Collaboration is key for Wiradjuri garden project

Dubbo Regional Council (DRC) has partnered with the NSW Government to transform 1.2 hectares of land within Elizabeth Park, Dubbo, into a culturally significant garden.

The Wiradjuri Garden will add to the already popular precinct and feature a range of native plants, sandstone yarning circles, sheltered areas for gathering, a fire pit and a rainbow serpent focal piece created entirely of native plants.

Mayor of the Dubbo Region, Councillor Ben Shields said he is excited to see the garden take shape.

“The Dubbo Regional Botanic Garden and Adventure Playground are already key destinations for locals and visitors to our region, the Wiradjuri Garden will further expand the visitor experience on offer in that area,” said Councillor Shields

Following a competitive tender process, local landscaping company Dubbo Landscaping was the successful contractor engaged to deliver the project. Dubbo Landscaping has teamed up with local groups; LeaderLife and Indidg Connect. More than ten Aboriginal people have contributed on site, undertaking activities including major earthworks, top dressing, turf laying, planting, edging and paving. Three Aboriginal workers will partake in maintenance for the next twelve months; and two of the workers have commenced Certificate III Horticulture.

DRC’s Director of Liveability, Skye Price said that the collaborative community approach is an important part of the new garden project. “The transformation of vacant land has been incredible. It’s great to see a local contractor and local Aboriginal enterprises working together to deliver this unique public open space. The outcome will be a true representation of culture, community and collaboration,” said Ms Price.

Council was successful in receiving $900,000 from the NSW Government via the Stronger Communities Fund. Council will be contributing approximately $300,000 in addition to the project management resources to deliver the project. The total project cost will be approximately $1.2 million.

Member for Dubbo Dugald Saunders, said he was pleased to see the careful considerations that have gone into the procurement and design process.

“The new Wiradjuri Garden will be a place for people of all cultures to visit, but particularly those who hail from the Wiradjuri Nation. It will be a special place that will be welcomed by everyone in our community, and I think it will play a very important role in helping all of us gain a greater and quite valuable knowledge of the culture of our First Nations people,” said Mr Saunders.

The Wiradjuri Garden is expected to be completed by May 2021 weather permitting.
Workers on site

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