The Toowoomba Regional Council has appointed Groundwork Plus to perform geotechnical analysis on the proposed site of its Bridge Street Quarry Gardens, shining light at the end of a 20-year tunnel to get the plans off the ground.
The old quarry site was a 120-year-old basalt operation. It has been closed since the 1990s and has since lain dormant with plans to beautify the area up in the air ever since.
Toowoomba Regional Council’s Infrastructure Committee chair Councillor Carol Taylor said the council is excited to involve Brisbane-based Groundwork Plus in getting things off the ground.
Council performed an extensive search for specialist consultants who could assess the risks of the old quarry site.
“We were seeking a consultant who understood these risks and how to treat them but also could see the big picture of what the site could be in the long term as a public space,” Taylor said.
“Groundworks Plus understood this and were keen to work with Council on this project.”
While Council is yet to secure funding for the development from the State Government, the Groundwork Plus analysis should allow for a required cost to take shape.
“The outcome of this engagement will be a report on the rehabilitation options and associated costs, so Council can then determine how best to move forward with the site in the long term,” Taylor said.
“This is a long-term project for us, with staged development taking place as funds become available.”
Taylor said the quarry gardens have been a utopian dream a long time in the making.
“This site has been identified as a future tourism landmark with potential for both public and private investment and we’re keen to prepare the site and make it safe for this future development.”
Taylor even hinted at a possible inclusion in the 2032 Olympic games, with Brisbane being announced as the preferred choice of host city.
“Council will be keen to work with all levels of Government on tourism opportunities to create a space in the quarry for visitors to use when visiting for the Olympics,” Taylor said.
“Its proximity to Council’s world class mountain bike trails would also be a great spectator location for visitors.”
The geotechnical analysis has now commenced and is expected to complete by August 2021