Recreational vehicle based (RTV) Camping in Kershaw Gardens High Street Car Park
Council is providing a contained site at the High St car-park of Kershaw Gardens (access from Moores Creek Road) free for RTV campers. The use of the site is under strict conditions of maximum 48 hours stay and the vehicle is “fully self-contained”. Therefore all vehicles staying overnight must have the ability to retain and store all grey water and black water within the vehicle/ caravan/ camper.
Council has installed signage at the site indicating the conditions and it is expected that users will abide by these. Local Laws Officers will be undertaking undertake random inspections and will also respond to specific complaints of users ignoring the conditions.
Council has not yet placed any restrictions on the period of time which the site will remain available.
Tropical Cyclone Marcia's Impact on Kershaw Gardens
On Friday 20 February 2015, Tropical Cyclone Marcia hit Central Queensland as a category 3 cyclone, causing extensive damage across the region.
As a result Kershaw Gardens, one of Rockhampton’s premier attractions, was severely damaged.
Council has approved the redevelopment plans for the Central precinct. You can view the plans here .
What has Council done since Cyclone Marcia?
Council is continuing the lengthy and detailed process of remediating, or reversing the damage caused, which included many of the park’s mature trees being uprooted and structural damage to park amenities, as well as exposing potentially hazardous material in several places due to it being a former landfill site.
Council has cleared and opened parts of the northern section of Kershaw Gardens and will continue this phased or progressive opening.
A master plan has been prepared to guide the long-term redevelopment of the Gardens. The development plan for the Central Precinct has been approved by Council.
Some funding has been allocated for the remediation and restoration and the master plan will assist Council in future budgeting for the redevelopment.
What was affected?
The gardens had hundreds of species of plants, some of which were uprooted and destroyed.
The Gardens attracts a range of birds, reptiles and aquatic species, some of which have been displaced after their habitats were destroyed.
Recent observations are that a range of Fauna are present in increasing numbers.
Wetlands and Waterways
The Gardens contain 1.8ha of artificial wetlands. These have education, landscape and wildlife conservation values, and are major elements contributing to the character of the Gardens. These areas are now open again.
Events, celebrations and regular outings have now ceased, along with walking programs and the involvement of the Society for Growing Australian Plants and the Friends of the Gardens.
The lengthy and detailed process of remediation (reversing the damage caused), included clearing, testing and declaring each area of the park safe for the public to enter and use again.
As up to 70% of trees were lost in some areas, along with mature trees being uprooted and structural damage to the park amenities, Council has taken it one step at a time and used a phased approach to the remediation.
Prior to its development as a Park, Kershaw Gardens was a former landfill area, which isn’t unusual for large parks, so waste material such as broken bottles, plastic and some potentially hazardous material has also been exposed in several places, primarily by the uprooting of trees.
Parts of the northern section of Kershaw Gardens have been re-opened. The remaining areas are still closed to the public while Council continues to clear and reinstate facilities and amenities for the community.
Current areas of remediation
Council is working on several areas simultaneously, including the following:
- The High Street Car Park area is closed
- The Knight Street Car Park is open
- The Dowling Street Car Park is closed
- The waterfall is running.
- The areas of the People’s Forest, Grevillea Hill and the Wetlands are open.
The redevelopment of the Central Precinct reflects the feedback from the extensive Community Engagement undertaken during the development of the master plan and includes:
- Access from Knight Street, with expanded carpark capacity
- Playgrounds (with focus on nature play opportunities); relocated monorail, maze
- Shade and picnic shelters, barbecues, public amenities
- A nexus of pathways and link to the circulation network throughout the park and beyond
- Areas of lawn, shade trees with opportunities for larger events and community celebrations
- Provision for mobile refreshment vendors
- Opportunities for inclusive play, and
- "Shade, shade and more shade"
Site works are expected to commence in August 2016 and development will be carried out in two tranches over the coming financial years.
The Central Precinct plans have been approved, watch this space for construction program updates.