Saturday, May 25, 2024

Bendigo gardens precinct set to bloom

City of Greater Bendigo Council will officially open the Bendigo Botanic Gardens exciting new $7 million precinct Larni Garingilang on Saturday.

The new precinct will be opened by Greater Bendigo Mayor, Andrea Metcalf, Deputy Premier, Member for Bendigo East, Jacinta Allan and Federal Member for Bendigo, Lisa Chesters and will feature a smoking ceremony and Welcome to Country.

Mayor Metcalf said the new precinct has filled a void between the existing gardens.

Larni Garingilang, which means home of growth in the language of the Dja Dja Wurrung – the traditional owners of the land, has been constructed on a one-hectare site located between the existing heritage gardens and the Garden for the Future,” Mayor Metcalf said.  

“It’s an exciting new cultural precinct for Greater Bendigo with a strong focus on the indigenous plants that have been used by the Dja Dja Wurrung People for over 60,000 years.  The precinct features over 15,000 local indigenous plants and 106 trees many of which were used for tools, food, clothing and medicine by the Dja Dja Wurrung people.

“Larni Garingilang will be a fantastic space for residents and visitors to attend events, recreate, learn, play, eat, drink and enjoy.”

Features of the new precinct include a new café/restaurant/function centre building with community rooms, gathering and educational spaces, wetlands and ponds and a stormwater harvesting system.

The new precinct is divided into four areas the Dhelkunya Buluk wetland area that reflects the connection to Bendigo Creek, Djimbai-tjarrang outdoor learning area and connection to the natural environment, Wat-pu-tjaara gathering and connecting with each other, the land and its flora area and Balitj Murrun mound which represents a remnant mullock heap.

A feature of the new garden is a substantial water element with wetlands and ponds in front of the new café/restaurant/community Centre building.  The wetlands are fed by water captured and diverted to underground water holding tanks via the new storm water systems.  Water from the underground tanks is then pumped throughout the wetlands. The wetlands and ponds have been planted with approximately 1000 indigenous water plants and there are plans to introduce small indigenous fish species.

The project has been funded by $3.75 million from the Victorian Government – Building Works package, $1.75 million from the Australian Government Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program, $550,000 from the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning and $1 million from the City of Greater Bendigo.  A further $10,000 contribution from Friends of the Bendigo Botanic Gardens assisted with the design of the project.

Federal Member for Bendigo, Lisa Chesters said the Local Roads and Community Infrastructure (LRCI) Program supports local councils to deliver priority road and infrastructure projects, supporting jobs and the resilience of local economies following the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The Bendigo Botanic Gardens are a much loved and well used space for local families and community members and the Larni Garingilang precinct is a fantastic addition,” Ms Chesters said.

“This project has created more than 50 construction jobs plus ongoing employment for maintenance and hospitality workers.

“I know this development is a passion project for the Friends of the Bendigo Botanic Gardens, who first raised this project with me a decade ago. I’d like to thank them for their vision, passion and advocacy. I also commend the Dja Dja Wurrung Enterprises for their contribution to the design of the precinct, raising community awareness to our cultural heritage.”

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