed bank for rare and threatened species, implement a new brand, develop new education and tourism products, undertake a new site development plan and implement a fund raising strategy.

 

The draft plan proposed to investigate models for an advisory council or committees that would provide additional expertise to the ANBG on specific matters and assist in achieving goals and actions in this management plan.

 

4   Summary of comments received on the draft plan

The public comment period attracted interest from seven individuals and from two associations. The majority of these submissions were supportive of the plan. Four submissions offered an opinion on the establishment of an Advisory Council consisting of members from a broad spectrum who would assist in prioritising projects and examining opportunities for generating external funding.

Other submissions included the inclusion of specific interests such as edible native plants and native bonsai.

An analysis of comments that did result in changes to the plan appears at Appendix A. An analysis of comments that did not result in changes to the plan appears at Appendix B.

5   Summary

The ANBG is valued for its scientific and horticultural research into Australian plants and related flora. It is recognised for its role in the dissemination of knowledge and information about Australian plants and for its contribution to plant conservation. The ANBG provides learning experiences focusing on Australia’s unique flora and landscapes, and influencing public attitudes to the conservation of plants and the environment. Growing partnerships and collaborations will assist the ANBG to champion the conservation of Australian native plants through its work in ex situ conservation.

The third Australian National Botanic Garden Management Plan sets out the goals for the ANBG for the next ten years and how this national institution contributes to its botanical research and education on Australian plants, and how its iconic landscape will be managed for that period.

Considerable stakeholder consultation played an integral part in the preparation of the ANBG management plan. This has been reflected in the majority of submissions congratulating the ANBG on the strategic direction and detailed policies contained within the draft plan.

The ANBG will demonstrate its continued commitment to increasing knowledge about the Australian flora through growing and showcasing a national collection representing Australia’s plant diversity, undertaking world-class scientific and horticultural research, and informing the community through education programs that connect Australians to our unique natural heritage.

 

 

 

 

 

Peter Cochrane
Director of National Parks

30 March 2012

 


Appendix A - Public comments that resulted in changes to the Plan

 

4

Volunteer Guide at the ANBG

Supports the establishment of an Advisory Council to enhance and bring benefits e.g. sponsorship, promotion, networking etc

Agreed: action 9.5.6 will be amended to ‘investigate models and implement a cost effective advisory council or committees...’

6

On behalf of the Friends of the Australian National Botanic Gardens

Major concern is the development of a strategy, supported by a formal structure (an Advisory Council), to generate non-government funding. The Advisory Council would prioritise funding with the additional funding supporting vital infrastructure and other projects in the Management Plan that current allocated funding will not cover.

Agreed: action 9.5.6 will be amended to ‘investigate models and implement a cost effective advisory council or committees...’

6

On behalf of the Friends of the Australian National Botanic Gardens

The basis of decision making of the Gardens should be broadened with an Advisory Council with clear terms of reference to be established as a high priority.

Agreed: action 9.5.6 will be amended to ‘investigate models and implement a cost effective advisory council or committees...’

7

On Behalf of the Australian Native Plants Society- Canberra Region Inc.

Wants decision making broadened with the establishment of an Advisory Council stated more definitively in the Plan, currently only under investigation of models" in the Plan. Would like the establishment of an Advisory Council a priority for the first year of the plan

Agreed: action 9.5.6 will be amended to ‘investigate models and implement a cost effective advisory council or committees...’

7

On Behalf of the Australian Native Plants Society- Canberra Region Inc.

Section 4 -Engaging Communities could be expanded from just casual garden visitors to include many other organisations such as the ANPS and the Orchid Society of Canberra.

Agreed: Action 7.1.6 will be added ‘identify opportunities to develop partnerships with non-governmental organisations that share similar objectives’

8

Council Member, member of the Friends of ANBG and Volunteer Guide

Wants decision making broadened with an Advisory Council to assist with prioritisation of available funding, and to help seek extra funding externally.

Agreed: action 9.5.6 will be amended to ‘investigate models and implement a cost effective advisory council or committees...’

 

 


Appendix B - Public comments that resulted in no changes to Plan

 

1

Local teacher of Landscape Architecture and Horticulture

Recommendation to install a closed hydraulic cycle to permanently solve ANBG's water issues.

