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Your guide to living, working and playing in Western Queensland: Dalby – Chinchilla – Kingaroy – Roma – St George – Charleville – Warwick – Stanthorpe

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Contents Dalby ......................................................................................................................6-19 Bell .............................................................................................................................20 Kaimkillenbun..........................................................................................................21 Jandowae.................................................................................................................22 Brigalow....................................................................................................................23 Chinchilla............................................................................................................24-37 Tara......................................................................................................................38-39 Condamine...............................................................................................................40 Meandarra ................................................................................................................41 Miles ....................................................................................................................42-44 Drillham.....................................................................................................................45 Wandoan ............................................................................................................46-47 Taroom................................................................................................................48-49 Kingaroy .............................................................................................................50-55 Maranoa .............................................................................................................56-57 Wallumbilla ..............................................................................................................58 Yuleba .......................................................................................................................59 Roma ...................................................................................................................60-72 Injune.........................................................................................................................73 Surat ..........................................................................................................................74 Mitchell .....................................................................................................................75 Balonne Shire ..........................................................................................................76 St George ...........................................................................................................76-80 Charleville...........................................................................................................81-85 Warwick ..............................................................................................................86-91 Stanthorpe .........................................................................................................92-95



Western Queensland Living is published by Chinchilla News, 12 Mayne Street, Chinchilla. Phone 4672 9900. Printed by News Corp Printing Services. Western Queensland Living is a free publication and is not to be sold. All material published in Western Queensland Living is subject to copyright provisions. No part of this publication may be reproduced without prior written permission from the publisher. DISCLAIMER: The information contained within Western Queensland Living is given in good faith and obtained from sources believed to be accurate. The views expressed are not necessarily those of the publisher; Chinchilla News will not be liable for any opinion or advice contained herein.

PHOTO: TOURISM AND EVENTS QUEENSLAND Gracing the cover of this instalment of Western Queensland Living are the Corrigan and Albietz family of Chinchilla. Daniel Albietz and Kira Corrigan are pictured here with their two beautiful children Lucy and Cooper Corrigan. Special thanks to Jodie Williams Photography for capturing the stunning image.

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A special thank you to Dom O’Mara, Darren Burton, Susan Felix, Jodie Williams Photography, Megan Masters, Darren Burton, Naomi J Andrews, Western Downs Regional Council, Maranoa Regional Council, Balonne Shire Council and Southern Downs Regional Council.


The heart of Queensland

Region boasts fascinating past, bright future THE old saying goes ‘Queensland – beautiful one day, perfect the next’. As a proud Queenslander I have been all over our great state, but the heartland truly lies in southwest Queensland. Our region is vibrant and exciting, and it is a true pleasure to be able to call this part of the world home. I have been in Dalby for two years. I have many decades to go before becoming a local, but you cannot help but become part of the community. As editor of Western Queensland Living, I have been fortunate to trek across the region. Kingaroy to Roma, Stanthorpe to Wallumbilla, Miles to Warwick. Every town has its own charm and every town has something to

offer. Living in western Queensland gives us access to fine schools, an endless amount of social clubs and your choice of eating and drinking establishments. Our main industries are going strong, and as a community, we are tapping into new and exciting technologies to strengthen our economy. And what about all the must-see events in our region? There are so many to choose from. The Camel Races and Culture Festival in Tara. The Delicious and Delightful in Dalby. The Melon Festival in Chinchilla, and all of the terrific local shows. All of this combines to make western Queensland the heartland of our state. — Western Queensland Living editor Michael Doyle

MY HOME: Editor Michael Doyle.


Out west: where the opportunities are endless

WHATEVER you enjoy doing on your weekends, Western Queensland has an activity for you. Driving out through the regions, you will be overwhelmed by the incredible landmarks along the way. From the Jondaryan Woolshed to Roma’s Big Rig, or the orchards in Stanthorpe, the Western Queensland is filled with sights that will take you back through the region’s rich history. Even if you manage to visit all the wonderful stops, there’s still

always plenty to see and do in our towns. Southwest Queensland country is known for its sporting talent and with NRL greats Darren Lockyer and Steve Price claiming Western Queensland as home, our local teams are a huge part of the community. A good game of footy isn’t the only time our locals get fired up; we love a good punt as well. If you haven’t been to a country race meet, then you’re in for a treat!

Guys and gals from across the state are known to travel hundreds of kilometres for the famous Roma Cup. And if you want to wear your fascinator or tie twice, then you won’t want to miss the Dalby Picnics or Chinchilla Christmas Races. If betting isn’t your game, you can always drop into Chinchilla for its world-renowned Melon Festival. It may happen only every two years, but it’s enough to keep the crowds coming back.

Other community events not to be missed include the Kingaroy Bacon Festival, Warwick Jumpers and Jazz Festival and the Stanthorpe Apple & Grape Festival. If there’s one thing the Western Queensland’s event calendar can tell you, it’s that when you live in any of our towns, you’re truly part of a community. A community that likes to get together and enjoy the wonderful lifestyle on offer in its own backyard.

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Dalby is the place to be

SITUATED just an hour west of Toowoomba, Dalby is the bustling business hub of the Surat Basin. The Western Downs town was founded in the early 1840s at a place known as The Crossing on Myall Creek and has long enjoyed status as an agricultural powerhouse of Australia. Its economy has since diversified into the four main pillars of agriculture, intensive agriculture, manufacturing and energy that power a thriving regional community. Known for its major events including the Dalby Delicious and Delightful festival which includes a lantern parade, international food and cultural dancing displays, the town has a strong focus on community and regional pride. The Big Skies Festival was launched in 2018 which saw the largest annual rock concert west of the Great Dividing Range as well as Food and Fibre Festival which offered up artisan workshops, demonstrations and

food and market stalls and brought thousands of visitors to the Western Downs. The town has a humid sub-tropical climate, which makes the region hotter and less humid in summer months and colder and drier during the winter. Surrounded by attractions such as Lake Broadwater, the Bunya Mountains and the historic Jimbour Homestead, locals and visitors have plenty to see and do. Described as a town where the city meets the country, Dalby features clothing boutiques, cafes and the Knowles Pavilion entertainment precinct currently being redeveloped to host major events. Employment opportunities are also plentiful in Dalby, with the current boom in solar energy creating jobs in both the energy sector and supporting industries. With quality facilities, friendly faces and plenty of opportunities, Dalby is the ideal place for anyone looking for rural living close to the big cities.

Welcome to Dalby.

HIGH TIME: The Big Skies Festival has become a show-piece event for Dalby.




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The Western Downs has plenty to offer, with more to come

THE Western Downs is just two and a half hours’ drive west of Brisbane and an easy three-hour drive to both the Gold and Sunshine Coasts. Our residents enjoy the charm of country living with the ease of access to metropolitan centres. It’s a rare mix. With a population of 34,000 and an area that covers a similar expanse to Switzerland, there is plenty for visitors and residents to see and do on the Western Downs. The Western Downs has built a reputation as a great place to do business with investment attraction, innovative thinking and support infrastructure, services and a skilled workforce that means we are well and truly open for business. Dalby is the largest town in the region with a strong manufacturing base of 123 businesses, exporting both nationally and internationally. With so many wonderful tourist attractions including the Bunya Mountains, the Dingo Fence at Jandowae and Jimbour House steeped in history, I encourage you to visit these special places while you are in the region. The Western Downs is a diverse region with its economy underpinned by four main pillars: agriculture, manufacturing, energy and intensive agriculture. The Dalby Saleyards, one of the largest one day selling complexes in Australia, sees more than 200,000 high quality cattle sold through the facility per annum, contributing $250 million to the economy. Our agricultural sector produces 38 per cent of the state’s cereal and legumes, along with sizeable cotton and beef production and our intensive agriculture portfolio includes 23 piggeries and 68 feedlots, with room for expansion thanks to the space and excellent quality feed available on the Downs. Manufacturing acts as an important support industry both for the energy and agriculture sectors as well as for export

markets for niche products such as turbocharger cylinder heads for American NASCAR racing cars and Japanese markets. There are great job opportunities for those looking to relocate to the region, with

$6 billion worth of approved renewables on the books and of that, $1.2 billion currently under construction. There are very good reasons people love to live and work on the Western Downs and I invite

you to explore our friendly towns, inviting parks and libraries and enjoy our vibrant communities. Best wishes, — Paul McVeigh, Mayor, Western Downs Regional Council Page 7



We serviced the whole Surat Basin area and the country towns and people supported a local business. There was a lot of support from locals and we have tried to return the support... Trevor Nimmo

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Support network gives small town a big name


FOR FAMILY and business, there is no better place to live than in Dalby. The friendly people, the supportive community and the abundance of facilities make it the ideal location, according to the Nimmo family. Trevor and Julie Nimmo moved to Dalby separately in the 1990s. They pair owned Andersons from 1999 and owned the business for the better part of two decades. After marrying in 2001, the pair have raised a family with their two children, Joshua and Hanna. For Trevor, owning a business in the region was a rewarding experience. “We had the business for 18 years before we decided to sell,” he said. “We serviced the whole Surat Basin area and the country towns and people supported a local business. “There was a lot of support from locals and we have tried to return the support with our local clubs.” Originally from Toowoomba, Trevor said he and his family have no intention of moving from the area. He said the community spirit, fine schools and clubs are plenty of good reasons to enjoy retirement here. “Many of my customers said

ALL IN THE FAMILY: Trevor and Julie Nimmo with their children Hanna and Joshua. when I sold the store if I was going to move away,” Trevor said. “I told them all that I had no intention of moving.” For Julie, the pleasure of being a part of a country community is what excites her about Dalby. She said Dalby was a town that placed an importance on

family, which made it an ideal place to raise their children. “The kids have made really good friends at school and they play sport and they have made friends through that as well,” she said. “Most people will say g’day, I think most people support local businesses. I find Dalby is easy to live in.”


The family are now enjoying life to the fullest in the region. Both children are at school and say they enjoy it each day, particularly the friendly nature of their school community. For Trevor and Julie, they are now looking forward to being as active in the Dalby community as they were before, just in a more relaxed environment.


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Dalby Hospital provides excellent care for locals

THE Dalby Hospital is the town’s primary facility looking after residents’ well-being. It offers a range of services including surgical, pathology, palliative care, aged care and maternity care. Also available at the hospital is medical imaging, physiotherapy, speech pathology and social workers. Allied health provides dietetics, occupational therapy, pathology, pharmacy, physiotherapy, radiography, speech pathology and social work services. The Karingal Residential Aged Care Facility is also located on the campus. Mental health services are provided across the Northern Downs district, including the Dalby Hospital.

Unwavering dedication to health care GOONDIR Health Services is maintaining its vision to improve the health and well-being of the south-west Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community. The service provides primary health care and related health services to 5000 indigenous people across more than 160,000sq km of the southwest. Medical clinics are based out of Dalby and St George. Services offered at Goondir are tailored to address the sensitivity needed for the cultural and traditional values of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clients. Dalby offers first-class health services IF IT is general medical and


dental services you are seeking, Dalby has it covered. Myall Medical Practice provides a variety of services and is located at 1/37 North Street. Dalby Medical Centre also services the community for general health care Western Downs Dental, Paul Renner Dental and Dalby Family Dental are there to service issues with the well-being of your teeth. For any chiropractic work, Hooke Chiropractic and Dalby Chiropractic Clinic is the place to call. There are several physiotherapists in town including Active Physiotherapy, Dalby Physiotherapy Centre and Vital Health. Dalby Community Health and Child Centre is another specialist

medical facility in town, on New Street. Dedicated to the cause WAMINDA Services is dedicated to providing support to disabled members of the Dalby community and surrounds. The primary task is to support and encourage people with a disability to develop their skills, enjoy life, find a paid employment position and enjoy the benefits of community contribution. Although funding is sourced from the Queensland Government, the energy and generosity of local people have helped Waminda carry on its mission through tough times. For more information about Waminda Services, go to www.waminda.com.au.

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All sports are right here

OFF AND RACING: 140 years on, racing is still a major sporting drawcard in Dalby. PHOTOS: FILE / CONTRIBUTED Football Club and is now known as the Dalby Swans. You can find the Swans at the Owen Street ovals. Cricket OCCUPYING the same field as the Swans is Dalby’s thriving cricket competition. Most teams in the competition, beginning in September every year, are based locally. Quinalow Cricket Club is the sole exception, which competes against the Dalby clubs. Racing COUNTRY racing remains at the heart of Dalby after 140 years. The original race track in Dalby was used for the first time in 1859 with a black soil track. Since this time, the Bunya Park Racecourse has grown to host

One of Dalby’s many touch football teams. regular TAB meets, which are seen Australia-wide. Bunya Park is also home to Dalby’s biggest race meet, the Picnic Races, held each April. The racecourse also hosts a number of large race events throughout the year. Golf WITH the banks of the Myall Creek surrounding the lush, green fairways, there is no better

place to tee off than the Dalby Golf Club. The scenic views make this 18 hole course the perfect place to have a social hit or become a member. Dalby’s full golf course was established in 1936 on the Dalby Town Council’s recreation reserve. Those wishing to take a swing at the Dalby Golf Course can find it off Moreton Street. Other sports SQUASH, soccer and touch football are also popular sports in town. Dalby’s squash courts can be found on Cunningham Street, while touch is regularly played and enjoyed by locals. The PCYC also has a gym, netball courts and other spaces for the various sports played throughout the region.


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WHEN it comes to sport, you would struggle to find a town more passionate and dedicated to the craft than Dalby. Rugby union DALBY Wheatmen, the town’s rugby union club, was established in 1964. The club competes in the Risdon Cup against teams throughout the entire southwest, in addition to B-grade, C-grade, teenagers and the Junior Wheatmen. Dalby’s Wheatmen have more than 300 players registered, and field a team in every grade of the Downs Rugby. The club’s home can be found at John Ritter Oval on Orpen Street. Rugby league RIGHT next door to the Dalby Wheatmen is the Dalby Leagues Club. These grounds are home to Dalby’s junior and senior rugby league teams – the Dalby Devils and the Dalby Diehards. More than 200 local players are registered with the club. NRL stars including Darren Burns, Carl Webb and Andrew McCullough all started their rugby league careers here. Dalby’s Diehards compete in the A-grade, B-grade and C-grade competitions of the Toowoomba Rugby League competition. You can sign up for any side by heading to the Dalby Leagues Club on Orpen Street. Aussie rules AUSSIE rules football in Dalby has grown immensely in more than three decades of competition. The town’s first team was entered into the Darling Downs Football League in 1980 as the Dalby and Districts

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Dalby Christian College has long history of success

OLSCC empowers students In 1963, St Mary’s College was opened to educate boys aged 5-10 years. As enrolments for both schools grew, pressure mounted on then Bishop Bill Morris, of the Archdiocese of Toowoomba, to find a solution. In 2008, he gave his permission to combine both Catholic Schools into Our Lady of the Southern Cross College, where it continues to operate under that name on Nicholson Street. With a range of modern sporting and educational facilities at its disposal, it has produced some fine students, and enjoys inclusion in the network of Catholic schools across the Maranoa and Toowoomba. To find out more about OLSCC, visit the website Dalby.catholic.edu.au.

DALBY Christian College is an independent, co-educational school providing quality Christian education. The school first opened its doors in 1981 after a group of Christians in the Dalby community felt there was a need for their brand of education. When the school first opened there were 29 students who were taught using the ACE curriculum, which was discontinued in 1984. Following from this, DCC became Christian Community School, and in recent years took on its current name.

Despite starting off as a very small school, the Dalby Christian College has eventually grown to become a school of more than 200 students from Prep to Year 12. In 2006, the school celebrated its 25th anniversary with the opening of a new state of the art primary school building. The school also has an early learning centre incorporated into the grounds. Its aim is to develop confident independent and disciplined young people of character and faith.


WITH a rich history spanning more than a century, Catholic education is as foundational to Dalby life now as it was in 1877. Our Lady of the Southern Cross College is Dalby’s amalgamated Catholic school, which educates students from Prep to Year 12. The institution has grown, with more than 800 students enrolled today, about half of them participating in the primary school curriculum. The school serves to provide quality education to Dalby and the surrounding area, within the framework of the Catholic Christian tradition. Catholic education started with the Sisters of Mercy way back in 1877, who taught students from St Columba’s, near the convent, for many decades.

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TOP NOTCH EDUCATION: Dalby Christian College principal Stephen Wilson. PHOTO: MICHAEL DOYLE


Committed to quality education FOR parents looking to give their children a great start to learning, Dalby and the surrounding regions certainly have a lot to offer, from kindergarten right through to high school. Dalby’s three kindergartens are Stuart Street, Beck Street, and Snow White and are all conveniently located in the heart of town. The kindergartens are all aimed at children aged 3-4 years old. As children move into their primary school years, there are four excellent options available to Dalby parents. The two public primary schools are Dalby State School and Dalby South State School.

