New nursery pushes transformation of native dry tropics gardening for the city

A new water-friendly indigenous nursery has been opened by the Council as the first step towards transforming the town into a water-friendly indigenous oasis showcasing the best of dry tropics planting in public spaces.

The initiative is intended to support Townsville’s broader water safety plan with a transformative focus on demonstrating to homeowners and developers what it takes to build a resilient and sustainable community.

The new Dry Tropics Nursery was created specifically to grow dry tropical plants that the Council can use in city parks and open spaces as demonstration gardens.

Townsville Mayor Jenny Hill said established native plants like Mount Stuart and Tinaroo bottlebrushes would use much less water than their non-native counterparts.

“Townsville is a dry tropical environment and one of the most arid regions in the country,” Cr Hill said.

“We have recognized as a Council that there are currently too many water-thirsty plants in the city, and that is simply not appropriate for our environment.”

Residents currently use much of their water to keep lawns and gardens green across the city, which Cr Hill said was not a sustainable behavior.

“With water security identified as one of the main challenges for Townsville, we all need to take a hard look at our water usage habits and that includes Council.

“Water is a commodity, and we need to make sure that we do everything we can as an organization to show the community how we can all conserve it and manage it effectively.

The Council has one of the largest irrigation networks in the Southern Hemisphere and also strives to ensure that the network is optimized to be water efficient.

“Not only are we replacing irrigation systems with more water-efficient products, but by planting endemic and native species, we will support greater longevity of the network as a whole.”

The chair of the community’s health, safety and environmental sustainability committee, Maurie Soars, said the new nursery was the first step in replacing vegetation with plants adapted to our dry tropical climate.

“Once fully operational, we expect the new nursery to provide up to 20,000 native plants per year for Council projects across the city,” Cr Soars said.

“Using native plants also has the added benefit of helping pollinators and wildlife endemic to the area to increase biodiversity.

“The project is just the start of what will be an ongoing work for the Council from year to year as we gradually transform our gardens, parks and roadside landscapes.”

For advice on how to conserve water at home and in your garden, visit Water conservation measures.

Caption: Mayor Jenny Hill repotting a plant for the Council’s new Dry Tropics nursery.

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