Frequently Asked Questions
Why is Kershaw Gardens closed?
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 and is now closed while Council clears the debris and remediates the area.
Kershaw Gardens was also a former landfill reclamation area, which isn’t unusual for large parks, so potentially hazardous material such as broken bottles, plastic and waste matter has been exposed in several places.
Council worked closely with experienced Environmental Consultants in the initial stages of remediation, as well as State Government agencies including the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection (EHP), Workplace Health & Safety (WHQ) and Queensland Health’s Public Health Unit.
Is it safe to enter the gardens at the moment?
Yes - to parts of the northern section of the gardens. Other areas are still closed.
There is security fencing around the gardens along with many Do Not Enter signs. Please do not enter while Council is continuing their work.
Who has Council been working with on Kershaw Gardens?
Council engaged Environmental Consultants CQG Consulting to provide expert advice on the management of the environmental and public health risks and to perform sample tests across the park to determine the breadth and depth of the landfill and which areas are most impacted.
How long will Kershaw Gardens be closed for?
It’s unknown at this stage. Once testing and analysis has been significantly progressed, we’ll have a better idea of the next steps and what’s needed to remediate. We are opening up parts of the garden to the public in stages and we will let you know as this happens.
Why is it taking so long to clear the gardens?
The extensive damage by Cyclone Marcia included well over 200 mature trees being uprooted – some of them with roots up to three metres across. When the trees were uprooted, it exposed the waste material from the former landfill triggering a complex yet methodical exercise, which includes clearing, salvaging and testing sites across the Gardens to determine the extent of the landfill.
Why did Council use an old landfill site to put a park on?
The use of closed land-fills for the development of parks and sporting fields is very common in Australia and indeed, around the world.
People regularly used the gardens before the cyclone. How safe was it, given it was an old landfill site?
It was safe as the waste was buried; the safety issues now arise because the waste has been exposed/ brought to the surface.
Is it safe for the public to use gardens that have been built on former landfill sites?
Yes it is safe as long as the ‘cap’ or cover for the landfill is sufficient to provide a barrier and to keep the waste buried.