Dalby State School ESTABLISHED in 1861, Dalby State School is one of Queensland’s oldest primary schools and was originally built as a slab hut for 57 students. The school’s motto is, aptly, ‘Ever Onwards’, symbolising how it focuses on moving children forward and supporting them to succeed. Dalby State School currently educates 570 students from Prep-Year 6 and offers excellent facilities and play areas, technology (including a laptop class), learning support, sports, performing arts and languages. The school is particularly proud of its music program of excellence, Lift Off pre-prep

Dalby SHS takes centre stage DALBY State High School is Dalby’s largest high school, with nearly 1000 students attending today. The school has an established cultural role in the community, hosting incredible musical productions and competitions at its Great Hall in decades past. Since opening in 1954, its cohort has grown significantly and so have its facilities. The school underwent significant refurbishment in 2010-11, with new specialist teaching areas installed and staffed with some of the most dedicated teachers in the region. The science and dramatic arts classrooms received special attention, and the school now includes a Trade Training Centre

and a Languages Centre at its main campus, on the corner of Nicholson Street and Warrego Highway. This refurbishment and construction has allowed the school to accommodate the arrival of Year 7 students, who are now firmly part of secondary education. DSHS acquired management of the former Australia Agricultural College in recent years, which it now uses as a second campus. This has provided students at DSHS access to more resources, including new sporting venues, a 25m swimming pool and more. To find out more about Dalby State High School, visit dalbyshs.eq.edu.au.

program and recently winning two categories in the regional Showcase Awards for Excellence in Schools. These opportunities are underpinned by a quality education delivered through innovative programs and creating an intentionally inviting learning environment. At Dalby State School, students know that teachers care. As one of Dalby’s earliest remaining institutions, Dalby State School remains proud of its historic roots to the town. Dalby South State School WITH 685 pupils, DSSS is Dalby’s biggest body of primary students and provides a supportive educational environment. The school was first opened in March 1965 on a ground formerly used to land aeroplanes, and today is a vibrant learning community, wherein staff share

knowledge and strength to provide quality learning and opportunities for each and every student. Throughout the years, DSSS has continued to grow in size to support the continual growth of the Dalby community, consistently supporting local events and groups. It has long been recognised as a school consistently delivering exceptional academic, cultural and sporting opportunities. The school is proud of its positive reputation and consistently strives to enhance this achievement through focusing on each and every individual student. The school is committed to quality education that develops respectful, responsible and safe lifelong learners. To find out more, phone 4672 3888 or visit dalbsoutss.eq.edu.au.

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Array of nightlife on offer IF YOU are planning to head out while in Dalby, there are plenty of options available and each and every one promises a great time for all. As well as being a great place to raise a family, Dalby has a wide range of pubs, clubs and restaurants for lovers of the nightlife. For those who like the atmosphere of a traditional country pub, The Windsor, the

Dalby Hotel Motel or the Criterion might be the right fit for you. Mary’s Commercial Hotel, the Russell Tavern and The Australian offer a clean, modern feel for those who pine for the creature comforts of the major cities. There are also two bowls clubs in town open to the public – ideal for a night of barefoot bowls with your friends. Dalby’s motels also offer great

meals at their restaurants, the Cobbers Motel and Squires at the Dalby Manor being particular favourites of the locals. If rugby league is more your speed, Dalby has the finest club of its kind in the Maranoa – the Dalby Leagues Club. Home to the Dalby Devils and the Dalby Diehards, it offers good food, great facilities and a perfect view of the match come the weekend.

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SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE: Enjoy some live entertainment at The Australian in Dalby.


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Shop ‘til you drop in Dalby WHETHER you’re a bargain hunter, ready for a shopping spree, or just having a browse, Dalby’s shopping precinct has something for everybody. Cunningham Street, in the centre of town, is home to a number of fashion boutiques, chain shops, newsagents, furniture stores and specialist stores. For the thrifty among us or those looking for more ‘one of a kind’ items, Dalby locals are lucky to have access to a number of charity shops including Helping Hands, One Of AKind, Red Cross, Salvation Army, Western Downs Outreach Project, St Vincent de Paul, Lifeline and Waminda. We all know a shopping spree is not complete without cash, and the main street is

conveniently home to Commonwealth Bank, Westpac, NAB, Suncorp and ANZ, with Heritage Bank and Warwick Credit Union located right around the corner in Dalby Shoppingworld. At Dalby Shoppingworld, in the comfort of heating/air-conditioning, you can find a variety of clothing stores, ample choice of food outlets, Big W, and a number of specialty shops perfect for picking up gifts or entertainment options. For your grocery needs, Dalby Shoppingworld is also home to Woolworths, which is open seven days a week. Just around the corner on Patrick and Condamine Streets, the recently refurbished Coles supermarket is also open seven days. On the corner of Drayton

SCALE MODELS: Brothers Riley and Tallum Burton enjoy the reptile show at Dalby Shoppingworld. PHOTO: JULIA BAKER Street and Condamine Streets, the iconic Betros Bros boasts a wide range of fresh fruit, vegetables and more, while Foodworks is located off Condamine Street. If DIY is your cup of tea, Mitre 10 is your one-stop-shop for all of your hardware needs and it’s conveniently located on Patrick

Street. Alternatively, Dalby Home Hardware is located on Rochedale Street, or Bunnings on the Warrego Highway heading to Toowoomba. New to Dalby, Aldi (in Archibald Street) has a huge variety of merchandise and you’re sure to find a bargain.

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GOLDEN ERA: The stunning residence of Jimbour House is a glorious landmark in the Dalby region and well worth a visit. PHOTO: TONY GWYNN-JONES

Soak up some history just outside of Dalby Chance to experience a wealth of culture at the iconic Jimbour House

IN A SHORT trip from Dalby you can visit the historic Jimbour location which has developed into a cultural hub of the region. Jimbour House is a heritage-listed homestead built on one of the Darling Downs’ earliest stations. Built initially by the Bell family, the French colonial house and surrounding station were claimed by the bank to recover debts in 1912. Following the Russell family’s purchase of the property in 1925, major renovations saw the property return to its former glory. The family is responsible for restoring the iconic station and making the surrounding area open for all to enjoy. Page 16

The Jimbour amphitheatre is capable of holding about 12,000 and regularly hosts cultural events organised by the Queensland Arts Council and the Dalby Regional Arts Council. Events are also held inside the homestead, providing a unique and historic setting for intimate concerts. To find out all the facts about this interesting piece of history, you can conduct a self-guided tour. The gardens are open to the public for a small fee, with a recent addition being the interpretive Living History Walk. If you would like more information on Jimbour, head to www.jimbour.com.


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IF BOATING is your cup of tea, there are plenty of opportunities to get some hours on the water within driving distance of Dalby. Whether it’s water-skiing, canoeing, kayaking or just cruising the waters you are spoilt for choice. Condamine’s Caliguel Lagoon is closest, though Lake Broadwater is a local favourite. With a hall for rent and camping sites aplenty, it is the perfect place to set up for a relaxing trip with family and friends. If a day trip is more your speed, consider travelling to the Condamine Jandowae Dam, or the Chinchilla Weir. If fishing is your thing, golden perch, jewfish, silver perch, freshwater crayfish (yabbies) and the famous Condamine cod can all be found around Dalby. Just remember to get a permit if you want to fish in the Myall Creek.

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Dalby boasts impressive history There is so much to learn about Dalby’s colourful and intriguing past

DALBY was founded in the early 1840s on the Myall Creek, settled by explorer Henry Dennis. It was a crossroads for travellers heading to Jimbour Station, which was a major employer of the region back in the day during Dalby’s pioneering period. The site of Dalby, known

colloquially as the crossroads, represented the edge of the frontier for many settlers. In fact, Jimbour was one of the last places Henry Dennis was seen before disappearing for more than a year on the ill-fated expedition that cost his friend John Gilbert his life. In 1853 the township was surveyed by the New South

Wales Government, and in 1855 the town had been officially named Dalby. It became part of the new state of Queensland in 1859. Dalby has a number of heritage listed sites, including the Cunningham Street Dalby Town Council Chambers, which now houses the Dalby Chamber of Commerce.

St John’s Anglican Church, with its stained glass windows, and St Columba’s convent are also heritage listed, monuments to Dalby’s strong religious connections. To find out more about Dalby’s pioneering history, be sure to visit Pioneer Park, the locally, volunteer-run museum on Black Street.

The voice of the community since 1865 THE Dalby Herald was described by The Queenslander in 1903 as “amongst the pioneer newspapers in the state”. It has lasted the test of time and to this day prides itself on commitment to community The Dalby Herald was founded in September 21, 1865. In 1881, the town moved towards a weekly edition. The change has endured until

this day and is published on a Friday. The Dalby Herald now incorporates the Northern Downs News which was previously a separate Tuesday publication. The Herald has also incorporated many former publications across its chequered history, including the Dalby Record and the Dalby Leader.

Publishers threw away the rule book at the Herald in 1979 and switched from broadsheet to a tabloid format. It has been there for the good times and the bad throughout the history of the town. The Herald’s office has weathered floods and a fire which obliterated the work room and office in 1981. The paper has powered on

through it all and still exists today as one of Queensland’s oldest print publications. The Herald has thrived in this vibrant and active town, and would not have done so without the community’s support. If you live in town or are passing through, be sure to grab a copy of the Herald from your local newsagent and enjoy a read of this historic paper.

HERALD HAS IT COVERED: From floods to future developments, the Dalby Herald has seen it all, and has covered it all for more than 150 years. PHOTOS: MARK RIEDEL /RAY HUMPHRYS


A 77 D AY ON S Page 18








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A thriving industry Whether it is cotton or mung bean, Dalby offers great versatility when it comes to agriculture

RIGHT: Dalby’s successful cotton industry is just one among many.

TOP CROPS: Dalby’s agriculture is varied and profitable.


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IN RECENT years, Dalby has served as a major administrative centre for the oil and gas exploration industry in southwest Queensland, but there is so much more powering its economy. It also services a major power station at nearby Kogan Creek. Though coal mining has dropped off significantly, Dalby still produces ethanol from sorghum at its United Petroleum Bio Refinery – the first of its kind in Australia. Historically it was a significant hub for livestock products including pigs and sheep, and its cattle saleyards are the second largest throughout Queensland, with the town being well-positioned to service the whole state. Dalby is also the largest grain receiving depot in Queensland. Crop products are many, including cotton, sorghum, wheat, barley, sunflowers, chickpeas, mung beans and corn, and two cotton gins are located close to the town.

Page 19


Bell offers a slice of the good life You will struggle to find few places more quaint than Western Downs’ beautiful Bell

IT’S SHOWTIME: Darcy Graham had a ball at the 2018 Bell Show and visitors to the area will enjoy everything the township has to offer as well. PHOTOS: MICHAEL DOYLE

LOCATED just half an hour from Dalby, the peaceful town of Bell offers a perfectly peaceful and scenic getaway. Bell is conveniently located on the Bunya Highway, right at the foothills of the Bunya Mountains; a favourite attraction among locals. The tight-knit community, with a population of 544 at the 2011 Census, is full of small town charm and picturesque hills of farmland.


...full of small town charm and picturesque hills of farmland.

Hugh and Angus Foy, with cousin Jack Postle, enjoyed the delights of the 2018 Bell Show and Rodeo.

Facilities around Bell include a caravan park, a swimming complex, tennis courts, a lawn bowls club, a golf course, library and more. One of the main social gathering points in town is the Bellview pub, in addition to Pips n Cherries Cafe and the Memorial Hall country dances hostel a

number of times throughout the year. For a cultural experience, Bluebelles Gallery on Wallace Street holds exhibitions featuring the work of local artists and art workshops. The township also hosts a number of events including horse race meetings, rodeo and campdraft competitions, and the annual Bell Show. The iconic Bell Show is held annually and features local produce, displays of livestock and animals, wood chopping, and displays from local students. Bell State School caters for students from Prep to Year 10. The rural school values rich community connections, with small classes enabling the teaching and support staff to work together in a teamwork approach around individual learning goals for students and improving student achievement. Students at Bell School regularly participate in regional educational, cultural and sporting endeavours including eisteddfods and the Bell Bike Ride.

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BOTTOMS UP: The Bun Pub will prove the perfect spot to wet your whistle.


Kaimkillenbun is bursting with charm and character

Kaimkillenbun offers a small-town feel and a great country welcome KAIMKILLENBUN, located northeast of Dalby, is more than the town with the longest single-word name in Queensland – it’s ‘The Bun’. With a population of around 600, its character is strongly linked to agriculture and the railway.

Though the railway line was closed in 1984, the iconic hotel which serviced travellers still stands today. Soldiers leaving for the first world war signed the walls of the then-Kenilworth Hotel. Today, it is known simply as The Bun Pub, and it is known for

the vintage cars parked nearby as much as the great service. The school was built in November 1909, the year after the post office was built – both still stand today, along with a memorial honouring the soldiers of the region.

In 1983, Kaimkillenbun was used to film the movie Chase Through the Night, starring Nicole Kidman, and using local residents as extras. Next time you are driving through to the Bunya Mountains, be sure to stop off at this memorable little town.

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Community spirit is in the heart of Jandowae

IT’S THE smaller communities of the region that make up the heart of the Western Downs – and in the tiny town of Jandowae it’s not hard to see why the locals think it’s a great place to live. Just ask resident Michael Wood. He reckons it’s the community spirit and pride residents take in their town that makes Jandowae a standout. “We have such a great community here in Jandowae and everyone is always willing to back a good thing and really support events and programs that make our town a great place to live,” Michael said. “It’s been great for the kids to see how our community comes together to get involved in the great things happening here.”

These great things include the biennial Jandowae Timbertown Festival, and the local library adding to the town’s rich cultural experiences to ensure that residents and visitors are never left wanting when it comes to family-friendly events. If you’re more of the outdoorsy type, the Jandowae Pool, Rotary Park and the historic Athlone Cottage are sure to call your name with ample opportunities to go for a swim or pack up a picnic. Plans are also well under way for the Jandowae Central Park, which is set to become a relaxing space for tourists to stop, take a break and enjoy the best of one of the Western Downs’ most idyllic communities.

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A tight-knit community Family-orientated and old-fashioned values help make Brigalow the loved town it is BRIGALOW State School is the heart of the tight-knit community of Brigalow, about 15 minutes drive east of Chinchilla. It is a family-orientated school that is proud to boast over 105 years of education. The township of Brigalow is named after the original natural vegetation in the district, Acacia Agrifolia, commonly known as the Brigalow tree. The district is on the western edge of the Darling Downs and the two soils are used for growing wheat, barley, sorghum, chick peas and cotton. The small Brigalow school community consists predominantly of rural families. Here, traditional, conservative values are prized. The start of the Kogan Creek Coal Mine and Power Station and the growth of the building industry and infrastructure have provided additional employment opportunities for the community. Make sure you check out the classic Brigalow General Store, That Shop For Her clothing store and, on the western edge of the township, the historic rabbit proof fence crosses the Warrego Highway at the grid.

FUN AND SUN: This stunning sunset was captured at Brigalow State School.


RIGHT: Wayne Orley volunteers at Brigalow State School to students Auslan. FRONT: Emily Iverson, Wayne Orley and Charleigh Andrews. BACK: Adam Carroll, Aidan Ray, Xander Woods and Rhys Horrocks. PHOTO: MADISON WATT



Gwenda Olm Memorial Every September at Brigalow Recreation Grounds

Throughout the day

Power Play | Billy Boil | Tug-O-War | Athletic Events Novelty Events - nail driving, broom & egg throwing, egg & spoon race, 3 legged race | Children’s novelty events.

Thank you to all supporters too numerous to mention.

Page 23



Even though it is a small town, there’s plenty on offer with local businesses, sports and community projects. If you need help, someone’s always willing to help out. Jodie Williams


Country life suits every member of the family

WHEN Jodie Williams and Chris Maullin decided to move from Newcastle to Chinchilla almost three years ago, it was an opportunity for the couple and their children Harper, 11, and Brooklen, 15, to spend more quality time together as a family. “Because of Chris’s work, he was flying back and forth and we weren’t able to see him much,” Jodie said. “The kids and I flew up to Chinchilla for the weekend and we really liked the town, so we decided to move up. One of the things that attracted the family to the town was the incredible sense of community. “Because it’s a country town, the community is always willing to help everyone,” she said. “You can’t beat the spirit of a small country town.” Schooling was also a priority for Jodie and Chris, who wanted their children to take advantage of all the opportunities available for them. “There are great opportunities for my kids here, especially for my son at the high school,” she said. “They’re bringing in all these new certificates for the students to take on, letting them try different things they may normally not have had the chance to try.” The kids also participate in the many extracurricular activities on offer, with Brooklen playing in the

FUN FOR ALL: Brooklen loves his footy, while Harper enjoys gymnastics and dancing. PHOTOS: CONTRIBUTED Bulldogs rugby league team and Harper being involved in gymnastics and dancing. “Even though it is a small town, there’s plenty on offer with local businesses, sports and community projects,” Jodie said. “There’s so much charity work, with organisations such as Drought Angels. “If you need help, someone’s always willing to help out.” Jodie said her family was excited about the many upcoming infrastructure projects in the region, such as the

Chinchilla Botanical Parklands. “There are a lot of new community projects happening in Chinchilla,” she said. “Things like the skateboard park renewal and the Chinchilla Botanical Parklands which will include a water park, which my kids are really looking forward to. “The council are trying to improve the facilities for the people living in the area which is really good.” Living in the Western Downs also allows the family to experience the various events

held around the region year round. “Chinchilla isn’t far from Miles and other towns, so there’s plenty of opportunity to explore the region as well,” she said. “Events like the Chinchilla Watermelon Festival, Wandoan Camel Races and the Miles Back to the Bush Festival are always a fun day out and a chance to enjoy something different.” For Jodie and Chris, moving to Chinchilla was an easy decision, the relaxed country lifestyle being a perfect fit for the whole family.





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FOR EVERYONE: There are plenty of learning opportunities at Chinchilla Christian College.


All students can flourish

CHINCHILLA Christian College is an independent, co-educational Christian school located on the Western Downs of Queensland. Offering Kindergarten to Year 12 on the one campus, which boasts beautiful grounds and excellent facilities, Chinchilla Christian College is the only Prep-Year 12 school in Chinchilla. It is also the only private secondary school in Chinchilla. Chinchilla Christian College seeks to provide rich, authentic learning opportunities within a

Christian environment to equip students to fulfil their potential. They are a learning community where every student can shine – spiritually, intellectually, physically, socially and emotionally. Chinchilla Christian College is big enough to provide great opportunities, yet small enough to provide individual care and attention. Their educational program is enriched with a wide range of co-curricular activities that facilitate the further development

of individual student strengths and abilities. Staff are passionate about helping each student be all they can be. CCC also prides itself on community involvement. CCC students are currently involved in the design of permanent installations on shelters throughout the new botanical parklands project which is due for completion early 2019. The students have already met with the landscape architect and

they are looking forward to being a part of this exciting new project which will remain for generations and memorialise their artwork in the local community. Chinchilla Christian College believe God has a special plan and purpose for every child and that each one can achieve success. Offering Australian Curriculum taught from a Christian world view, the college caters for a wide range of student learning needs.

