On 1 July 1990 the Gardens staff were transferred to the Australian National Parks and Wildlife Service (renamed the Australian Nature Conservation Agency on 1 June 1993). At that time a review and reorganisation of staffing levels and classifications was under way and many positions were not filled on a permanent basis. Major award restructuring within the Australian Public Service has also occurred in recent years and these processes remain to be finalised. Award restructuring should provide significantly improved career paths for staff and greater flexibility in deploying staff. Even with these major changes, though, the Gardens will continue to employ staff in a wide range of classifications including the administrative, general service, research scientist, professional and technical officer streams.

The approved staffing level for the 199293 financial year was seventy-one. Staff numbers have declined significantly in recent years as a consequence of departmental reorganisations and transfers of responsibilities following the granting of self-government to the Australian Capital Territory. Government policiesin particular the application of the annual `efficiency dividend'have also had an impact, resulting in a 6.25 per cent reduction in staff numbers in the past five years. These reductions have coincided with significant increases in visitor numbers and the assumption of new responsibilities in the field of plant biodiversity conservation.

It must be recognised that the horticultural management of the Gardens is a very labour intensive activity and is likely to remain so. Although efficiency increases in some areas have lessened the impact of staff cuts, activity in other areas has had to be curtailed and some inefficiencies have resulted.

Various measures have been employed to reduce the impact of staff reductions on the functions of the Gardens. In particular, the use of volunteers has enabled levels of activity to be maintained in some areas and enabled new activities such as guided tours to commence.

Management prescriptions


The objectives are to ensure that the numbers of suitably qualified and trained staff necessary to implement this Plan of Management are employed and to maximise the use of volunteers to the extent consistent with safety, efficiency and harmonious industrial relations.


Approved staff numbers for the Gardens, at December 1992, are shown in Table 6.1, which also shows estimates of the staff numbers required to carry out existing programs at the desired level of activity and those required to fully implement this Plan, reflecting the priorities listed in Chapter 8. The first of these estimates would enable consolidation of existing activities and completion of works under construction, taking into account the increased need for maintenance of the Gardens' assets, increasing visitor use and expectations, and an increasing demand for visitor education and interpretation. The second of the estimates would permit all new developments proposed in this Plan to proceed and takes into account the likely increase in commercial use of the Gardens. The estimates also make provision for the creation of further positions to employ Aboriginal people in the Gardens, in accordance with government policy and the Australian Nature Conservation Agency Aboriginal Training, Recruitment and Career Development Strategy.


                                          Living        Visitor              
                               Botany     Collections   Services
Staffing levels                Section    Section       Section    Total

Approved staffing levels,       15.1       44.5        11.5        71.1
December 1992

Staffing required to carry      22.0       53.0        15.5        90.5
out existing programs at
appropriate levels of activity

Staffing required to fully      27.0       61.0        18.0       106.0
implement this Plan
Every effort will be made to secure funding and approval for the staffing required to fully implement the Plan, and staff resources will be allocated to best meet the priorities identified in Chapter 8. Should staffing levels fall significantly below requirements during the life of this Plan it may be necessary to review management arrangements, including visitor access to parts of the Gardens, in order to ensure the safety and security of visitors and to ensure that Gardens resources are not compromised.

Temporary staff will continue to be employed during summer to assist in dealing with the peak workload, extended opening hours and high visitor numbers. Consultants and specialist staff on contract will also be engaged as required.

Existing programs involving volunteers will be continued and policies will be developed, in consultation with staff and their unions, to maximise the contribution of volunteers to the activities of the Gardens.