Mother’s mission for citywide safety measures

A local mum whose daughter drowned in a stormwater drain on Boxing Day is campaigning for “protective measures” to be implemented across the city.

Kayla Holland’s nine-year-old daughter, Mia Holland-McCormack, went missing from her father’s home on Boxing Day 2023.

Hours later her body was found in a drain at Bill Kohlman Park in Springwood.

Ms Holland said she dropped her two children at Rochedale South in the morning.

“At about six o’clock that night, their dad called me and said he couldn’t find Mia,” Ms Holland said.

“I rushed over to his house and the rest is kind of a blur, but later that night detectives came and told us they had found her, and she had passed.

“I didn’t know until later on, but she had actually been found a little while away at the other end of the drain on the other side of the highway.”

Ms Holland said there was CCTV footage that showed Mia at the drain.

“She loves water, and she had obviously seen the water and thought ‘great, I’m going to go for a swim’,” she said.

“Unfortunately, because of all the rain and storms we’ve had, it was just too strong for her, and she was unable to get herself out.”

Ms Holland said access to the drain was too easy and wasn’t covered by a grate.

“Even if she had slipped and fallen, it would have been the same outcome,” she said.

“It’s something that shouldn’t have happened, especially considering that the other end of the drain already had a grate over it.

“I don’t know it wouldn’t have happened if this drain had a grate over it, but I’m sure it might not have been as bad, or at least preventable.”

Earlier this month, Ms Holland created a petition asking Logan City Council to implement safety measures around drains.

She is calling for grates, fences, or other barriers to be installed in high-traffic areas like Bill Kohlman Park, which is near a children’s playground.

“I don’t know what the best safety measure would be, I just want something,” she said.

“From what I understand, [these accidents are not] exactly uncommon.

“One woman who signed the petition said her brother died in a storm drain years ago.

“I tried to do some research on other families who have gone through the same thing, but to be honest, it has been too much to read about other incidents.”

Ms Holland said it had been a “very difficult” past five months.

“Sometimes it feels like a lifetime ago, and other times it feels like it was yesterday,” she said.

“Mother’s Day was hard – lots of the big firsts are still happening, so they’re a struggle,

“I’m still getting used to the new normal.”

Ms Holland said after her daughter’s death, she knew she “needed to do something”.

“I obviously couldn’t be there for Mia when she was there,” she said.

“But I can do something for her now and this is the best I can do.”

She said she has contact council about the issue but hasn’t heard back.

Logan City Council declined to comment while police investigations were underway.


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