The wide variety of co-curricular activities ensure students reach their full potential.

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Find the perfect lifestyle balance in Chinchilla WATERMELONS may have helped put this small Queensland country town on the map, but it’s Chinchilla’s rich offerings of leisure activities, beautiful parks and community spirit that keep visitors coming back and enticing families to stay. Whatever you enjoy doing, whether it’s diving into the pool, reading a great book, taking the kids for a skate or picnicking in the park – there’s something for everyone, as well as several exciting new facilities on the way. These facilities include Western Downs Regional Council’s $5.9 million Chinchilla Botanic Parklands opening in early 2019 offering a family-friendly space bursting with gardens, play areas, open lawn and regional Queensland’s first Watermelon Water Play Area. With a focus on great liveability and delivering plenty of recreational opportunities for the young and young-at-heart, much-loved community spaces

GREAT FUN: The Chinchilla Melon Festival attracts thousands of people to the town every second year. Mark the February 14-17, 2019 in your calendar for the next festival. PHOTO: PAUL HARRIS have also been given a makeover. Popular hang out the Chinchilla Skate Park is being transformed

into a modern and fun recreational space for locals and visitors to kick-back and connect, with a $300,000

makeover set to be completed late 2018. Adding to the strong sporting community in the town, plans are also well under way to deliver three new all-weather multi-purpose courts for the Chinchilla Netball Inc and other sporting clubs. If sport isn’t your thing, the Chinchilla Library has something for everyone. Stocking more than just books, the library is the cultural and social hub of the community hosting events and programs for all ages. From helping our newest citizens practice their English in a welcoming environment to keeping our older residents up-to-date with the latest technology not to mention the many school holiday activities, the Chinchilla Library is the place to be if you want to escape, connect or meet new people. There’s no shortage of fantastic facilities, parks and community pride in Chinchilla.

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Together as a TEAM CHINCHILLA State High School caters for students in Years 7-12 and student enrolments this year are around 640, averaging 107 students per year level. CSHS continues to embody the motto “Learning together for a happy and productive future” and this is regularly reinforced through TEAM, which are the school’s principles: “together, excellence, acceptance and

motivation”. CSHS staff members are very enthusiastic in their work and there is a strong focus on student well-being, the development of academic excellence and providing a diverse range of learning opportunities for all students. The students are provided access to a broad array of curriculum offerings and

numerous opportunities to excel in the sporting, cultural and citizenship areas. The high school grounds also house the Chinchilla campus of TAFE, providing great resources and enabling students to pursue certificates in a variety of areas/trades without the inconvenience of external travel. CSHS is lucky enough to be part of the Advancing Queensland State School program, with the construction of a new multi-purpose hall. The hall has a ‘sprung-timber floor’ and will house specialist indoor sports equipment and cleaning machines to assist in the maintenance of the floors and building. The new facility also includes undercover walkways to connect the school to the building and landscaping around the building.

The old school hall will be refurbished and used for the school’s performing arts program and will also maintain its multi-purpose versatility. Staff are currently enthusiastically preparing for what has been called the biggest reform in secondary education in Queensland in 30 years – the new QCE. The new system will be introduced for the Year 11 students in all Queensland secondary schools in 2019 and with this reform comes a new offer of subjects, together with accountability and assessment checks for students, staff and the schools themselves. So, there are some very exciting times ahead in education and curriculum, with the rolling out of this positive new system next year. 6390598aa


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TEAMWORK: Students from Chinchilla State High School have given the Apex Club a helping hand to support a Royal Flying Doctor Service Rally passing through town. PHOTO: BROOKE DUNCAN

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One of the best in the Downs

FOR those who pine for an afternoon on the green, Chinchilla has a crackerjack bowls club and one of the best golf courses on the Downs. Chinchilla Bowls Club was built in the 1950s, about the same time as the neighbouring tennis association. The club has maintained a gorgeous green for half a century. Players enjoy tournaments throughout the year and enjoy the chance to compete in the statewide Super Challenge Bowls competition. Chinchilla Golf Club has operated since 1928, built from the ground up by members. In 1935, the club held its first open day and engaged in an inter-club competition with Jandowae and Dalby. Today the ground is greatly expanded, with some tricky angles for those with the talent to manage them. There are nine holes, following

FUN FOR ALL: Happy faces on the green at the CCCI President's Cup Golf Day at the Chinchilla Golf Club. PHOTO: MATTHEW NEWTON the 1970 decision to switch from 18 hole sand greens to Chinchilla’s now emblematic irrigated grass greens.

Competitions are held most weekends, with the ground open to amateurs and experts throughout the week.

Clubs and buggies are available for a modest fee, so come on out, tee up and enjoy yourself.


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The community comes together

The Chinchilla Cultural Centre brings flair to the CBD and is a place in which locals are proud

A CHANCE TO DANCE: Dancers from Chinchilla Dance Studio put on a show at the Chinchilla Cultural Centre. PHOTO: BROOKE DUNCAN The Wattle Room makes it a perfect venue for a variety of functions and conventions and is

Your trusted newspaper THE Chinchilla News and Murilla Advertiser has a long and proud history. The first edition of the newspaper was published on December 14, 1907 and comprised of eight pages. Its enthusiastic proprietor, John Hay Braddock, took advantage of Chinchilla’s considerable growth in the early 1900s, when the rail line brought prosperity and increasing numbers. Fast forward more than

100 years, and it’s as crucial and influential as it ever was. Covering the townships of Chinchilla, Brigalow, Warra, Jandowae, Miles, Tara, Condamine, Taroom, Wandoan, and everywhere in between, the paper publishes weekly on a Thursday. The paper has endured several major floods over the years. Even when the office flooded in 2011 and 2012, its staff ensured the newspaper was still published on time.

adjacent to a concert hall that is fully equipped with state of the art facilities for live entertainment

productions. Next time you are in town, be sure to pop on in.

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SET in the heart of the CBD, the Chinchilla Cultural Centre forms part of the Heeney Street Civic Precinct and offers so much for locals to enjoy. The Chinchilla White Gums Gallery holds regular art exhibitions, showcasing the artistic talents of the region, while Chinchilla Cinema has always been a popular recreational activity for residents, screening all the latest Hollywood blockbusters. The centre also has an important historical significance for Chinchilla, with Anzac Day and Remembrance Day celebrations held at the Soldiers Memorial Auditorium each and every year.

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Page 31


5 good reasons to join CCCI

DID you know that Chinchilla Community Commerce & Industry Inc (CCCI) represent over 130 companies, businesses, clubs and individual members for Chinchilla and immediate surrounds? Here are five good reasons to join CCCI... 1. Dedicated staff working for you Manager Robyn Haig works for members by seeking out opportunities for local businesses, providing support and connection between members and advocating on their behalf to big business, state and local government and major employers and projects. Events co-ordinator Gaye Smith works for members by organising great local events, such as One Long Table, Christmas Street Party and the Presidents Cup golf day, that not only help make Chinchilla a great place to live but also provide

marketing opportunities to businesses through their sponsorship support. 2. Campaigns, workshops and a Business Advisory Board... to assist you doing business CCCI runs learning workshops, information sessions, Year Ahead Breakfast, ‘Use Your Melon’ Buy local campaign and a monthly Business Advisory Board, all to assist you in your business. 3. CCCI advocates for initiatives that improve the liveability and prosperity of Chinchilla CCCI provides the strategic planning, support and continuity to see long term projects come to fruition. Successful initiatives include: ■ CCTV in the Chinchilla Town Centre ■ Chinchilla Botanic Parklands project ■ Reinstated midwife and

DOING BUSINESS: CCCI staff Gaye Smith and Justin Fox celebrate the launch of One Long Table. PHOTO: MADISON WATT part-time birthing services at Chinchilla Hospital ■ Increasing localisation of resource company’s workforce 4. CCCI provides opportunities to connect with

other businesses Events such as the annual Presidents Cup Golf Day, Year Ahead breakfast, workshops, information sessions and the Business Advisory Board all provide opportunities to network and connect with other businesses and stakeholders. 5. The BEST Group (Bringing Employers and Schools Together) A Chinchilla BEST Group was started early this year. CCCI Staff and board have worked hard with the QLD State Department of Employment, Small Business and Training, local high schools and Chinchilla employers to design a tour for more than 100 students to visit a range of workplaces to connect them with local career opportunities. To become a member of CCCI, phone Robyn or Gaye at the office on (07) 4668 9172 or email events@chinchilla.org.au.


Lapunyah Art Galler y is managed by volunteers with the support of Western Downs Regional Council. Exhibition Showcases:• Local and national artists • Touring exhibitions Galler y Opening Hours

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Chinchilla’s new Botanical Parklands EXCITING news for the local “Chinchillians” and surrounding towns! The first sod has been turned on June 26 by Local Government Minister Stirling Hinchliffe to mark the start of construction. When finished, the new $6 million, 4.2 hectare, Chinchilla Botanical Parklands is sure to attract more visitors to the area. The project is being partly funded by the Palaszczuk Government’s $445 million Building Our Regions fund. The Palaszczuk Government is committing a total of $2.85 million to the Chinchilla Botanical Parklands. The Building Our Regions programme supports infrastructure that provides economic and social benefits to remote and regional areas. The project will include a sheltered, raised concrete stage, playground, picnic shelters and uncovered picnic tables, barbecues, seating, constructed wetlands and a water play area. The Chinchilla Botanical Parklands project is supporting 18 jobs during construction, and three ongoing jobs on its completion. The botanical garden precinct will become the focal point for community events, entertainment and family get-togethers. Set back from the Warrego Highway, between the railway line and Villiers Street, the new parklands will be close to the business centre and within walking distance for a lot of the local residents. The new infrastructure, is set to provide fantastic open spaces and will enhance the well-being

COMING SOON: Artist impression of the water play area to be featured in the Chinchilla Botanic Parklands due to open early 2019. PHOTO: CONTRIBUTED of the community well into the future – adding versatility, vibrancy, heritage and liveability of the region and creating increased opportunities for event and tourism development. It is already planned that the new parklands will support regular daily social activities and will be the new location for the local monthly markets. It will also support at least 12 other minor events and three major events annually.

Western Downs Regional Council mayor Paul McVeigh said the Western Downs region would benefit from excellent infrastructure and tourism attraction thanks to the Chinchilla Botanic Parklands project. “We are looking at this not just as a feature of Chinchilla, but of the whole Western Downs, and one that will draw both locals and tourists as it showcases the great liveability of our region,” Cr McVeigh said.

The Chinchilla Botanic Parklands masterplan. PHOTO: WDRC

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One-stop information shop

Chinchilla Tourist Information Centre has been helping locals and visitors for years WHEN it comes to finding a one-stop-shop for information about the Chinchilla region, it’s hard to go past the town’s visitor information centre. Enjoy a Devonshire tea while browsing through the art and crafts displays and learn about places to visit and things to see in the area. Staff at the centre, located on the Warrego Highway, can answer your queries and share their special knowledge of the area with you. They can point you in the right direction to Chinchilla Historical Museum or White Gums Art Gallery and you can learn about the success of the cactoblastis moth at Boonarga Cactoblastis Memorial Hall or take in the view from the Kogan Creek Power Station viewing platform.

COME ON IN: The Chinchilla Tourist Information Centre.






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Options galore for a night out A NIGHT on the town in Chinchilla is always great fun. And with the recent development of new restaurants and the influx of new characters, the scene has evolved greatly. The Commercial Hotel, Chinchilla RSL, Club Hotel and

Bowls Club offer a unique ambience to appeal to a variety of local residents. While in the past a pub meal was the standard fare for celebrants, today the culinary landscape has changed beyond recognition.

Today residents have their pick of Thai, Indian or Chinese restaurants, with KFC, Subway, McDonald’s fast food restaurants also doing good business. In the face of this competition, the Club and Commercial Hotels and the RSL have set about

perfecting their menus with new chefs and premium quality restaurant meals and they speak for themselves. Check out their online menus. Visit clubhotelchinchilla.com.au, thecommercialchinchilla.com.au or chinchillarsl.com.au.

ABOVE LEFT: The Commercial Hotel bar. ABOVE RIGHT: DJ Some Blonde spins the tunes at the Club Hotel. PHOTOS: MATTHEW NEWTON / CONTRIBUTED

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The weir a family favourite

Providing a social scene for all to enjoy

PERFECT SPOT: Chinchilla Weir at sunset.


Chinchilla Historical Museum

CAMPING by the water is one of the great pleasures to be had in the Western Downs. Chinchilla is nestled amid a picturesque segment of the Charlie’s Creek catchment, which runs into the Condamine River, where picnic facilities and walkways provide a relaxing waterside setting. Chinchilla Weir, about 10km south of the town on Tara Road, provides the town’s water supply and is a fantastic site for recreational waterskiing. Skiing and boating enthusiasts are lucky to have a freshwater location with an island to circle, unlike many other rural skiing areas that simply have a wide stretch of river. On warm weekends and holiday periods the weir becomes a playground for water sports, with a loading ramp, grassy banks and barbecue

Sam Irwin at the Chinchilla Weir. PHOTO: FILE facilities. Camping at the weir is free, with a two-night stay limit, making it the perfect place to relax on the weekend.

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Page 36

28 Middle Street, Chinchilla E: admin@west-trendinteriors.com W: www.west-trendinteriors.com


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Grounds for Hire Miniature Railway 1st Sunday of each month For more information, contact the Museum on 07 4662 7014


The trusted name in health

CHINCHILLA Medical Practice is the trusted local service for rural medical treatment. The practice boasts two full-time, experienced rural general practitioners who, along with contracted doctors, provide the district with a comprehensive range of medical services. The private practice’s services include obstetrics, anaesthesia, general surgery and specialised skin cancer surgery, as well as facilities for full diagnostic investigations including x-ray, ultrasound and pathology provider Sullivan Nicolaides. In 2009, major extensions and renovations of the site on Middle Street were completed, increasing the capacity of the facility to meet the increased

demand for the growing population of the greater Chinchilla area. The practice is now a purpose-built, nine-doctor-room surgery. Chinchilla Medical Practice doctors also provide care for Chinchilla’s aged care facility, Illoura, and all medical services at the Chinchilla Hospital. The practice also provides complete general practice nursing services and nurses are also involved in occupational health screening for private resource companies in the district. The practice is also involved in undergraduate medical training with resident medical students frequently on site.


CHINCHILLA Dental Practice has been keeping smiles straight and bright for more than 60 years. Owned by local dentists Dr Donald Clarke and Dr Gina Irwin and their families, CDP is a friendly, country practice equipped with state-of-the-art technology. The practice offers an advanced

range of modern family dentistry from its Middle Street location with orthodontics, cosmetic dentistry, dental hygiene, preventative dentistry and children’s dentistry all available. Three dentists and an oral health therapist work alongside the practice’s clinical assistants and administration staff to provide dental services to cater to the needs of clients of all ages.

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Page 37


ON THE RUN: The Tara Festival of Culture and Camel Races may be a fixture on the calendar, but Tara offers so much more.


So much more than just camel races captivates, and Western Downs Regional Council is making sure the rest of the region and visiting tourists know. Championed by the local community, the redevelopment of Tara Lions Park and Tara Lagoon are well under way and will create fantastic spaces for residents to relax, play with the kids and sink a line.

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Adding to the $75,000 worth of works already completed, a further $115,000 will turn Tara Lions Park into the place to be when it comes to throwing birthday parties, family reunions and community events with new shade, picnic shelters and barbecues. Popular among locals and visitors alike, the Tara Lagoon’s

walkway and recreational grounds are in the early stages of being transformed into a vibrant space for everyone to stop and enjoy all Tara has to offer. You can also stop into the newly revamped Tara Grevillea Park in the centre of town to get your camel fix with Clarence, a hand-crafted wood statue taking centre stage on the lawn.


DRIVING into Tara, there’s no mistaking that the locals love all things camel. And it’s not hard to see why with the biennial Tara Festival of Culture and Camel Races adding an extra 16,000 people to the town’s modest population of 2200. But it’s the community’s pride in their public spaces that really

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Free WiFi


Neighbourhood Centre offers a helping hand

PEACE AND QUIET: Western Downs Regional Council’s Kaye Maguire welcomes you to Tara. PHOTO: CONTRIBUTED

A peaceful country centre

public fundraising events occurring throughout the year, which can be an excellent opportunity to make new friends. With a population approaching 1000, the town is sustained by wheat, beef and some wool production, and the contribution of coal seam gas contractors. Despite some opposition to the CSG industry in the lifestyle blocks north of Tara, this contribution has been welcomed by many entrepreneurs looking to profit locally. Tara offers an affordable, outback lifestyle with some great fishing opportunities. Telstra is the dominant phone provider in the Tara region due to the town’s distance from the Warrego Highway.

Program all supported by the Department of Communities. There are a number of visiting organisations and support groups including Drug & Alcohol Foundation Queensland, job network providers Max Network & ESQ, Disability Services Queensland, Laubman Pank Optometrists and Centrelink Specialist Services that provide support to the Tara community through the Neighbourhood Centre throughout the year. The Neighbourhood Centre also offers the use of their general office equipment like computers and printers, which Tara residents can use to manage important, employment, medical and government documents.


