Mayor's Wellington Column 16 January 2019

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There is no doubt Wellington has some fantastic attractions for a town of its size and they play an important role in drawing tourists to the region.

An underrated attraction, even with local residents, has to be the Burrendong Botanic Gardens and Arboretum. This fantastic facility is home to 80,000 flowering plants, shrubs and trees from more than 2000 species.

It plays an integral role in preserving and protecting unique flora, some of which can’t be found anywhere else on the Eastern seaboard.

There are 30 kilometres of roads and tracks across the 167-hectare complex which overlooks Burrendong Dam.

That is why it is so fantastic the NSW Government has recognised the Arboretum’s importance and announced it had set aside funding of $200,000 to go towards fences, roads and walking tracks with the total cost of the project to be $432,000.

Arboretum manager Mike Herbert is doing a great job with the facility but funding has been tight and that has limited the ability to keep maintenance up. Hopefully this funding will go some way to alleviating these issues.

This is a great outcome. I went to the state and federal government earlier this year because the Arboretum was struggling. There were concerns it may have to close.

In July Labor gave a commitment for $39,000 to improve irrigation, upgrade infrastructure and tackle weeds. Now the Nationals have come to the party with their funding.

Along with the Wellington Caves, Burrendong Dam and Cameron Park, Wellington is blessed to have some fantastic outdoor areas to benefit residents and lure tourists but the cost of maintaining these attractions is substantial and upgrading them to keep them up to standard even greater.

Council will do what it can, but it also needs the support of the State and Federal Governments to make it possible.

So far the Governments have been quite generous but we need that to continue after the upcoming elections if Wellington is going to realise its potential as a tourism destination. I hope whoever is in power come March and May next year is capable of keeping the funding flowing.

Last Edited: 16 Jan 2019

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