Botanic Gardens - Public Consultation

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Consultation has concluded

Area: Mackay Region
Published: August 17, 2015 - Archived Project

Consultation on the detailed design has now closed and results will be published online soon.

Thank you to all who attended our Community Feedback Day, dropped by one of our displays or provided online feedback!

Your participation and enthusiasm was much appreciated by the project team and design consultants, who will consider your ideas over the following months during the design process.

And congratulations to Kate Brunner, the lucky winner of an iPad for her attendance at the Community Feedback Day. Kate received her prize on Tuesday after Cr Morgan

Area: Mackay Region
Published: August 17, 2015 - Archived Project

Consultation on the detailed design has now closed and results will be published online soon.

Thank you to all who attended our Community Feedback Day, dropped by one of our displays or provided online feedback!

Your participation and enthusiasm was much appreciated by the project team and design consultants, who will consider your ideas over the following months during the design process.

And congratulations to Kate Brunner, the lucky winner of an iPad for her attendance at the Community Feedback Day. Kate received her prize on Tuesday after Cr Morgan drew her name out of the hat, and was absolutely thrilled with her new toy!

The Project

The detailed design will build upon the planning reflected in the Mackay Regional Botanic Gardens Master Plan 2010, available on the Council website here.

The design team will aim to create one of the most significant gardens in regional Australia:

  • a major tourism drawcard for the region
  • a centre for environmental education and research
  • a snap shot of our natural landscape
  • a centre for wildlife viewing
  • an accessible site which offers local residents a unique ‘sense of place’ and recreational opportunities.

An Advisory Board has been formed to assist Council, and is made up of members representing a wide range of stakeholder interests. The Board's role is to ensure the design incorporates community needs while also achieving a world-class botanical collection. The Advisory Board will meet bi-monthly throughout the project.

Place Design Group have been contracted to undertake the detailed design, and have extensive experience in this area. Several of the senior members of the team were originally involved in the development of the first stage of the Botanic Gardens in 2003. Visit their website here to learn more.

Guest Book

Do you have some ideas for what you want to see in the future stages of the Botanic Gardens? Submit your feedback below.

Thank you so much information. Saran visit

Zenzen Zain over 4 years ago

Hi MRBG,I would hope the botanic gardens remains true to its purpose and sees the remaining areas planted with flora from our native bio-regions, especially those that an endangered. This would not only attract more native fauna but also increase its appeal to tourists and locals. The lagoon its self has the potential to be a major draw card once restored, particularly when surrounded by plantings of natives it could feel like an oasis. This is a chance for Mackay to have a beautiful and educational garden for all to enjoy. The previously mentioned idea of a native bee hive I think is brilliant.

Ulysses about 5 years ago

We congratulate the dedicated staff of the Botanic Gardens and the various groups who have had significant input into the development of the existing gardens. We live closeby and have seen the gardens develop into a valuable asset for the enjoyment & relaxation of local & regional residents as well as visitors. The intention of the 2010 Master Plan for the next stage is still very appropriate which included further plantings of specific native species, possible lake (from which the surplus water overflowed into the lagoon) and walkways/bikeways. We understood that another car park was to be constructed on Alexandra Street opposite the playground car park. A raised boardwalk across the lagoons at this point would provide another pedestrian thoroughfare. We believe that there should be no further commercial or residential development in the remaining area of the gardens apart from improvements such as a plant nursery and other appropriate buildings necessary for the enhancement & development of the Botanic Gardens. We also agree with comments made by others regarding bird hides & sheltered seats/tables for family picnics. Garden Lovers West Mackay.

Alexandra about 5 years ago

Removed by moderator.

