Friends of the Gold Coast Regional Botanic Gardens Nursery Sale

Very reasonable prices!


From: 8:00 AM to 11:00 AM,
Friday, 5 March 2021


Gold Coast Regional Botanic Gardens, 230 Ashmore Road, Benowa








Friends of the Gold Coast Regional Botanic Gardens


0449 561 674



Thanks for seeing this news article regarding “What’s On in the City of Gold Coast” called “Friends of the Gold Coast Regional Botanic Gardens Nursery Sale”. This news article was brought to you by MyLocalPages as part of our Australian events & what’s on stories services.

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Senior shark scientist warns of increased shark activity along NSW coast as great whites head to nursery grounds

Swimmers along the New South Wales coast could be more likely to have a close encounter with great white sharks in the coming weeks, the state’s top shark scientist has said.

It comes after a series of sightings around the Sydney area, including an account of a spearfisher reportedly lost a fin after being bumped by a 4-metre great white in the waters near Maroubra.

With summer approaching, great white sharks are moving in greater numbers along the state’s coast towards nursery grounds around Port Stephens, 200 kilometres north of Sydney.

Despite this increase in shark movements, researchers and divers say the public should be alert but not alarmed.

Department of Primary Industries senior shark scientist Vic Peddemors said there was no cause for concern about an increase in attacks.

Sharks on the move

There have been roughly more than 100 shark sightings recorded in the waters from the NSW Mid-North Coast to just south of Sydney in the past six weeks, according to global reporting site Dorsal.

Around Sydney, the sightings included a 3m shark in waters off Manly last week and sightings at Mona Vale, North Curl Curl and Queenscliff earlier in the month.

Vision of a surfer who was approached by a shark off Ballina recently went viral and there have also been a number of unconfirmed encounters.

Space to play or pause, M to mute, left and right arrows to seek, up and down arrows for volume.
Surfer Matt Wilkinson has a near miss with a shark in Ballina

Dr Peddemors said encounters with sharks were more likely at this time of the year.

There is little known about the breeding habits and locations of sharks, but researchers know that they travel to the nurseries around Port Stephens.

“There are two-to five-year-old animals that are basically moving up and down between Victoria and NSW for the first few years of their lives,” Dr Peddemors said.

“We think they are born down in the cooler waters and head down to Corner Inlet and spend the first couple of years there.

Sharks spotted ‘four out of five days’

Dr Peddemors said there was no evidence to suggest an increase in sightings meant more sharks were settling in populated areas along the coast.

“A lot of people get freaked out that there is a sighting and ask will these animals set-up residency,” he said.

Scuba diver Marco Bordieri who runs the Sydney Diving Vizibility group on Facebook regularly dives in the Manly area.

A grey nurse shark in the water near Manly.
Marco Bordieri says he has seen an increase in grey nurse sharks and that great white sightings are “very rare”.(Supplied: Marco Bordieri)

In the past month he has noticed an increase in the number of mostly docile grey nurse sharks in the waters around Cabbage Tree Bay.

“I can see them doing laps around the point which is unusual.

“They look impressive but it is very rare that they attack anyone.”

He said reports of great white sharks were still relatively rare.

“There is definitely a great white that has been spotted in the last week outside the marine reserve nearby,” Mr Bordieri said.

“It is still very rare but with social media … there are more chances that a video will end up in the news these days.”

A 3.5m tiger shark caught with drumlines at Newport in Sydney's north on Thursday May 9, 2019.
The state’s top shark scientist says he backs the mitigation programs in place to protect swimmers.(Supplied: NSW Department of Primary Industries)

Expert backs protection programs

There has been increased attention on shark sightings in recent years across the country.

In NSW, the State Government has a number of programs to track sharks and protect swimmers like SMART drumlines, meshes and drone surveillance.

A cartoon diagram showing how SMART drum lines work.
The SMART drum lines send an alert when a shark is caught on a baited hook.(Supplied: NSW Department of Primary Industries)

Dr Peddemors said the SMART-drumline method, which used baited buoys that allowed authorities to catch and release the animals, had been successful.

“Our program has shown that it is safe to release these sharks, they don’t turn around and come back to the beach,” he said.

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NT nursery taking legal action, claiming Government reneged on citrus canker compensation

One of the Northern Territory’s biggest production nurseries says it will be taking the NT Government to court, claiming the business has been crippled after the Government reneged on promises of compensation.

Since 2018, Tropiculture Australia has been seeking compensation for losses incurred during the Government’s eradication program for the plant disease known as citrus canker.

