Media Releases

  • National Herbarium to move to the Royal Botanic Garden Mount Annan

    Posted on 4 June, 2018

    The National Herbarium of NSW is being moved to Western Sydney and will house an incredible 1.4 million plant specimens - including those collected by Captain Cook’s botanists during his 1770 voyage to the Pacific.

    The National Herbarium will move from its current location in the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney to Mount Annan, creating 350 new jobs - thanks to a $60 million investment from the NSW Government as part of the 2018 Budget.

    The new, purpose-built Centre of Innovation in Plant Sciences at the Australian Botanic Garden Mount Annan will be the nation’s premier botanic science research facility – adding to Western Sydney’s emergence as an important scientific and innovation hub.

    The botanical collections that will be held at Mount Annan are worth $200 million and include precious specimens collected by Captain Cook’s acclaimed botanists, Joseph Banks and Daniel Solander.

    The existing National Herbarium site at The Royal Botanic Garden Sydney will be revitalised and turned into a new science, horticulture and education centre, showcasing the work of the Gardens’ world-class experts.

    “We are so proud to invest in the West,” said Environment Minister Gabrielle Upton.

    “Moving the National Herbarium to Mount Annan will create more jobs for Western Sydney and further enhance the region’s reputation as the heart of Australia’s science and technology industries.

    “As well as creating jobs today, it is important we inspire the generations of tomorrow.

    “We want the scientists, astronauts, doctors and professors of the future to come from Western Sydney – so it is vital we make these types of investments to inspire and educate.

    “We are building Badgery’s Creek Aerotropolis, we are moving Powerhouse Museum to Parramatta, we are investing in schools across Western Sydney and now we are moving Australia’s premier botanic science institution to Mount Annan.

    “Unlike Labor, we back the West.”

    Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said the 2018 Budget will deliver on the Government’s commitment to bring more jobs and better opportunities for the Macarthur area.

    “Our economic management has built long-term prosperity, created more than 500,000 jobs, and turned NSW into the number one economy in Australia,” Mr Perrottet said.

    “This project is a great example of building for tomorrow and delivering jobs and growth for the people of Western Sydney today.

    “The National Herbarium of NSW collection is of national and international significance. It represents part of the documented history of the scientific and cultural exploration of NSW and Australia.

    “It is appropriate that, as we acknowledge the 250th anniversary of the voyage of Captain Cook, we provide world class facilities to showcase our collection, such as the Banks and Solander specimens, and even more recent discoveries such as the Wollemi Pine.”

    Camden MP Chris Paterson said: “This decision has been a big win for our area.”

    “The 350 new jobs that will be created will be a great benefit for Camden.

    “The Herbarium will complement the PlantBank and the Botanic Gardens will become known Nationally along with Camden,” he said.

    Executive Director of Botanic Gardens & Centennial Parklands Kim Ellis said: “This historic investment by the NSW Government will ensure this state is recognised as a world-leader in vital plant sciences.

    “Without plants, we’d have no food, no medicines, no beer, no oxygen – put simply, there’d be no life on Earth. The scientists working here in Western Sydney will be tackling some of the most critical challenges facing humanity today.”

    Detailed planning is currently underway to define the requirements for the new Centre and the procurement will commence shortly.

    The successful design and contractor team will then work with the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney to develop the design for the Western Sydney Centre, with the final concept design to be unveiled later in the year. Construction will commence in 2019.

    Planning for the rejuvenation of the current Herbarium at the Sydney Garden will also commence this year.

    Illustrations of 1770 botanical exhibits and an artist’s impression of the new Herbarium can be found here: