Gardens ‘will be built’
TOOWOOMBA Mayor Paul Antonio has fired back at the region’s most powerful family over the upcoming Quarry Gardens project.
Businessman John Wagner last week reissued his company’s years-long offer to donate 200,000 cubic metres of soil, valued at up to $3m, to help with earthworks at the Bridge Street Quarry.
The only proviso is that the council starts work on creating the legacy project soon.
When asked about the project and the offer on Tuesday, Mr Antonio said the council was committed to developing the project after taking the proper steps.
He also noted the cost of moving all the soil from Wagner Corporation’s site at Wellcamp.
“The Quarry Gardens are wide open for external funding, there are people who will come along at some stage,” he said.
“We’ve seen the headlines in the paper on Monday – all that material has to be carted of course, which is a fair bit of money.
“We want to get the Quarry Gardens right – it will happen, so will the use of the Toowoomba Escarpment as a major tourist attraction.”
It comes after Mr Wagner said the company originally wrote to the council in 2019 with the offer, but said he had not received a response.
“We can’t do much more than that, it’s a fair gift to the city – we would like to see all and sundry get behind the project,” he said.
“We’d like to see volunteers included, and we’d like to see something happen on the site soon.”
In response to the offer, Bridge Street Quarry advisory committee chair Councillor Kerry Shine said the council had responded at the time and turned down the offer, citing the infancy of the project.
“The quarry will need to be rehabilitated prior to further development works taking place, including designs for a future garden,” he said.
“Council has replied to an earlier offer of soil for the quarry site from the Wagners.
“At the time, council could not accept the proposal at this early stage of the project.
“However, council greatly appreciates the Wagners’ offer and their support for the project.”
Mr Shine said the project involved a three-step process, of which external funding would be required.
“The feasibility study recommended public investment in the first two stages, which will be subject to further budget deliberations,” he said.
“The quarry is not included in council’s current 10year capital works program.”