Botanic garden belongs to community

It is such a pity that some residents of Wollongong do not value the botanic garden or the staff who work there.

Shirley Filippi (Mercury, November 22) is ignorant of the wildlife in the garden (claiming to only see 'the odd rabbit'), and easily dismisses the professional opinion of the garden's curator Paul Tracey.  How disappointing. 

Wollongong Botanic Garden is lucky to have such a talented and motivated team working for our benefit. 

The recent Backyard Festival was evidence of this.  

There are fantastic tourism and cultural opportunities for the botanic garden, and Paul and his team are working hard to show these to the community. 

The planned rainforest walk will link Mt Keira to the garden, providing a wonderful opportunity for education and relaxation. 

Unfortunately the university's planning proposal will severely impact on the development of the garden as a place for our community to learn and grow.

Shirley Filippi (Mercury, November 22) says we should have some pride in the university. I say, have some pride in Wollongong Botanic Garden. 

It is distracting to talk of Gleniffer Brae as being in a state of disrepair (it is not), and that its maintenance cannot be afforded by the council (not according to the council's 2009 financial report). Don't sell part of it off to the university. The university has other places it can develop. 

Wollongong Botanic Garden is community land and should remain so.

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