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Project puts Girgarre on map

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January 05, 2018

The wheels are finally turning on Girgarre's new botanic gardens project, says project chairman Athol McDonald.

The Goulburn Valley’s newest eye-opening concert venue is on the way.

Girgarre’s landmark Gargarro gardens project is now under way, with an eye-lid-shaped soundshell centrepiece expected to be complete by mid March.

The emerging botanic gardens project on a parcel of land in the centre of the town 30 minutes west of Shepparton has been the subject of years of discussion and marks the result of an impassioned community push for such a precinct.

It aims to be a world-class garden site and a boon for the town’s tourism stocks as it evolves during the coming years.

It is hoped a flourishing botanic gardens will create a landmark space for visitors and locals, breathing life, energy and business into the town.

A network of canals, picnic spots, an ephemeral river bed and a ‘‘five senses’’ garden complete with ‘look’, ‘listen’, ‘smell’, ‘see’ and ‘taste’ areas, will be woven across the site.

The funding for the soundshell, designed for music gigs, dance recitals and opera performances, has been secured through a number of channels, including through a Victorian Government small town transformation grant.

Gargarro project chairman Athol McDonald said the amphitheatre space was mostly constructed already, and builders would soon begin piecing together the sound shell, set to be complete by April.

Elsewhere on the broader project, Mr McDonald said the main avenues had been constructed including rows of trees.

He said funding being secured had given project stakeholders ‘‘some real impetus’’ and a ‘‘kick start’’.

‘‘The next major task is to get funding for the detailed design of the first phase of garden,’’ he said.

Mr McDonald said the whole community was ‘‘really excited’’ for the blossoming precinct. ‘‘It finally does look like something’s happening there.’’

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