GALLERY: Sneak peek into the new-look Kershaw Gardens
RISING through the devastation of cyclone Marcia, the Kershaw Gardens have proven to be the phoenix of Rockhampton.
In the latest walk-through of the revitalisation project, this classic case of turning lemons into lemonade is well under way and set to be finished mid-2018.
Rockhampton region mayor Margaret Strelow said though this is a lingering reminder of Marcia, it was an opportunity to add something amazing to our "big backyard”.
"I believe we should be able to measure the success of the redeveloped Kershaw Gardens by counting the number of family gatherings and birthday parties held there on any given weekend,” Cr Strelow said.
"This playground will be without doubt the most appealing of any in the region.
"I often have people from Brisbane tell me that they 'know' Rockhampton - that they used to drive through Rockhampton on the way to visit family further north at Christmas holiday time.
"I want a generation that remembers Rockhampton for much more than that.
"Ultimately there will be a ring-road around Rockhampton - and it is projects such as Quay Street and Kershaw Gardens which will help to lead the traffic through the city.
"I really have to thank and congratulate both the Queensland Government and Federal Government for their funding support of this project, both through Building Our Regions and Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements.
"Council also significantly invested in this project and contributed $6.6 million and it is so pleasing to see that investment is about to pay off for or community because Kershaw Gardens will be, without a doubt, a jewel in our region's crown.”
State Member for Rockhampton Barry O'Rourke said it was great to have a contribution from State Governement to further build our region.
"It is going to be a wonderful assets for this community,” Mr O'Rourke said.
"I am proud that the Queensland Government was able to step in and support the Rockhampton region after the devastation of TC Marcia.
"The $5 million from the Building Our Regions fund is a great investment, and the community are going to have some fantastic new facilities.
"Once completed this will truly not only be a great place to take your family if you are a local, but will also be a big attraction for tourists helping to boost our local economy.”
Council's Parks, Recreation and Sport Committee chair, deputy mayor Cherie Rutherford, said she was very much looking forward to being able to open the gates to the community.
"Work on the underground services including water and communications is almost complete and construction is well underway on the shade shelters, barbecue areas and amenities,” Cr Rutherford said.
"Other impressive elements include the popular, and in-demand, monorail, double flying fox and swings, timber play towers and free Wi-Fi, and of course the show-stopping iconic Fitzroy River water play area.”
Project manager Kim Saloyedoff said the creation and design of the area represents many important aspects of the town.
A Rockhampton local, Kim said that it was important to create an interactive park, and somewhere locals and visitors can enjoy.
"Because I grew up here, went to school here, went to university here, it's a really special thing to say I had involvement in this project,” he said.