Council sinks time into clean up

Popular Mount Gambier tourist attractions Umpherston Sinkhole/Balumbul and the Cave Gardens recently underwent maintenance works.

Mount Gambier City Council Parks and Gardens coordinator Hayden Cook said there were two days of work completed at Umpherston Sinkhole and one day at the Cave Gardens.

At Umpherston Sinkhole the ivy curtain was lifted behind and down the stairs to provide a better view and was also lifted at the barbecue area to reduce the weight and allow more clearance.

The ivy that had overgrown through the garden beds was cleared, which also exposed the stone walls along each row.

Mr Cook said they did not pull the ivy out where the elephant ear plants were located due to the risk of damaging the plants.

“If we start ripping the ivy out around those, they’re nearly a feature in itself, so they might not recover, so we’re sort of reluctant to do any work with those,” he said.

Mr Cook said the clean-up would help with the maintenance of the area in the future.

Mr Cook said the Cave Gardens maintenance works were also successful, which involved clearing pest plants from the bottom of the cave and removing rubbish.

The council also worked with the SES and the MFS to establish a concrete block at the bottom of the cave which provides a stable base for a 13m ladder, improving access for emergency services and maintenance workers.

Between the two areas, a total of 80 cubic metres of green waste was removed, with 72 of this from Umpherston Sinkhole and Mr Cook said 90% of this was ivy.

Sharp Cranes craned Sandyridge skip bins down into the gardens to transport the green waste out of the cave.

Both projects were made possible due to funding from the Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program.

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