Burrendong Arboretum manager Mike Herbert has welcomed $29,119 announced from the NSW government’s Crown Reserves Improvement Fund.
But he said there would always be a need for greater investment in community organisations, and challenged the candidates in the March state election to “come together with some serious funding proposals”.
“Not just for us but for the whole area,” Mr Herbert said.
“We’re all sick of hearing about Sydney, like WestConnex. We want to hear something for out here – something serious.”
Outgoing Dubbo MP Troy Grant announced the funding last week as part of almost $303,000 from the CRIF for projects in the Dubbo electorate.
The funding is earmarked for continual upgrades and repairs to infrastructure, equipment and recreational facilities.
But the Labor opposition, and Country Labor candidate Stephen Lawrence, had already pledged $39,000 for the arboretum if elected.
“It’s desperately needed by us,” Mr Herbert said of the government’s funding.
“As everyone says, it would be great if it was more but we’ll gratefully accept this and we’ll just move ahead to make sure our future is stable by sourcing some other funding.”
The 55-year-old arboretum has received terrific support in recent times, with Dowto’s Fresh Meats, Cusacks Butchery, Bryants Butchery, Sang’s Hot Bread and Tender Plus Butchery all pitching in for last month’s open day.
Now it needs “serious, long-term sponsorship” to support the important conservation and education work underway.
That includes the preservation of endangered local plant species like the Swainsona recta (small purple-pea) in collaboration with organisations like Mid-Macquarie Landcare, Local Land Services and the local land council.
“It’s a combination of education, tourism, research, preservation – all of those things rolled into one in a beautiful environment!” Mr Herbert said.
“What better way for organisations to support their local area than to support the original vegetation from the area?
“We’re not asking for millions of dollars, we’re just asking for a bit of support to make sure it goes on for another 55 years.”
Other local projects to receive Crown Reserves funding include:
- Dubbo RSL Small Bore Youth Club: $5,773
- Mogriguy Soldiers Memorial Hall: $10,000 to repair the exterior
- Mount Arthur Reserve: $80,604
- Trangie Showground and Racecourse: $82,000