Until recently there was little incentive for the Gardens to generate revenue because it derived no benefit therefrom; however, changes in government policy now permit the Gardens to retain revenue earned as part of its operating budget. Commercial operations are now a feature of many botanic gardens and, if properly controlled and complementary to the gardens' values, they can enhance visitors' experiences.

Commercial operations within the Gardens include activities carried out under licence and directly managed revenue-earning ventures. The National Parks and Wildlife Regulations provide that all commercial operations in the Gardens require the written permission of the Director of National Parks and Wildlife. The Director may impose conditions on any permit issued and may also withdraw permission if an operator does not meet these conditions.

The bookshop and kiosk operate under licences issued by the Director. Licensees are selected in accordance with standard Commonwealth procurement procedures. The bookshop provides the commercial retail outlet for all publications produced by Australian Nature Conservation Agency as well as a comprehensive range of botanical, horticultural and natural history books. Regular meetings are held between the Gardens management and the licensees to ensure that the licensees meet the requirements of the Gardens and its visitors.

Revenue-earning activities directly managed by the Gardens include rental for facilities, including the Theatrette, Dickson Room and the Crosbie Morrison Centre, royalties for plants released to the nursery industry, fees for filming rights and licences to reproduce photographs, sale of publications, fees for the identification of plant specimens and the provision of technical advice for commercial clients, and fees for special community and educational programs. These last include some resource-intensive educational programs, children's activities during school holidays, and specialist tours, talks and workshops given by staff.

Management prescriptions


The objective is to promote commercial operations that provide the widest possible range of services for visitors whilst maintaining the Gardens' values.


Commercial operations will be approved only when they are consistent with the aims and objectives of the Gardens. There will continue to be a strong emphasis on maintaining the Gardens as a place for quiet recreation and learning.

Licences will continue to be issued to operate a kiosk and a bookshop within the Gardens. After appropriate consultation and analysis of financial viability, the Director of National Parks and Wildlife may issue licences for the operation of a high-quality restaurant to complement the kiosk, an internal transport system within the Gardens, and a commercial plant nursery. Liaison with commercial licensees operating within the Gardens will be maintained through appropriate consultative mechanisms.

The Gardens will continue to charge fees for licences to reproduce copyright photographs, for the hire of rooms and other spaces or venues, for commercial photography and cinematography, for identification of plant specimens, and for the provision of technical advice for commercial clients.

Publications will continue to be sold from outlets within the Gardens and some community and educational programs will continue to be provided from time to time for a fee. The Gardens will continue to liaise with the nursery industry to negotiate royalty arrangements for species, forms, selections or hybrids of native plants to be released to the industry and sold by commercial nurseries.

Entry to the Gardens in Canberra will continue to be free of charge whilst this remains government policy. At Jervis Bay, visitors to the Gardens must travel through the National Park and pay the Park entrance fee. An arrangement has been made with the National Park for a share of the revenue to be credited to the Gardens and these funds will be applied to developing visitor facilities and services at the Jervis Bay site.

Consideration will be given to introducing fees for the Gardens to be open to groups or individuals at times outside the normal public opening hours and for weddings or similar ceremonies held in the Gardens. The granting of permission for such activities would depend on whether the activities were likely to conflict with the aims of the Gardens and the security of the Gardens and its collections. The possibility of introducing an admission fee for special events and particular facilities within the Gardens will be examined.