Newspaper article The Chronicle (Toowoomba, Australia)

Park's Detention Basin Transforms Ugly Duckling; Chronicle Blogger Greg Johnson Says He Loves the Detention Basin That Transformed the City's Garnet Lehmann Park

Newspaper article The Chronicle (Toowoomba, Australia)

Park's Detention Basin Transforms Ugly Duckling; Chronicle Blogger Greg Johnson Says He Loves the Detention Basin That Transformed the City's Garnet Lehmann Park

Article excerpt

THE tragedies of January 10, 2011, will never be forgotten. Tidal waves of water rushing down CBD streets sending shock waves across the nation, across the world.

I watched in disbelief from afar in Brisbane. I remained in Brisbane for a week unable to get home.

Lives lost, houses washed away, cars washed away, businesses ruined, in a city with no river, no dam, no lake and a couple of culverts cutely called "creeks".

Creeks so irrelevant they didn't even have decent names like Cooper or Tallebudgera. Instead they were named East and West, one in the east and one in the west.

Hundreds of millions of dollars spent in reparation, still being spent more than four years later.

Designers, engineers and experts from across the country sprang into action with scientific plans aimed at ensuring the events of January, 2011, never happened again. Nothing's perfect, but let's hope they get it right.

We in Toowoomba suddenly had a new phrase in our vocabulary - "detention basin". Sounded a bit like a shallow place where juvenile offenders were sent for after school punishment.

Wrong.

It is in fact a big hole or as our learned, or not so learned, contributors to Wikipedia would offer, "an excavated area installed on, or adjacent to, tributaries of rivers, streams, lakes or bays to protect against flooding by storing water for a limited period of a time".

Detention basin, or the Garnet Lehmann Park Detention Basin, became Toowoomba's hottest topic, a sort of environmental ping pong ball batted to and fro between Toowoomba Regional Council and the good folks, presumably, abutting Garnet Lehmann Park.

Now I'd been past Garnet Lehmann Park on many occasions, twice a day in fact for many years on my trips to and from work and I had observed many, many trees and an almost impossible lawn mowing exercise for some good person with Peter Brock-type manoeuvring skills.

And, from time-to-time, I had observed a man walking a dog. …

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