Noted. Consistent with draft plan policy 9.2 where environmental responsibility and the principles of sustainability will guide ANBG operations and practices. In particular environmental management at the ANBG has primarily been focused on responsible water use. 

2

Member of the public

High among the priorities should be improvement in the overall appearance of the Gardens. If the ANBG is to inspire people to grow Australian plants, the plants in the Gardens need to look good. Perhaps consideration could be given to using volunteers in some way, possibly in weeding. With proper training, volunteers could provide valuable assistance with the labour-intensive task of weeding.

Noted: ANBG makes use of volunteers and provide necessary training for the role undertaken. The plan mentions the aesthetic values of the living collection and the site on numerous occasions.

2.2.6 describes the development and maintenance of the Gardens to maintain aesthetic and other values.

Commonwealth Heritage values include the aesthetic values of the site.

Management makes every effort to improve and maintain the living collection to maximise the visitor experience, to ensure that access is available and to maintain the health and display of the plants in the collection.

2

Member of the public

Concerned about the scale of work required to implement the plan, a need to determine priorities within the plan itself, and suggested scaling back the scope of work to concentrate on hand-on tasks

Noted. Consistent with draft plan policy 9.5 where prioritising actions in the plan will be managed through an implementation schedule and determined by the need to ensure cost effectiveness.

3

Volunteer Guide at the ANBG

Would like to see the plan include an establishment of a thematic display of edible native plants in the ANBG Southern Extension. This display would potentially attract a greater number of visitors to the ANBG. Extensive submission including an analysis of UN Food and Agriculture Organisation’s statistic data on edible plants and food production. An extensive list of additional "Actions" has been included in the submission.

Noted. Proposal cannot be accepted and included in the plan without thorough assessment of benefits and impacts. Proposal may be considered in accordance with the plan as a new proposal.

New proposals will be assessed and guided by draft plan action 9.1.4 where infrastructure development will be based on the site development plan. Further draft plan action 9.1.7 outlines current priorities but does not exclude new proposals.

Project on edible plants and food production is likely to be more suitable for consideration by CSIRO.

Additionally draft plan policy 4.2.3 supports working collaboratively with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in developing programs relating to the traditional use of Australian plants.

4

Volunteer Guide at the ANBG

The issue of raising funds from previously untapped national resources is extremely important. I note the difficulties, time required, and competing interests in undertaking fund raising.  However for many organisations this is now a necessity.  One example that comes to mind is the Rhizotron and Xstrata Treetop Walk at Kew Gardens, London which is supported by Estrata and the Hanson Environmental Fund.

Noted: The plan is aspirational and implementation of some of the actions in the plan will be limited by the funding available from year to year. The plan clearly states that efforts will be made to obtain funding from sources and additional government funding.  See 5.1.5, 5.4.3, 5.6.4, 5.6.6 and 8.2.15.

Philanthropic support will be sought to assist in funding the ANBG.  See 4.1.5, 8.2.6, 8.2.10

4

Volunteer Guide at the ANBG

Suggestion to include Wi-Fi zones in the gardens and utilising Facebook and Twitter.

Noted. This is consistent with action 6.2.12 to develop a presence on social networking websites to encourage public interaction and feedback

5

Member of the public

No inclusion of the potential for the ANBG to establish a display of bonsai using Australian native species. (The previous two Plans included a reference).

Noted: New development proposals will be assessed where infrastructure development will be based on the site development plan - action 9.1.4. In addition action 9.1.7 outlines current priorities but does not exclude new proposals, including possible display of bonsai using Australian native plants.

6

On behalf of the Friends of the Australian National Botanic Gardens

The Gardens should be an ever growing world class collection of Australian native plants, a centre for research into native flora and a place where people can learn about and experience Australian plants. The Gardens should play a central role in coordinating the efforts of botanic gardens and researchers around Australia and their links to other institutions overseas.

Noted: These aspirations are consistent with the goals of the ANBG and the intent of the management plan

6

On behalf of the Friends of the Australian National Botanic Gardens

Areas of the Gardens that are not well developed should be developed in line with the overall objectives of the Plan.