Owner Chris Nathanael, who has been involved with NT horticulture for more than 40 years, claims he was given assurances by government staff on several occasions that his business would receive a compensation package.

However the money never eventuated.

“While canker has never existed on our property, because of the outbreak [which began on another nursery in the Top End] about 35 to 40 per cent of our business has been wiped out,” he told ABC Rural.

“We were told to apply for compensation, the Department of Primary Industry even sent staff here to instruct us on how to apply and what to do, and the promises [of compensation] continued on until late 2019.

“You can’t have senior public servants come here, write promises, and then renege on them.”

Mr Nathanael said his initial compensation claim was “quite low”, but because of the delays and because he continued to operate the nursery in good faith while compensation was pending “the crippling effect of all of this has now gone beyond $200,000”.

The detection of citrus canker in the NT led to thousands of citrus plants getting removed across the Top End.(Supplied: NT Department of Primary Industry)

Biosecurity champion

When citrus canker was first detected in the Northern Territory, the Department of Primary Industry immediately sought advice from Mr Nathanael — a veteran of the NT’s horticultural industry and former chairman of the NT Citrus Growers Association.

“We freely gave technical information to Government employees, had the [citrus canker] inspection teams on site for their training, and also helped the Government with the formulation of the lists of known citrus plants in the Northern Territory,” he said.

“We participated in every aspect of the canker eradication program, with promises of compensation all along, but unfortunately when the crunch came compensation was denied.”


Why has Tropiculture Australia not received compensation?

The Department of Primary Industry declined ABC Rural’s request for an interview, but in a statement said affected producers may be eligible for “owner reimbursement costs”.

“There are national processes for assessing claims through the Emergency Plant Pest Response Deed,” it said.

“The Department of Primary Industry and Resources has appointed an independent assessor to undertake a valuation of the costs and losses incurred by owners of eligible businesses applying for owner reimbursement costs under the National Citrus Canker Response Plan 2018.

“The assessment process will commence this month. The department has encouraged all eligible businesses to apply to have their claims independently assessed under the scheme.”

Mr Nathanael said the department’s statement was old, and that he already lodged a claim in late 2018 for ‘Owner Reimbursement Costs’, but was advised his nursery business was not eligible under the national scheme.

“Which is why since 2018 we have sought compensation from the biosecurity section of the NT’s Department of Primary Industry,” he said.

“We were promised compensation, we took people for their word. We don’t want to close the business, so we have no choice but to proceed with court action.”

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Leg of Mutton Lake volcanic crater was a booming nursery, fishing spot before the overgrown woodland it is now

Hidden behind the Australia’s volcanic risk Blue Lake In South Australia’s Mount Gambier and shrouded by its own canopy is a submerged oasis overgrown with towering pines, picnic lawns and weeping willows.

Australia’s volcanic risk

Named for its animal-like shape, the little-known Leg of Mutton Lake in South Australia’s south-east has lived many lives since forming as a volcanic crater thousands of years ago.

Between 1889 and 1926 thousands of introduced species were tested there from a stone botanical nursery cottage.

Families would flock to the spot during the summers to fish and socialise from the lake’s edge.

But 135 years later the lake has disappeared, the nursery is long-gone and the once vibrant recreational area has become lifeless.

Ask a local though and they would be happy to direct you to the old “carriage drive” down one of the two goat tracks to the crater floor.

What used to be Leg of Mutton Lake is now a canopy of giant trees, often overlooked by its neighbouring Blue and Valley Lakes.(ABC South East SA: Bec Whetham)

The founding of the nursery

While appreciated for its beauty now, the town repelled the decision to clear the crater for forestry purposes in 1870.

An 1878 edition of Mount Gambier’s newspaper, The Borderwatch, said the Forestry Board had “set itself to destroy the natural beauty of the Reserve”.

“It was, we believe, a mistake to include our Lakes among the Forest Reserves; but it will be greater still if damage is done that will take many years to undo,” the reporter said.

The nursery was established at the northern end in 1879 but was not opened to the public until several years later.

Two photos - one in black and white, the other in colour - show the same treelined walkway 100 plus years apart.
The walkway down to the Leg of Mutton Lake has not changed much in 150 years.(ABC South East SA: Bec Whetham)

Locals could visit the nursery during daylight hours, children had to be with their parents and smoking was not allowed between January and April.

“A carriage drive has been made down the slope to the lake side, and footpaths, with seats at occasional distances, have been formed around the water’s edge,” The Borderwatch said.

