(Private Members Statement, 2 July 2013, Legislative Assembly, NSW Parliament)
The Royal Botanic Gardens and The Domain play a vital role in providing public open space with green grass and trees to inner-city residents, workers, visitors and tourists. As someone who grew up in the inner city, I know firsthand the vital role that the gardens play for families and residents' health, mental health and sense of space. This role must not be underestimated, as data reveals that more than half a million people occupy the central business district [CBD] each weekday and that significant inner-city residential growth has little or no private open space in new and existing homes. Urban consolidation is sustainable only if residents have easy access to adequate green open space. Local residents use the Royal Botanic Gardens and The Domain for picnics, walking, recreation and quiet contemplation, and must be able to continue to do this into the future.