Noted: Section 1.1 of the plan discusses the development of the living collection to display a representation of Australia’s flora and that of related regions, consistent with the ANBG Thematic Planting Guide and Living Collection Policy.

6

On behalf of the Friends of the Australian National Botanic Gardens

The longer term statutory basis of the gardens should be reviewed by and expert group towards the Gardens being restructured as a statutory body under the CAC Act in its own right.

Noted: As a Commonwealth reserve the ANBG is the responsibility of the Director of National Parks. The ANBG has a relatively small staffing level and self-management would be unsustainable.  As part of a larger agency the ANBG benefits from economy of scale through the provision of shared corporate services.

6

On behalf of the Friends of the Australian National Botanic Gardens

To achieve the major developments that are identified in the Plan significant additional funding will be needed.

It is essential that the Gardens develops an effective strategy and process to tap into philanthropic and business based funding for the future.

Noted: The plan is aspirational and implementation of some of the actions in the plan will be limited by the funding available from year to year. The plan clearly states that efforts will be made to obtain funding from sources and additional government funding.  See 5.1.5, 5.4.3, 5.6.4, 5.6.6 and 8.2.15.

Philanthropic support will be sought to assist in funding the ANBG.  See 4.1.5, 8.2.6, 8.2.10

6

On behalf of the Friends of the Australian National Botanic Gardens

The Friends should be recognised as a vital part of the future of the Gardens and should be supported by the Gardens to carry out their role. This includes helping to achieve the major objectives listed above and that needs to be strongly recognised in the Management Plan.

Noted: Section 4.3 of the plan is dedicated to the Friends of the Australian National Botanic Gardens, acknowledging their role and the support that they provide.

6

On behalf of the Friends of the Australian National Botanic Gardens

The Gardens needs to take the major responsibility for training the voluntary guides.

Noted: Action 8.1.7, 8.3.1 indicates that the ANBG will develop and provide training for volunteer programs, including voluntary guides.

6

On behalf of the Friends of the Australian National Botanic Gardens

Some key priorities should be seeking to increase the number of visitors to the gardens and ensuring they enjoy the experience and learn something about Australian plants and why they are so important.

Noted: the vision of the ANBG is to “To inspire, inform and connect people to the Australian flora”. Goal 4 of the ANBG is to “Engage communities in valuing and conserving Australia’s natural and cultural heritage”. Major strategies exist in the plan towards informing the community and visitors and to encourage Australians to connect with horticulture and Australia’s flora.

6

On behalf of the Friends of the Australian National Botanic Gardens

The resources devoted to education of younger people need to be significantly increased and this should be one of the highest priorities after maintenance of the living collection and increased research. Finding ways for greater involvement of younger people in the activities of the Gardens and the Friends is an important priority.

Noted: Section 4.2 which deals with Education acknowledges the need to connect young Australians with Australian flora and to provide appropriate education programs and activities. Social media, educational programs, school programs and the development of a children’s garden are all designed to support this aim.

Section 4.3.9 states that the ANBG will Develop and implement strategies, in collaboration with the Friends, to engage youth and young adults in the ANBG’s recreational and educational aspects.

6

On behalf of the Friends of the Australian National Botanic Gardens

S. 4.3.2 mentions maintenance of a volunteer program. The Friends would underline that such programs should ideally work through or in conjunction with the Friends as far as possible.

Noted: The ANBG will continue to manage the volunteer programs operating in the Gardens and will work with the Friends of the ANBG to coordinate activities, services and resources.

6

On behalf of the Friends of the Australian National Botanic Gardens

S 2.2.4 mentions a site development plan and this is strongly supported by the Friends. The Friends should be represented in this process, which should also involve the proposed Advisory Council.

Noted: The preparation of a site development plan is expected to include consultation with users of the ANBG including the Friends of the ANBG. It is not necessary to specifically indicate in the management which stakeholders will be consulted in the process.

6

On behalf of the Friends of the Australian National Botanic Gardens

In relation to climate change -a long term plan should be developed to collect time series data on the plants within the Gardens (eg.  flowering times, seed setting etc).

Noted: Action 1.1.32 indicates that the ANBG will implement a research program focused on the security of the living collection in terms of climate change and other known threats. This will include ongoing monitoring of species within the ANBG and collection of climate data is ongoing.

