The Hemmant community can now enjoy a thriving community leisure facility, following the completion of the third and final stage of work on Bill Benham Park.
Stage three of the remediation project site at the Poppy Street precinct involved removal of weeds, extensive landscaping and installation of parkland facilities including picnic shelters, footpaths, a 20 vehicle car park and a boardwalk through the area’s tidal mangrove zone.
Local Councillor Ryan Murphy (Doboy Ward) said the $1.8 million upgrade provided a space that would be well utilised by both local families and the area’s growing workforce.
“Council acquired seven local properties over the past five years to transform the park into an area that would cater for the local community and workers in the wider eastern suburbs,” Cr Murphy said.
“Adjoining Bulimba Creek, the park allows access to a range of water-based recreation opportunities such as fishing while providing an important site for restoring, enhancing and protecting the health of the waterway.
“Infrastructure amenity improvements such as bike paths, picnic shelters and a large open grassed recreation space will ensure it becomes a staple of the local community for years to come.”
Cr Murphy said additional landfill was discovered during stage three works and Council allocated $500,000 in the 2014-15 Budget to carry out further remediation of the former dumping site.
“The Hemmant parkland site had been used as a dumping ground for industrial waste and contained a large quantity of spoil heaps and masonry rubble, with our site clean-up involving the removal of approximately 105 old tyres and some 2000 cubic metres of rubbish,” he said.
“Throughout the remediation process, Council has focused on removing weed species and repopulating cleared land with hardy native species that can thrive in the salt-saturated soil.”
He said stage one and two works were completed in mid-2013 and involved the removal and replanting of trees, construction of footpaths, signage and a picnic shelter and the removal of existing landfill.
The Bill Benham Park project dovetails with the Hemmant-Lytton Neighbourhood Plan, which will guide and support the growth of the area over the coming years.
Formerly known as the Boolarra Street Parklands, the precinct was recently renamed in recognition of Port of Brisbane Rotary Club member Bill Benham, who campaigned for years for a fishing park to be constructed for the Hemmant community.
For more information on Council parks visit www.brisbane.qld.gov.au or call Council on (07) 3403 8888.