Toowoomba, Queensland: Wikis

  
  

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Toowoomba
QLD
Toowoombacbd1.jpg
Toowoomba CBD and inner suburbs looking south
Toowoomba is located in Australia
Toowoomba
Population: 125,339 [1] (15th)
Density: 209.4/km² (542.3/sq mi)
Established: 1840s
Postcode: 4350
Elevation: 691 m (2,267 ft) [2]
Time zone: AEST (UTC+10)
Location: 132 km (82 mi) from Brisbane
LGA: Toowoomba Region
County: Churchill
State District: Toowoomba North, Toowoomba South and Condamine
Federal Division: Groom
Mean Max Temp Mean Min Temp Annual Rainfall
22.6 °C
73 °F
11.4 °C
53 °F
944 mm
37.2 in

Toowoomba (nicknamed 'The Garden City') is a city in South East Queensland, Australia. It is located 132 km (82 mi) west of Queensland's capital city, Brisbane. With a population of 125,339 (June 2008 ABS Estimate), Toowoomba is Australia's second largest inland city.

A university and cathedral city, Toowoomba hosts the Australian Carnival of Flowers each September, and Easterfest is held annually over the Easter weekend.

Contents

History

Toowoomba's colonial history traces back to 1816 when English botanist and explorer Allan Cunningham arrived in Australia from Brazil and in June 1827 discovered 4 million acres (16,000 km²) of rich farming and grazing land bordered on the east by the Great Dividing Range and situated 100 miles (160 km) west of the settlement of Moreton Bay. Thirteen years later when George and Patrick Leslie established Toolburra Station 56 miles (90 km) south-west of Toowoomba the first settlers arrived on the Downs and established a township of bark-slab shops called The Springs which was soon renamed Drayton.

Main Street of Toowoomba in 1897.

Towards the end of the 1840s Drayton had grown to the point where it had its own newspaper, general store, trading post and the Royal Bull's Head Inn, which was built by William Horton and still stands today. Horton is regarded as the true founder of Toowoomba, despite the fact that he was not the first man to live there. Drovers and wagon masters spread the news of the new settlement at Toowoomba. By 1858 Toowoomba was growing fast. It had a population of 700, three hotels and many stores. Land selling at £4 an acre (£988/km²) in 1850 was now £150 an acre (£37,000/km²). Governor Bowen granted the wish of locals and a new municipality was proclaimed on 24 November 1860. The first town council election took place on 4 January 1861 and William Henry Groom won.

In 1892, the Under Secretary of Public Land proclaimed Toowoomba and the surrounding areas as a township and in 1904 Toowoomba was declared a city.

Toowoomba Town Hall

Geography

A NASA Landsat montage of Toowoomba city

Toowoomba is situated at a latitude and longitude of 27°33′S 151°57′E / 27.55°S 151.95°E / -27.55; 151.95.

Toowoomba sits on the crest of the Great Dividing Range, around 700 metres (2,300 ft) above sea level. A few streets are on the eastern side of the edge of the range, but most of the city is west of the divide.

The City occupies the edge of the range and the low ridges behind it. Two valleys run north from the southern boundary, each arising from springs either side of Middle Ridge near Spring Street at an altitude of around 680 m. These waterways, East Creek and West Creek flow together just north of the CBD to form Gowrie Creek.

Gowrie Creek drains to the west across the Darling Downs and is a tributary of the Condamine River, part of the Murray-Darling Basin. The water flowing down Gowrie Creek makes its way some 3,000 km (1,900 mi) to the mouth of the Murray River near Adelaide in South Australia. Rain which falls on the easternmost streets of Toowoomba flows east to Moreton Bay a distance of around 170 km (110 mi).

Urban Structure

Ruthven Street Looking South
City Skyline From Russell Street

Architecture & Heritage

Toowoomba's history has been preserved in its buildings. Examples of architecture drawing from the city's wealthy beginnings include Toowoomba City Hall, the National Trust Royal Bull's Head Inn and many examples in the heritage-listed Russell Street. Immediately to the east of the CBD is the Caledonian Estate, an area of turn of the 20th century housing, ranging from humble workers cottages to large stately homes, in the classic wooden Queenslander style.

