Toowoomba Regional Council News - May 8, 2015

This week's Council News segment includes:

  • The Walton Stores Project to revitalise the Toowoomba CBD,
  • Residents get their green thumbs out for the Ethan St tree planting day,
  • TRAMS to benefit from Mayoral Prayer Breakfast, and
  • Events coming up this month.

Click on the video below to watch this edition of Council News.

 

Work starts on new, state-of-the-art Greater Toowoomba Waste Management Facility

omarardtrio3Work has started at the greenfield O'Mara Road site for the Greater Toowoomba Waste Management Facility that promises to make future 'tip trips' a far easier, cleaner, safer and greener experience.

Toowoomba Region Mayor Paul Antonio said the $13 million construction project was part of an overall $20 million project which included design work, development approval, land purchases and plant purchases. He said it would be a major advance for waste management.

Mayor Antonio said Council had purchased the 25 hectare site fronting O'Mara Road at the Toowoomba Enterprise Hub – Charlton Wellcamp as a long-term solution for the city's waste needs. A section of the Bedford Street facility has been acquired as part of the infrastructure corridor for the Toowoomba Second Range Crossing.

Read more: Work starts on new, state-of-the-art Greater Toowoomba Waste Management Facility

New and improved amenities for Chapman Park

Tourists and visitors are already making great use of the upgraded toilet facilities at Hampton’s Chapman Park.

Toowoomba Regional Council’s Environmental Health, Parks and Recreation portfolio leader Cr Sue Englart said the finishing touches on the project were nearing completion.

“The park, which contains the Hampton Visitor Information Centre, is a very popular stop on the New England Highway for travellers,” Cr Englart said.

“It is also the venue for the annual Hampton Festival which champions local produce, gourmet foods, wines and art.

“The festival attracts thousands of people each year and the visitor centre plays an important role in local tourism.”

Cr Englart said the upgraded toilet facilities would be ready in time for the Hampton Festival. The surrounding park area has been treated with new turf and there will be improved visitor seating over the coming months.

Read more: New and improved amenities for Chapman Park

Toowoomba Regional Council News April 29, 2015

This week's Council News includes:
  • City to swell by hundreds for HMAS Toowoomba crew visit,
  • Record numbers pay respects at Mothers’ Memorial Anzac Day services,
  • Three major projects in progress in growth corridor,
  • TRC receives Guide Dog award for footpath markers,
  • Reading time at the City Library to host furry friends,
  • Parking maps to ease CBD confusion.
Click on the video below to watch this edition of Council News.

Carnival team powered by Peter Roberts Honda

carnival-hondaWith plans well advanced for this year's 66th annual Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers from September 18-27, Carnival organisers have added extra sponsorship by signing Peter Roberts Honda as a major partner.

Toowoomba Regional Council Tourism and Events portfolio leader Cr Geoff McDonald said the backing of a long-established Toowoomba business was a welcome endorsement of Carnival.

Cr McDonald said Peter Roberts had been a proud sponsor of Carnival for more than 15 years and this year was no exception with the team enjoying the benefits of the new HR-V, 5-door, compact SUV.

Read more: Carnival team powered by Peter Roberts Honda

Toowoomba Regional Council News April 22, 2015

This week's Council News includes:

  • Mega-store gains Council’s final tick of approval,
  • Which long-term CBD car park now has a three hour limit?
  • Council awaits report on paid parking in the CBD,
  • Register your interest - Toowoomba Railway Parklands Priority Development Area,
  • Help transform a local park at tree planting day,
  • RADF grants to close soon,
  • and regional residents urged to register ahead of wild dog baiting program.


Click on the video below to watch this edition of Council News.

 

 

Growth corridor to receive $7.8m in new infrastructure

Toowoomba Regional Council is about to undertake two major projects in its south-west growth corridor.

A $5.8 million upgrade of the wastewater network including a new sewage pumping station at Wyreema is about to start and an 8km pipeline will connect Cambooya and Wyreema to Council's main Wetalla Water Reclamation Facility for treatment.

Water supply to the township of Wyreema will also be augmented through a $2 million 7km pipeline connecting to the main Toowoomba water supply at Westbrook.

