The ACT Government has announced plans to consolidate the operations of Yarralumla Nursery.
The Garden Centre will be offered for sale as an ongoing business. The sale is expected to be concluded in 2013-14. The Garden Centre is located next door to the Heritage Garden Centre in Weston Park, which is a private business that is not for sale.
The Yarralumla Nursery will return to its original focus of being a wholesale nursery which provides cool-climate plants for Canberra's public parks and streets as well as to landscaping contractors and retail outlets in the surrounding region.
Arrangements will be put in place with the new owners to honour all gift vouchers.
The free plant issue scheme, which has operated since 1930, will continue with the same conditions through the wholesale nursery. It is planned that sessions will be arranged regularly for people to book in and visit the wholesale section of the Nursery to talk to staff and choose their plant selection. More information will be announced shortly.
There will be no loss of permanent staff in the changes, while the disability employment program through Koomarri and vocational program with Black Mountain School will continue without impact. The privately run Heritage Nursery will not be impacted.
The Nursery's small tree farm at Pialligo, which has focussed on tree production, will close from 31 August 2013 as it is located on land owned by the Australian Government and is being returned in 2014 in preparation for the Canberra Airport runway extensions.
The changes to the Nursery's operations are part of a suite of initiatives to improve the Nursery's viability and preserve its heritage. Other improvements include improved plant propagation techniques; new sales, production and marketing plans; and onsite improvements.
The changes are designed to ensure the Nursery, which celebrates its 100th birthday next year, will continue to produce high quality plants, trees and shrubs well into the future.