Toowoomba is also home to The Empire Theatre, which was originally opened in June 1911, as a silent movie house. In February 1933, fire broke out, almost completely destroying the building. However, the Empire was rebuilt and reopened in November 1933. The architectural styling of the new Empire Theatre was art deco, in keeping with the trend of the 1930s. After years of neglect, the Empire Theatre was extensively renovated in the late 1990s, but retains much of its Art Deco architecture and decorations, especially the proscenium arch. Able to seat 2,400 people, the Empire Theatre is now the largest regional theatre in Australia.

The City also is home to the Cobb & Co Museum, hailing to the famous mail company's beginnings as a small mail run in the 1800s to transport mail and passengers to Brisbane and beyond. It also houses Australia's largest collection of horse-drawn vehicles.

Suburbs

  • Centenary Heights
  • Cranley
  • Darling Heights
  • Drayton
  • East Toowoomba
  • Glenvale
  • Harlaxton
  • Harristown
  • Kearneys Spring
  • Middle Ridge
  • Mount Kynoch
  • Mount Lofty
  • Newtown
  • North Toowoomba
  • Prince Henry Heights
  • Rangeville
  • Redwood
  • Rockville
  • South Toowoomba
  • Toowoomba
  • Wilsonton
  • Wilsonton Heights

Climate

Toowoomba enjoys four distinct seasons and the rich volcanic soil in the region helps maintain the 150 public parks that are scattered across the city. Jacaranda,Camphor laurel and Plane trees line many of the city streets. The city's reputation as 'The Garden City' is highlighted during the Australian Carnival of Flowers festival held in September each year. Deciduous trees from around the world line many of the parks, giving a display of autumn colour. This is particularly rare in Australia, as nearly the entire continent is forested with evergreens.

Daily maximum temperatures in Toowoomba average 27 °C (81 °F) in summer and 16 °C (61 °F) in winter. According to the Bureau of Meteorology, the highest temperature ever recorded in Toowoomba was 39.3 °C (102.7 °F), while the lowest was −4.4 °C (24 °F). Winter temperatures seldom go below freezing, however in a situation unique among Queensland cities, snow has been reported on the higher parts of the city on rare occasions. Light frost will be experienced several nights each winter in the city centre, more often in the western suburbs.

Average annual rainfall, according to the Bureau of Meteorology, is 928 millimetres (36.5 in) per year in Toowoomba City. Rainfall in the eastern suburbs along the Great Diving Range nudges 1,000 mm (39 in) per year.

Currently, a combination of below average rainfall and significant population growth has seen temporary water restrictions imposed, including a complete ban on watering gardens (town water only, not rainwater). The city is under level 5 water restrictions as of September 26, 2006. This prohibits residents from using town water on their lawns, gardens or cars, and residents are strongly urged to cut down on water consumption.

Despite dams reaching critical levels, the city rejected the use of recycled water in a plebiscite on July 29, 2006. Since the public rejection in 2006 of adding recycled sewage to the drinking water supply, water conservation measures have included harvesting stormwater for use in public parks and adding filtered groundwater to the town water supply.

Governance

Toowoomba is located in and is the seat of the Toowoomba Region local government area. The city is represented in the Parliament of Queensland by three seats: Toowoomba North, Toowoomba South and Condamine. Toowoomba North is the only Labor held seat in Toowoomba. In the Commonwealth Parliament, Toowoomba forms part of the Division of Groom, which is held by Ian MacFarlane for the Liberal Party of Australia.

Economy

The largest industry employers in Toowoomba (2004) are retail trade (17.8%); health and community services (13.3%); manufacturing (12.2%); and education (11.1%). Professional employment was the most prominent occupation (18.2%) followed by clerical, sales and service workers (17.7%) and tradespersons and related workers (13.3%).[citation needed] The Australian Defence Force is also present in the local community, with the city providing housing and amenities for many of the personnel based at the Oakey Army Aviation Centre (in Oakey, 29 km (18 mi) NW of Toowoomba) and Borneo Barracks at Cabarlah to the city's North.