TRC waste portfolio spokesperson Cr Nancy Sommerfield said the water supply project would greatly enhance quality and secure supply for future anticipated growth in the area.

"The two projects will result in efficiency and environmental improvements and is a key component of Council's ongoing program to upgrade existing water and wastewater networks and to replace aging infrastructure across rural areas," Cr Sommerfield said.

"Council has allocated $56 million for water and wastewater capital works projects this financial year and these are aimed at improving services and targeting areas of future growth across the region," she said.

Read more: Growth corridor to receive $7.8m in new infrastructure

Pittsworth Wastewater Treatment Plant replacement begins

Work will begin this week on the $9 million upgrade of the Pittsworth Wastewater Treatment Plant.

Toowoomba Regional Council has allocated $56 million for water and wastewater capital works projects this financial year with the Pittsworth project replacing an existing facility built in the 1970s.

TRC waste portfolio spokesperson Cr Nancy Sommerfield said the Pittsworth upgrade will result in efficiency and environmental improvements and is a key component of Council's ongoing program to replace aging wastewater treatment infrastructure.

"Council had significant issues in terms of aging assets coupled with population growth in outlying towns placing stress on the network in some areas," Cr Sommerfield said.

"Council has taken a strategic approach to upgrading all of its wastewater networks and Pittsworth is an excellent example of the investment being made in regional infrastructure upgrades," she said.

"The current system was constructed in the mid-1970s and was designed to service 4000 people at a time of much lower community and government expectations. It is nearing capacity and cannot provide the level of treatment we now need.

"Council's contractors UGL Engineering Pty Ltd have almost completed design work and will soon construct a modern plant for Pittsworth and will bring it on line by mid-2016."

Cr Sommerfield said the new system would expand the capacity of the plant by around 12 percent and is expected to meet the needs of the Pittsworth community until 2035.

"There will be an entirely new plant control system allowing for remote access and alarm notification systems," Cr Sommerfield said.

"There will be a number of upgraded treatment capabilities including on-site biological removal of carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus as well as tertiary treatment through chlorine disinfection.

"This will result in better environmental outcomes, streamlined work practices and will meet the immediate growth needs of the system in Pittsworth.

"It will also involve a number of local sub-contractors in the construction phase so will provide employment opportunities for the Pittsworth community."

Toowoomba Regional Council News April 15, 2015

This week's Council News includes:
  • Which mega-store has received committee approval?
  • Family of the late Garnet Lehmann praise detention basin parklands,
  • Carnival of Flowers continues to bloom,
  • Eye-catching murals to attract visitors to the city,
  • Time's running out to enter this year's Contemporary Wearables Jewellery Award and Exhibition,
  • And all the ANZAC Day services.

Click on the video below to watch this edition of Council News.

National spotlight on August Toowoomba Transport and Logistics Symposium

Toowoomba's emergence as a burgeoning centre for transport and logistics operations will gain additional traction and attention at a national symposium scheduled for August this year.

Toowoomba Region Mayor Paul Antonio said the Toowoomba Transport and Logistics Symposium, to be held in partnership with Toowoomba and Surat Basin Enterprise (TSBE), would create awareness about the transport and logistics capability in this region.

"With the Brisbane West Wellcamp Airport, the coming construction of the Toowoomba Second Range Crossing and the anticipated Melbourne to Brisbane Inland Rail Project, it is fitting that Toowoomba hosts a forum of this nature to explore the remarkable potential such infrastructure is bringing to Toowoomba and eastern Australia more broadly," Mayor Antonio said.

"Council hopes the symposium will position our region as a thriving inland hub and showcase to both the federal and state governments that we are ready to seize the opportunities created by key infrastructure projects proposed or under construction.

"International players are expected to attend along with a key speaker from a major international logistics firm."

Read more: National spotlight on August Toowoomba Transport and Logistics Symposium

Toowoomba Regional Council News April 1, 2015

This week's Council News includes:
  • Near explosive incident prompts waste warning,
  • Major city street to close for twelve months,
  • Jondaryan Woolshed's head damper cook reveals her secret recipe,
  • And events worth exploring this Easter break.
Click on the video below to watch this edition of Council News.

