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

Kangaroo Point Off-Leash Dog Area Divides Residents

A proposal to make James Warner Park, located at the bank of the Brisbane River, into an off-leash dog area has divided residents of Kangaroo Point. The site is a nesting ground for bush turkeys, which could be driven out of their habitat if dogs run freely around the park.

Residents have been left upset after a video made its way in the news showing a group of people encroaching on the turkeys’ home with torches late one night. 

It comes as Councillor Jonathan Sri opened a proposal for an off-leash dog area in Kangaroo Point and conducted a poll for residents to choose the best location. The other area in contention is CT White Park. Mr Sri said that they were “pretty close to settling on CT White Park” until some locals asked for more time for public consultation and consider James Warner Park as well.

“With BCC now confirming that the administration will support a dog off-leash area at either CT White Park or James Warner Park, depending on which location has more support from residents, this last polling round is about choosing the specific location,” he posted on Facebook. 

Photo Credit: Councillor Jonathan Sri/Facebook

Mr Sri’s poll has, so far, received 355 votes with 61 percent preferring James Warner Park. The locals also posted their thoughts on having an off-leash dog area in either location.

“The proposed enclosed area at James Warner Park is less than 15 metres from the neighbouring residential buildings. This will inevitably lead to on-going problems with noise, smell and dust as the existing grass cover is lost,” John Cox shared.

“When the dog owners defiantly used James Warner Park for intermittent periods from 5 pm – 7 pm, I saw first hand the wildlife disappear as well as the damage to the grassed area. I can only imagine what it will look like used daily – a dust bowl,” Thelma Butcher said.

“The CT Park is very busy with bikes and scooters and ferry commuters. It is also very steep in areas which would prejudice older or disabled people many of whom love walking their dogs and enjoy the social interaction,” Emma Hossaxko, a resident for 27 years said.

“The second proposed location at CT White Park would be less successful due to the topography, lack of shaded edges and high volumes of cycle traffic that passes along both edges to Bright Street (the playground further down is partially fenced for this reason),” Josh Spillane said.  

“Bottom line here is that we do not need a DOLA. People should be happy to actually walk their dogs on a leash. DOLA’s are filthy unsightly areas that very quickly turn in to smelly dustbowls,” according to Andrew Whyte. 

Mr Sri has yet to confirm the final decision on the location. He did address concerns about the noise in a DOLA close to the houses.

“If BCC receives lots of complaints about a DOLA, the parks officers will go check it out periodically to make sure there aren’t any obvious issues, but they’re not likely to take any enforcement action unless there is ongoing sustained repetitive barking,” the councillor said.