LM delivers $6m boost to Mt Coot-tha precinct

Lord Mayor Graham Quirk has allocated $3.4 million to build a new visitor information centre at the Mt Coot-tha Botanic Gardens and a further $2.6 million to refurbish and enhance the Gardens and Mt Coot-tha Reserve during the next two years.

Cr Quirk said the improvements were to ensure residents and visitors alike can continue to enjoy these beautiful natural areas which are among the most popular recreational facilities in

“The Visitor Information Centre will be the premier facility that links all activities available at

Mt Coot-tha, from the Botanic Gardens, the Planetarium, the Summit and recreational facilities,” he said.

“The new centre will provide a more formal entrance and dedicated facilities for the Volunteer

Guides, with a gift shop, to provide a fitting welcome to Queensland’s premier botanic gardens.

“As part of the Legacy Way project, the Mt Coot-tha Botanic Gardens has undergone a four hectare expansion which included planting 31,000 new native species and as one of our most iconic destinations it is essential we build a new Visitor Information Centre.

“These gardens are the city’s second most popular tourist destination and it’s important that residents and visitors alike have access to a new visitor centre where people can relax, learn, socialise and host major life milestones such as their wedding day.”

“From exploring the many beautiful gardens, to learning about the stars and solar system in the

Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium, or admiring the views of the city from the Mt Coot-tha

Lookout, this is one of our greatest assets.”

The enhancements at Mt Coot-tha Reserve include $242,000 to construct a multi-use access track connecting JC Slaughter Falls, Hoop Pine Picnic Ground, Silky Oak Picnic Ground and

Simpsons Falls as well as $182,000 for upgrading picnic facilities, barbecues and $42,000 to upgrade pedestrian access through the car park area to improve public safety.

The Budget includes $862,000 in 2015-16 and a further $882,000 in 2016-17 to refurbish assets and fund enhancement at the Mt Coot-tha Botanic Gardens. There is a further $400,000 over the next two financial years for Mt Coot-tha trails and access enhancements.

Already every year people use the trails on Mt Coot-tha on more than 750,000 occasions for exercise, physical recreation and to enjoy our beautiful greenspace and the additional funding will further enhance these facilities.

The Budget also includes additional funding to maintain the recently added four hectares and a new allocation of $700,000 over four years to improve the trails and access on the mountain.

Cr Quirk said the $3.4 million Mt Coot-tha Visitor Information Centre would be partly offset with $700,000 coming directly as a result of a donation by a Brisbane resident several years ago.

He said the Budget investment would help maintain Brisbane’s character as a clean and green city, encourage residents to get healthy and active, and continue to make the city water smart.

“In November last year, Keep Australia Beautiful named Brisbane as ‘Australia’s Most

Sustainable City’ which is a fitting reward for our commitment to sustainability,” he said.

“In addition to the two million trees program completed in our last term of office, we continue to acquire new bushland acquisition with 129 hectares acquired over this past financial year and

$13.9 million allocated for the coming year to continue acquiring bushland.”

The Budget also continues to prioritise the upkeep of these natural reserves with $9.6m this financial year for wipe out weeds and other conservation projects.