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1384.6 - Statistics - Tasmania, 2006  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 22/04/2004   
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Contents >> Culture and the Arts >> Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens

The Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens (RTBG) were established in 1818 and receive around 350,000 visitors a year. The Gardens cover an area of 14 hectares and display more than 6,000 species from around the world and Australia. The conifer collection is the largest in the Southern Hemisphere with some trees dating back to the early 19th century.

As a State Government statutory organisation, the Gardens are more than just plant collections. They provide a setting for social activities and celebrations, education programs, recreation, conservation of natural and cultural heritage as well as plant research.

HIGHLIGHTS IN 2003-04

  • Work to the RTBG foreshore area was completed including protection of aboriginal middens in close liaison with the Aboriginal Heritage Unit.
  • The main entrance to the Gardens has been upgraded which now provides improved access from the upper car park to the main gate.
  • Work was completed on replacement of the ageing bamboo features and fixtures in the Japanese Garden.
  • The total number of visitors to the Gardens in 2003-04 was 368,726, an 18.0% increase on 2002-03. The total number of tourist visitors to the Gardens stayed static in comparison to 2002-03.
  • The Gardens host the Tulip Festival of Tasmania each September. Nearly 40 stallholders and exhibitors and more than 8,000 patrons combined to make the festival a success.
  • The green waste recycling project in the gardens continued in 2003-04 with approximately 100 tonnes redirected from landfill and reused in the Gardens.
  • In partnership with Antarctic Tasmania, the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens hosted the Huskies picnic as part of the Midwinter Festival. The event attracted over 4,200 attendees.
  • A water audit of the Gardens by RTBG staff in collaboration with Hobart City Council commenced.
  • The RTBG completed a contract to produce a landscape and maintenance plan for historic Willow Court at New Norfolk.


DISEASES

The Gardens have been affected by major fungal diseases:

ARMILLARIA LUTEOBUBALINA

The program of eradication of this fungal disease has been largely successful. In 2003-04 no fruiting bodies were found during the annual autumn monitoring, which is the first time since the disease was diagnosed in the Gardens in 1994. The disease appears to now be contained to one remaining site.

PHYTOPHTHORA CINNAMOMI

Around 1997, another root rot fungus, Phytophthora cinnamomi, was identified in four areas of the Gardens: the Erica, Protea, Epacrid Family and Tasmanian native collections. Since then, all infected areas have been drenched regularly with potassium phosphonate as part of the antifungal treatment program, and soil testing on any suspicious plant deaths has been carried out in the Gardens' laboratory. During 2003-04 a new and simpler method for testing root rot was trialled with success. The status of the disease in the Gardens remains unchanged with minimal plant loss.

SPHAEROBOLUS

This fungus was detected in the Nursery in June 2004 and a survey of the Gardens led to identification in most housed collections and some beds. Recommendations for control were instigated and these are now being followed.


Further information can be found on the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens web site at http://www.rtbg.tas.gov.au.

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