Strelow promises council won't walk away from Kershaw

KERSHAW Gardens will not be fenced off and forgotten, even if crucial funding from the State and Federal governments is not forthcoming.

Mayor Margaret Strelow has promised that council will not walk away from the Kershaw Gardens cyclone disaster, despite concerns the region might not qualify for Category D funding.

Cr Strelow said the $1.9million in the budget to upgrade the gardens as part of Rockhampton's "Big Backyard" project may have to be diverted to the restoration.

Council is still unsure of the size of the job, but it is expected to cost more than the $8million to recap the Lakes Creek Rd landfill to the 900mm standards.

Cyclone Marcia has unearthed a hidden problem at the gardens, as uprooted trees exposed glass, syringes and a possible methane gas danger relating to the old 1980s landfill on the site.

Cr Strelow said she had been in talks with the State Government about using Category D disaster funding to cover the cost of the gardens' recovery, but said it wasn't guaranteed.

The process to request the funding is still underway as the council works to build an application.

"We are not confident about Category D, but we are hopeful and building a strong case," she said.

"We had $1.9million in the budget for this year and next year for a redevelopment of Kershaw Gardens... if we don't get funding, clearly that money will have to be diverted."

Cr Strelow said the estimated cost was impossible to know until the area was reviewed, but there was no chance of leaving it abandoned.

"Leaving Kershaw Gardens and just walking away is not an option. It has to return as a significant garden," she said.



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