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Leave our station alone: Wyatt

Former parks and gardens director Tom Wyatt inspects the old Lakes Creek Railway Station the council wants to destroy. Mr Wyatt says termite damage is nowhere near as bad as a council report makes out and says it would be a tragedy if another slice of the region’s history is lost.
Former parks and gardens director Tom Wyatt inspects the old Lakes Creek Railway Station the council wants to destroy. Mr Wyatt says termite damage is nowhere near as bad as a council report makes out and says it would be a tragedy if another slice of the region’s history is lost. Chris Ison

THE man responsible for bringing the old Lakes Creek Railway Station to Kershaw Gardens more than 20 years ago says he's outraged that councillors have voted to demolish it.

Tom Wyatt, the former parks and gardens director, slammed the decision and attacked the council for its lack of care and vision.

Mr Wyatt, who is standing for Division 2 in next month's council election, said the neglect shown over the past few years was astounding.

"It's a tragedy. This is a significant part of our history and to lose it would be a disaster," he said.

"Why didn't anyone notice the termite activity? Before the bureaucrats took over we had our own carpenter who took care of repairs when necessary."

Mr Wyatt said organisations with apprentices were crying out for training projects for young people.

"If I get elected we can sort this out."

The station was moved to the gardens when they were being developed in the mid 1980s when the intention was to run a train through the park as a tourist attraction.

"People on the council now have no feel for history and don't understand that the concept of Kershaw Gardens was to tell the history of our pioneering heritage," he said.

Councillors voted unanimously on Tuesday to tear the building down because it would cost $128,000 to repair according to an officer's report.

Mr Wyatt said it was an old trick of the council to inflate repair costs to justify getting rid of something.

The decision also came under fire yesterday from Paul Bambrick, a founder member of the newly formed Rockhampton National Trust Working Group.

"The proposed demolition would be a shame on many levels," he said, describing the station as a colonial icon. It was beautifully designed and built by hand from local materials.

"It is a sustainable building if ever there was one. It has enormous historical, aesthetic and economic value."

He said the group would lobby the council to rethink and urged others to do the same.

"Work with the community to find an innovative, cost effective way to save it," he said.

Topics:  community kershaw gardens rockhampton regional council tom wyatt



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