Mayor Strelow responds to readers on Kershaw Gardens

KERSHAW Gardens is looking at a $3.5 million price tag just to make it safe; but even that may not be enough.

The site was closed after rubbish, including glass and syringes, was brought to the surface by uprooted trees during Cyclone Marcia.

Rockhampton Regional Mayor Margaret Strelow said it would cost about $800,000 to conduct testing to determine the extent of the repair job and $500,000 to chop down trees.

Cr Strelow responded to online comments about the issue.

KeepingItReal: You walk around any street and park in rocky and you see syringes. Especially on the riverbank.

Margaretstrelow: It's not just syringes, also asbestos and other things. The extent of damage is significant

JackBlack: $500K to cut down the trees? You're kidding, right? No doubt a local contractor will be able to get another couple of big black V8 Toyota Safaris to drive the kids to school in. Plant some trees in the holes and top-dress them. Put a wire barrier around them if you want to keep the kids out. Why does this Mayor want to gold-plate everything? Margaretstrelow: You clearly haven't had big trees come down recently! Just ask around and find what people are paying for tree loppers and chippers! We've had close to 200 big trees down in Kershaw Gardens.

TyallaC3034: If it had been covered properly in the first place, it would not need handouts to cover the costs of exposed items and asbestos. Its the council's responsibility when it is viewed in the issue ... there has been concerns over this in the past when they planned Kershaw Gardens.

GibberingFool: That was 30 years ago. They didn't have the standards we do now. If the council had tried to fix Kershaw before the cyclone, people would have been up in arms about RRC wasting money on something that hadn't caused any issues. Margaretstrelow: There were no real standards when the gardens were first established on top of old land fill in the late 1980s.

CQld1: Dumps in the past all over Queensland never had to cap the workings with different clays etc in the past and it was just a matter of fill it up and grow some trees or turn it into a sports field. It's proably better to grow trees as they help hold it all together and assist in the breakdwn of some product. (except the tyres and plastic that won't)

Fortunately today's dumps such as the Lakes Creek landfill are very much regulated and thats also why it costs millions to operate a dump these days. Lots of rules around different waste and capping. As for Kershaw, had the trees not been uprooted, the plants would have continued to grow and no one would be any the wiser what was buried beneath.

Unfortunately, I know very well how expensive it is to have trees cut down, having to have some following the cyclone myself. About $600 per palm tree, and thats leaving the stumps (three hours work), so I can see why the dollars would quickly add up for the size of the Kershaw.

Ryder: A few days ago, TMB reported that the members for Flynn and Capricornia had succeeded in getting category D funding for both regions. Last time I looked, Rockhampton was part of Capricornia.

Margaretstrelow: It's a question of how much funding. There is a total of $6 million to be spent on jobs like this across four local government areas. We are out of pocket about $13 million we expect. Totally, expenses cleaning up after Marcia about $24 million. We believe we will get maybe $11 million back in a combination of insurances and disaster arrangements.

Grammar and spelling as originally posted.

Topics:  cyclone marcia kershaw gardens margaret strelow rockhampton regional council

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