HRBG – group photo


ON Monday, Secretary for the Hunter Catherine Cusack joined Mayor of Port Stephens Ryan Palmer and volunteers at the Hunter Region Botanic Gardens to welcome a brand new people mover thanks to $17,000 in NSW Government funding.

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Ms Cusack congratulated HRBG staff and more than 170 volunteers on their new addition, ahead of the Garden’s re-opening in a few weeks’ time.

“This people mover will enable visitors with mobility issues to tour the many beautiful themed gardens, giving everyone the opportunity to appreciate the incredible variety of flora and local wildlife,” said Ms Cusack.

“The people mover will use new pathways partially funded by the NSW Government and built by volunteers over the past 4 years, and will further enhance the environmental education programs for local schools and the wider community.

HRBG Chairman Ken Page welcomed the funding and said the new vehicle, built by local manufacturer Varley Group would be a treasured asset of the Gardens.

“The old vehicle struggled to make it back to base, so this new people mover will be a game changer for our gardens and I thank the NSW Government for providing the funding,” said Mr Page.

“Our research has shown that environmental education is vastly improved when visitors are able to experience the beauty and diversity of the gardens, firsthand.”

Premier of NSW Gladys Berejiklian congratulated the Hunter Region Botanic Gardens and thanked the volunteers for their hard work in creating and maintaining the Gardens over the past 35 years.

“At a time when social distancing is so important – a visit to the Hunter Region Botanic Gardens is a great way for everyone to get out into regional NSW and enjoy some of the most beautiful flora and fauna our state has to offer,” Ms Berejiklian said.

Mayor of Port Stephens Ryan Palmer welcomed the funding and said attracting visitors to the Hunter region has never been more important than it is now.

“Thanks to the NSW Government, this new vehicle will allow more people to enjoy everything this beautiful part of Port Stephens has to offer,” said Mayor Palmer.

The Hunter Region Botanic Gardens is situated on the Pacific Highway at Heatherbrae, on the Tomago sand beds in Port Stephens.

The outer gardens will now become more accessible, and includes a number of feature gardens and attractions, including the Gundabooka Aboriginal Plants Trail, the Rainforest Gardens, Rare and Endangered Plants, Plants of the Hunter Region and the Succulent Gardens.

The Gardens are set to open in a few weeks’ time and visitors are encouraged to visit or call (02) 4987 1655 prior to planning a visit.


Mayor Palmer, HRBG Chairman Ken Page, Parliamentary Secretary Cusack and HRBG volunteers


HRBG – people mover Chairman and Parl Sec


HRBG – Parl Sec ribbon cut


HRBG – new people mover


HRBG – Mayor, Chairman, Parl Sec



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