“It is, therefore, a great resort of pleasure seekers.

“The Mount Gambier forest nursery, the most successful in the colony, is situated at one end of this lake.”

A black and white photograph of three boys with fishing rods by the water's edge of a tree-lined lake, cottage at the far end.
Fishing at the Leg of Mutton Lake, 1920.(Supplied: State Library of South Australia)

Mr Charles Beale, the nurseryman

Charles Beale, a horticulturist from England, was the first and longest-serving nurseryman at Leg of Mutton.

Despite early instructions from the Mayor “not to destroy any more of the shrubs till he had fresh instructions”, Mr Beale seemed to win the town’s favour in the end.

The “determined, but kindly nature[d]” horticulturalist was celebrated in his obituary in 1929.

“Mr Beale’s love for trees and plant life was the soul of his existence,” The Borderwatch said.

Black and white image of an old man with a white beard dressed in a suit sitting in a large chair next to a standing young girl.
Nurseryman Charles Beale in 1910.(Supplied: Les Hill Collection)

Mr Beale took just six weeks’ holiday during his 28-year posting.

He retired at the age of 71 in 1905 with “but a short leave of absence and no compensation”.

Growing anything and everything

Among the first 73,557 trees planted in the nursery’s opening year were 14,000 South Australian red gums, 112 Cypress trees, 2,000 kaffir thorns, 498 Spanish chestnuts and 85 English wild cherries.

In the 46 years to follow, the nursery housed everything from bunya bunya pine, hakea eucalypt and Indian pine, through to white mulberry, butternut and red mahogany.

Local Ben Deering knows a bit about the nursery as caretaker of Centenary Tower, the 115-year-old tower overlooking the lakes district.

A black and white photograph of row of planted trees, a water tank and white stone shed at the Leg of Mutton Lake nursery.
The nursery stone cottage at the northern end of the lake.(Supplied: Les Hill Collection)

“A lot of the stuff wasn’t even planted in there, it was made to be able to transfer out … once they were big enough to become a tree they were propagated.”

As to whether any species were introduced to Australia through the nursery is uncertain, although likely.

“They didn’t care about [documenting] non-native species and things like that back then so I wouldn’t be surprised at all if that were the case,” Mr Deering said.

A park bench overlooks a large grassed area dotted with large leafy trees.
The view from Leg of Mutton Lake in 2020.(ABC South East SA: Bec Whetham)

Pests, disease and a fluctuating water table

Not all trees planted made it out of the nursery.

Strong winds, a grasshopper plague and severe hailstorms ripped through the colony at different times.

The crater’s varying water levels threatened the nursery on multiple occasions.

In 1896 The Borderwatch reported on a distressed Mr Beale who expected plants, including his bamboo, to die.

A black and white photograph shows five people standing by rows of propagated trees with Leg of Mutton Lake behind them.
Leg of Mutton Lake Lake in 1908.(Supplied: State Library of South Australia)
A black and white photograph shows five people standing by rows of propagated trees with Leg of Mutton Lake behind them.
Leg of Mutton Lake Lake in 1908.(Supplied: State Library of South Australia)
A black and white photograph shows five people standing by rows of propagated trees with Leg of Mutton Lake behind them.
Leg of Mutton Lake Lake in 1908.(Supplied: State Library of South Australia)

“A splendid horse chestnut tree, a large cork oak, and a fine specimen of rue’s sumach, which were last year high and dry, are now standing in several inches of water, and, unless it retires soon, they are bound to go off.”

The water level was still rising in 1925 when the nursery was finally closed.

A black and white aerial photo shows a small pool of water at the southern end of the Leg of Mutton Lake, surrounded by forestry
The water level at Leg of Mutton Lake reduced significantly by 1938.(Supplied: State Library of South Australia)

While it is possible that the water table influenced the decision to close, the only official reason given was that the nursery was not commercially viable after the Woods and Forests Department switched from distributing trees freely to selling them.

Mr Deering said Mr Beale and the nursery were instrumental in founding the region’s trademark forestry industry.

“They were like, ‘What will grow fast? What will grow straight?’ and the radiata pine was the one which won out,” Mr Deering said.

“Our pine forest would [now] fill Oahu; every square centimetre of it.”

Ivy covers several old, moss-covered steps where the old Leg of Mutton Lake nursery cottage used to be.
What’s left of the nursery cottage at Leg of Mutton Lake where Charles Beale lived and worked as the nurseryman for many years.(ABC South East SA: Bec Whetham)

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