Council to undertake rolling pest surveys across region

Toowoomba Regional Council will conduct a series of pest survey programs across the region starting next month.

The surveys will initially concentrate on the southern section of the region and will start in the Condamine Plains, Cecil Plains, Nangwee and Tipton areas next month.

TRC Pest Management Advisory Committee spokesperson, Cr Nancy Sommerfield, said pest control officers will be visiting properties to check for declared plant pests as part of a series of rotational inspections of the whole region.

“Pest plants can be extremely harmful to both livestock and agriculture,” Cr Sommerfield said. “Controlling declared pests, whether plant or animal, is part of Council’s commitment to improved biosecurity controls in the Toowoomba Region.”

“Council will work with landholders to promote best practice in the treatment of declared pests,” she said. “Council has a number of programs in place to assist landowners with plant pest control including large pumps and spray units that are available for hire at reasonable rates.”

Read more: Council to undertake rolling pest surveys across region

Toowoomba Regional Council News, March 18 2015

This week's Council News includes:

Local construction company awarded waste facility project,

Charlton Sports Precinct given final tick of approval,

Local teenager talks of his harrowing ordeal to flee his country to Toowoomba,

Mission Australia CEO 2015 Mayoral Prayer Breakfast guest speaker,

Former premier Anna Bligh to reflect on leadership, love and survival,

And the Mayor gets saucy for little Sophia.

Click on the video below to watch this edition of Council News.

 

 

OCR Victoria Street extension taking shape

Toowoomba's newest road and bridge project will help transform the inner city, according to Cr Carol Taylor.

Cr Taylor, who is Toowoomba Regional Council's Infrastructure Committee Chair, said the Outer Circulating Road Victoria Street extension project would provide lasting benefits in terms of improved traffic efficiency in the inner city as well as improved flood mitigation.

"The Outer Circulating Road will help ease congestion at the Margaret and Ruthven streets intersection and tie in with the Toowoomba Railway Parklands Priority Development Area to help revitalise the northern CBD area.

"While the new roadway is taking shape, there have been some delays to the works program from recent rain and the project will now take a little longer to complete," she said.

Read more: OCR Victoria Street extension taking shape

Toowoomba Regional Council News, March 11 2015

This week's Council News includes:

Mayor to join other leaders and meet with Prime Minister Tony Abbott,

Region weighs in on 2028 Olympic Games bid,

Help breathe life into a local park,

How a Council Community Grant is helping hundreds of locals in need,

'Community Conversations' to head to Oakey,

And win a health and active pack and get fit at the same time.

Click on the video below to watch this edition of Council News.

Nine winners of inaugural Awards for Excellence announced

A native garden project dedicated to encouraging reconciliation, healing and conservation education has been awarded the top prize in Toowoomba Regional Council’s inaugural Awards for Excellence.

Gumbi Gumbi Gardens at the University of Southern Queensland tonight was judged the winner of the Gold Leaf award at a presentation function at the Empire Theatres’ Armitage Centre.

The gardens featured among eight other outstanding and distinctive examples of urban design, heritage preservation and promotion as well as care for the environment that were recognised at the presentation dinner.

Category award winners:
  • Gumbi Gumbi Gardens (Gold Leaf award),
  • First Coat (Urban Design Community),
  • Ground Up Espresso Bar (Urban Design Corporate),
  • Toowoomba Open House (Heritage Community).
  • Sauce Kitchen (Heritage Corporate),
  • Green Kindy (Environment Community),
  • A Land of Flooding Rains (Environment Corporate),
  • Redwood Park Rainforest Recovery (Mayor’s award),
  • FKG Group head office facility (Mayor’s commendation).

(project details are listed below. Full details and a summary of the judges’ comments can be viewed at www.TRCawards.com.au )

Toowoomba Region Mayor Paul Antonio said the idea behind the awards program was to recognise excellence and highlight people or projects that raised awareness of achievements in the fields of urban design, heritage and the environment.

“The awards were devised from a Council design initiative and signal our desire and intent to more widely publicise the benefits of excellent urban design to the wider community,” Mayor Antonio said.

“Council launched the awards in August 2014 in a bid to promote the great projects that have been completed in recent times.

