SIGNIFYING the first steps to recovery for the cyclone-ravaged Kershaw Gardens, today the iconic Kershaw waterfall was turned on after being dry for nearly three months.
Deputy Premier Jackie Trad was joined by Rockhampton Region Mayor Margaret Strelow and Councillors for the occasion after inspecting the damaged gardens.
"In the first major milestone in returning the gardens to community use, today the pumps were turned back on and our magnificent corner piece is flowing again.
"Reinstating the waterfall is such a tremendous effort and council was pleased to be joined by the Deputy Premier for this occasion.
"Unfortunately the damage to the entire gardens is so widespread that the waterfall is the only part that our community and visitors can view at this stage."
Mayor Strelow reinforced the message to the community that the remainder of Kershaw was closed until environmental tests determined the way forward.
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"The gardens went from a landfill, to a much loved park, but is now effectively a landfill again," she said.
"For the time being it's a question of what we don't know, we don't know.
"We need to find out how deep the old rubbish is in different areas so that we can decide on the new plan for the gardens. It may be that some areas don't need any work done and other areas of Kershaw Gardens need a lot of fill. And then of course we need to decide the best place to put back the children's swings.
"I'd like to reassure the community that council is doing everything possible to reopen the gardens but it will take time as we gradually work our way around each section," she said.