HOLD IT: The Work for the Dole program at the Gladstone Showgrounds was among those suspended by the Federal Government in 2016.
HOLD IT: The Work for the Dole program at the Gladstone Showgrounds was among those suspended by the Federal Government in 2016.

Work for the Dole site in Gladstone among nine suspended

THE refurbishment of the Gladstone Showgrounds was one of nine Work for the Dole projects suspended across Queensland in 2016 after being deemed potentially too dangerous, new documents have revealed.

The outdoor projects were managed by employment service NEATO and involved plants and equipment.

The decision followed the death of 18-year-old Josh Park-Fing after he fell from a trailer while taking part in a Work for the Dole program at the Toowoomba Showgrounds in 2016.

Documents obtained by BuzzFeed News show the Gladstone project was suspended in the months following the teenager's death, after the activities people were tasked with on the site were deemed potentially dangerous, according to BuzzFeed.

The move is understood to have been a precautionary measure only, rather than one taken due to any specific safety fears.

The tasks included upgrading amenities blocks, building furniture, cutting brush, mowing, painting and landscaping.

The project's suspension came as a blow to the Gladstone Show Society at the time, whose representative Robyn Reddacliff yesterday said they couldn't have been happier with the workers.

"They were building tables and chairs, they painted all our grandstands, they moved rocks out of the centre ring," she said.

"It would be great to have them back in the future."

A NEATO spokesperson was unavailable for comment yesterday afternoon.

Progress made on Show Society funding issues

Gladstone Regional Council will soon meet to determine the future of Gladstone's show holiday after the show society officially requested the date be aligned with its show once again next year.

The future of the show was placed in doubt in May when a request from the society for $15,000 was rejected by the council due to what deputy mayor Chris Trevor called an "incomplete and unfinished" business plan.

Mayor Matt Burnett yesterday said some of those issues had since been resolved, which could see the society receive $8000 as recommended by the Major Events Advisory Panel.

But he said a disagreement over an access point between the Showgrounds and the hockey fields remained a separate but ongoing issue of contention between the council and the society.

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