6

On behalf of the Friends of the Australian National Botanic Gardens

S 3.1.15 proposes that the Public Art Committee be reconvened. The Friends strongly support this initiative. In view of the fact that funding of at least some of the art works will in all likelihood come from the Friends it is expected that the Friends will be given the opportunity to nominate at least one qualified person to that Committee.

Noted: The Public Art Committee has included a representative of the Friends of the ANBG in the past. Not necessary to indicate membership of the committee within the plan.

6

On behalf of the Friends of the Australian National Botanic Gardens

It is suggested that one addition to the proposed site development plan should be additional indoor exhibition space, possibly in conjunction with a new Visitor Centre. Some further thought could also be given to site development for outdoor/temporary exhibition space.

Noted: Exhibition space is considered to be “associated precinct facilities” under 9.1.7.

6

On behalf of the Friends of the Australian National Botanic Gardens

S 4.2 covers education. The Friends strongly support enhanced delivery of education programs but it is felt that the proposals in the Plan will need significantly more resources than are currently allocated. It is suggested that an implementation plan that identifies the necessary resources and how they might be accessed should be part of the Actions in this section.

Noted: An implementation plan is covered under 9.5.4. Priorities and timing of the delivery of Educational services will be written into work plans. Not necessary to include in the management plan.

6

On behalf of the Friends of the Australian National Botanic Gardens

S 4.2.21 proposes specific programs for interstate schools and this is supported. The Gardens should be one of the key national institutions that is included in the programs of interstate schools coming to Canberra and it is felt this needs to be further developed.

Noted: The plan already addresses school programs and the site is usually featured in programs for visiting interstate schools. The ANBG works with Australian Capital Tourism to promote the ANBG as a place for education and for local and international visitors.

6

On behalf of the Friends of the Australian National Botanic Gardens

Expanded involvement of volunteers to support the education services should be pursued.

Noted: The ANBG makes considerable use of volunteers and will continue to build upon and educate volunteer services. Policy 4.2.8 specifically indicates the use of trained volunteers in the delivery of education services.

6

On behalf of the Friends of the Australian National Botanic Gardens

S. 9.1.7 Identifies potential infrastructure related projects and the Friends agree with those listed as a high priority. We would add development of an area dedicated to the plants of the Southern tablelands and ACT region.

Noted: The Site Development Plan, the Living Collection Policy and Thematic Planting Guide will prescribe what will be displayed at the ANBG. Not necessary to specifically mention an area in the management plan dedicated to the plants of the Southern Tablelands Region. Proposal noted and may be considered in future developments.

6

On behalf of the Friends of the Australian National Botanic Gardens

It is suggested that a key action for the organisation review mentioned in 8.1.4 should be to identify the level and structure of staff resources need to deliver the key aims of the plan.

Noted: An organisational review is likely to include the assessment of the resources required to deliver the actions in the plan and indicate where additional resources are needed.  The delivery of additional resources cannot be specified in the plan as it is dependent upon funds made available through government and other income.

6

On behalf of the Friends of the Australian National Botanic Gardens

The Friends feel that the Gardens is still significantly lacking in sufficient interpretative signage and would like to see the Plan recognize that by proposing a program to develop more signage in accordance with themes such as those mentioned in S. 4.5.3

Signage in the Gardens is still far from adequate and further efforts are needed to improve this aspect.

Noted: This issue will be addressed through Action 4.5.3 whereby a schedule for interpretation and priority messages will be developed including display panels, self-guided tours, interpreting new gardens, rare and threatened species and a bush trail to interpret indigenous use of Australian plants. The ANBG is currently undergoing a rebranding exercise which will include new and additional signage throughout the ANBG. Action 4.4.12 refers to the development of a signage manual. 4.5.3 discusses interpretation and priority messages.

6

On behalf of the Friends of the Australian National Botanic Gardens

The Friends strongly support the proposals to actively seek funding outside Government to assist delivery of key objectives in the Management Plan. In particular the ideas briefly covered in S. 8.2.15 touch on what is needed but do not go far enough.

A formal structure to identify what funding is needed for and how it might be attracted and managed is needed.

