Dulcie Hewitt with her band of willing workers, who have been told by council to stop their beautification work on Queensland Rail property at Kilkivan.
Dulcie Hewitt with her band of willing workers, who have been told by council to stop their beautification work on Queensland Rail property at Kilkivan. Craig Warhurst

Garden group told to stop work

AT a time when the Gympie Regional Council cannot afford to maintain footpaths or to pay the third-party insurance for citizens who do, you would have to wonder what the council has against a group of Kilkivan residents who give their time to maintain and improve public land.

But council has demanded a stop on the beautification of railway land and an adjacent park, despite the fact that all the group has done on the land is mow it, and its work on railway land, held in trust by council, has the full support of Queensland Rail.

Dulcie Hewitt says some councillors have it in for her group of volunteers, who also run a market to raise money for projects that include a botanic gardens and railway land maintenance and beautification.

Ms Hewitt said it dated back to her involvement in a campaign against Kilkivan having to pay the full council share of a subsidised water treatment scheme.

It was a campaign which, perhaps disastrously, resulted in the withdrawal of State Government subsidies and the collapse of the project.

But that, says Ms Hewitt, should have nothing to do with the good-hearted efforts of her band of gardeners and landscapers.

The former high-profile Brisbane interior designer, with projects like the Queensland Gallery, the Park Royal, Crest and Lennons Hotels and 44 Queen Street to her credit, said she and her group began as “a few grey-haired ladies” who cleared the overgrown railway land by hand with brush hooks.

Since then they have maintained the old goods shed where they meet, as well as mowing, watering and establishing gardens on the adjacent land.

“They've told us we have to stop our work in Lester Miller Park, but we have nothing to do with Lester Miller Park,” Ms Hewitt told The Gympie Times.

“We didn't do anything other than what the previous David Lahiff Kilkivan Shire Council gave us permission to do.

“Other than that, we have mowed it, at no cost to the council.

“It's all paid for by cakes and sausage sizzles.

“This is all paid for by the community that has supported us and every penny is reinjected into the project.

“We have had permission from QR for everything we have done on the department's land.”

Gympie Times


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