KERSHAW Gardens is looking at a $3.5million 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 in February.

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

She also estimated a cost of about $500,000 to chop down trees.

The chair of the parks and recreation committee, councillor Cherie Rutherford, said the current $3.5million estimate was based on normal landfill recapping costs.

"We know what to do to recap a normal landfill; so we've gone worst-case scenario and worked off that," she said.

"We had to have some sort of estimate to take to the (Federal) Government for the Category D funding... the figures we're working with at the moment is a best estimate at this point and I would hazard a guess it's probably not enough."

Rockhampton Regional Council applied for Category D assistance funding for the gardens, but was denied by the Federal Government, along with the rest of Rockhampton's applications.

Cr Rutherford said a more comprehensive cost of repair would not be available until testing had been completed.

So far, 160 sites have been tested by environmental consultants, CQG Consulting, to determine the breadth of rubbish.

Cr Rutherford said she was mindful the community wanted their gardens back, but was encouraging everyone to remain patient.

"Outside the gardens are taking shape again, however its visual appearance doesn't tell the whole story. Unfortunately, it's what we can't see under the ground that's of most concern," she said.

Workers on-site can be seen dressed in head-to-toe protective gear.

Cr Rutherford said it was a precaution after asbestos was found on site.

Quick facts

How far along is it?

3000 cubic metres of mulch

3500 cubic metres of branches and sticks

85% of the fallen and dangerous trees cleared

Perimeter fencing hire: $4500 for four months

160 sites tested by environmental consultants



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