Katherine Town Council has responded after many stinging comments over the stalled Hot Springs project.
Katherine Times revealed this week the $2 million project already needs repair even before it had been half finished.
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Residents responded with harsh criticism of the council.
Northern Land Council chief executive Joe Morrison, who has an interest in a possible native title claim over the area, said the project “should never have happened.”
“Damned if I can see where that cost and expenditure has gone or where it is going. What a stuff up of a once upon a time natural icon again totally shagged and stuffed,” said another.
The council statement, released to its website last night, fails to provide timelines for the restart of the project, and a completion date.
It also fails to address the projected costs of the repair.
The full unedited statement:
Katherine Town Council is gearing up for the commencement of Stage 2 of the Hot Springs Revitalization Project.
This stage involves the upper-level of the Katherine Hot Springs and is about activating the space to provide a welcoming, family friendly outdoor meeting place where the community and tourists can come to relax, eat, play, swim and much more.
Katherine Town Council has enlisted Mode Design Corp. (MODE) to oversee the continued project works. MODE is an international design practice delivering exceptional multidisciplinary outcomes for partners throughout Australia, New Zealand and Asia.
With MODE’s oversight, Katherine Town Council has begun the design and implementation of the Stage 2 elements including:
- Iconic, interpretive and beautiful large long neck turtle symbol play element (allow for consultation with Traditional Owners)
- Outstanding playgrounds towards the southern portion of the park using ideas from existing concepts
- Pop-up café / picnic gardens to north side of park
- Integration of design with existing exercise station, river trail, BBQ structures, car park and pop-up cafe
- Water bubbler and other appropriate park infrastructure
- Fencing / bollards as appropriate to uses and function
- Integrated path network
- Revitalised BBQ and toilet structures
- Landmark signage element on Victoria Highway
“The Katherine Hot Springs revitalisation project will provide increased ambience and activities for all locals and visitors to enjoy. I am looking forward to its completion as the first project of several Katherine Town Council has planned for the benefit of our community,” Mayor Fay Miller said.
As a result of the 2017/18 wet season some erosion occurred in the lower gabion rock wall tier. Given the unique location of the site and the challenges that are often seen in projects of this scale, consultants have been engaged to inspect the site to determine the best method for remediation, keeping in mind to not cause further restrictions to the existing access during this busy period.
MODE, in collaboration with Irwin Consult, has been entrusted to undertake this important task and have carried out a site investigation and come up with a preliminary concept that meets the design brief.
With the structural engineers from Irwin Consult and the oversight of MODE, Katherine Town Council is confident the issue will be remediated to meet the timeframes set out.