TARA is a quiet, stable town with a core community largely unaffected by growing industry to the north and west. With affordable housing and well-supported government services, residents enjoy a comfortable lifestyle of peace and privacy, with a few community events to keep things interesting. Tara’s main event, the biennial Festival of Culture and Camel Races, draws a good crowd every year. As the name suggests, the festival of local culture and roaming entertainment is supplemented by camel racing, an unusual sport that some feel passionately about. There are typically dozens of

THE Tara Neighbourhood Centre provides residents in the surrounding district with a range of general health and housekeeping services, and serves as a community hub during difficult times. The centre’s main objective is to provide assistance where possible to community members in need of referrals to health services, while also offering qualified family services through a range of programs. Childcare services are available, funded by the Department of Education, that assist in the provision of a co-ordinated approach to childcare in the Tara district, and a Family Support Centre, Community Development Office and Emergency Relief

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TRADING HOURS: Weekdays – 7am - 7pm | Weekends – 8am - 5pm Page 39


Condamine: the centre of a thriving region

Strong agricultural presence makes this town a jewel in the crown of the west

CONDAMINE has a long and proud history, with one of its biggest claims to fame being that it was believed to be the location of the invention of the Condamine Bell, a small bell made from sheet metal used to locate herds of cattle. Today, the town’s strong rural community is blended with workers from the coal seam gas industry, with major gas processing plants and facilities in close proximity to the town. While the town might be small,

the wider region feeds a thriving education facility in Condamine State School. The school celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2013 with a huge long weekend of

celebrations, attracting hundreds of former students and staff back to town. At the heart of the town is the Condamine Hotel, a watering hole that, along with the


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township, copped the brunt of floods whenever Condamine River broke its banks. Just up the road, the town’s other major watering hole and sporting hub is the ‘Fish Tank’. Home to the Condamine Cods Rugby Union Club, the Fish Tank attracts fans from hundreds of kilometres around when the Cods take to the field for their home games in the Darling Downs rugby union competition. If you’re lucky, you might even catch a glimpse of the Codgers – the town’s more senior rugby stars. Construction of the 27-room Bullocky’s Rest Motel, next door to the pub, is a sign of the tiny town’s resilient nature and strong future.

Brothers Tim & Wayne Collie established the business in 2000. They have built up their business employing local staff, supporting community events and using local businesses. There Head office is in Condamine Qld and now expanding with a new Industrial yard in Roma Qld. From Condamine to Surat to Roma to Wallumbilla, we can meet your earthmoving needs.


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Step back in time in Meandarra

MEANDARRA is a small community with a lot of heart and a treasure trove of military memorabilia that will astonish locals and visitors not expecting to see a state-of-the-art museum ‘out west’. Just over 60km west of Tara with a population of only 260 people, Meandarra is home to a $1.2 million Anzac Memorial Museum that will leave even the wisest military buff gobsmacked. Collected by locals over the past 30 years, the museum’s collection includes an elevated Canberra Bomber, the Twin Mounted Naval Bofors Gun, equipment from the Light Horse Brigade and armoured personnel carriers. Close to the community’s heart and representing the region’s proud military history the

Meandarra Anzac Memorial Museum is a must-do for locals and visitors – with Anzac Day the best time of year to visit. Not only does the town have a big heart but a great sense of humour, evident in the tale of how the town got its name. There is no proven theory for where the name originated, but legend has it a swaggie was asked “Who lives here?”, and replied, “me and Darra”, in reference to his dog. A statue next to the Meandarra Anzac Memorial Museum captures this humorous tale. After exploring the museum, you can kick-up your feet at the Leo Gordon Apex Park, take in the Brigalow Creek along the Meacle Family Walkway or throw a line in for some fresh golden perch.

Image provided by Tourism and Events Queensland Page 41



MILES IN FRONT: Dogwood Crossing is an A-Class gallery, attracting art enthusiasts from near and far.

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MILES, in the heart of the resource-rich Surat Basin, is proving that the Western Downs is flourishing as one of regional Queensland’s premier arts centres. The town has always thrived on a strong foundation of agriculture and these days is now a vibrant rural township with an active arts and cultural community, largely thanks to a state-of-the-art centre housing an A-Class art gallery, library and IT Centre. Driving into town there’s no

mistaking their love of all things creative and with artworks covering its exterior, Dogwood Crossing is the jewel in Miles’ crown. A buzzing centre full of artists, locals, visitors and curious minds, the architecturally stunning Dogwood Crossing attracts several well-known artists and visiting international exhibitions. More than just an artists’ haven, the centre is the go-to place for holiday activities and those looking to pick up a new

Murilla St, Miles. Ph Page 42

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Get hands on in the activities provided at the library.

LOOK BACK: Miles Historical Village and Museum – an informative and picturesque tourist attraction, based at the information centre. PHOTOS: PAUL HARRIS / CONTRIBUTED


There’s no mistaking their love of all things creative skill thanks to the local library hosting an array of workshops. The community doesn’t shy away from showing off its proud local history – in fact just down the road from Dogwood Crossing is one of the finest historical museums in Australia. The Miles Historical Village and Museum is where the district’s

history comes to life in a remarkable streetscape of authentic and replica buildings from the pioneering era. Visitors and locals travelling out west can also rest their feet, grab a cuppa and continue to explore the region’s military history at the recently revamped Miles Anzac Memorial Park, one of the only parks in the Western Downs fully Wi-Fi enabled. For a town of only 1700 people, you’ll never get stuck for something to do or the relaxed country lifestyle in Miles.

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Enriching our next generation MILES State School was established in 1880, and is home to students from both the town of Miles, and surrounding rural

areas in the Miles District. The school has provided quality educational opportunities for the Miles Community for 138

NOTEWORTHY VISIT: Musician Josh Arnold joined students from Miles State School to launch their music video. PHOTO: BROOKE DUNCAN

Mace’s Hot Bread Shop

years. The school motto of ‘Strive to achieve’ is pertinent to their curriculum which has been designed to enhance both the needs of the community and the individual student. MSS was announced winners in the 2010 Showcase Awards for Excellence in Schools in the Early Phase of Learning with ‘All the Small Things’, a program designed to support the younger students with both speech and reading techniques. Taking pride of their past achievements, the school continues to provide quality education for its future students. It is the school’s ambition that your association with them will be a happy one and that your involvement in all their activities will help to further a spirit of co-operation and cohesion within the school community. It is MSS’s belief that education

is the responsibility of both teachers and parents. Therefore, they ask you to form a partnership with them so that your child/children can develop trusting relationships with adults who care about their welfare. Such partnerships will help realise the school’s expectations that the children of the school will develop desirable attitudes towards life and learning and that they emerge in later years as worthy members of our ever-changing society. Positive, productive relationships between the school and home are critical to children’s self-esteem, work ethic and learning outcomes. Be ever aware of your child’s interest and difficulties and communicate with your child’s teacher if you are concerned about any matter. You are invited to take an active interest in the school.

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A proud ag history THE rural community of Drillham is still thriving after more than 100 years of proud agricultural history. Like Miles, Drillham originated as a railway service town in 1878. Once a thriving centre, Drillham was closely linked to the railway. A railway weir on the creek provided water for steam locomotives and a camp was established while a bridge was built over the river. The town soon became a thriving centre for regional settlers, and the area is still known today for its quality grain crops and livestock.

ALL ABOUT AG: Primrose and Jock Sturrock from Drillham.


Drillham State School a home for the kids

HIGH ACHIEVERS: Dulacca State School students receive ribbons for their outstanding efforts at the Drillham/Dulacca Cross Country carnival.

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MANY students who attend Drillham State School travel to the school on one of the three bus services (north, south and highway) that service the school, or attend from the actual township of Drillham. Drillham State School is a feeder school to Miles High. The school is equipped with a library, tuckshop, multi-purpose court and a multi-purpose building where community groups may hire the building. Drillham State School is located on the south side of the Warrego Highway, 20 kilometres west of Miles, in the Western Downs Regional Council region. The Drillham community is supported by cattle, grain crops, mining and coal seam gas.

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Built on character and a welcoming attitude

Whether you are just passing through or spending some time here, you can’t help but be amazed by the kindness and generosity of the Wandoan people

WANDOAN is located 65km north of Miles on the Leichhardt Highway heading to Taroom. Wandoan, once named Juandah after the Juandah Station, has a colonial entrance marked by a windmill opposite a colourful mural painted on the town’s main water tank. The Wandoan Cultural Centre provides a full account of the local history including how the pub was the pivotal point in the development of Wandoan and later by the return and establishment of World War II soldiers in the area. When you first have a yarn with the people of Wandoan you can’t help but notice their warm, friendly and very inclusive character. They want everyone and especially their visitors to enjoy Wandoan’s offerings. The Wandoan Race Club holds an annual race meet with the energy and great fun that only country race meets enjoy. You can enjoy the great qualities of a country show at Wandoan which is held once a year.

CAN’T BE MISSED: Ashlee Sturgess, Holly Sturgess, Lily Bredhauer, Madison Shaw at the Wandoan Polocrosse Carnival. PHOTO: BROOKE DUNCAN

Fashion on the Field at the Wandoan Races. The traditional country events, exhibits and fair of the Wandoan Show are an especially refreshing treat. The ‘Silver Spurs’ Camp draft competition welcomes the cattle from the west for the best


cowboys and cowgirls and there athletic spinning horses and this is held at the Wandoan Sport and Recreation Memorial Showgrounds. If you thought a football game was exhilarating then you have

not witnessed a polocrosse meet – a sensational spectator event. The Wandoan Polocrosse Carnival is also another event not to be missed. When you ask the people of Wandoan about Wandoan’s points of interest – straight away you are told that there are 23 points of interest (to be exact) followed by the ‘local heritage trail’, ‘Juandah historical site’, ‘Waterloo Plains Environmental Park’ with lakes, picnic areas and water birds including a man-made lake. The response is so quick and responsive, it must be told many times over. The Wandoan Information Centre in Royds Street can provide the full details of these sincere interest points.

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Page 46


Wandoan Pharmacy


Build the skills for top students

WANDOAN State School offers schooling for Years P-10 and is located between Miles and Taroom on the Leichhardt Highway. The school community works closely alongside the local community to build partnerships, allowing the students opportunities to develop and grow creatively and healthily as informed citizens. This allows the students to gain the skills necessary to build positive relationships and to be accepting of responsibilities for not only their own well-being, but also for others. Being a Positive Behaviour for Learning (PBL) school, WSS has the three R’s, Respect, Responsibility and Reaching to form the basis of providing a safe and supportive environment for the students.

Wandoan State School students in music class. Recently the school agenda targeted an improvement on literacy, with an emphasis on reading and writing. The teachers’ ability to then analyse and use data of each and every student enables them to put practices into place to assist the children, on an individual basis, to become a successful learner. WSS has a strong instrumental music and classroom music


LEARN AND GROW: Wandoan State School Prep students Mason F, Isabell M, Mason L, Jazlynn B (absent). PHOTOS: CONTRIBUTED program and the school band is often called upon to perform at local events. The school also has an annual

musical or school dance performance and it has proved very popular and well supported by the local community.


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GOOD TIMES: Tom Hayes (Taroom), Jacob Busby (Thursday Island), Jake Norton (Bauhinia Downs), Anthony Hafey (Alpha), Kurt Perrett (Duaringa) and Tave Buck (Kuranda) love the relaxed lifestyle in the Taroom area. PHOTO: JACINTA CUMMINS

Truly special place just waiting to be discovered

LUDWIG Leichhardt left his mark “LL. 1844� on what is now an historic coolibah tree in the main street. The northern entrance to the town is marked by a historic Steel Wings windmill and the main street of the town is where travellers will find that all their needs can be provided for. The information centre has internet access and National Parks and Wildlife information. The museum can be opened by arrangement. The town also provides for many outdoor activities. There is a river walk from the

caravan park to the town centre and Gilberts Lookout with a panoramic view of the town and surrounding countryside. Golf, lawn bowls and tennis are offered year round. The agricultural show is held on the first weekend in May, with rodeos and campdrafts staged throughout the year. Another highlight on the social calendar is the huge Dawson River Festival, usually held bi-annually around September, which attracts hundreds of visitors to the area. The Taroom Racecourse is one of only four racecourses in

Queensland that runs in an anti-clockwise direction and it is one of the oldest racecourses in Queensland, dating back to 1871. The district is renowned for quality beef production, grain crops and forestry products. Several large cattle studs hold annual sales with buyers travelling from across the state. Visitors enjoy fishing on the Dawson River and at the Glebe Weir, which is a popular boating, and camping spot. Flagstaff Hill, 82km north of Taroom has a historically significant section of road, which


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Page 48

was constructed in the early 1860s by hand, using large rock slabs. This was part of the road which was used to carry wool from Roma to the port at Rockhampton Isla Gorge National Park sits alongside the Leichhardt Highway north of Taroom. A short drive will take you to the lookout and camping ground with spectacular views of the Gorge. Palm Tree Creek north of Taroom with its unique Livistona Palms on your way to Lake Murphy Conservation Park.

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The 4 R’s the primary focus

TAROOM State School have positive, committed staff to ensure that every student, every day, has access to a safe respectful and student focused learning environment. Part of the core curriculum of TSS has four key areas. The 4 R’s (Readiness, Rigour, Relevance & Relations). READINESS: Transitions and pathways, 21st century skills, regional and national achievement targets and benchmarks RIGOUR: High expectations, higher order thinking, quality assessment and achievement standards

RELEVANCE: Digital lifestyles, local, regional and global contexts, diversity and difference and evidence-based decisions RELATIONS: Parent partnerships, industry and businesses and support agencies TSS provides education for years P-10 and has a compulsory school uniform. Years 8-10 are provided with a laptop and an agreement on terms and conditions is mandatory. Senior secondary students are also offered Japanese as the LOTE option and it is taught up to unit 4.

House spirit on display at Taroom State School.

Taroom State School’s production of Lion King Junior back in 2016.


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Page 49


Discover South Burnett

MAYORAL APPROVAL: Keith Campbell believes Kingaroy and surrounds have plenty to offer. PHOTO: MICHAEL NOLAN

LOCATED on the edge of the Great Dividing Range and set against a backdrop of the Bunya Mountains, the South Burnett is a unique blend of vibrant country towns and laid-back living. Situated an easy two-hour drive northwest of Brisbane and directly west of the Sunshine Coast, it’s a great place to visit or make home. Our region is probably best known for peanuts. But beyond Kingaroy’s famous moniker of the ‘Peanut Capital of Australia’, the South Burnett offers much more. Our residents enjoy a relaxed country lifestyle, contrasted with abundant opportunities and possibilities afforded by our progressive local industries. From agriculture, manufacturing, mining and renewable energy, to art, culture, tourism, health and education, the South Burnett really does

have it all. With our lively local events and welcoming people, it’s a friendly place to be. Stop by the quaint timber towns of Blackbutt and Benarkin, discover historical Nanango, browse the eclectic antique stores of Wondai or savour fresh produce and matched local wines at one of the many cellar doors surrounding Murgon. There are plenty of things to do in the South Burnett. If you’re already part of our community, or just stopping by, I encourage everyone to get involved and be a part of making the South Burnett the special place it is. If you’d like to know more about what is happening in our region, be sure to visit www.southburnett.qld.gov.au or phone (07) 4189 9100. — South Burnett Regional Council mayor Keith Campbell

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Town has you covered for all medical needs

WHEN it comes to health services, Kingaroy punches well above its weight. The beautiful South Burnett town might only have a population of about 10,000, but it is home to a huge range of services designed to keep your family healthy enough to enjoy the active lifestyles the region is famous for. The Kingaroy Hospital is a well-serviced facility that includes an accident and emergency department, medical and surgical wards, maternity services, pathology, renal dialysis and medical imaging services. It also has a standalone dental service. Where the hospital is unable to provide a permanent service, many areas are covered by specialists who visit regularly covering areas including obstetrics and gynaecology, cardiology, diabetic services, hearing services, mental health and nephrology. A pacemaker clinic and specialist surgical clinics are also provided. A number of family practices cover all the basic health needs of families in need of a general practitioner including the South Burnett Medical Centre, Bunya Pines Family Practice, Taabinga Family Practice and Markwell Medical. When it comes to keeping up


appearances, there are a number of businesses offering an assortment of skin treatments and cosmetic procedures that will keep you camera-ready for years to come. Dental services are covered by both the hospital’s service as well as a private surgery, Dental Essentials. Once your teeth are sorted, you can get your hearing and eyesight tested as well, with both specialities covered in the private sector. Those suffering a few mobility issues are catered for, with both physiotherapy and several rehabilitation services on offer. If rehabilitation doesn’t have you completely fixed up, there is always the option of paying a visit to Kingaroy Home Aids and Health Equipment to pick up any number of contraptions to make life easier. Those needing a little assistance with mental health can drop in and see Christine Nissen and Associates for counselling services. Blue Care nurses and a respite centre offer seniors the option of in-home care and residential care for people with disabilities. So whether you have complex medical needs, just need a bit of maintenance or are looking to give your appearance a bit of a brush-up, Kingaroy has you covered.

HERE TO HELP: Kingaroy Hospital is well-serviced with both permanent departments and visiting specialists. PHOTO: TOBI LOFTUS

Businesses like Beauty Finesse will help you out with skin treatments and cosmetic upgrades. PHOTO: KATE DARVALL


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Page 51

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PEANUT TOWN: Kingaroy has a huge reputation as a peanut growing area.


Kingaroy a major ag hub

FOR a town with a population of about 10,000, there is plenty going on in Kingaroy. The lovely little South Burnett hub has long been known as Australia’s peanut capital, and the huge peanut silos dominate the skyline. But there is so much more happening in this vibrant economic hotspot. It is one of the few towns of its size that can boast a full shopping mall including Woolworths, Big W and a wide range of other retailers. Since the 1990s, Kingaroy has steadily grown a solid reputation for viticulture, with many vineyards established across the region. The town is home to several wineries as well as the Booie Range Distillery, which turns wine

into delicious liqueurs. Agriculture forms the backbone of the local economy thanks to the area’s rich, volcanic soil, with a surprising range of crops grown for a variety of markets. It is one of the few producers of duboisia, a plant grown for pharmaceutical purposes thanks to its use as an antispasmodic. The region also supports farms growing sorghum, wheat, sunflowers, corn and citrus fruits. The addition of wineries and vineyards to the local economy also helped the region grow a valuable tourism industry. The picturesque scenery and natural wonders of the region just added to the appeal and many businesses have sprung up in response to the tourism trade. The former Maidenwell

Observatory moved to Kingaroy a few years back and provides a steady stream of visitors to support the local economy, keen to get a closer look at the cosmos without the light pollution of larger centres. These days visitors flock to Kingaroy all year, but the inauguration of the annual Baconfest event provided a major incentive for guests to make the trip. Kingaroy is home to Sunpork’s Swickers Kingaroy Bacon Factory, one of the largest pork processing abattoirs in the Southern Hemisphere. The abattoir is one of Kingaroy’s biggest employers and also supports plenty of farmers, making the town one of the country’s major pork growing areas.