Education

Toowoomba is a major education centre.

Primary

There are numerous primary schools in Toowoomba. Among these are:

State

  • Darling Heights State School
  • Drayton State School is the oldest school in Toowoomba.
  • Fairview Heights State School
  • Gabbinbar State School
  • Glenvale State School
  • Harlaxton State School
  • Harristown State Primary School
  • Middle Ridge State School
  • Newtown State School
  • Rangeville State School
  • Rockville State School
  • Toowoomba East State School
  • Toowoomba North State School
  • Toowoomba South State School is the oldest school in Toowoomba proper.
  • Wilsonton State School
  • Wyreema State School

Private/Religious

Secondary

State High

Private/Religious

Tertiary

Culture

Festivals

The annual Flower Festival is a chance to show off Toowoomba's parks and gardens at their best

Toowoomba is nationally[3] renowned for its annual Flower Festival, held each year in September. Many of the city's major parks and gardens are especially prepared for the Festival, which also includes a prominent Home Garden Competition, with persons able to visit participating homes and gardens for inspection, and a Parade with flower-themed floats. Buses[4] bring people from around the nation, and a popular way to arrive at the Festival from Brisbane is on specially chartered retired steam or diesel train[5], which captures the yesteryear aspect of travel to Toowoomba in 19th century wooden carriages.

Food

Toowoomba is well served by the famous restaurant Weis, in one of the City's oldest heritage buildings dating from the 1920s[6].

Toowoomba also is home to the famous Weis bar (not affiated with Weis Restaurant) [7]

Sport

Rugby league is the most popular sport in Toowoomba. A team representing Toowoomba used to compete in the Bulimba Cup tournament. Toowoomba currently does not host a team in any of the major national competitions but was home to the Toowoomba Clydesdales in the Queensland Cup state league. The Clydesdales were the feeder team for Brisbane Broncos in the National Rugby League (NRL) from 1999 to 2006.[8] The Clysedales dropped out of the Queensland Cup after the 2006 season due to financial difficulties and are no longer a feeder club for the Brisbane Broncos.[9]

The city has a soccer club Toowoomba Raiders FC that plays in the Brisbane Premier League Division 1. The Garden City Raiders are the junior soccer club.

Australian rules football is played by four senior teams in the AFL Darling Downs competition: Coolaroo, Toowoomba Tigers, University of Southern Queensland and South Toowoomba. The sport is not as popular as the Rugby codes, but is gaining in popularity amongst juniors. In 2006, Brad Howard became the first draftee from Toowoomba to the Australian Football League.

Toowoomba has clubs for other sports including cricket (Toowoomba Cricket Inc), archery, swimming, tennis, softball, baseball), netball (Toowoomba Netball Association), hockey (Toowoomba Hockey Association), gridiron (Chargers) and basketball (Toowoomba Basketball Association). The city is also home of the [| Toowoomba Mountaineers Basketball Team], which participates in the Queensland Australian Basketball League (QABL).

Toowoomba is home to Clifford Park Racecourse one of Australia's leading provincial race tracks. Clifford Park Racecourse was acquired as a 160-acre block in 1861 and the first meeting on it was conducted by the Darling Downs Jockey Club at the course then known as Drayton and Toowoomba Racecourse on 6 March 1862. In 1882, Toowoomba Turf Club was formed and conducted its first meetings on 3 & 4 June that year. The first recorded Toowoomba Cup as run in 1919. In 1992 the club made Australian racing history by staging the first race ever run under electric lights, the Fosters Toowoomba Cup, which was won by Waigani Drive. On 4 September 1996, the club staged the first ever night race meeting in Australia. Known as the 'Home of twilight racing' Clifford Park continues to race under lights every Saturday night and hosts 57 TAB race meeting per year. The Toowoomba Turf Club continued to make Australian racing history when on the February 16, 2009 members voted in favour of the replacement of the grass course proper with a synthetic racing surface called Cushion Track. The completion of the project will take full effect on July 11, 2009 when the annual Weetwood Handicap and Toowoomba Cup meeting will be held for the first time on the cushion track surface.

