CLEANING UP: Australian Army Corporal Jaik Weston operating a chainsaw to clear and remove debris at the Kershaw Gardens after Cyclone Marcia hit the region.
CLEANING UP: Australian Army Corporal Jaik Weston operating a chainsaw to clear and remove debris at the Kershaw Gardens after Cyclone Marcia hit the region. SGT Mick Davis

Syringes, asbestos and rubbish will be a $12m clean up

THERE is a lot more to clean up in Kershaw Gardens than meets the eye.

Syringes, asbestos and rubbish lay underneath the gardens, but Rockhampton Mayor Margaret Strelow is determined to make it safe and back into the beautiful area it used to be.

A massive clean up of this degree doesn't come cheap, with estimations close to $12 million to clean the park after Cyclone Marcia tore through it in February.

Kershaw Gardens was formerly a landfill site, which was closed in the 1980s, however the cyclone caused some of the hazardous materials to re-surface.

"We always knew it was a dump, but it's not as simple as putting more dirt on top," Cr Strelow said.

"The new rules require a map of what's underneath the land and how deep it is, and of course we didn't have that information from back then.

"The tests are bringing up these horrible things you expect to see in dumps, but we know we can make it safe and will cap it appropriately.

"Once it's closed over it shouldn't worry anybody."

Cr Strelow said they will vie for a part of the $6 million of Category D funding handed down from the State Government; however that is to be shared among five councils for cyclone clean up projects.

"We have more than one project that qualifies for that money, so it's important to secure as much as possible," she said.

Cr Strelow is hoping to have the gardens opened in December.


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