Ann M about 5 years ago

As West Mackay locals, my husband and I have walked the Botanic Gardens twice a week for years and thoroughly enjoyed watching it grow and transform into our own little slice of paradise 10 minutes from our front door. The gardening staff are an absolute credit to the Council, their passion for the job shows in the quality of work they achieve. On many occasions we have asked them for gardening tips/advice and they have always responded warmly and more than happy to share their knowledge.As a Teacher I have visited the Botanic Gardens on many occasions as it is a yearly excursion the school hold. I cannot stress enough how crucial I think it is for the next generation to learn about our native flora & fauna and why it is so important. Mackay is part of such a unique bio-region, this is what we need to show/teach the children (and tourists) and not become just another Botanic Gardens full of exotic plants!! Some points we feel that could be considered are:-· Fix the Lagoon!! Over the last few years the water quality has become disgusting. Some mornings when walking through the Gardens you could see dark brown water being pumped directly into the Lagoon from the Water Treatment Plant! I have not seen this for a while now but has the damage already been done? The water level is the lowest we have ever seen it & currently near the railway line there is no water ONLY SLUDGE. · More shade stops along the main pathways. In summer the early morning sun has quite a bite. More bench seats under already existing shade trees would be great.· Fences along the Lagoon St side of the Gardens for visitor safety (requesting this as a teacher). Since the relocation of the hospital bridge, Lagoon St has constant heavy traffic. With a lot of the garden beds going so close to the road side fencing would provide that added security to parents/teachers. It could also be used as a deterrent for vandals/thief’s. · A bigger main carpark and designated parking for caravans/motorhomes. On many occasions we have seen motor homes parked over two bays to try and fit in the carpark then leaving nowhere for cars to park and also making entering/exiting the carpark very difficult. · A new café should be built with its own carpark and the current café building utilised for school children/guided tours etc. When visiting with larger classes there is nowhere for the children to get out of the weather. The Gardens have some wonderful educational displays/materials I have seen over the years that everyone could benefit/learn from if they had a place they could be permanently displayed. · Keep the focus on local native plants. We do NOT want another pretty park full of exotic plants.

Ann M about 5 years ago

Having been involved with the development of representative local vegetation communities at the Lagoons for decades, it would not only be extremely disappointing but I feel it would be a retrograde step if the intent of the 'Mackay Regional Botanic Gardens Central Queensland Coast Bioregion Master Plan 2010' was not followed - That is, using the native plants of the Central Qld Coast Bioregion in the design of all future stages of the Gardens. There is great scope for developing additional plant communities and display gardens within 'naturally' landscaped areas in the next stages. These will provide additional resources for a variety of fauna, including the many birds. Birds have always been an important attraction at the Lagoons, long before it was designated as the site for the MRBG. The Bird Observers, now Birdlife Mackay, were represented on the original Steering Committee from 2000 and they should be approached when/if bird hides are being considered and when new plant communities are being designed. It is obvious that many people - local, state, and international - applaud the excellent start made by such a young botanic gardens to demonstrate the real purpose of a Botanic Gardens - 'to hold documented collections of living plants for the purposes of scientific research, conservation, display and education'. One would hope that this purpose is kept to the fore as plans for the future are developed. While passive recreation should be encouraged, there are other areas within the Mackay Regional Council that could be utilized for theme-park-type developments that are not compatible with the purpose of a Botanic Gardens. Beachscrubber

myrsine about 5 years ago

• Further plantings that represent the flora of Mackay' different ecosystems with iconic and rare species • Clean-up of the lagoons sludge and more native trees and sedges planted for wildlife• the area below the water treatment plant turned into a garden with shade and plants to hide the ugly concrete towers• A lagoon edge Boardwalk that interprets the plants and animals• Revitalisation of the 'older' sections of the site below Nebo Road and around the South Sea Islander Hut• a purpose built interpretation and education facility• a perimeter fence• a 'ring road' that circles the lagoon• a proper shop to purchase plants etc

Botanicboy about 5 years ago

I commend to you the submission made by the local Mackay branch of Native Plants Queensland (Society for Growing Australian Plants) It sets out clearly and concisely the important and continuing role that NPQ (SGAP) members have played since the inception of the gardens in the 1990's - they offer to continue involvement in the successful promotion, planning and development of the next stages of this significant Regional Botanic Garden. I doubt that I could offer any additional information in this respect.My fervent hope is that this influential community group is encouraged to continue their significant project involvement with both the Council / Officers and particularly the new landscape architect PLACE and his team. No other community group could possibly have offered the same degree of enthusiasm, knowledge and expertise, and as the landscape architect for stages one and two and the 2010 Master Plan, I count it a singular honour to have worked with these local NPQ members for so many years. I know personally how significant their input has been and without it I could never have prepared the planning and design documentation to guide the initial development of the Gardens to the quality that is now respected nationally for its scientific basis. I also treasure the many personal friendships that have been so important over the past years. The friendly relationships between the Botanic Gardens and many community groups from throughout the Mackay region is the hallmark of the success to date - a unique opportunity to nurture.It goes without saying that in my retirement I'll always be available to help in any way, as I consider Mackay Regional Botanic Gardens to rank beside World EXPO 88 as the two most important projects of my career.Lawrie Smith AMLandscape ArchitectLandplan Studio