Notable people from Toowoomba

Media

Print

  • The Toowoomba Chronicle [1]
  • Toowoomba Mail [2]

Radio

  • 4QS 747 (ABC Local Radio)
  • 4GR 864 (commercial)
  • 4WK 1359 (commercial)- Relay of 4WK Warwick.
  • 4AK 1242 (commercial)- Based in Oakey, located 20 km (12 mi) west of Toowoomba CBD.
  • Radio 2 1620 (commercial)- Relay of Radio 2 network Sydney.
  • C FM 100.7 (commercial) - Named "C" fm rather than SEA due to Toowoomba's inland location
  • Double 8FM (narrowcast) 88.0 - Non-community FM station featuring tourist information and the best 60s and 70s music, established in 1996. 88FM Toowoomba & 87.6FM Pittsworth
  • Triple J 104.1 - Also available 103.3 from Warwick and 107.7 from Brisbane
  • ABC Radio National 105.7
  • ABC Classic FM 107.3
  • Country FM 91.5 (narrowcast)
  • 4GOD 92.9 The Light (Christian community)
  • 93.7 (narrowcast - racing)
  • 99.1 (narrowcast) Kids FM - exclusively kids music and stories
  • 4DDB 102.7 (community)

Note: Owners of CFM 100.7 and 4GR (Gold Radio Pty. Ltd) also own all 3 narrowcast stations in Toowoomba (91.5, 93.7 & 99.1 FM).

Television

Toowoomba is serviced by three commercial national network stations and two national non-commercial network stations.

News for Toowoomba is screened every weeknight at 6:30pm on WIN Television, broadcast live from the WIN studios in the Toowoomba suburb of Mount Lofty. On weekends news is relayed from Channel 9, Brisbane.

Seven Queensland and Southern Cross Ten have a physical presence in Toowoomba, but local news programs do not exist on these channels. Instead, they carry news bulletins from Brisbane stations Channel 7 and Channel 10.

In addition to the local television stations, some Toowoomba households with special high mast aerials can receive Brisbane's three commercial Analogue and Digital TV stations, bringing the total number of free-to-air stations available in Toowoomba to eight and also allowing residents to receive TenHD from Brisbane which is not simulcast in Toowoomba.

Infrastructure

Transport

There are extensive suburban bus services operated by Bus Queensland (who took over from Garden City Sunbus) throughout the city from around 9:00 am to around 5:30 pm Monday to Friday. A limited service runs Saturday. There are no Sunday services[citation needed].

There are frequent inter-city bus services between Toowoomba and Brisbane, and other centres[citation needed].

Toowoomba is not included in TransLink, the Southeast Queensland integrated public transport system—a matter of some local contention[citation needed].

Toowoomba has a twice weekly rail service from Brisbane to Charleville, Queensland and return on QR's Westlander[citation needed].

There are no local rail or tram services, however the development of a suburban railway system has been flagged[citation needed]. Toowoomba is criss-crossed by several railway lines which are largely unused, or used for freight, and idle railway stations can be found in the suburbs (including Ballard, Drayton, Harlaxton and Harristown) dating to when these localities were separate centres.

Toowoomba is serviced by Toowoomba Airport, which is used by the Royal Flying Doctor Service and the Darling Downs Aeroclub.

Health

Toowoomba is serviced by one public hospital, Toowoomba Base Hospital, and two private hospitals - St. Andrew's Toowoomba Hospital and St. Vincents Hospital. There is also the Toowoomba Hospice which is a community based private healthcare facility which provides palliative care to the terminally ill.(http://toowoombahospice.org.au/)

Water

Toowoomba's third water storage Cressbrook Dam was completed in 1983 and supplied water to Toowoomba in 1988. It has a full capacity of about 80,000 megalitres bringing total capacity of the three dams, Cooby, Perseverance, and Cressbrook, to 126,000 megalitres.

The city also has underground supplies in fractured basalt, it sits above the eastern edge of the Great Artesian Basin (GAB) and to the west underground water is available beneath agricultural alluvium.

