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Parks Services

Parks Services is the service unit responsible for the development, provision and maintenance of a comprehensive parks, gardens and open space system that provides a range of recreational and sporting opportunities for residents of, and visitors to Townsville.

Parks Services is a subsidiary group of Environmental Services and operates from an office in Wellington Street Mundingburra adjacent to Anderson Park at the rear of the Kokoda Pool and from Depots at Cranbrook, Hermit Park and Queens Gardens. The provision and maintenance of Townsville’s Parks and Gardens to the Community is no small undertaking and is the prime responsibility of Parks Services. Other responsibilities include:
  • The provision of park infrastructure, landscaping and tree planting.
  • The provision of recreation facilities within parklands.
  • Landscaping within public road reserves including medians, roundabouts and street trees.
  • The provision of extensive irrigation systems.
  • The ongoing development and maintenance of Townsville’s internationally recognised Botanic Gardens.
  • The development, management and delivery of projects to improve the amenity of existing Parks and Gardens and to provide new facilities and infrastructure.
  • The provision of stinger nets, swimming enclosures and life saving services.
  • Facilitation of public use and enjoyment of parklands through the management of events, functions and bookings. The provision of education and interpretation services through the Botanic Gardens and other important open space areas to enhance visitor experiences.
  • Operation of the Council Nursery as a Type 3 business under the National Competition Policy to provide cost effective supply of plants to internal (Council) and external wholesale markets.



Townsvilles Parks and open space maintenance is managed in three geographical sectors. Two city sectors are maintained by Council’s day labour workforce. The contracting firm Spotless Services maintain the third sector. Figure 1 shows the breakup of the sectors.

This management system encourages “best practice” with the implementation of performance measurement and benchmarking of quality and costs across the three sectors.

Maintenance includes, grass cutting, irrigation, garden beds, pruning, tree removals, palm de-nutting, brush cutting, fertilising, herbiciding, mulching, BBQ cleaning, infrastructure such as playgrounds and park furniture, litter control and graffiti removal and vandalism repairs.



Through its team of experienced Project personnel, Parks Services provides the delivery of a variety of soft and hard landscaping projects as well as infrastructure projects such as the Ross River Parkway and Horseshoe Bay Skate Park. From project inception, concept design, detailed design, to tender evaluation and letting of contracts through to project supervision, contract administration and defects maintenance, Parks Services provides the full suite of project deliverables.


Specialist Advice

Our team also provides specialist advice to Parks Services operations. This advice includes Horticulture, Irrigation design and installation and control and management, project and contract management, Asset Management and hands on technical advice from our experienced Supervisors and Gangers.


Botanical Gardens

Townsville City Council has developed botanical collections in three separate gardens which together form Townsville Botanic Gardens. The three gardens are Queens Gardens, Anderson Park and The Palmetum and all three are internationally recognised.

Each garden is unique in character but all contain fine examples of tropical vegetation that will be of interest to plant enthusiasts and casual visitors alike.

Parks Services nurture and maintain the Townsville Botanic Gardens and are progressively implementing appropriate elements of the Botanic Gardens Masterplan to maintain their international status.

Townsville City has an extensive Park system which caters for a wide variety of community activities and expectations. From the beauty of our Botanical Gardens at Anderson Park, Queens Park and the Palmetum to the numerous Parks, Gardens and Open Spaces that are incorporated in our suburbs and along the Ross River Bikeway, Townsville can be proud of its rich collection of Parks and Gardens.


Report from 2002/2003 Financial Year

The year was once again characterised by extremely dry weather conditions with only a very short wet period in February 2003. In general this weather slightly reduced mowing requirements over the financial year but placed additional pressure on irrigation systems and has increased costs associated with water consumption and truck watering. The incidence of dead tree removals increased markedly following a number of dry years.