greygums about 5 years ago

I attended the community consultation and feedback for the Botanical Garden's future plans and was impressed with the amount of work that went into the design and future use options. The Mackay gardens are a great place to take visitors and showcase our city, and the great diversity of our community. Last November we took some English relatives there, mainly for bird observation, they being birdwatchers themselves. They totally enjoyed the experience, the blend of Flora and Fauna and were amazed at how our city had developed such a wonderful resource. The only issue was a lack of suitable shaded places to sit and observe the birds, or just rest out of the summer heat. We hope that this will be addressed in the development of stage two.Having travelled extensively, I would have to say that our Botanical Gardens is world class, much better in design and upkeep than what I have seen in many much larger cities in Europe for example. It would be disappointing to see other activities incorporated into the gardens as this would diminish the overall value of this wonderful community asset. By example, in one city I visited in Portugal they had closed off the forest area in their Botanical Gardens and turned it into a "Tree Top Adventure Park" totally destroying the beauty and enjoyment of their Botanical Garden. I would not like to see large playgrounds or non related community facilities creep into our Botanical Gardens.

DA@eimeo about 5 years ago

Hi Mackay Botanical Gardens,I recently saw photos of a native bee hive at a Botanical Gardens near Hervey Bay. would be a really educational and interesting attraction at the Mackay gardens.

Brake out media about 5 years ago

MRBG is an excellent example of a regional botanic gardens. The focus of the gardens has been a place to showcase our native flora, with a focus on that of our local bioregion. The Central Queensland Coast Bioregion is blessed with a vast array of special plants, some of which are classed as Endangered, Vulnerable or Near Threatened. Our MRBG provides a unique opportunity to display our regions plants, educate the community how they can assist with conservation, and provide a secure venue for long term research into our unique flora. The gardens have a special role to play in ongoing botanical and scientific study and research as well as being a great place to visit and recreate. The focus of the gardens should be botanical and scientific knowledge seeking with education and conservation as key themes. Who knows one or more of our special species may contain a cure for cancers of some sort or provide the basis of a future biofuels industry, without a specific place for the onging study of these plants we may never know. I know overseas students that have come to our gardens to study our flora. The gardens also play a pivotal role in the education of horticulture trainees for the region and an invaluable resource to home gardeners to be able to select local native species adapted to the region for their gardens. I recall at the opening of the MRBG how the contributions of the Society for Growing Australian Plants, the Bird Observers Club and Horticultural specialists was acknowledged and applauded by all present. I receive visitors from around the country and the world and they have all been impressed by the foresight and intelligence of council to develop such a special place for locals and tourists alike. Let us not turn the future stages of the gardens into a theme park with flashy lights, gaudy sculpture and Bar- B-Ques, please stay true to the original themes and the 2010 masterplan. The gardens showcase the best of our natural assets lets keep it that way.

plantaplant about 5 years ago

As a very young Botanic Gardens, Mackay is a wonderful example of what can be achieved in a few short years (2003-2015). The lagoon, the green areas, the trees and plants provide habitat for many of our Australian fauna & flora. The walking tracks, signage, special planted areas, event areas and successful and regular maintenance of all of this contribute to the beauty of the whole of the Gardens.The things I enjoy are daily walking, birdwatching, photographing the flowering plants, insects, birds and interesting seasonal happenings in the Gardens. I take friends there and also visiting birdwatchers from other areas all over Australia. They love the area and love to come back and observe the ongoing progress. My grandchildren enjoy the playground and taking their cameras for walks.• I would love to see the Gardens maintained as the special area that it is, with further plantings of trees and plants to enhance the beauty of this natural oasis in our city. • I would be keen to have some bird hides, or at least some shaded areas to watch the birdlife in the lagoon in our tropical climate. • I would love to see more picnic tables with seats to encourage more families and visitors. Grandparents don’t really appreciate having to sit on the ground to enjoy family time with the grandchildren and with just one table at the “Under the Banyan” playground end, it does not encourage us to come for a picnic/bbq. • Fencing along the busy by-pass road around the picnic area would give parents a bit more security about their children who like to kick balls and ride bikes etc. • Is there any chance that the café can be open 7 days a week, perhaps including breakfast at an earlier time, especially on the weekends? Sitting on the verandah is very calming and interesting to watch nature around us. My congratulations to your staff and the Friends of the Gardens for the wonderful way our Gardens are managed and maintained. Jo

Jo M about 5 years ago

From consultation with the previous curator of the gardens, Dale Arvidsson, I was of the understanding that the remaining vacant area of 30 hectares of land was to be landscaped and developed as an extension to the already established gardens area. Obviously this was not ‘set in stone’. Looking at what Mackay’s Botanic Gardens could look like in the future, if this parcel of land were to be made into a large native garden, I can see it being a tropical horticultural paradise situated within the confines of a sprawling rural city. If some of this area were to be used for housing for example, then it would start to squeeze the environmental value out of it. There needs to be room for a mixture of plants to thrive and grow to maturity so they can provide habitat for sustainable populations of a variety of wildlife. I’m sure that there is ample land elsewhere that could be made available to build accommodation for people. So, please look into the future and plan for long-term environmental value with this land. Concerned resident.......Daryl.