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The Kingaroy Red Ants are a local institution, with league taking pride of place as arguably the town’s most beloved sport. The club caters to boys and girls up to age 12 in addition to supporting under-14, under-16, under-18 and senior sides. The group opened a new clubhouse recently after the old one was razed by fire in 1999 and it was a full community effort to track down copies of old photos and club memorabilia to replace what was lost. MAKING METRES: The Kingaroy Red Ants are a local institution. PHOTO: CLAUDIA WILLIAMS

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Kingaroy boasts 10 tennis courts including eight artificial grass courts and two hard courts. The Kingaroy and District Tennis Association offers a mixed adult fixture three nights a week as well as coaching and court hire. The thriving little tennis club is always up to something and loves to welcome new members.


When the weather warms up and

sports stars hang up the footy boots, it’s time to get out the cricket bats for a summer of action down at Lyle Vidler Oval. Kingaroy is home to both the junior and senior South Burnett sides. The Kingaroy Cricket and Sports Club is also home to the town’s Aussie rules side.


Fans of the round kind of football are all sorted with the Kingaroy Senior Soccer Club, which caters for all classes from beginner to expert and both men and women aged over 16. The club fields two teams, the Wests and the Gunners, and enjoys top-class facilities that are the envy of even some Brisbane clubs. The Kingaroy Junior Redbacks look after things on the youth front.


If you love the roar of an engine at full throttle, then you’ll love the South Burnett Speedway – Kingaroy’s clay oval track. The club has a thriving junior membership and is one of the most vibrant speedway communities around.


If none of the above are your thing, there are still plenty of other options including rugby union, golf, lawn bowls and fishing.



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Education needs covered THERE is no shortage of choices when it comes to education in Kingaroy. If state schooling provides the right fit for your primary-age students, there are two to choose from. Kingaroy State School and Taabinga State School are both excellent choices to give your littlies the best start for their formal schooling career. Both offer a tight-knit, supportive community with quality education designed to set them up for the rest of their schooling years. Just to the north of Kingaroy is Crawford State School, which has provided quality primary education for more than 100 years. There are two schools to choose from if you prefer religious-based education and both are fantastic options. St John’s Lutheran School

offers not only a Prep to Year 9 education, but also has a kindergarten on campus, so it’s a great option for young families. St Mary’s College offers continuity in education for students in Prep to Year 12. The college prides itself on providing an affordable, quality private school education. If you’re looking for something truly unique, the Supervised Centre for Distance Education might be just what you need. The new centre provides the same curriculum as state schools, but delivered via the internet and with a constant supervisor on hand to provide assistance as your child works at their own pace. If you’re looking for further education, Kingaroy has its own TAFE campus, which provides a range of subjects tailored to prepare students for a lifelong career.

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Regional Overview THE Maranoa region is located in southwest Queensland about 500km west of Brisbane. Covering an area of 58,830sqkm and home to about 13,000 people, the region maintains a proud and productive rural industry which has been complemented with industrial expansion in the energy and tourism sectors. Maranoa Regional Council was officially formed on March 15, 2008 as part of the Queensland Local Government Reform processes introduced by the Queensland State Government. The new council area was established through the amalgamation of Roma Town Council, Bungil Shire Council, Bendemere Shire Council, Waroo Shire Council and Booringa Shire Council. Towns in the Maranoa include Roma, Hodgson, Muckadilla, Injune, Eumamurrin, Bymount, Mitchell, Amby, Dunkeld, Mungallala, Surat, Begonia, Teelba, Wycombe, Wallumbilla, Yuleba, Jackson and Noonga. Education Our Year 3 and 5 school students achieved a higher standard for reading, writing and numeracy than their Queensland peers. Employment Low unemployment sees Maranoa at 1.8 per cent compared to Queensland’s rate of 6.0 per cent (June quarter 2014). With 69.7 per cent of our labour force in full-time employment, we outdo the national (59.7 per cent) and state (60 per cent) rates. Helping others Our volunteer rate exceeds that of Australia and Queensland – Maranoa 26.3 per cent, Australia 17.8 per cent, Queensland 18.7 per cent. In 2014, the staff and volunteers of the Roma Visitor Information Centre alone assisted a total of 46,426 visitors. Work-life balance Over half of our population are couples or singles with children aged 15 years and under. Every town has fantastic sporting, social and cultural facilities! Instead of taking an hour to drive to work (with little to

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PROSPEROUS: Roma in all its glory.

no traffic), it can take just minutes to travel the same distance, leaving more time to spend with your loved ones. Affordable housing The median house sale price in the Maranoa is just $285,000, compared to the Queensland average of $450,000 (as at June 2015). Travel Daily one hour flights to Brisbane from Roma airport. A scenic drive to major shopping


outlets in Toowoomba. Health Of all local government areas in Queensland, the Maranoa recorded the highest percentage of adults who were satisfied with their health. 12.4 per cent of our community have adequate fruit and vegetable intake compared to 9.4 per cent of Queenslanders. Environment The Maranoa is home to over 650 native animals and 1683

native plants. Multi-cultural The percentage of residents born overseas has almost doubled going from 3.7 per cent (2001) to 7.0 per cent (2011). Tourism Just like any great Aussie town we have something ‘big’ – Roma’s Big Rig, an attraction dedicated to the oil and gas industry. The Roma Saleyards is Australia’s largest cattle selling centre.


What makes Maranoa strong Mayor believes in the future of the region and feels the Maranoa offers a lifestyle that is second to none THE Maranoa, as a part of the Surat Basin is thriving with agriculture, tourism and industry. Our towns boast a dynamic and vibrant regional community with visitors and residents enjoying a range of lifestyle opportunities and experiences. As the third generation at Golders Roma store, I’ve lived and worked in the region for more than 35 years and have witnessed it continue to prosper over this time. New and prospective businesses should feel encouraged by the number of strong small businesses that are throughout the region. Our education and health systems are some of the best in Queensland with many health

YOU’LL LOVE IT: Maranoa Regional Council mayor Tyson Golder. PHOTO: CONTRIBUTED facilities, groups and services in the Maranoa. Education is important in our

communities with a selection of schools both private and public, the Maranoa is an ideal location

to raise a family. Our Year 3 and 5 school students achieved higher standard for reading, writing and numeracy than their Queensland peers in 2014. The Maranoa has a proven track record of long-term growth. I have a major focus on lobbying to ask for more support for local small business with the oil and gas industry and government to create more jobs in the Maranoa. Over the next 10 years I am keen to see employment improve within the region. With a relaxed, uncomplicated and healthy lifestyle, the Maranoa is an excellent place to live and work. I know residents would agree with me! To the visitors of our beautiful region, I know you will enjoy your stay here and I encourage you to immerse yourself in the diverse range of experiences that the Maranoa has to offer.

Roma region enjoys a rich history

THE Maranoa District was first explored by Major Sir Thomas Mitchell in 1846. Mitchell and his party came up from Sydney with the intention of mapping a route to the Gulf of Carpentaria. On May 8, 1846, he climbed a mountain to the west of Roma and was so impressed by the country he could see, he named it Mt Abundance, and the surrounding country he

designated Fitzroy Downs. The first settler in the district was Allan Macpherson whose father was a friend of Major Mitchell’s and from whom he had heard glowing reports of the area. In those days if one settled on a piece of land and improved it, one could claim ownership. He brought his family up from the Gwyder River area of New South Wales in 1847. He took up

600 square miles of country and called it Mt Abundance Station. He held the station until 1857 when the lease was taken over by Stephen Spencer. Gradually settlers moved in and it was decided that a town was needed to provide services for the area – and Roma was born. In the early 1860s, government surveryors came to the district and chose the spot where the

current town stands. The town was named Roma in honour of the wife the then Queensland Governor. It was gazette on September 3, 1862 and declared a municipality on May 25 1867. The original buildings were in the Gregory/Edwardes Sts area but floods encouraged the population to move up the hill and government services were built on less flood-prone areas.

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Wallumbilla is waiting to welcome you COME AND VISIT: Sunset over the cabins at Wallumbilla Cabin Park. PHOTO: DONNA MOTT

Locals love to attend the annual Wallumbilla Campdraft. PHOTO: CHARLIE KEEGAN

The premier poses with Wallumbilla State School students in June 2018. PHOTO: ALEXIA AUSTIN

LOCATED 430km from Brisbane, the little town of Wallumbilla is full of country hospitality. It has a proud agriculture and railway history that can be experienced at the Calico Cottage Heritage Complex. A perfect place to stop for lunch, the complex has a picnic area and public toilets. Within Calico Cottage, visitors can chat with town residents, browse local craft and sample delectable home-made baked treats. The Heritage Complex provides an insight into the history and lifestyle of ‘Wallum’ (as the locals call it). Featuring interpretative displays, historic memorabilia and old photographs, it is a true snapshot of the past. The Railway Station features memorabilia and archival information about the town’s worst train disaster which occurred in 1956. The Grain Shed at the rear of the complex is one of the last of its kind. It was used to store items awaiting delivery on and off the trains and is an important part of the railway story. For those whose enjoy tales of Australia’s bush rangers, the Harry Thompson Walk, which starts at Calico Cottage, is a must do. Harry Thompson, who it is said

was Kelly Gang member Steve Hart, moved to Wallumbilla to live quietly until his passing in 1943. Wallumbilla State School caters for students from Prep to Year 10. It offers a wide variety of programs in academic, cultural and sporting pursuits. The town’s health needs are serviced at the Wallumbilla Community Clinic. Among its services it offers antenatal and postnatal care, telehealth, outpatients services and pathology collection. The Wallumbilla-Surat Red Bulls Rugby League Football Club consists of proud and successful local teams across a number of age groups. The club welcomes new players and spectators alike. There are two accommodation options for visitors. Opened in 2011, the Wallumbilla Cabin Park features air-conditioned resort style cabins, a pool and barbecue facilities, guest laundry and on-site dining options. Camping at powered or un-powered sites is available at the Wallumbilla Showgrounds. The grounds are closed for events throughout the year so phoning ahead is recommended. The Wallumbilla Agricultural Show, which celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2018, is held in early May.

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Yuleba – a town where history comes alive

Combining natural wonders and historic marvels, Yuleba is well worth a visit

STEPPING OUT: The Yuleba Marathon and Fun Run gets hearts racing every year. PHOTO: MARGUERITE CUDDIHY community garden and the Youth Precinct skate park. Yuleba State School caters for Prep to Year 7 students. Their motto is ‘Learning for Life’ and the school has strong ties within the community of around 380 residents. Social sports can be enjoyed at the Yuleba golf and bowls club or the Yuleba Lawn Tennis Club and courts. Judd’s Lagoon, located 5km from town, is a picturesque spot for relaxing alone or with friends. Fishing is permitted in the lagoon with yellowbelly, jewfish, cod and European carp plentiful. There are barbecue and picnic tables, wheelchair-accessible eco-friendly toilets and a bush shower room. The area is pet friendly, however to protect the native waterbirds, it is recommended

WALKING TALL: Yuleba State School students enjoyed being a part of the Wallumbilla Anzac Day parade. PHOTO: CONTRIBUTED dog are kept on a leash. Visitors may also spot the town’s namesake water lilies floating on the surface. Nature lovers can fossick for agate, and opalised and petrified wood at The Maryanne, just 16km out of town.

A walk through one of the Southern Hemisphere’s largest Cyprus pine forests is also a must. Wildflowers bloom throughout September and native grasstrees (commonly known as blackboys) grow throughout the forestry.

The name of the town is said to have come from an aboriginal word meaning “the place of water lilies”, which may well be correct as its main attraction is Judd’s Lagoon, a beautiful lagoon with water lilies and a fascinating variety of bird life. Another popular watering hole is the Yuleba hotel! Open 7 days, why not grab some pub grub and have an ale and yarn with a local?


WHEN it comes to remembering the triumphs of the past, Yuleba, situated 420km northwest of Brisbane, is proud to honour its legacy in the Cobb & Co story. Established in Melbourne in the 1800s, horse drawn coaches quickly became a popular mode of transport in Australia. The most famous run for coach company, Cobb & Co, was Service No. 177 from Yuleba through Surat and on to St George. On August 14, 1924, the last coach service in Australia was run from Surat to Yuleba. As the final destination for the last run, Yuleba stands as a unique town in transport history. The Yuleba Development Group endeavour to celebrate this legacy, with local points of interest including the gravesite of Cobb & Co coach driver Alf Jensen, and the Cobb & Co Wall – situated at the beginning of Cobb & Co Way on Perry Street. In 2019, the Cobb & Co Festival will celebrate the 95th anniversary of the last run, with a re-enactment of the 76km journey in a replica coach. Children have plenty to do in Yuleba with playgrounds, a

Image: Tourism and Events Queensland Page 59



Every town has its own feel, and Roma is unlike the others. Its atmosphere is both quiet and peaceful. There’s no jumbling around and no aggro. Col Missingham

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Roma a rock for families By ALEXIA AUSTIN FOR Jess and Col Missingham, a move to Roma was what brought them together, but the lifestyle is what made them stay. The couple, who have lived in town for more than a decade, met at Roma’s Uniting Church one fateful day. “I was definitely nervous when I first saw her,” Col said. “She was just so pretty.” “And I thought he was cute – a guy at church who was sort of

my age, that’s cool,” Jess laughed. From there the couple were inseparable. Now, Jess is a stay at home mum raising the couple’s three gorgeous children, Elexis, 5, Aurora, 4, and Anthony, 1, as she awaits the arrival of the couple’s fourth, and Col works for Santos. Col said Roma provided the right mix of community and peacefulness, making it the perfect place to raise their family.

stopping to have a chat to my wife. “Every town has its own feel, and Roma is unlike the others. “Its atmosphere is both quiet and peaceful. There’s no jumbling around and no aggro. “It’s a cross roads town, so you get a lot of people coming and going. But once you’ve been in town long enough to know the genuine Romans then it becomes a nice place to live. “Roma is a great town and we’re going nowhere soon!”

“I was born in Atherton in far North Queensland,” Col said. “I used to move around a lot, but now it’s great to have a home base just to give the kids a bit of stability. And for us Roma is that place. “We really enjoy the pace in town, it’s quieter, we don’t have to rush to be anywhere and there isn’t any traffic. “The other great thing is you know your neighbours. “I can barely walk down the street here without someone

LOVE ROMA: Jess and Col Missingham with their kids Anthony, Elexis and Aurora.


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Holistic approach to education St John’s Catholic School has been offering quality education and a feeling of community and achievement for students for over 130 years and is still highly respected for its first-class education today. A SCHOOL with more than 130 years experience of teaching students within the Toowoomba Diocese, the school was founded in 1881 by the Sisters of Mercy. Today the school focuses on a holistic approach to Catholic education, focusing on spirituality, academia, social life and cultural understanding. Having already provided the school for several generations of families living around the region, the school has now moved to the future of education, with IT suites for P-6, laptops for Year 7- 12 students, drama rooms, design technology, graphic rooms, 3D

printing and the latest in SMART Board technology for classrooms. St John’s also has an extensive social justice program, where both students and teachers volunteer at different organisations around Roma to make the community better. This program provides valuable help to places like Pinaroo Retirement Village, Westhaven Aged Care Facility and the Endeavour Foundation. St John’s continues to strive every day to meet and exceed the school’s four principles – compassion, respect, justice and

ALL-ROUNDERS: Students from St John’s Catholic School, Roma.

St John’s Catholic School students during their annual cross country. understanding. The school’s mission statement describes the campus as “working with home and community towards guiding

students through many stages towards perspective understanding, mature judgment, responsible self-direction and religious and moral autonomy”.



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ROMA State College has its junior campus (P-3) on the corner of Bowen Street, the middle campus (4-8) on Cottell Street and senior campus on Timbury Street. With a focus on English, mathematics and science, principal Anthony Green said Roma State College also incorporates a range of extra-curricular activities. “Students are able to undertake traineeships and apprenticeships in a range of fields,” Mr Green said. “Students are able to access TAFE VET courses or other academic subjects through negotiation with the school principal. “We offer a comprehensive and a wide range of subjects that allow students to choose a path that best fits their needs.” The school has been buoyed by the inclusion of the F1 in Schools program into the middle campus, where students use their understanding of aerodynamics to design miniature race cars and compete at high levels of competition. But Mr Green said the school also had an active sports program covering a variety of skills. “Our students are afforded the opportunity to compete in a wide range of sports in local, regional, state and Australian level,” he said. The most recent addition to the sporting program, is the school equestrian program. Mr Green said the school’s emphasis on community spirit encouraged students to give

COMMUNITY SPIRIT: Roma State College Year 12 captains Ben York, Kirsten Steinhort, Jordan Byrns and Rory Maunder. PHOTO: JOSHUA MACREE

Aaliyah Rowlands on day one of Year 1. PHOTO: KIEREN COULAHAN back to Roma and the Maranoa. “Roma State College promotes positive attitudes and emphasises personal responsibility for behaviour and the needs to respect the rights of others,” he said. “We take great pride in ensuring that students are learning in a positive environment in partnerships with our parents and communities.”

Roma State College students performed their musical All Shook Up in 2017. PHOTO: SARAH DIONYSIUS




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IN MANY ways the gateway to the outback, the town of Roma provides a number of culturally diverse and historically rich tourist attractions to suit families, young people and grey nomads. The largest sale yards in the southern hemisphere are located right here in Roma and a visit to a sale on Tuesday or Thursday is a sight to see, offering a taste of outback living to those passing through. The Big Rig’s Oil and Gas Interpretative Centre and Night Show is another must-see attraction, providing an interactive and informative display of the history of oil drilling and exploration. Get up close to historic oil rigs, impressive machinery displays and if you stay around for the night there is a light and sound show with a spectacular display of pyrotechnics. Step in to the Meadowbank Museum and journey back to the pioneering times with a huge collection of farming implements and memorabilia. There are also an array of exciting events that happen throughout the year including Easter in the Country, the Roma Cup, the biennial Santos Food

The Roma Saleyards is the largest livestock selling centre in the Southern Hemisphere. and Fire Festival and the Roma Show. Easter in the Country is well and truly Roma’s biggest single event, running during the Easter long weekend and attracting literally thousands to the Maranoa to enjoy a taste of country life and fun. However, it is rivalled in many ways by the Roma Cup, run every year in November at Bassett Park. Young people from across Queensland flock to the massive day, which features delicious food, the best of country horse racing and live entertainment.


