Councillor tells colleagues to zip it over Quarry Gardens

Cr Nancy Sommerfield.
Cr Nancy Sommerfield. Nev Madsen

TOOWOOMBA councillor Nancy Sommerfield has launched an extraordinary broadside at her colleagues who talk to the media about unfunded projects such the Quarry Gardens.

The verbal attack came in the middle of a discussion on the $1.9 million upgrade of Cathro Park along Chalk Drive in the council's committee meeting this morning.

Cr Sommerfield said councillors who spoke to the media about unfunded projects without discussing it with the other members should be "reined in".

Aerial view of Bridge Street Quarry, site of planned quarry gardens, taken in 2003. Photo Contributed
Aerial view of Bridge Street Quarry, site of planned quarry gardens, taken in 2003. Photo Contributed Contributed

"We need to have an agreement around the table here on projects that we want to deliver, and I bring up the Quarry Gardens," she said.

"This has been floated out into the community without out any consensus from this current council on what we believe we should be delivering in our community.

"We've looked at some of the different options that are available - the Quarry Gardens do not stack up compared with some other sites that we have.

"We need to be reining in councillors who are going out and pushing for something that this council has not agreed that we can afford, and that no prior funding has been approved of."

The comments come just a day after rugby league legend Shane Webcke issued a call to arms for the project's revival in a new video with Friends of the Quarry Gardens.

When asked to clarify her position, Cr Sommerfield alluded that Mr Webcke's relationship with Mayor Paul Antonio was behind the recent push.

"Shane's very close to the Mayor - (when I saw the video) I thought, here we have is a push (for the gardens) when council doesn't have any funding for it," she said.

"To me, a Toowoomba international garden (at Spring Bluff) that we've got to the north would be much more cost-effective, more achievable and doesn't have the traffic issues."

Cr Sommerfield's attack was unrelated to the discussion over Cathro Park, which the council won a Building Our Regions grant from the State Government to upgrade, worth $987,500.

The TRC will also contribute on a dollar-for-dollar basis, $200,000 of which will be taken from its budget for the Principal Depot Project.

While the motion to start works was passed unanimously, several councillors questioned the practice of taking money from projects to fund others not included in the council's capital works scheme.

Topics:  nancy sommerfield paul antonio quarry gardens shane webcke toowoomba

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