Mammoth cyclone clean up continues on campus

06-Apr-2018

Jensen Norris, Bob Maxwell, Aidan Oakley, Bill McGuinness and Khai Liang Khor at the fallen Banyan Fig near the university library

Jensen Norris, Bob Maxwell, Aidan Oakley, Bill McGuinness and Khai Liang Khor at the fallen Banyan Fig near the university library


Six truckloads of debris had been hauled from Charles Darwin University’s Casuarina campus even before sunset on the day Cyclone Marcus made a direct hit on Darwin.

While more than 500 tonnes of debris have been removed and stockpiled since, there’s still up to six months of work remaining.

The university’s Director of Facilities Management, Bill McGuinness, was one of the first on the ground to inspect damage after the cyclone had passed.

“It was chaos; massive trees, branches and debris blocked roads, walkways and carparks,” he said.

A few Grounds staff were on hand and Mr McGuinness asked if they would help out then and there.

“There was no hesitation; the guys were terrific and moved about 30 tonnes of debris within a matter of hours,” he said. “Our priority was to clear the roads and carparks to ensure everyone’s safety.”

About 250 mature trees (primarily Gums, Banyan Figs and African Mahoganies) were uprooted on Casuarina campus, with six down at Palmerston campus. Both campuses sustained little damage to buildings as a result of the strongest cyclone in Darwin since the devastating 1974 Cyclone Tracy.

The university will review its tree register and yearly tree management plan before revegetating the campus. Planting will start at the beginning of next wet season.

Mr McGuinness said staff worked solidly to ensure the university was open for business within a few days.

He thanked the Facilities Management staff for their hard work and commitment: the Grounds team led by Jon Gibson and Jensen Norris, the Security team led by John Dowd, the Property Management team led by Adam Cullen, the Space Management team led by Anthony Schuman, and the Building Service Operations Manager Stan Krnjic.