Townsville City Council recognises the importance of providing quality parks and open space facilities to enhance the community’s lifestyle through the annual funding of an extensive program of park improvements and public landscaping projects. Park, landscaping and infrastructure projects completed during the 2002/2003 financial year included the following:

Special Projects

  • Ross River Parkway
    • Complete Palmetum to Aplins Weir - Marabou Drive section
    • Complete Palmetum to Aplins Weir - Fairlight Avenue section
    • Signage - Marabou Drive section
    • Signage - Fairlight Avenue section
    • Complete Golf course to Bicentennial Park - Goldring St
    • Complete Golf course to Bicentennial Park - Railway Ave
    • Complete Golf course to Bicentennial Park
    • Signage - Golf course to Bicentennial Park - interpretive
    • Upgrade Riverside Park Kimbal St - BBQs and Picnic Sets and Pathway and Bollards
    • Upgrade Riverside Park Kimbal St - Entry Garden with Park Name sign
    • Upgrade Riverside Park Kimbal St - Carpark
    • Bike rack and seats at Riverside park
    • Park Seats, Marabou, Fairlight, O'Dowd.
  • Irrigation Automation
  • Irrigation control system
  • Riverside Gardens Storage building
  • Aircondition Tumbetin Lodge
  • Magnetic Island Golf Course erosion repairs
  • Landsborough/Warburton - Heritage Program
  • Development of the Plants of Townsville information CD


Park and Playground improvements

  • Warrina Park Bollards & security lighting
  • Heatley State School Park playground shadecover
  • Mindham Park half basketball court
  • Bauhinia Park bollards
  • Mt Louisa Park BBQ
  • Illich Park bollards to Charles Street
  • Lou Litster Park watering point
  • Palmetum gazebo roof
  • Mt Louisa Park half court light, furniture, pathway links and irrigation
  • Marabou Park footbridge, track and Park tree planting around playground
  • Cutheringa Park - fence playground
  • Lou Litster Park playground - Philp street
  • New Playground at Serissa Crescent
  • Traffic Training Centre - Irrigation, Signage and Fencing
  • Choonda Street Playground (Softfall)
  • Tree Plantings and irrigation in Col Campbell Park
  • Soroptimist Park fountain repairs
  • Anzac Park fountain repairs
  • Anzac Park Touch Tells repairs
  • Strand softfall replacements
  • Skate Park on Magnetic Island at Horseshoe Bay Recreation Reserve
  • Alma Bay - various improvements including beach access via walking track
  • Picnic Bay refurbishment via walking track


Landscaping Improvements

  • Airport Access Road infill
  • Woolcock Street infill - rear of properties in Lakes 2
  • Charters Towers ,Ross River and Bowen Road infill tree planting (footpaths)
  • Street trees in Banfield drive
  • Bayswater Road Street trees - Mather Street to Calvary Temple
  • Replace Casuarinas - Nelly Bay Beach
  • North Ward Eyre Street area tree planting in kerbed areas
  • Tree planting to Picnic Bay Mall foreshore area
  • University Road bridge - plant out areas within guard rails
  • Airport access road - irrigate last section near old common road
  • TEL Carpark - Tree planting and screen to bowls club
  • Customs house and Criterion island planting on Strand
  • Strand approaches Howitt street gardens
  • Sir Leslie Thiess Drive landscaping



Townsville's growth in both population and status warrants significant capital development of parks infrastructure, including botanical gardens, sporting facilities, public landscaping, and extensive irrigation systems.

This growth requires continual upgrading and expansion of parks, landscaped areas and recreation facilities placing increasing demands on Council's maintenance resources within a social climate which demands better levels of service and shrinking public sector funding. Recent high quality developments such as The Strand require intensive management to ensure the quality of the product is maintained. It’s within this environment that Parks Services continually strives to update and improve its delivery and efficiency of services to the City of Townsville. Some ongoing initiatives include:

  • Implementation of the water management strategy through the delivery of the new centrally controlled irrigation system.
  • Maintenance program reviews in all sectors.
  • Introduction of qualified soil investigation and analysis into project design and open space management to determine optimum treatment of existing conditions to enhance plant growth.
  • Development of concept plans for all parks and open space areas.
  • Development of five yearly Capital Development Plans which recognise available funding and Council's various development strategies, including automated irrigation, playgrounds, Botanic Gardens, landscaping of roundabouts and medians, City beautification and greening projects.
  • Developing detailed designs for parks and landscape features in accordance with the Capital Developments Plan
  • Completing a Street Tree Master Plan for the City.
  • Development and implementation of a comprehensive asset management program and Quality Assurance systems to ensure high standards of maintenance of all Council recreation assets.
  • Continuing the Greening of Townsville through the implementation of extensive tree planting and greening projects incorporating appropriate community involvement.



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