Roma’s love of sport is easy to see WHETHER it’s on the field, court, track or turf, people in Roma love playing sport. The town is filled with dozens of sports to play. While the dominant codes include rugby league and netball, the fun does not stop there. Rugby union, cricket, soccer, archery, horse events and basketball are competitive sports in the Maranoa, which sees thousands get involved for a bit of fun. Rugby league RUGBY league reigns supreme in Roma – just look at the dozens of the game’s greats who have come from here. Queensland’s first Origin captain Arthur ‘Artie’ Beetson and future Immortal Darren Lockyer both grew up here, while other brilliant past players include Wally Fullerton-Smith, Brent Tate, Ray Higgs and Willie Carne. Today only the mighty Roma Cities Gladiators remain in town, with their long-time rival Wattles

PITCH PERFECT: Souths defeat Leprechauns in the 2018 Roma and District Cricket Association grand final. PHOTO: MARGUERITE CUDDIHY finishing up in 2004. The Gladiators, who play in blue and white with red trim, play in all four grades of the Roma and District Rugby League. Rugby union THE Roma Echidnas are the region’s only rugby union side, who have won plenty of titles since their inception in 1983. The Echidnas have friendly rivalries with St George Frillnecks and Condamine Cods.

Cricket WHILE footy boots dominate the winter months, the cricket bat comes out of the cupboard between November and March for the Roma and District Cricket competition. Played by seven teams across the Maranoa, Roma hosts four teams – Souths, Leprechauns, Colts and Railways. Netball MARANOA Netball Association

is the primary pathway for girls trying to break into the sport and reach higher levels of competition. Those pathways have now become even clearer, with MNA playing in higher level competitions and part of the catchment of Darling Downs representative sides. Netball is played in the Maranoa by girls as young as nine. Horse sports ROMA is true country, so it’s no surprise horse-riding sports like campdrafting, rodeo, showjumping, polocrosse, pony club and equestrian are incredibly popular. While each of these sports has individual events throughout the year, Roma’s major tourism attraction, Easter in the Country, showcases a number of them. Something more? ROMA is also home to basketball, touch footy, soccer, volleyball, golf and archery.

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A host of activities

Roma truly offers something for everyone

AFTER a long day of working hard, Roma residents love nothing more than kicking back and enjoying one of the many activities the town has to offer. Maranoa PCYC FOR those of you looking for a bit of fun and fitness, the Maranoa PCYC is the way to go for all kinds of sports. Started in 2012, the centre offers a variety of different services, from badminton to basketball to boxing and everything in between. PCYC branch manager Sgt Greg Caletti said the centre had grown since its creation. “By the end of December 2017 we had a membership of around 1250,” Sgt Caletti said. “All funds generated through

FOR ALL SORTS: Cameron Eaton at an art class in Roma. PHOTO: ALEXIA AUSTIN our PCYC go back into the PCYC through crime prevention programs and to provide a safe environment for our youth.” Sgt Caletti said the options for physical activity and fun were endless. Community Arts Centre LOOKING for something to do with your hands? Why not learn a new skill by taking a class at the

Community Arts Centre? The Silversmiths Roma Group Inc leader Helen McEwan believes working with silver is an enjoyable and rewarding hobby to take part in. “I have a very stressful job that involves a lot of concentration and very long hours but coming down here just resets my mind,” Ms McEwan said.

“And at the end of the day you get to take home a beautiful piece of jewellery.” The silversmith workshops operate every fourth Saturday from 9am-4pm and every Friday night from 6.30pm at Studio 2, Roma Community Arts Centre. Pools THE Denise Spencer Memorial Pool, named after the Roma Olympic athlete from the 1940s and 1950s, is open most of the year and runs classes and swimming squad for kids. There is also a water play park at the pool which children love. Walking and Parks The Adungadoo Walkway, which takes runners and walkers along the Bungil Creek through the middle of town, has plenty of greenery, barbecue areas and the famous Yarning Circle, used by the Mandandanji people for special occasions. The walkway leads into the Big Rig Parklands.

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Saleyards most popular in Qld

RENOWNED for record breaking sales, Roma Saleyards continue to stay on top of their game. The Roma Saleyards are Australia’s largest livestock selling centre. Twice weekly sales take place, with buyers and sellers frequenting the facility from all over Queensland and Australia. Being the commercial hub of the cattle industry in western Queensland, the Roma Saleyards not only attract people doing business, but large numbers of visitors as well. There is nothing like seeing the first sale of the day as the sun rises on a cold morning! With over 400,000 head of cattle passing through the yards each year, the Roma Saleyards continue to be ahead of the game and proves to be the most popular selling centre in Queensland. Known for breaking sales records, it is the number one choice for many graziers in

POPULAR SPOT: Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk at the Roma Saleyards. Queensland, New South Wales and the Northern Territory. Being both National Saleyard Quality Assurance (NSQA) and European Union (EU) accredited, Roma Saleyards offer a modern, safe and fully maintained facility situated on almost 50 hectares.

Auctions are conducted Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8am, with special sales such as Bull Sales, Herd Dispersal Sales and Special Breed Sales, held according to demand. Tours of the Roma Saleyards are free and held on both sale

PHOTO: ALEXIA AUSTIN days. Bookings are not required – just meet at the Bull Ring area at 8.15am and the tour commences at 8.30am. For more information, phone the Roma Visitor Information Centre on (07) 4622 8676.

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Welcome to Roma’s Easter in the Country

EASTER FUN: A special guest at Easter in the Country. PHOTO: MOLLY HANCOCK

Easter in the Country’s annual goat races were a major attraction for Bassett Park revellers.

ROMA’S Easter in the Country festival is a five-day celebration of all things country. Now entering its 43rd year, it is widely recognised as one of southwest Queensland’s premier Easter events, and brilliantly showcases the country lifestyle. The festival offers a range of activities for the thrillseeker, the cultural buff, and for those that like to take things a little more leisurely. The event gives an opportunity for the residents of Roma to invite their relatives and friends to spend a long weekend in the country to enjoy the atmosphere and friendliness that Roma and the Maranoa has to offer. Roma’s Easter in the Country was born in 1976 by Wattles Football Club of Roma. Noel Miller, who was president of the Wattles Rugby League Club, presented the idea of a country and western festival for raising funds to build a clubhouse for the association. After a Sunday afternoon footy match, and a session at the

Easter in the Country monster street parade. PHOTOS: MARGUERITE CUDDIHY

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Royal Hotel in Roma, Mr Miller stood on a stool and announced to the bar that the festival would be started the following Easter. The festival took the form of country and western music and rodeo for many years, with the Wattles Club bowing out of the management when artists became too expensive. Some years later the Cities Football Club took over the reins, and the management of the festival moved to a community organisation. Mr Miller is currently a renowned artist in Queensland. Roma’s Easter in the Country festival is now organised by Easter in the Country Associated Inc, and assisted by consultants specialising in particular areas. The working committee is made up of individuals from all walks of life who volunteer their time, experience and expertise to ensure the success of the festival. For more information on Roma’s Easter in the Country go to www.easterinthecountry roma.com.au.

WHAT THE FEDERAL BUDGET MEANS FOR YOU: • Tax relief of up to $530 for middle to low income earners. • $121.6 million to boost Australia’s biosecurity, protecting our producers’ clean, green status. • $84 million for the Royal Flying Doctor Service. • $53.9 million to improve regional students’ access to Youth Allowance. YOUR FEDERAL MEMBER FOR MARANOA

• $51.3 million for more agricultural counsellors to help producers enter new export markets. • $40 million in capital grants funding for aged care facilities in regional, rural and remote communities. • Extending the $20,000 instant asset write-off for small business. Authorised by the Hon David Littleproud MP, Liberal National Party, Dalby Qld


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The Royal on 99 Roma Cup

THE annual superlative country race meeting in Roma (although our fame and awesomeness is not confined to the southwest of Queensland) is held midNovember, with the 2018 event on November 16 – the end of Spring Carnival, the beginning of summer holidays and always in the middle of dramatic weather conditions in western Queensland. Here is the Roma Races experience in short: Races: Eight on the day, broadcast on Sky Channel around the globe, so your chance to wave to the rellies in South Sudan or our existing fan club in Central Africa, the land of big punters apparently). Camping: A swag, a van, a bus, a ute complete with blow up pool, pop up marquee and barbecue is required equipment for the weekend. We provide the paddock, the toilets, the showers (with hair dryer points and mirrors) and hope that you all can be good neighbours, not dance on our shed roofs, not play loud music on the car speakers at 2am and mostly keep your clothes on. Please respect other residents. Tickets: We want you to pre-purchase as it helps us with toilet allocation (no one wants to see anything bubbling out of the amenities), beverage supply and queues. We also use tickets for our bars, which makes our service more efficient and gets you in and out of the bar queue quickly so you can watch those races. Gates open at 11am on race day but campground is open

OFF AND RACING: Gully Command passes Palace Tycoon to win the Roma Cup. earlier in the week, from Thursday for ticketed camping. Racing begins around 1pm. The track party offers all food and beverages supplied for the one ticket price during the day. The Members Marquee boasts air-conditioning, spirits and finger food with best sausage sizzle in town. Gate entry will get you into the main concourse for the duration of the event. Entertainment: Races of course, all afternoon with some of the best athletes in southern Queensland and northern New South Wales. Fashions on the Field: From around 3pm on the Main Stage. An eclectic mix of class and

Tyson Charles stuns the crowd with his catwalk antics, pink dress and Terminator eyewear. bushie shenanigans. Good prizes and guarantee of social media and mainstream media fame. Some sense of sartorial co-ordination required. The ladies


competition is fierce. It’s all about the sash. Live music: Live country, rock, funk and top 40 mixes, and a DJ in between, all night. Horses will be guaranteed at least once. Go to our Facebook and Instagram pages to get the vibe. Go ahead and call us on 0409 898 623 for details. There is only one of us on the end of the phone most of the time (no departments, no extensions, no fobbing you off to the admin assistant, just the one club secretary answering the phones, organising the flower arrangements and restocking toilet paper), so be patient. For more information, go to www.romaraces.org.au.


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Arts, culture and libraries accessible to all our members. Membership to access Maranoa Libraries is free! We have adult, children and tourist memberships available. As all our libraries are part of the RLQ network you are able to use your membership at any of our eight locations: Injune, Jackson, Mitchell, Mungallala, Roma, Surat, Wallumbilla and Yuleba. Art galleries The Maranoa region has five community art galleries that showcase many of our local talented artists, as well as state and national touring exhibitions. These galleries provide the community with access to various and exciting art forms and add to the region’s tourism potential.


in the past 12 months both the Queensland law regarding the provision, type, location and power supply of smoke Alarms in residential houses, and the Australian Wiring rules regarding the provision and type of safety switches and mains switches in switchboards, have changed. to make sure that you are as safe as you can be, and that you don’t get any unpleasant surprises when you are selling or buying, visit our web site or give us a call to stay up to date with the changes you may have to make.


Library services The Maranoa Libraries are providers of a dynamic public library service, offering a welcoming, inclusive and stimulating environment where lifelong learning, self-empowerment and creativity is encouraged, a love of reading is nurtured, and a place where library users can meet their educational, information and recreational needs. Maranoa Libraries have a working partnership with the State Library of Queensland and our collection is accessed from Rural Libraries Queensland. This partnership not only includes an extensive book collection it also encompasses E-Resources which are

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FAST FACTS The community galleries operate in the following locations: Roma on Bungil Gallery Roma Community Arts Centre, 38-44 Hawthorne Street, Roma Contact: (07) 4624 0302 Website: romaonbungil.com.au Walk of Art Roma Community Arts Centre, 38-44 Hawthorne Street, Roma Contact: Coordinator Libraries, Arts & Culture Phone: (07) 4624 0302 Mitchell on Maranoa Gallery Mitchell Library Gallery Building, Cambridge Street, Mitchell Contact: (07) 4623 1264 Facebook: facebook.com/Mitchell-on-Maranoa-Gallery Surat on Balonne Gallery Cobb & Co Changing Station, 62 Burrowes Street, Surat Contact: (07) 4626 5136 Facebook: facebook.com/surat.on.balonne Injune Creek Gallery Injune Multipurpose Complex, Second Avenue, Injune Contact: (07) 4626 0502 Facebook: facebook.com/Injune-Creek-Gallery

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Be Healthy And Safe Maranoa An initiative of Maranoa Regional Council

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martial art, tai chi is great for balance and body awareness and while it won’t leave you breathless, it addresses the key components of fitness (muscle strength, flexibility, balance and to a lesser degree, aerobic conditioning). Outdoor equipment The Maranoa is home to a full range of outdoor exercise equipment, with fitness stations along trails and walking paths in six towns. From simple static equipment for chin-ups and sit-ups, to interactive and moveable equipment proving cardio, flexibility and strengthening benefits. This equipment is suitable for a wide range of ages and abilities and is great for first time fitness through to an intense workout.



• • • • •

community-based walking groups with over 17,000 active members. Groups are led by volunteer Walk Organisers and new groups start regularly. Heart Foundation Walking groups walk along Roma’s Adungadoo Pathway three times a week. To encourage regular participation, the Heart Foundation includes a Walker Recognition Scheme. At certain walking milestones, you will be rewarded with certificates and discounts on Heart Foundation Tai chi Tai Chi is a gentle form of exercise for mind and body with big benefits to general health and overall feelings of wellness. Originating from China as a


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COUNCIL’S Be Healthy & Safe Maranoa initiative exists to motivate and support residents of the Maranoa to live happier and healthier lives. With a range of programs, activity and events on offer throughout the region, Be Healthy & Safe Maranoa has a vision to see an exciting well-being culture emerge in our community. Residents are encouraged to get involved in the free or affordable programs and activities in their area today! Get active Take the challenge to keep active and healthy, while socialising and enjoying the outdoors. Heart Foundation Walking Heart Foundation Walking is a fun, social and easy way to be


Living an active and social lifestyle is easy in Injune Nestled in foothills of the Carnarvon Ranges, Injune is a bush town with so much to offer

PINCHES VICTORY: Jockey Cheryl Rogers races home on her mount Crawfish at the popular Injune Race Day. PHOTO: MADISON WATT Injune is a horse lover’s paradise, with a range of equine activities available. The Injune Race Club and Injune Campdrafting Association (ICA) are both located at Possum Park, a multi-functional venue located on the outskirts of the town. The ICA hosts one of Australia’s largest campdrafting events every Anzac weekend, with visitors coming from around the country to take part. Injune also has a thriving pony club which attracts children and their horses from throughout the region. Another popular local event is the Injune Rodeo, held every October at the Injune Rodeo Grounds. If team activities are your style, local clubs include the Injune Cricket Club (home of the Injune

HELLO KITTY: The Injune Bowls Club is a great place to enjoy a few ends – whether competitively or with some mates. PHOTO: JOSHUA MACREE Eagles), a lawn bowls club and a tennis club and courts. There is also a golf course and swimming pool. A walk around Injune Lagoon is a must for those looking to experience the ‘real’ Australian bush. Surrounded by majestic

old gum trees that house a range of native birds, the lagoon is situated to the east of the caravan park. Local maps, arts and crafts, and souvenirs are available at the Visitor Information Centre, located on the main highway.

The Gateway to the George

Situated in the picturesque foothills of the Carnarvon Range, approximately 90km North of Roma - the Injune Caravan Park provides a refreshing accommodation option for campers and caravaners exploring the Maranoa and Central Highlands

Planning a visit to ur beautiful region? To book your stay, visit us at Third Avenue, Injune, Queensland OR call 0746 261 881 to speak with our friendly team.


WHEN it comes to hives of activity, it’s hard to go past the town of Injune. Known as the ‘Gateway to Carnarvon Gorge’, it is located about 700km along the Warrego and Carnarvon Highways from Brisbane. The name Injune is thought to be derived from the Kongabula peoples’ word for sugar gliders, which are native to the area. The thriving township has a population of around 450 people. Five hotels, the Injune Caravan Park, and farm stays just out of town meet the needs of tourists who visit for the annual events or to get a taste of traditional Aussie hospitality. A walk through Injune’s town centre reveals a number of historically significant buildings including the old bank, butcher, cinema, garage and court house. The Injune P-10 State School was founded in 1921 and has a proud heritage of community connections. The hospital features accident and emergency services, x-ray, telehealth and palliative care as part of their range of services.

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Enjoy picturesque Surat THINGS TO DO

One of Surat’s most famous destinations is the Cobb and Co Changing Station. A must-see, the station is the original site of the Cobb and Co Store and was the drop-off point for travellers and merchandise. The in-house museum includes displays of period lifestyles and an original coach. There’s also the Surat on Balonne Gallery and

the Window to the Balonne Aquarium, both also housed in the Changing Station, as well as the local Aboriginal Interpretative Shelter which displays histories of Aboriginal families who lived on-site in the mid-1900s.


A visit to the Beranga Creek from January to May will reveal a blanket of beautiful water-lilies, while early mornings are ideal throughout the town for anyone interested in spotting birds. Surat is known as a great place for fishing as well, so don’t forget to drop a line in every now and then.


Surat State School has been servicing the


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region since 1874 and believes in a positive learning experience for all students. The school caters for Preschool to Grade 10. Small class sizes provide students with opportunities for a wide range of learning experiences and allows the entire school community to strive for excellence and succeed.


The Cobb and Co Country Motel has a reputation for being cosy, comfortable and clean, and the New Royal Hotel is popular with the locals. If you’d rather bring your own caravan or tent, the Surat Cabins and Caravan Park is the way to go.


SURAT is a picturesque little place on the banks of the Balonne River. Midway between St George and Roma, the town itself has a population of just over 400. While small, this relaxed town is not to be underestimated as its strong history industry brings in tourists.