Daryl5Fadden about 5 years ago

Being a avid bird photographer I have spend many many happy hours with my two grandchildren walking around the Botanical Gardens. We love the ability to explore what interesting wildlife is around in the little nooks and crannies. This has taught my grandchildren through first hand experience what amazing things live around us but we cannot see because their is not the habitat accessible for these small humans. It would be a great shame for housing, van park etc to be built on this site as it would infringe greatly on the resources and space our wildlife there presently have. As humans is our housing need really that great, this space should be enjoyed by foot, take the time to wander and soak in the calm of this magnificant nature reserve.

mart about 5 years ago

Please make this site a wild life site....we are so lucky in this town i was born in to have such diverse range of interesting fauna, animal and bird life....This habitat should be a shining example of what a forward thinking city we are, that we treasure and protect our wild life.....At this point in time I don't think we are doing nearly enough. Lets begin with here on this site and encourage all to participate fully as a combined group in the preservation of endangered and vunerable habitat......Give wildlife a fair chance......the more areas of this park are left wild the less maintenance is required. Australians are all for a fair go,,,,lets put our money where our mouths are.........Kindest Regards SM

mart about 5 years ago

Ever since I moved to Mackay a couple of years ago, the Botanical Gardens has been one of my favorite places to go and relax. Mackay does not have very many bush areas and big parks, and it would be a shame to cut it down further. I love walking by the lagoon and particularly love birdwatching there. I would love to see more natural bush planted, rather than open it up to any commercial developments. I also agree with many others here, that a couple of bird hides would be fantastic.

symmonsc about 5 years ago

The Botanical Gardens are a developing asset to our city and I believe any balance land needs to be retained for progressive development of a specific green space like the Palmetum in Townsville, and to provide additional recreational facilities for residents and visitors to Mackay. Others have commented on the need for bird hides and additional picnic facilities and I would strongly endorse those suggestions. Facilities such as these would provide additional attractions for tourists to the area and possible result in extending stays (if the facilities suggested are of appropriate quality). Also there is really nowhere for people travelling through Mackay to stop for a travel break so a decent parking area/picnic area suitable for travellers (including those with vans) is really missing from this city. Apart from the Information Centre, there is no other park or green space for north bound travellers to pull up, and equally nothing for those travelling south. Perhaps if we had appropriate facilities at the Botanical Gardens and they saw what was on offer here they may decide to stay rather than just continuing on through Mackay. Barry D.

barryd about 5 years ago

As a former resident of Mackay and avid bird watcher and nature photographer, I feel that it is important to maintain the entire area of the Mackay Botanical Gardens for generations of people to enjoy and experience. There should be on going work to improve the gardens with addition planting of local native vegetation. I feel it would be a tragedy if part of the area was opened up to commercial developments of any kind.Bazanbirds

bazanbirds about 5 years ago

I agree with the idea of a produce garden, similar perhaps to Brisbane's Southbank vege garden idea or the ABC garden in the Hobart botanic gardens. Would love to see more larger trees planted. The pink cassia that was removed due to damage from flooding would be lovely to be seen replaced with another pink cassia in a similar place be it further back from the water so as not to rot - it was a special part of the gardens for many especially as they socialised and enjoyed the environment from the cafe. As a fan of birds and photography would love to see some bird hides as others have suggested too. Open spaces left also for picnics. It should be seen as an oasis of our city for generations to come.

localgal about 5 years ago

Hi I and many others are regular bird watchers and go to the botanic gardens on a regular basis to photograph the many bird species that call it home.I would love to see more of the same in relation to planting as it works very well.I cannot for the life of me understand, along with many others why we cannot have bird hides there, one each end of the lagoon......If loitering is a problem make them lockable. Checkout the bird hides at the Coolart wetlands in Victoria......Absolutely amazing.I have taken numerous overseas visitors through the Gardens on Birdwatching walks and that is the one comment I get all the time......No bird hides!I also like one of the other suggestions of more picnic tables where you could just sit and watch.The gardens are an absolute credit to the people who run and maintain them, lets make them even better :)

Bill about 5 years ago