Sydney’s Royal Botanic Gardens Trust has unveiled the draft of its 25-year redevelopment for the gardens and the Domain, which includes a multimillion-dollar five-star hotel.
A walkway at Mrs Macquaries Point will connect visitors with the water, while redevelopment of its historic buildings will provide them with new facilities and amenities.
The plan – a first in the 200-year history of the park – also includes a children’s garden, with new walkways and educational centres also planned.
“When people consider the draft master plan, it’s important that they understand that the Domain is outside the garden gates,” said Kim Ellis, executive director of the Sydney Parklands and Botanic Gardens.
“This draft master plan provides us with the framework to secure our future as a premium Sydney cultural landmark, world’s best, Sydney’s own,” he said.
Under the $130m plan the sites will be redeveloped over the next 25 years – broken down into five-year blocks – through a mix of private, government and charity funding, Ellis told the ABC.
The opposition environment spokesman, Luke Foley, asked whether a hotel development “in any way complies with the objects of the Royal Botanic Gardens Trust Act”.
“Its core purposes are to provide green space to the people of Sydney and to increase our knowledge and appreciation of Australia’s plant life,” Foley said.
“The voices of botanists, plant scientists and horticulturalists will be drowned out by the construction planners and commercial event organisers.”
Ellis said science would remain at the forefront of the plan, with the gardens containing 9,000 different plants of 6,000 different species.