Kangaroo Point Playground and Dog Park Closed Following Lead Discovery

Kangaroo Point’s C.T. White Park and James Warner Park have been temporarily closed to the public, after routine soil testing yielded traces of lead on park grounds. 

Following a routine soil testing tied to the preparations for the Kangaroo Point Green Bridge project nearby, the two sites were quietly closed for remediation in February 2023. The playground and dog park are expected to re-open by April 2023.

There were no signages explaining the temporary closure to the locals who frequent the parks, per Cr Jonathan Sriranganathan. After asking Council, Cr Sriranganathan was told that the level of contaminated soil on C.T. White Park and James Warner Park necessitated the temporary closure.  

“Elevated lead levels have been detected in parts of the two parks. Areas where soil is exposed, as in the DOLA, can increase the risk of exposure for users of the parks and therefore Council’s immediate response is to close these areas while an interim solution is implemented,” a Council spokesperson said.

Kangaroo Point CT White Park
Photo Credits: Google Maps screengrab

The spokesperson further stated that C.T. White Park and James Warner Park are not on the list of Queensland’s Environmental Management Register for contaminated land. But based on the historic information, these parks were a shipyard in the 1800s and an industrial site before the 1940s. The Kangaroo Point parks were not developed until after 1946 thus the contamination likely happened more than 80 years ago. 

“Council is working to put in place measures to allow the facilities to reopen while a longer term solution is planned,” the spokesperson said. 

In 2021, James Warner Park was transformed into an off-leash dog park despite some objections from the locals who said that Kangaroo Point residents can continue to walk their dogs whilst leashed. 

A public health expert, however, said that there is no need to panic about possible contamination to lead.

“You have to consider how much time you spent in the location where this lead is, the routes [of ingestion] and amount of lead that is present,” University of Queensland School of Public Health Associate Professor Nicholas Osborne said.  

“It might not be a worry at all, it might be three feet under a very secure amount of dirt which means that humans don’t get any exposure.” 

Published 25 March 2023