Natural areas a point of pride for Mitchell A BEAUTIFUL community proud of their natural surrounds, Mitchell is worth the visit. With a population of about 1300, the town itself plays a part in servicing the local cattle and sheep farmers about 87 km west of Roma. While many residents are farmers, there are several attractions to keep the tourism industry thriving as well.


Spend some time relaxing in the local mineral springs at the Great Artesian Spa. There are two pools of natural water — one heated — and both have easy access. If outdoor exploration is more your style, there are amazing sandstone formations and beautiful views throughout the Mitchell area. One excellent place to view such vistas is by entering Carnarvon National Park via the Mt Moffatt section. Mitchell also boasts over 250 species of birds that live and/or visit the area, as well as other abundant flora and fauna.


The local Heritage Museum proudly showcases local history, photos, and historical items. Mitchell is active in preserving its local indigenous cultural heritage, early explorers and pioneers, bushrangers and social history,

as exhibited in the museum’s displays. You can also visit Major Mitchell’s Campsite, from his fourth expedition to map a route from Sydney to Darwin on land in 1846. Mitchell’s bushranger history can be seen by visiting the Kenniff Court House where local bushrangers stood trial in 1902. Don’t forget to peruse the Maranoa Art Gallery in the old Maranoa Picture Theatre.


Mitchell is considered the gateway to Queensland’s outback, so schooling is essential. The Mitchell State School offers Prep to Grade 10 for kids from Mungallala, Amby, Mitchell, and surrounding properties. The school believes that strong literacy and numeracy skills are essential for life-long learning, and that all people should be treated with respect.


With a rich history, the fully-restored homestead Bonus Downs is a lovely place to stay if you’re visiting to get a feel for the place. The homestead was built in 1911 by Sir Samuel McCaughey, and is still a working property. You can stay in a cottage, or camp out in a Shearer’s Shed, or bring your own camping options.

Peace and quiet in Morven township HOME to about 200 people, Morven is close to the Tregole National Park which houses the rare Ooline Tree. When Morven was first informally founded as a small site set aside for public use on the property Victoria Downs in 1859, it was titled Victoria Downs Reserve. Later, it became informally known as Sadlier’s Waterhole before being formally surveyed in 1880 as Morven. Morven is home to a must-see museum. The Morven Historical Museum houses a collection of hand-crafted miniature buildings which recreate the bark- and slab- hut days of


Sadlier’s Waterhole at Hamburg Creek is a lovely place to overlook while enjoying a picnic. In Morven’s earlier history, the waterhole provided for the settlement’s water supply and irrigation for a big Chinese market garden. If you travel about 10 km further south, you will find the rainforest remnant of the


Morven State School was opened in 1887 to service the rural district. Currently they offer a co-educational and multi-age learning environment for children in Prep to Grade 6.


The Gidgee’s Bush Camp is the ideal place to stay if you don’t like being crowded, with a bush kitchen, wood stove, and fire rings. Close by is the owners’ coffee shop Kill for a Cuppa, which is set up in the old butcher’s slaughter houses and has a fantastic collections of art and historic items. There is also the Pick A Box Motel,and the Morven Hotel Motel.

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the early settlement. You can also see Aboriginal grinding stones, stone axe heads, spears, and boomerangs. A star of the museum grounds is one of the few remaining tin huts in Australia, built from flattened kerosene tins in the 1930s.

outback, Tregole National Park, with its Ooline Trees.

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Welcome to the Balonne Shire ARE you sick of the hustle and bustle of the city? Can’t seem to get the work-life balance right? Then pack up and head to our little oasis in the west – the Balonne Shire. We are the gateway to the Outback and our laid-back country lifestyle is second to none. There is ample land and opportunity for those wanting to work and plenty of services for the family. We have quality hospital and medical facilities, our schools offer Prep to Year 12 and there are loads of activities to keep the kids busy – cricket, netball, rugby league, soccer, pony club and more. There are plenty of shops for retail therapy and handmade quality items are available to those looking for that something different. Our pocket of southwest Queensland is a gem that is polished and ready to shine with

WELCOME: Mayor Richard Marsh. the resource industry to our north, the vast outback to our west, and the Darling Downs to our east. The Balonne Shire is in the perfect position to enjoy relaxed country living while being easily connected to major cities and quality job and business opportunities. Living on the banks of the Balonne River in St George means we have an enviable

PHOTO: CONTRIBUTED lifestyle. Fishing and water sports are common on weekends and in the afternoons, and people using the footpath at the river’s edge is a daily sight. While St George is the hub for the shire’s activities, each town in our shire – Bollon, Dirranbandi, Thallon, Hebel, Mungindi and Nindigully – boasts a vibrant community spirit that can only be experienced in smaller communities.

But don’t be mistaken by the relaxed pace or the laid-back attitude of our residents, there is a hidden drive which makes us a productive and important part of the agricultural world. Opportunities abound for professionals and labourers in many fields such as agriculture, health, education and social services. Being situated near the intersection of two major highways means daily transport and logistics keep us well connected to the city for blossoming businesses and handy for the traveller coming this way. So if you’re looking for a treechange, career advancement opportunity or just a holiday destination, the Balonne Shire is the place you’re looking for. Come for a visit, come to stay – enjoy the lifestyle and the community spirit of our oasis in the west! — Richard Marsh, Mayor

The Balonne Shire - an oasis in the south west!

Leave the hustle and bustle of city life behind and join us in the Beautiful Balonne Shire! In our little oasis in the south west you will find the work-life balance you’ve been searching for. Whether you ’re looking to move for a career opportunity or lifestyle change, you’ll be glad you found our special place which is also the Gateway to the Queensland Outback. To find out information health services, education opportunities, housing available, products and services that are available and how to be involved in our community, head to www.balonne.qld.gov.au. @BalonneSC



118 Victoria Street, St George, QLD 4487 or PO BOX 201 St George, QLD 4487 P: 07 4620 8888 | E: council@balonne.qld.gov.au

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For all the latest on what’s happening in our shire follow us on:


Ideal balance in Balonne

FOR Tayla Kruger and her young family, the Balonne offers a fantastic lifestyle that balances the needs of raising a young family and a love for the great outdoors. Tayla, who works at the visitor information centre in St George met her partner, Kirk Willis six years ago after moving to the region with her parents from Yeppoon in 2012. “I originally came out here because of family and a job opportunity with the local council,” she says. “My mother and father managed a place 70km out of St George and then I met my partner not long after moving here. “I then bought a house and


Your children have got opportunities here with three different schools with great kindy programs, so it’s not like they’re missing out on anything. Tayla Kruger started a family!” Kirk, who is born and bred in St George, is employed by Southwest Hay Supplies and has previously worked on cotton farms. It wasn’t long before Tayla and Kirk’s first child, Dallas was born – and with the young couple soon expecting their second child, things are about to get a lot busier. Schooling options will always be a consideration for young

couples wanting to raise a family, but the Balonne doesn’t suffer from a lack of choice, according to Tayla. “Your children have got opportunities here with three different schools with great kindy programs, so it’s not like they’re missing out on anything.” The family has a passion for outdoor activities, with Kirk a regular player for the St George Saints cricket team in the

summer, while Dallas has already competed in his first little athletics and has even mastered a dirt bike. “My son is into motorbikes and being out here, he has the opportunity to go to one of the many local reserves and ride his bike – so it’s the free lifestyle I suppose that’s really attractive,” Tayla said. Overall, it’s the strong sense of local spirit and variety that makes living in the Balonne, an enticing place to love. “It’s a really outgoing community here and has a little bit of everything,” Tayla said. “Everyone knows each other and the you’ve got the beautiful Balonne River – what more could you want?”

RURAL LIFE SUITS: Tayla Kruger and her family.





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An events calendar of note St George and its surrounding area provides annual entertainment in spades


Shows have been a part of Australian culture for almost 200 years and, today, there are about 128 Agricultural and Show Societies across Queensland. Launched in May 1885, the St George Show has been around for over 133 years and is deeply connected to the local community.

FINAL STRETCH: Choisir Breeze gallops to take out the Maiden Plate 1000m at the Mungindi Races. PHOTO: DAVID BARWELL The event offers a special day out with family, and celebrates all that is great about country living.

Join the friendly, stylish competition for the ‘Best Dressed’, and enjoy the day at the races.



The annual Mungindi races have as much track-side entertainment as on-track excitement, with the President’s Luncheon followed by a six-race meet, Fashions on the Field, foot races, and live music.

This mid-year annual week-long event at the St George Showgrounds offers a great country music line up, bush poets, great food and drink, camping, and country hospitality.

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THE ANNUAL Balonne County events calendar is permeated with everything a rural region might need, and more. From music festivals to horse-racing, this country town has it all.


A sporting place With various sport clubs to join, St George keeps you active ST GEORGE has a wide variety of sport clubs with a deep feeling of community involvement and support.

reunion over Easter weekend set to be massive.


In the Knox Shield competition, it’s East vs West, as the St George cricket team compete against other representative teams, including Chinchilla, Dalby, Goondiwindi, Charleville and Roma.


In 1919, the St George Football Club was formed, with games played at the State School grounds before moving to the current site of Rowden Park. The St George RLFC will celebrate 100 years of rugby league in the region in 2019, with a


The inaugural ‘Battle on the Balonne’ was such a success this year, the date for the next Battle has already been set for March 30 - 31, 2019. The Battle consists of a 1.5km swim, 40km bike ride and a 10km run, along with a sprint competition consisting of a 750m swim, 20km bike ride and 5km run for adults. A 5km fun run for juniors ensures everyone can participate. The St George Triathlon Club holds mini triathlons every weekend and will be happy to welcome more members for a swim, ride and run.


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Now in their 35th year, the St George Frillnecks participate in the Risdon Cup and are competing for the Bill Flamsteed Trophy. Their home turf at Rowden Park is situated on the banks of the mighty Balonne River and hosts around 50 Frillnecks a season. Club loyalty and spirit runs deep, with some players doing a 220km round-trip to get to training, and supporters hitting the road for a four-hour trip to Toowoomba during the season.


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Explore country town life Get familiar with the hustle and bustle of St George WITH a population of just over 3,000 people, St George is far from a one-horse town. The eight rivers and waterways of the Balonne Shire are not only the lifeblood of St George, but also a great source of entertainment.


It’s not without reason people refer to St George and its surrounds as the inland fishing

EMU EGGS: The carved emu eggs at the Unique Egg in St George are a must see. PHOTO: TOURISM AND EVENTS QUEENSLAND capital of Queensland. This is the perfect place to drop a line. The area is renowned for its abundance of Yellowbelly

and Murray Cod, as well as stunning scenery. In these waters you are free to fish without licence, so grab that dusty old rod (or get a brand new one) and head to the water.

StephenS Butchery DirranBanDi


This riverside town is afloat with jet skis, motor boats and tinnies, so get ready for a splash. If you don’t have your own tinny, you can hop on board a Sandytown River Cruise. Captain Brett Schweikert will introduce you to the river he loves most, the Balonne, and perhaps convince you St George is the place to settle after all.

your local butcher for 38 years YOUR LOCAL SUPPLIER OF QUALITY BEEF, LAMB, PORK & CHICKEN Ready to cook meals can be catered to upon request.

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Among the unique stores in town, is the Unique Egg, where local artisan Steve Margaritis (called ‘Stavros’ by those who

know him) produces beautifully hand-carved and illuminated emu eggs. This is the only display of its kind and some eggs have even been gifted as far as the White House.


Riverside Vineyards, Queensland’s most western winery, offers relaxation and enjoyment to visitors and locals alike. Being a vineyard, wine tastings are of course held at Riversands seven days a week.


The local baker, Trent, will take you for a spin in his 1917 Ford Model–T. Trent will ask a fee of $5 for the unique privilege, which he donates to the Royal Flying Doctors Service. Nindigully Pig Races 24th & 25th November 2018

Free camping along the beautiful tree lined river with hot showers & toilets available at the pub. Page 80

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From Charleville and the communities of Murweh Shire

A warm welcome to outback Queensland

COME AND VISIT: Murweh Shire Council mayor Annie Liston. on, the town has developed into a major service centre and visitor destination. Schools, hospital, emergency services, medical and dental centres, shops and supermarkets bring people in from all over the region.

The completion of Charleville’s new air terminal, major upgrade of the Cosmos Centre, the new Planetarium and Top Secret World War II Tours, the Royal Flying Doctor Base and the Bilby Experience, continue to draw visitors in from all over Australia.

PHOTO: CONTRIBUTED I really hope that you will find time to come and visit us in the not too distant future to experience the natural beauty and warmth of our shire communities. — Murweh Shire Council mayor Annie Liston 6840418aa

A LITTLE further west and not too far from the Surat basin lies the Shire of Murweh. It is a major stopping point for visitors keen to experience life in the true outback, its rich culture, its history and art, not forgetting the natural beauty of our woodlands, rivers and native animals. Charleville is the main town of the Shire with Augathella, Morven and Cooladdi making up the shire’s smaller but equally welcoming communities. The main centre, Charleville, is a bustling market town of major historical significance. It is the land of the Bidjara people and was established as a township in 1865. It was named after the town of Charleville in County Cork Ireland. It is a pioneering town. Cobb & Co built their largest factory here, the railway line to Brisbane opened in 1888; It was a focal point for the early aviators; Qantas flew its first ever flight from Charleville; Rev. John Flynn established the Royal Flying Doctor Base here and the School of the Air (now School of Distance Education) continues to provide daily education for hundreds of children living on isolated properties and unable to reach mainstream schools. Today, more than 150 years

Observatory by Night

Stargazing Outback Theatre

Ph: 4656 8355 Cosmos Shuttle

PO BOX 63 CHARLEVILLE www.murweh.qld.gov.au Page 81


Simplicity is the key

TOM and Natasha Taylor and their three children see Charleville as the ideal place to raise a young family. After being together for 10 years and Natasha being in Charleville for 19 and Tom for 15, the couple’s children, Jasmin, 13, Chelsea, 12, and Tia, 7, love the atmosphere Charleville offers. “Charleville is a great, quiet little community and everyone gets involved and there is plenty of stuff to do,” Natasha said. “I have my parents close by with them living out on a property, so pretty much every weekend and holidays we spend out there.” The family of five enjoy the simplicity of being able to go out to the bush and the river when they like and the freedom of a small town. “I think it is a great opportunity for children to grow up in the country because you have a little bit more freedom to do stuff and you don’t have to worry about traffic,” Natasha said. “All of the kids seem to rally around and go to the river and the bush and we don’t have to worry too much. “The girls really enjoy goat chasing and we go out to my parents’ property with our dogs and have a great time.” As well as raising three girls, Natasha also volunteers at Healthy Ageing and is a cleaner at the Charleville State High School. Tom is a contractor and does a lot of jobs in fencing and bull dozing. The couple’s oldest daughter

LOVE IT HERE: Natasha and Tom Taylor have no plans of leaving Charleville soon and enjoy the freedom the town offers. PHOTOS: CONTRIBUTED Jasmin attends the Charleville State High School with the younger siblings Chelsea and Tia at the State Primary School. With no plans to leave Charleville, the Taylor family agree the town is community driven, even in the toughest of times. “Everybody tries to get along with everyone and it’s a really friendly community and when there is a community event everyone really makes an effort to be there,” Tom said. “We don’t have any plans in the near future to leave Charleville. I own my house and have just started at the high school so I don’t want to really pack up and leave,” Natasha said. RIGHT: Jasmin, Chelsea and Tia love growing up in the bush.

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A fantastic place to visit

AUSTRALIAN country music icon Slim Dusty immortalised the town of Charleville when he sang of meeting his sweetheart “at a disco in the School of Arts Hotel”. And, just like the balladeer’s lyrics of love, there’s no doubt you too will fall for this delightful township tucked away in the Shire of Murweh. Boasting a population of almost 3500 people, this classic rural community sits serenely on the welcoming banks of the Warrego River and can trace its humble beginning back to the mid-1800s. As was the case with so many of the remote townships that sprang to life at that time, a bold publican decided a much-needed hotel was in order and the post office, courthouse, hospital and railway soon followed. As did a thriving settlement, with the town being gazetted on

SPORT CENTRAL: Charleville plays host to many sporting carnivals throughout the year. PHOTO: LEONIE ECKEL January 11, 1865. Today, Charleville has a wide range of entertainment and social activities for all ages and interests – from bowls to speedway to horse racing. With maximum temperatures hitting 35°C in summer and 20°C in winter, you won’t need an excuse to throw on the swimmers and enjoy a splash in

the public pool. Stop in at the Charleville Golf Course and test yourself against its challenging fairways (and 18 sand greens) and wet your whistle after the round with an obligatory visit to the licensed club house. Perfectly positioned along the Warrego Highway, visitors can easily access the town via

standard passenger vehicles or take advantage of the scenic Westlander rail service. There are also air options available through Charleville Airport. Be sure to call into the Visitor Information Centre at the Railway Station (corner of King and Wills Streets) to find out the latest information on what’s happening around town.

Come in and relax with a Cold Beer Try your Luck on one of our 10 Machines!!! (TITO)


• Great accommodation • BEST Meals in town!!!

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Chance to explore the universe

SINCE the dawn of time, man has looked to the heavens with wonder and curiosity. The sheer beauty (and enormity) of the universe has long captured our imagination, so it’s easy to understand why the Charleville Cosmos Centre has proven to be such a popular drawcard to visitors and locals alike. The town’s rural location, far removed from the pollution and lighting haze of the major cities, makes it the perfect spot to star gaze with like-minded astronomy enthusiasts. So much more than just staff members, the knowledgeable guides from the Cosmos Centre live and breathe the wonders of the universe – and you’ll delight in their stories and observations as they share their vast experience in all things stellar. Through the extremely powerful Meade telescopes, you’ll be blown away by the

STAR SEARCH: The Charleville Cosmos Centre is the perfect spot to gaze into the night skies. PHOTO: CONTRIBUTED complexity of star and nebulae formations, and where our planets sit in the solar system as you explore the mysteries of the Milky Way. To truly experience all the centre has to offer, be sure to leave yourself around two hours

when you visit. And if you can’t make it to the night showing, you can still enjoy the immersive Astronomy by Day program where you can hold an actual meteorite and learn more about how ‘time, light and gravity fit together’.

