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A Million and More Reasons to be Happy!

Huge Funds Boost for Gargarro. It’s not often small hamlets like Girgarre are honoured with a visit from a Minister of the Victorian Parliament. To the delight of a crowd of forty-one locals, Shire representatives and visitors, Mary-Anne Thomas, the member for Macedon and Minister for Regional Development, made a flying visit to Girgarre on Thursday 27 May. Ms Thomas stopped over on a tour of northern Victoria to announce a $1.48 million grant for Stage One of the Gargarro Gardens project.

Project Convenor, Doc McDonald said the funds were the boost the project had been waiting for. The grant, coupled with the $200,000 received from Growing Botanic Gardens Victoria program, plus an $18,000 local contribution, means all of the ‘See Garden’; the new entrance; viewing tower and the ephemeral stream behind the Sound Shell will be completed within the allocated 12-month time frame. Doc went on to thank the Minister and the State Government of Victoria for their support. “We were informed we had won a grant earlier this month,” he said, “but we did not know exactly when the announcement would be made public. Tenders can now be sought and work begin without delay.”

"The Labor government knows the importance of investing in small communities. It secures their future" said Ms Thomas. "The extraordinary vision and dedication shown by your small community indicates you are worthy recipients of this significant support".

Green Thumbs representative, Loraine Warde, outlined the history of the nursery to Ms Thomas. “Green Thumbs was established to provide funds for a much-needed community car,” she explained. “The nursery is a very successful social enterprise manned by volunteers, but our current location at the rear of the Community Cottage is at capacity. The proposal to build on a large greenfield site, adjacent to the Gargarro Botanic Garden was an opportunity too good to miss,” she went on. “We received a welcome Regional Development Grant of $50,000 and those funds, plus an additional $40,000 raised by the local community, were the impetus for us to establish a new, expanded nursery that will sustain the community car and support the Friends of Gargarro well into the future”.

“The nursery is now close to completion, our volunteers have worked hard over the past 6 months. We will be moving into our new home within weeks.”

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