FACELIFT:  $400,000 announcement for botanic garden shade house.
FACELIFT: $400,000 announcement for botanic garden shade house. Caitlin Zerafa

Funds shed light on shade house

A SHADE house at Noosa Botanic Gardens will receive a $400,000 facelift thanks to joint State Government and Noosa Council funding.

The existing structure has been deemed unsafe and closed to the public for three years, but Tuesday's announcement from SEQ Water will see a world class facility open late 2019.

Minister for Natural Resources, Mines and Energy Dr Anthony Lynham said this project will provide a significant boost in visitor numbers to the gardens.

"I hear from the local community it is much needed and it coincides with the $90 million upgrade being done on Lake McDonald Dam next year,” Dr Lynham said.

Noosa Mayor Tony Wellington thanked SEQ Water and the State Government for their investment in the project.

"The current shade house is loosing bits of metal and people can't go in there so it's in desperate need of a resurrection,” he said.

"What this opportunity offers is to create a brand new shade house which will be a fantastic asset both to the Noosa Botanic Gardens and Noosa community at large.”

Mr Wellington also made special mention to volunteers and the Friends of Noosa Botanic Gardens for their involvement.

The Botanic Garden land returned to Council ownership earlier this year allowing local government to move ahead with the master plan development of the site.

Member for Noosa Sandy Bolton said this refurbishment was great example of working together to achieve much-needed improvements.

"This is really exciting not only for the community and the friends of the botanic gardens who have worked so hard but also it is on the Noosa Country Drive so it adds something else for people to come and visit.”

Friends of Noosa Botanic Gardens vice chair Adam Woodhams has worked in horticulture for 25 years and said the new structure will be designed to allow bigger plants to grow.

"All the great botanical gardens around the world have a shade house and it's a very important facility because it allows you the ability to grow a range of plants than what you typically see in a garden bed,” he said.

Mr Woodhams said the shade house will become an integral part of educational tours.

"Every single feature like this one that are added to the gardens are increasing the worth not just for the local community but for tourist coming into the area. The gardens are a fantastic educational resource.”

Construction of the new shade house will begin in the second half of next year when the sun is at its lowest to minimise damage to plants.

"They need that much protection, if some of these plants get one blast of summer sun they can loose foliage,” Mr Woodhams said.

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