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TNG Member Consultation

The TNG committee has submitted a grant application to the Covid recovery round of the Tasmanian Community Fund in order to improve the amenity and accessibility of the garden. We received $1500 in donations from a number of Tasmanian politicians as seed funding, which enabled us to commission Playstreet Landscape Architects to draw a concept design, to submit with the application. We are expecting to hear the results of the request for $42000 from TCF in mid December. If we are successful, we have a very exciting time of planning and fleshing out the concept with the help of the TNG community.

 The concept design evolved after several consultations with various committee and community members. We have budgeted a further $5000 in the grant to continue a broader consultation if the grant is successful. This consultation would include time with the architect to discuss materials and measures, and formal garden community meetings to gather feedback and improve our design.

Open the concept design


Our primary goals are to :

1. improve the community gathering area by levelling the ground, and provide shelter from the sun and rain (We once tried to host a group of year 9 boys to teach them the principles of organic gardening in the pouring rain, needless to say the planned two hours was cut to 5 minutes and everyone went home drenched and without learning much); and

2.  to improve accessibility to everyone regardless of ability.


Since beginning this process two years ago, we have been told of at least 5 people who have turned up to working bees or social days and have been unable to enter the garden due to their mobility coupled with the condition of the surfaces and the slopes of the ground. We have witnessed wheel chairs get bogged and helped elderly members up from falls in the garden. We have a duty of care to improve the safety of the garden and make it a safe and welcoming place for everyone.

Outline of changes

The community beds would be raised and made into a combination of retaining walls, seating and community beds. They will encircle the central flat area. We plan to maintain the same amount of garden area and transfer the existing soil into the beds. We expect no changes to the utility or amenity of these beds. They will continue to be a four-bed rotational system. Beds will be raised to 80cm or so.

There will be a child’s garden engagement corner, as per the original garden plans when the TNG was first devised by Nathan and David. This area and the grant have the support of Possums play centre and we will work closely with them to plan it and so improve children’s learning about gardening through touch, feel and smell. It will likely include a mortar and pestle for crushing herbs, a mud pie bench, a weaving frame for weaving different plant material (already donated by Launceston city council and Heritage Forest community garden).

We have proposed a permanent shelter for protection from sun and rain in the central area. The position of a shelter has been considered in 3 different positions, including outside the garden and in the southwest corner. This current placement was chosen to be most inclusive and because it is where people gather and gives easiest access to the community beds and shed, thus making the central working and socialising space accessible to everyone . A shadow analysis was undertaken and my bed is the main one to be shadowed by it.

Feedback so far

We have had a fair bit of feedback from more than 30 garden members so far. Members have been overwhelmingly supportive of the concept. In response to the feedback we have already made some changes to the concept plan and consider this an ongoing process.

A few of the concerns raised are listed below along with the work and professional advice we have undertaken or sought to incorporate the suggestions.

*No pizza Oven: Pizza oven removed and replaced with gas hob and steel bench for workshops and preparation of jams, cordials, curries, passata, and other preserves using goods from the garden. To date we have had to host such workshops in the private homes of our members. Having a space in the garden will make our workshops open to a larger range of people and keep them in the garden.

*no mature tree in central area: Mature tree removed

*move sandpit from central food prep area: sandpit moved away from food prep area

* loss of lawn : Other surfaces can be considered for the flat area. Most of the lawns in the TNG will be retained.

*loss of bandicoot habitat: Bandicoots are okay with hard surfaces, but we can include a native shrubbery to provide safe refuge (dpipwe wildlife biologist advice sought on this).

*Change in rustic appearance of garden:    We are open on how to include natural materials to keep the rustic feel. We are planning to use local crushed limestone and Tas oak timber to match existing hardwood structures in the garden. We welcome other suggestions. We will further consult with landscape architects and the garden community to create a space that maintains the rustic appearance valued.

*We don’t need to provide a safe place for disabled people: As someone who struggles in the garden due to my own disability, and has helped other members after falls, I do not have a kind response to this feedback. From the Kingborough council: Almost 20% of the Kingborough population identify as having a disability. (ABS data). Disability can be permanent or temporary and those experiencing difficulty with access are not confined to those with a disability. Anyone from parents with prams, delivery staff, people with a temporary injury, through to those experiencing chronic pain, chronic illnesses and those with permanent disability. All are community members and all have the right to actively participate and contribute to public life. Accessible premises are beneficial to the broader population and need not be considered merely a ‘compliance to legislation’ item but rather an outcome with a net community benefit and therefore should become an integral part of planning and decision making in relation to community project.

*Loss of garden area for community beds. We will maintain the same surface area and therefore will not lose the community beds. They will be remodelled to act as retaining  walls so we can have a flat area where there is currently a 50cm slope.

*Flattening the central area will change the hydrology of the area: I consulted with a fluvial geomorphologist (fancy word for water on landscape specialist) and correct drainage will redirect any subsurface water towards the downward slope to drain away with other subsurface water

I would love to hear from you

I would love your engagement in this project and feedback if the grant is successful. The drawing included here is a concept, and is evolving as we hear from our community. Please write to me on with your suggestions. I am also happy to meet you one on one to discuss your ideas and send copies of the grant application and letters of support to anyone interested.


We thank ex -premier Will Hodgman, Attorney General Elise Archer, Federal member for Clark Andrew Wilkie, Tasmanian House of Assembly member for Denison Ella Hadad, and Tasmanian Legislative Council member for Nelson Meg Web for their donations. All strongly expressed  that making the garden accessible to more people was important and had their full support. We have also received letters of support from the Kingborough council accessibility committee under the leadership of Paula Wriedt, and support from Kingborough major Dean Winter, similarly expressing the importance and legal obligation to make our open space accessible to all members of the community.