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Maryvale set to shine after contamination status cleared

24 June 2020

It’s great news for the Maryvale community! The Maryvale Sport and Recreation Reserve has officially been cleared of its contaminated land status following a year-long process led by Council, paving the way for a myriad of recreational development opportunities.

The reserve has long been highlighted by the local community for its potential as a central recreation destination for the town, and Southern Downs Regional Council’s recent Maryvale Urban Design Framework raised its removal from the Environmental Land Management Register as a high priority to free the land for recreational purposes such as walking, bird watching trails and a central rest area for locals and visitors.

Formerly the Maryvale Railway Reserve, the 5.2 hectare parcel of public land was listed on the register in 2012 due to concerns regarding historical land use as the town’s railway yards and livestock biosecurity facility.

Councillor for Community Services, Towns and Villages, Disaster Recovery Sheryl Windle said the welcome news presented exciting growth opportunities for the township.

“It was very pleasing to get the news from our officers and consultants and then confirmation from the Department that there was in fact no contamination present in the ground or the groundwater of the reserve,” Cr Windle said.

“The Maryvale community can now realise its dream of using the land without any risk or stigma from the land being contaminated.”

Acting President of the Maryvale Progress Association Dennis Wood said the announcement opened the door for tourists to enjoy what locals long had.

“We are over the moon with the news that the reserve isn’t contaminated and has been removed from the register,” Mr Wood said. 

“This paves the way for the reserve to be transformed into a focal point for Maryvale which we envisage will bring tourists to town and provide locals with a central area they can enjoy and be proud of. 

“We look forward to working with Council to realise the native landscaping and trails, along with the other projects rolling out from the urban design framework.”

Council sought removal of the reserve from the register in its 2019 budget allocation. The process of removing land from the register is complex and involves specialised consultants working within strict legislative guidelines. Samples of soil and groundwater from the reserve were analysed for potential contamination, and Council was advised by the Department on 19 June 2020 that the land was free from contamination and now deemed suitable for any use. 

The contaminated land investigation work was wholly funded by Council. Implementation of additional components of the Maryvale Urban Design Framework is an initiative of the Queensland Government, funded through the 2019-21 Work for Queensland Program.

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