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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Premier and Minister for Trade
    The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk

    Rockhampton’s big back yard reopens

    Premier and Minister for Trade
    The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk

    Saturday, August 11, 2018

    Rockhampton’s big back yard reopens

    Rockhampton’s ‘big back yard’, Kershaw Gardens, reopened today for the first time in three years thanks to $5 million from the Queensland Government’s Building our Regions program.

    Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the newly revitalised gardens will give Rockhampton its iconic community centrepiece back, following on from the destruction of Severe Tropical Cyclone Marcia.

    “In February 2015, Severe Tropical Cyclone Marcia had a devastating impact across Central Queensland with extensive structural damage to houses and businesses, fallen trees, downed powerlines, heavy rainfall and storm surges,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

    “Kershaw Gardens was certainly not spared—suffering widespread damage including the uprooting of over 200 mature trees which unearthed broken glass and other potentially dangerous material from the landfill which the park is built over.

    “Since then, the gardens—which were originally established in 1988—have been largely closed due to remediation and redevelopment works leaving Rockhampton without a key community recreation space.

    “Today marks an important step in the region’s ongoing recovery since the cyclone. It’s a sign that Rockhampton is back open for business.”

    “The revitalised Kershaw Gardens will give Rockhampton locals, and residents from across the region, a unique space to come together, play and keep active, which has been missing for the past three years.”

    The Premier said the project was made possible with $5 million from the Building our Regions Fund; $6 million from Rockhampton Regional Council and $4.6 million under the joint Federal and State Government Category D (exceptional circumstances) package.

    The funding has delivered an iconic entry statement, additional carparking, new playgrounds including a monorail, a water play area, landscaping features, signage and wayfinding features, amenity buildings, a plant room and shelters.

    Mayor Margaret Strelow said the official re-opening of Kershaw Gardens is a very proud moment for Rockhampton.

    “Kershaw Gardens is one of the best multi-faceted recreation spaces in Queensland,” Mayor Strelow said.

    “While the focus will be on the new play area we are delighted that multiple pathways and quiet contemplation spaces will also be reopened to the public. The redevelopment of Kershaw Gardens has been a story of two parts.

    “Council had already planned a significant redevelopment before Marcia intervened. The post cyclone remediation work was followed by a short period when the Gardens were open to the public.

    “And now we unveil a grander dream than we could ever have imagined alone.

    “Without the assistance from the state and federal government through the NDRRA and the Building our Region’s funding arrangements, restoration of our beloved Kershaw Garden and a transformation this magnificent would not have been possible.

    “Kershaw will become be a centre for local family gatherings and birthday parties.

    “But it will also be a stopping point for travellers on the Bruce Highway and help to reposition Rockhampton as a delightful place to stay.”

    Member for Rockhampton, Barry O’Rourke welcomed the re-opening of the Gardens.

    “It’s great to see three levels of government working together. What a great outcome for Rockhampton - we now have the best back yard in Queensland,” Mr O’Rourke said.

    “I’d like to acknowledge the efforts of everyone who has contributed to this successful project and particularly the local council workers who worked their magic on the ground to bring the gardens to life once more”.

    Member for Keppel Brittany Lauga said: “the project had not only restored the gardens to their former glory but reinvigorated them into a premiere parkland area which will enhance liveability and help drive tourism in the region.”

    The Kershaw Gardens project complements the Rockhampton CBD Smart Technologies and Working Hub project, which also received $2.27 million from Building our Regions, and the Riverbank Revitalisation (Quay Street) project which received a further $15 million in Queensland Government funding.

    To date, Building our Regions has approved $225 million towards 174 critical infrastructure projects across 62 local governments in regional Queensland, generating approximately 1,762 jobs.

    In Central Queensland, 26 projects have been allocated almost $40.4 million in Building our Regions funding, for projects worth a total of over $102 million, generating 311.8 jobs. A further six projects, worth a total of over $92.3 million, have been shortlisted under Round 4 of the program.

    Successful projects under Round 4 are expected to be announced later in the year.


    Media contact: Michelle Wellington 0437 323 834