The average rainfall in the period 1998 to 2005 has been 30% below the long term average consistent with a prolonged drought and this trend continued through to spring of 2007. During March 2006 the surface water storage in the dams fell below 25% of full capacity, falling even more to 12.8% as of 10 March 2008 and Toowoomba has level 5 water restrictions while supplies are at such a low level. Groundwater has become a significant contributor to the city's water supply needs and now constitutes one third of the total volume of water treated for reticulated supply (160ML per week)[10].

The previous Toowoomba Mayor Dianne Thorley proposed a controversial potable re-use project under the Toowoomba Water Futures plan which would result in water reclaimed from the Wetalla Sewage Treatment Plant being returned to Cooby Dam to provide 25% of the potable water supply for Toowoomba. Other water supply options include importing water from Oakey Creek Groundwater Management Area (average TDS = 1660 mg/L), importing water from Condamine Groundwater Management Area (Average TDS = 740 mg/L), and water from coal steam gas production (TDS = 1200–4300 mg/L).

One of the difficulties with the Water Futures proposal was that it relied on Acland Coal, a subsidiary of New Hope Corporation, taking the reverse osmosis waste stream. However, they had never agreed to this. Without their involvement, 6 square kilometres (2.3 sq mi) of evaporation ponds, costing at least an additional $70 million, would have been required. This amount was not included in Council's budget for the Water Futures project[citation needed].

On 29 July 2006 Toowoomba City Council conducted a poll of Toowoomba residents on the proposal to use this multi-barrier filtration system for filtering sewage for drinking purposes. The poll question was: "Do you support the addition of purified recycled water to Toowoomba’s water supply via Cooby Dam as proposed by Water Futures – Toowoomba?” 38% of voters supported the proposal and 62% opposed.

In 2007, the Toowoomba City Council commenced a bore drilling program to augment the dwindling dam supplies and constructed several subartesian bores across the city and one artesian bore at Wetalla in the city's north. Many of the subartesian bores provided potable water with a reliable yield and have been developed into production however the artesian bore's water quality was very poor, prohibiting development as a potable source. This was an expensive setback for the city as the cost was over A$2 million for drilling to over 700 metres. Drilling of another artesian bore has commenced and in January 2008, yield testing had been stalled due to the unavailability of appropriate pumping equipment.

Also in 2007, the Queensland Department of Natural Resources and Water initiated a subartesian drilling program centred on Toowoomba to expand its network of groundwater monitoring stations in the Main Range Volcanics. With the increased demand for groundwater in the area from council, commercial and urban users, more information was required to effectively manage the resource whereas previously the location and density of monitoring stations would not provide enough data.

Sister cities

References

External links

Further reading

Toowoomba as a Railway Centre, Knowles, J Australian Railway Historical Society Bulletin, January, 1959 pp10–16

Coordinates: 27°33′S 151°57′E / 27.55°S 151.95°E / -27.55; 151.95


Simple English

File:Trapped woman on a car roof during flash flooding in
Trapped woman on a car roof during flash flooding in Toowoomba, 2011

Toowoomba (also called 'Garden City' by people who live there) is a city in South East Queensland, Australia. It is 132 km west of Brisbane, and two hours drive from the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast beaches. About 115,000 people live there, which makes Toowoomba Australia's second largest city, that is not on the coast after Canberra.

Every year in September, Toowoomba holds its annual Flower Festival. When this is taking place, the town, especially its CBD are decorated with flowers. People who live there may also open their gardens for public judging for the garden competitions. Another attraction is the parade, where one would see floats with flower themes. Many people from all over the nation visit the festival, and a popular way to arrive is on the specially operating retired steam train.

Toowoomba is also known for its historical buildings, such as the town hall, The Empire Theatre, and the Cobb & Co Museum. The town hall was the first in Queensland to be built for a town hall. The Empire Theatre was built as a silent movie house in 1911. A fire nearly destroyed the building, but it was built again, and reopened in 1933. Now, it is the biggest regional theatre in Australia. The Cobb & Co Museum began in the 1880s as a small mail run. It moved both mail and passengers to Brisbane and further.

During the 2010-2011 Queensland floods, several people were drowned in their cars when water flooded the main shopping centre.[1]

References








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