Bookings are essential for the observatory show, so be sure to phone the Cosmos Centre on 4654 7771 or, for more information (including session times), visit www.cosmoscentre. com or email enquiries@ cosmoscentre.com.

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You can help save the bilby

THEY’RE one of our most beloved marsupials – but sadly, one of our most endangered as well. The treasured Bilby is synonymous with the Charleville region – inadvertently making the town the official ‘bilby capital of Australia’ thanks to extraordinary work done by the Save the Bilby Fund. That’s why taking in the Charleville Bilby Experience is an essential part of any visit to the region. Here you can learn all about the adversities and challenges these tiny animals are facing and learn how the Save the Bilby Fund is relentlessly fighting for them. Their ongoing breeding programs are aimed at increasing the bilby population and, ultimately, returning them to the familiar surrounds of the Currawinya National Park. The centre is open Monday to Saturday 9am-4pm from April 3 to late October (closed most public holidays), giving visitors a

AUSSIE FAVOURITES: The great work done by the Save the Bilby Fund helps protect these endangered marsupials. PHOTO: DANIELLE LANCASTER rare opportunity to meet bilbies and learn more about their conservation and life history. The tours usually last around an hour, but make sure you give yourself plenty of extra time to ask the guides about the

program, visit the nocturnal house and, of course, check out the gift shop. Most importantly, by visiting the Charleville Bilby Experience, you’re doing your part to protect this Aussie favourite as all

proceeds from the tours and souvenir sales go directly to the invaluable conservation work by the Save the Bilby Fund. For more information, phone 4654 3681 or go to charleville bilbyexperience.com.au.

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tribulations the organisation has faced (and still faces today) as medical teams tackle the incredible distances and sheer remoteness of outback Australia. For more information, phone 4654 1233, email rfds_cvl@ rfdsqld.com.au or visit the centre at John Flynn Way (turn into the airport and take the second right).

W stay 1 day, when yoou, Why cann stay 3 or 4 & see it all!

Charleville Visitor Information Centre • 07 4654 3057 • tourism@murweh.qld.gov.au


should ensure they make a beeline for John Flynn Way and The Royal Flying Doctor Service Visitor Centre. It’s here you’ll find an intriguing display of past and present medical equipment and surgical kits, as well as an introductory film explaining their early days. The centre will also give you an insight into the trials and


Flynn (1880-1951), founder of the Aerial Medical Service in 1942 and The Royal Flying Doctor Service in 1955. Reverend Flynn’s vision, enthusiasm and dedication is just part of the fascinating history behind the organisation and, quite significantly, its association with the town of Charleville. So, history (and aviation) buffs

Aviation Hist

IT DOESN’T matter whether you live in the largest of cities or the outermost corners of rural Australia, chances are you’d be well aware of the incredible, life-saving work of the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS). And without knowing it, you’re probably carrying around a link to the RFDS because the Australian $20 note features the Rev John

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Living on the

TRULY experiencing the Southern Downs means enjoying an enviable country lifestyle with all the comforts of city living. With Warwick and Stanthorpe and their surrounding villages just a stones throw from Toowoomba and two hours from Brisbane and the Gold Coast, locals enjoy a truly rural lifestyle along with the benefits of modern infrastructure, a diverse economy, medical services, shopping centres, impressive educational facilities and exciting career opportunities. Set to become one of the fastest growing areas in southeast Queensland, between now and December 2019, the Southern Downs will welcome more than 1000 new jobs across the manufacturing, construction, retail and health and aged care

LEFT: Southern Downs Regional Council mayor Tracy Dobie. PHOTO: SAMANTHA BENNETT

Picture yourself unwinding here?


I am proud to call the Southern Downs home... I invite everyone to come and experience the region as it continues to grow and prosper. Tracy Dobie sectors, making it the perfect time to make a tree change. Life on the Southern Downs is where the best of city and country living meets. Easily accessible to major centres, home to beautiful rural landscapes and plenty of inspiration for weekend exploring, affordable living options on the Southern Downs means residing in a stunning natural setting, while having plenty of time to enjoy the very best of all the ‘four seasons’ region has to offer. Home to some of the freshest

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Downs a breath of fresh air

Picturesque Warwick.



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Whether it be Stanthorpe’s Apple and Grape Harvest Festival or Warwick’s Jumpers and Jazz in July, there is always an opportunity to share in the very best of the region’s arts and culture, vibrant community spirit and country hospitality. I am proud to call the Southern Downs home and whether looking for a tree change or a place to breathe and unwind, I invite everyone to come and experience the region as it continues to grow and prosper. – Southern Downs Mayor and Councillor for Economic Development & Emergency Services Tracy Dobie

55 Fitzroy Street, Warwick Ph: 4661 3455 Fax: 4661 3466



produce in Queensland, the region’s roadside delicatessens, restaurants, country pubs and local markets all make the Southern Downs a foodie’s paradise. The Granite Belt is a premium wine destination, with more than 30 cellar doors for both visitors and locals to explore. Built on the back of agriculture and farming, our rich and prosperous history is celebrated in the majestic sandstone buildings and heritage architecture which still proudly line our streets. Locals and visitors alike love the art galleries, museums and cultural events across the region.


• Situated in the quaint country town of Cambooya, 10 minutes from Toowoomba on the Warwick Road. • Experience the authentic 1900’s old world atmosphere • Lunch and dinner 7 days • The ultimate dining experience, delicious gourmet menu • Seriously good coffee, daily meal specials, take away meals & pizzas • Comfortable quality country style accommodation

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1918 - 2018

1919 - 2019


Two kinds of horsepower IT’S NOT without reason that Warwick has earned the title of the Horsepower Capital of Australia. The impressive number of horse and motorsports that occur around the district have drawn audiences and competitors from around the country, and have even led many to claim Warwick as the campdraft capital of the world. Since 1954, motorsports have been a popular local pastime, beginning with the formation of the Warwick District Sporting Car Club. With their first major event 10 years later, the club grew from strength to strength, and led to the Morgan Park Raceway emerging as one of the most pre-eminent racing sites in the country. Home to the Queensland Super Sprint State Championship, this annual two-day event attracts over 300

competitors across 12 high octane rounds. The Historic Racing Car Club of Queensland also hosts its annual festival at the raceway, and the circuits have also been visited by the Australian Drivers’ Championship, the oldest motor racing competition in the country. Head due north of the Morgan Park Raceway and you’ll find yourself at the showgrounds, home to the Warwick Rodeo and Campdraft. Across an entire week of events local clubs, schools and bands descend on the showgrounds to take part in what has come to be recognised as one of the most prestigious equestrian events in the state. The highlight of the week is undoubtedly the race for the Melbourne Cup of campdrafting, the Warwick Gold Cup and the $100,000 of trophies and prizes that accompany the event.

Rodeo is in Warwick’s blood, and local buckjump competitions have been traced back as early as 1857. So renowned is the town’s equine reputation that country music legend Buddy Williams

penned a song about the atmosphere in the 1940s, Heading for the Warwick Rodeo. Whether your preferred transportation is hoof or wheel, the Horsepower Capital has you covered.

CAMPDRAFTING CUP: Winning the Warwick Gold Cup is a huge badge of honour for campdrafters. PHOTO: STORM LAHIFF

Granite Belt maze & Mini Golf


Awesome funn for everyone 10 minutes North of Stanthorpe at 364 Old Warwick Rd, Glen Niven. PH: 0467 824 520 More info visit: www.thegranitebeltmaze.com.au 6840418ak

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Morgan Park Raceway offers regular high octane action for a huge range of racing categories. PHOTO: ELYSE WURM

• Large 2 bedroom air conditioned units • Choice of plans • 24 hour emergency call buttons • Community centre for the residents’ use • Beautiful landscaped gardens • Friendly secure lifestyle • Shops, doctors and large variety of recreational clubs within minutes of the village • Taxi service available • Bus to Toowoomba – leaves from right outside the village

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NO MATTER your taste in sport, Warwick has a team sure to get your blood pumping. From golf to hockey, from gymnastics to tennis, there is something for everyone. The Warwick Wolves provide all the soccer action in Queens Park, including an annual full-day carnival that draws hundreds of players and spectators. Also in Queens Park you’ll find Father Ranger Oval, home to the Warwick Cowboys Rugby League Club, which has a strong presence in regional competitions across both A-grade and Under-18s matches. The town is also home to the Warwick Water Rats, which features both a Juniors and B-grade team, plus a recently established Women’s Sevens team.

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For rifle enthusiasts, the Warwick district branch of the Sporting Shooters Association of Australia holds state or national competitions three times a year, in addition to weekly comps at home on Risdon Range. One of the more comprehensive sporting communities in town is the Warwick Hockey Association. From Hookin2Hockey – for children as young as four through to 10 – to four different A-grade clubs competing in state championships, Warwick is rightfully proud of its hockey heroes. Alternatively, you can try out the recently resurfaced courts at the Warwick and District Tennis Association, or shoot for the trophy of the day across 18 holes at the Warwick Golf Club.


Wednesday - Saturday from 11am


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PLAY BALL: Hockey players of all ages are well provided for in Warwick. PHOTO: CONTRIBUTED

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Sports stars set in Stanthorpe IT MAY be a small town based on agriculture and tourism, but Stanthorpe loves its sports and has a club or group for just about anything you could wish for. The Stanthorpe Gremlins is a proud rugby league club that was established in 1974, but rugby league in Stanthorpe started way back in 1919 and is one of the town’s most beloved sports. There are junior and senior teams that actively participate in the Warwick and District Junior Rugby League and Border Rugby League competitions. If you just love to run and love to do it in a beautiful setting, Stanthorpe parkrun is a weekly 5km organised run for all ages and abilities. It’s free, weekly, timed and takes place in the beautiful Gleeson Park. Soccer fans are well covered, with six separate teams to choose from in the Stanthorpe Inter Football Club.

FOOTBALL ACTION: Ballandean and Carlton vie for the ball in one of the local matches. PHOTO: LIANA WALKER Stanthorpe Netball Association is now in its sixth year of providing a fun and competitive competition, with two under-12 teams, an under-14 team and an open competition.

The Granite Belt Giants are Stanthorpe’s local basketball group, with five teams to choose from including two junior teams, a mixed seniors team and a men’s team.

If cricket is more your pace, Stanthorpe Cricket is a busy club and it’s hard to go past playing it in such a beautiful climate, with the temperatures averaging a top of 27°C throughout summer.

FOLLOWING OUR MERGE, WE’RE INTRODUCING A NEW PERSONALISED TRAVEL SERVICE! Helloworld Travel Stanthorpe and Helloworld Travel Warwick, are now at the Helloworld Travel Stanthorpe location of 1 Maryland Street as of last year. The merge enables us to offer new personalised travel services to our clients with the addition of dedicated mobile consultants that will offer at home consultations during and after business hours. This will include all areas in and around the Stanthorpe and Warwick region.

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‘Capital of Cool’ a delight

STAY COOL: Stanthorpe has the well-earned reputation of ‘Queensland’s Capital of Cool’. PHOTOS: TOURISM AND EVENTS QUEENSLAND


Accommodation throughout town is rife with deep chairs and open fires... house. There is also the Storm King Dam, a favourite place for locals to get away from the bustle of town and enjoy a picnic beside the tranquil waters. The Stanthorpe Regional Art Gallery is a must-see of both local and national artists, while the Aloomba Lavender Farm provides an unmissable photo

Thanks to its beautiful scenery and wonderfully cool climate, tourism is a major part of Stanthorpe’s economy. opportunity and campsite. For another unique experience visit Lawdogs Australia, a speciality kennel that offers sit-down shows of law enforcement dog training.

You might also get to play with puppies and sample truffles, a pretty unbeatable combination. All year round, you’re certain to find something in Stanthorpe to delight the whole family.

Wallangarra Railway Museum & Café Open daily for breakfast and lunch, you can enjoy dining inside in air-conditioned comfort or outside, undercover on the platform then take a stroll through the onsite museum. • Suitable for group bookings & functions • Wheel chair friendly • Open 7 days including Public Holidays • 9 am to 3 pm NOW FULLY LICENSED

07 4684 3376 | E: wallangarracafe@gmail.com Rockwell Street, Wallangarra QLD 4383


TAKE a trip down the New England Highway towards the Queensland/New South Wales border, and you’ll come across one of the true gems of the Sunshine State. But don’t let all that sunshine fool you; there’s more than one reason that Stanthorpe is known as the Capital of Cool. Situated at over 800 metres above sea level, the town’s somewhat chilly climate has turned out to be an atmospheric blessing in disguise. Aside from the boon to local vineyards, it has turned Stanthorpe into one of the most romantic getaways in southeast Queensland. Accommodation throughout town is rife with deep chairs and open fires, and you’ll be effortlessly charmed by the town’s quirky character. Although Stanthorpe was originally settled by tin miners and was once the largest mineral field in Queensland, you’d be forgiven for not knowing its prospecting beginnings even though its very name, borrowed from Latin and Middle English, literally means ‘tintown’. Today, the Granite Belt town of 5000 people is better known as the home of outstanding produce and quality wines, or as a place to call home while you venture out to explore the beautiful sub-tropic national parks: Sundown, Bald Rock, Boonoo Boonoo and Girraween. You could also stop by for a visit to Donnelly’s Castle, a park brimming with gigantic boulders to explore – many bigger than a

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Granite Belt is a wine lover’s perfect dream

Ballandean Estate Wines is one of many award-winning wineries across the Granite Belt. PHOTO: LIANA TURNER

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• • • • • • • •

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WINE appreciation is one of the great Australian pastimes. We’re the world’s fourth largest wine exporter, while we manage to drink around 530 million litres just to ourselves (that’s around 30 litres per person for those keeping count). In Stanthorpe, the wine industry has never been healthier, and is one of the biggest drawcards in a community already brimming with activities and adventure. Grapes have been cultivated here since the mid-19th century following the example of local Catholic priest Jerome Davadi and his need to provide altar wine to his parish. Over 150 years later, the tastes of the town have dramatically changed, but its love of vino has endured. There are more than 50 wineries in the surrounding area, all falling under the auspices of the tourism body Granite Belt Wine Country. Viticulture has also seeped into many of the pre-eminent events throughout the year. Ballandean Estate’s Opera in the Vineyard is an enduring highlight, and the estate itself was commended by king winemaker James Halliday. The Australian Small Winemakers Show has called Stanthorpe home since 1987,

Wine Tours on The GraniTe BelT Filippo's Wine Tours are Stanthorpe's wine tour specialists and are the perfect solution for people who are looking to enjoy some great wine and a great time on the Granite Belt.

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Ridgemill Estate embraced winery tourism. PHOTO: CONTRIBUTED and is recognised both domestically and abroad. Stanthorpe is also home to one of Queensland’s oldest festivals and Q150 Icon, the Apple and Grape Harvest Festival. The biennial event officially began life back in 1966, although similar festivities stretch to 1954 and the Back to Stanthorpe Week parades. Without a doubt, Stanthorpe is a community with a long tradition of celebrating their community spirit in exuberant style. It’s even home to the Queensland College of Wine Tourism, showcasing that if you’re in the mood for merlot or searching for semillon, or simply looking for an idyllic spot to enjoy a picturesque lunch among the vines, you really need look no further than Stanthorpe and its stunning surrounds.

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NICE DROP: The Granite Belt is home to more than 50 wineries. PHOTO: TOURISM AND EVENTS QUEENSLAND


Farming at heart of Stanthorpe WHILE Stanthorpe has much to offer in the way of tourism and local attractions, a true foundation of the town is its agriculture industry. While sheep and meat cattle make up a sizeable portion of Stanthorpe’s local larder, the lion’s share of produce falls to our fruit and vegetable producers. The agriculture, fishing and forestry industry is also one of the top three employment areas in the region, meaning that every walk of Stanthorpe life is likely touched by the fortune of its farmers. This also means the town is a regular stop for backpackers following the seasonal fruit-picking circuit. Given the region’s reputation for high-quality wines, vine pruning is a little more selective. But across apple and pear orchards, tomato, capsicum, strawberry and stone fruit farms,

FERTILE SOILS: Agriculture forms a huge part of life in Stanthorpe. PHOTO: QUEENSLAND TOURISM AND EVENTS there are an abundance of growers selling wares locally and throughout the country. This is despite the temperamental quality of Stanthorpe’s soil. Granitic earth can be quite

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acidic and struggles to hold water, so many farmers must battle soil fertility problems with organic fertilisers. This struggle is balanced out by the general elevation of the town, allowing for the production

of temperate vegetables in the summer months. Much of the local farming culture is overseen by the Stanthorpe Agricultural Society. It was established by an Act of Parliament in 1875, and serves many functions across local producers. Its most prominent task however is overseeing the town’s largest public event – the Stanthorpe Show, where people can enjoy the literal fruits of their labour, in addition to being entertained by the many events. The sheep and cattle sales are also regular fixtures on the Stanthorpe agricultural calendar, and as more people start turning their hands to local farming, smaller-scale producers such as free-range piggeries are being established. In all, Stanthorpe’s agriculture industry looks set to continue flourishing for years to come.

HOURS: Tue - Sat for Lunch & Dinner! Reservations Required! Call (07) 4683 7109


Southern DownS DiStribution LocaLLy owNEd aNd opEraTEd • sddistribution@bigpond.com • www.southerndownsdistribution.com.au

Girraween Country Inn Boutique Hotel 1793 Eukey Rd, Ballandean QLD 4382 Ph: (07) 4683 7109 E: admin@girraweencountryinn.com.au


Southern Downs Distribution can distribute just about anything • Leaflets • Brochures • Newspapers


Your local pamphlet people for over 15 years!

Page 95


Profile for NRM Custom Publishing

Western Queensland Living Edition 3  

Western Queensland Living Edition 3

Western Queensland Living Edition 3  

Western Queensland Living Edition 3