by Brittney Manning
Ongoing construction work on the Tondoon Botanic Gardens is underway as the council endeavours to replace existing structures and complete major electrical upgrades.
The initial stage of the Electrical Upgrade Project commenced in December 2020 and was completed prior to 30 June 2021.
Gladstone Region Acting Mayor Kahn Goodluck said Stage 2 is expected to be completed prior to 30 June 2022, with the $1 million cost funded by Council.
“The new lighting infrastructure will provide improved electrical abilities for the Gardens with added benefits for community events held within the grounds,” Cr Goodluck said in a statement.
The light poles will have the capacity to add on CCTV, audio speakers, Wi-Fi and hold event banners while blending into the aesthetics of the gardens.
“The second stage involves earthworks with trenches dug in certain areas of the Gardens in order to lay conduit and pull cable through.
“Fencing and signage remains in place in certain areas of the Gardens and will be removed when Stage 2 is complete or when safe to do so,” Cr Goodluck said.
The upgrades have caused some residents difficulty navigating the gardens due to a lack of signage and information at the construction site.
Gladstone resident Sharie Kendrick has lived in the region for 53 years and said she and her friends regularly use the garden walking paths and scenery to socialise.
Ms Kendrick was upset to find a lack of signage at the construction site regarding upgrades to the café deck and walkways.
“I just want to know what they are doing and when they are going to give us back our gardens,” Ms Kendrick said.
Gladstone Regional Council provides information regarding Tondoon Botanic Gardens construction work, upgrades and workshop activities on its website and social medias.
But Ms Kendrick said pensioners, such as herself, are unable to access online resources and that the Council should consider all residents when distributing public notifications.
“Unless you have got a computer or go on Facebook, you’re not allowed to know,” Ms Kendrick said.
Replacement of the existing timber deck and boardwalk have been completed.
The information centre and walking paths, including the Mount Biondello track, currently remain open to the public.