Thursday, 9 February 2023

Questions without notice and ministers statements

Ministers statements: Royal Botanic Gardens, Cranbourne

Ministers statements: Royal Botanic Gardens, Cranbourne

Ingrid STITT (Western Metropolitan – Minister for Early Childhood and Pre-Prep, Minister for Environment) (12:45): I want to talk today about my excellent visit to the award-winning Royal Botanic Gardens in Cranbourne last week and how incredible the staff and the scientists are at that facility. They are leading world-leading research on the discovery, protection, cultivation and restoration of rare and threatened plant species, such as rare Victorian orchids. Along with the member for Cranbourne in the other place, it was a real pleasure to meet those horticulturalists who are doing such critical work.

The native botanical gardens offer a natural bushland experience and feature over 100,000 plants with over 450 indigenous plant species. It was actually really impressive to see the work of the orchid conservation lab and see the Raising Rarity project in action. This project, which has received $1.3 million from the Andrews Labor government Nature Fund, has grown over 80 nationally threatened orchid species and conducted work to protect 24 other threatened flora species, ensuring that these precious native species can survive and thrive for generations to come. There is also a new visitor centre funded by a $3.3 million investment by the government that will ensure that the Cranbourne botanical gardens remain Victoria’s premier ecotourism nature attraction.

I want to thank the garden staff for their critically important work in conserving our environment and for allowing me to get a little bit down in the dirt and plant an Acacia pendula shrub. Obviously, the Cranbourne Royal Botanic Gardens is an absolute gem. They are doing incredible work, and I commend all of the staff of that facility.