Noted: 8.2.15 enables the assessment of funding required for individual developments within the ANBG and the opportunity to offer a suite of opportunities to potential sponsors.  It also enables the assessment of funding requirements, priorities for development and comprehensive information for budget bids. The wording of the plan is currently sufficient in this regard.

8

On Behalf of the Australian Native Plants Society- Canberra Region Inc.

While there are a number of references to “best horticultural practices” in the Plan, there seems to be little emphasis on making the ANBG more of a garden. There appears to be little emphasis on pruning existing plants, for example, and planning for plant successions except for trees. We believe that the ANBG is a garden and as such plant maintenance should be of a high standard.

Noted: 2.2.6 describes the development and maintenance of the Gardens to maintain aesthetic and other values.

Management makes every effort to improve and maintain the living collection to maximise the visitor experience, to ensure that access is available and to maintain the health and display of the plants in the collection.

8

Council Member, member of the Friends of ANBG and Volunteer Guide

Prioritization of what to implement and by when will be essential and it would be helpful to know this, when it is available.

Noted. Consistent with draft plan policy 9.5 where prioritising actions in the plan will be managed through an implementation schedule and determined by the need to ensure cost effectiveness.

8

Council Member, member of the Friends of ANBG and Volunteer Guide

More targeted, quantifiable performance indicators, rather than the general assertions of many of the indicators, will also help to assess performance.

Noted: Extensive performance indicators are provided in the management plan. It may be difficult to measure all indicators annually. Baseline data will be used for annual comparison. Some indicators will feed into the Director of National Parks strategic planning and performance assessment framework and annual reporting to government.

8

Council Member, member of the Friends of ANBG and Volunteer Guide

As outlined in Section 9.5, implementation will also depend on the level of resourcing made available and it is very important that there be strong commitment by the Government, through its Federal Department, to build further, the ANBG as a National Institution and as a key repository of knowledge about the Australian Flora, both nationally and internationally – this level of funding would

need to be well over that required for current operations, including adequate numbers of staff.

Noted: The plan is aspirational and implementation of some of the actions in the plan will be limited by the funding available from year to year. The plan clearly states that efforts will be made to obtain funding from sources and additional government funding.  See 5.1.5, 5.4.3, 5.6.4, 5.6.6 and 8.2.15.

Philanthropic support will be sought to assist in funding the ANBG.  See 4.1.5, 8.2.6, 8.2.10

8

Council Member, member of the Friends of ANBG and Volunteer Guide

Building the capacity to seek extra funds externally through a variety of mechanisms as outlined in Section 8.2 (philanthropic, commercial, external granting bodies, Friends of ANBG) is essential.

Noted: Philanthropic support will be sought to assist in funding the ANBG.  See 4.1.5, 8.2.6, 8.2.10

8

Council Member, member of the Friends of ANBG and Volunteer Guide

The research effort of ANBG is combined with that of CSIRO in the National Biodiversity Centre. There is concern that this could be dominated by CSIRO –in terms of determining the research direction, recognition of ANBG and the number of ANBG staff within the Centre.

Noted: Section 6.5 supports the operation of the Botanical Research Centre. This includes the development and implementation of strategies to encourage greater use and public recognition. The Director will participate in determining the priorities for research and make such reasonable effort to promote the efforts of staff from the ANBG in this project.

8

Council Member, member of the Friends of ANBG and Volunteer Guide

The need to encourage more scientists in taxonomy is essential; could postgraduate scholarships be supported? It is also essential that there be a sustainable core of tenured staff (especially technical eg. scientists, horticultural) and that there not be reliance on a transient population of technical staff such as post-doctoral workers.

Noted: The Director of National Parks is dependent upon external research providers for the majority of research undertaken in Commonwealth reserves.

In the current financial climate it is unlikely that funding support will be available to support postgraduate scholarships or for the employment of additional highly qualified scientific staff. The Director makes available facilities in Commonwealth reserves in exchange for research information.

8

Council Member, member of the Friends of ANBG and Volunteer Guide

It would be helpful to extend planned training horticultural workshops for staff to include the Friends of the ANBG as well as others such as tertiary Institutions (eg. ANU, CIT)

Noted: Horticultural workshops may be available for the Friends of the ANBG and other interested persons dependent upon resources available. Not necessary to include in the management plan.

