Work underway on Botanic Gardens "missing link"

Construction work has commenced on the $7M Bendigo Botanic Gardens Central Hub Precinct – an exciting cultural project for Greater Bendigo that will enhance the flow of the existing gardens and provide unique visitor experiences that encourages people to connect and interact with the landscape and the Bendigo Creek.

The project includes construction of:

  • A new (660 square metre) timber clad Visitor Centre building with provision for a café/function centre, community rooms and public facilities (five toilets with one DDA compliant)
  • New gardens with an indigenous focus (1ha)
  • Gathering and educational spaces
  • Wetlands and ponds
  • Refurbishment of bridge across Bendigo Creek
  • Stormwater harvesting system
  • New formalised entrance to the Bendigo Botanic Gardens

The Central Hub Precinct is the next stage of the award-winning Garden for the Future redevelopment which opened in April 2018 and a key action of the award-winning 2010 Bendigo Botanic Gardens Masterplan.

City of Greater Bendigo Mayor Cr Jennifer Alden said the Central Hub Precinct is being constructed on one hectare of vacant land located at the bottom of Hamelin Street between the heritage gardens and the new Garden for the Future to provide a connection between both gardens. 

There is currently a void between the heritage gardens nd the Garden for the Future and the new precinct, when completed will provide a seamless transition between both the old and the new gardens.  It really is the missing link,” Cr Alden said.

“The project has had input from Dja Dja Wurrung Enterprises, trading as Djandak, and its Gapa Gatjin group who have contributed to various aspects of the overall design. Dja Dja Wurrung people have an ongoing connection to the land and waterways of the Bendigo Creek and surrounding areas, their input is vital when relating to Country.

“The project hopes to provide an
opportunity to serve as a gathering space for Indigenous events, educational experiences and the celebration of Indigenous culture and language through interpretation and storytelling.

“This exciting project will enhance Greater Bendigo and the wider region’s arts and recreation strengths by providing opportunities for social participation, lifelong learning, cultural enrichment and enhanced physical and mental health and will be a place for residents and visitors to attend events, recreate, learn, play, eat, drink and enjoy.

“The project will stimulate the local economy by providing over 50 construction jobs and nine permanent jobs through the operation of the café and ongoing maintenance of the gardens.  It will also support regional growth by meeting the rapidly growing region’s demand for a large, high quality park.

“In addition, it will help generate regional wealth through more tourist visits and longer stays and build upon Bendigo’s current tourist offering of art and culture, goldfields cultural heritage, food and wine, and cycling and walking trails.

“An important aim of the project is to raise community awareness of environmental issues, especially climate change as the plant collections will tell the story of plants relevant to the region, both indigenous and those suited to current and projected climate.

“I’m excited to see this project underway and look forward to it being completed in June 2022.”

The $7M project has been generously funded by $3.75M from the Victorian Government - Building Works package, $1.75M from the Australian Government Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program, $550K from the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning and $1M from the City of Greater Bendigo.  A further $10K contribution from Friends of the Bendigo Botanic Gardens assisted with the design of the project.

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