8

Council Member, member of the Friends of ANBG and Volunteer Guide

Consideration might be given to more formal arrangements for more cooperative research such as through ARC Linkage Grants and also through application for a Cooperative Research Centre; this would also facilitate linkages with commercial groups. This further extends the proposed types of collaborations (5.6.6, 5.6.10-12) and partnerships (as outlined in Section 7).

Noted: The plan does not limit the partnerships that the ANBG may take part in. Collaborations with other agencies, botanical and research institutions are always in demand. The ANBG will endeavour to take advantage of reasonable arrangements which provide benefits to the ANBG and increase the understanding of Australian native plants.

8

Council Member, member of the Friends of ANBG and Volunteer Guide

4.3.8 & 6.5.6 Special effort is still needed to enhance current activities at the Biodiversity Research Centre (BRC). After nearly three years of operation, the number of trained volunteer facilitators has declined such that it is no longer possible to staff the BRC for two weekly half day sessions, if at all. This is because almost no general ANBG visitors are attracted to “drop in”. Thus more structure is needed to attract relevant people/groups (target audience) and to book facilitators for specific sessions. Although there is some action in terms approaching potential groups, more needs to be done more quickly. The monthly lectures to brief the volunteer facilitators on various plant families have been particularly good professional development for those involved and perhaps could form the basis for training for a wider audience. Another option could be a short training course specially designed to train potential users of the BRC and could be offered once or twice a year.

Noted: Section 6.5 supports the operation of the Botanical Research Centre. This includes a review of the BRS and the development and implementation of strategies to encourage greater use and public recognition. The availability and delivery of training will be considered in the review.

8

Council Member, member of the Friends of ANBG and Volunteer Guide

Marketing and promotion of the ANBG through a variety of programs – public programs (4.1), education & training (4.2) - is certainly needed to increase awareness and visitations. It is noteworthy that about 30% of the free guided walks, offered twice daily, attract no participants. This is related to the number of visitors to the Gardens and is in great contrast to Kew Gardens in London where one has to book for a guided walk (maximum number 17!!) at least 15 minutes in advance.

Noted: The management plan adequately provides for the marketing of the ANBG, visitor attractions and facilities.  The ANBG is particularly active in promoting the site to visitors locally and nationally.

4.4 covers marketing of the ANBG and includes, but is not limited to, brand management, research, advertising, public relations and promotional activities through various media tools.

Cooperative marketing with the tourism industry and industry partners, including other national institutions and the ACT Government, will be used to promote the ANBG to local, national and international audiences.

8

Council Member, member of the Friends of ANBG and Volunteer Guide

Too much reliance on "casual" staff for the delivery of Education and Training with current resourcing inadequate.

Noted: Use of casual staff to deliver education services is considered a cost effective approach

8

Council Member, member of the Friends of ANBG and Volunteer Guide

Wants the reintroduction of formal training for Volunteer Guides.

Noted: Training is provided to Volunteer guides by the ANBG

8

Council Member, member of the Friends of ANBG and Volunteer Guide

Should there also be an annual OH&S briefing and update for Guides?

Noted: 8.3.3 indicates that reasonable steps will be taken to ensure safe and healthy conditions for staff and volunteers as they work off site (e.g. during field collecting trips) through risk assessment, harm minimisation strategies and training.

8

Council Member, member of the Friends of ANBG and Volunteer Guide

As was noted in the formal submission from the Friends “The Gardens should be restructured as a statutory body under the CAC Act in its own right”.

Noted: As a Commonwealth reserve the ANBG is the responsibility of the Director of National Parks. The ANBG has a relatively small staffing level and self-management would be unsustainable. As part of a larger agency the ANBG benefits from economy of scale through the provision of shared corporate services.

9

Personal submission from the President of the Australian Native Plants Society (Australia)

Commends the plan.  In relation to section 3.2 - Does not want ANBG's scientific or educational roles diminished by commercial operations or events. 

Noted: Consistent with policy 3.2.4 where proposals for new commercial activities will be considered and assessed having regard to the activity’s consistency with the maintenance of ANBG values.