“Progressive and clever urban design can have many positive effects on individuals and communities. Council is keen to see new projects incorporate the very best design principles to ensure this region remains an attractive drawcard for future development and residents.

“The awards also offer added incentive for developers, planners, designers and community groups to be even more mindful about how their project could enhance a locality, aid community interaction or improve education in certain fields.”

TRC Planning and Development committee chair Cr Bill Cahill said Council’s top priority was to ensure it advanced all the best features of integrated design to cater for people’s everyday lives.

Cr Cahill, who also chaired the judging panel, said this would be essential to ensure Toowoomba retained its ranking as one of the best areas for families to live

“Urban design influences and determines how people interact with their surroundings and is not confined to the physical appearance alone,” Cr Cahill said. 

“Category winners proved this by transforming places or spaces that had been unused or dormant. 

“The First Coat Festival and Ground Up revived areas into places where people now happily visit and mingle.

“This truly shows how creative urban design can find functional value where previously it didn’t exist.

“We congratulate all winners and the other category entrants for contributing to the success of the inaugural awards.”

Cr Cahill said the judging panel had strict criteria for considering the category entrants.

Category winners’ details:

awards-gold-leaf-award-for-excellence-newGumbi Gumbi Gardens (Gold Leaf award)

Gumbi Gumbi Gardens at USQ have been established as a place for reconciliation, healing, learning and teaching. The design philosophy was: ‘Let’s look at where we’ve been, where we are going and through education make the journey together’.

The project makes a positive contribution to all three award categories. The garden uses local native plants traditionally used by Indigenous communities and raises awareness of conservation issues and Indigenous heritage in the Toowoomba region.



award-urban-design-community-newFirst Coat (Urban Design Community)

First Coat was a three-day street art festival held in the Toowoomba CBD in early 2014.  Twenty-seven artists from Australia, USA and Italy created 17 large scale murals on walls in forgotten laneways and hidden courtyards.

First Coat is an exemplary project that impressed with its high quality work, creativity and vibrancy.

A Sydney media report named the festival as one of its top picks to visit. The 2015 festival runs from May 16-18.



awards-urban-design-corporate-newGround Up Espresso Bar (Urban Design Corporate)

Ground Up Espresso Bar is the first laneway coffee shop of its kind in Toowoomba. It has transformed an underused CBD space into a popular thoroughfare. The inclusion of professional street art has made it a destination famous not just for its coffee.

Ground Up is a demonstration of the urban potential of the adaptive reuse of existing spaces. It is a catalyst for, and a product of, cultural change in Toowoomba. The project delivers vibrancy and enhances connectivity within the city centre.



awards-4gr-heritage-community-newToowoomba Open House (Heritage Community)

Toowoomba Open House is a unique event celebrating Toowoomba’s built environment. It provides residents and visitors with the chance to discover Toowoomba’s hidden wealth of architecture, engineering and history. It sets a new benchmark for community engagement with the city’s finest buildings and places. 

Toowoomba Open House is a promotion of architecture, urban design, and heritage. The success of the event was in no small part due to the dedication of the event’s volunteers.



awards-heritage-corporate-newSauce Kitchen (Heritage Corporate)

Sauce Kitchen has been created by the adaptive reuse of a heritage building as a shop and cooking school. The building is more than 100 years old and many of the original materials such as brickwork, timber floors and industrial style roof trusses have been retained. .

Sauce Kitchen demonstrates good conservation practice in the adaptive reuse of a heritage place with minimal change to the interior and exterior of the building.



awards-environment-community-newGreen Kindy (Environment Community)

C&K Oakey Community Kindergarten has created a Green Kindy featuring outdoor learning areas which include wildlife habitats, the use of recycled products and water tolerant plants for teaching children good environmental practices.

The site has strong educational values and reaches different generations.



awards-environment-corporate-newA Land of Flooding Rains (Environment Corporate)

The Land of Flooding Rains project was a response to the record rain of 2010/11. It was a collaborative effort to build resilience for the Toowoomba region by repairing native vegetation, protecting waterways, saving the soil and reducing threats.

The project’s scale and the positive outcomes for the community and the environment are most impressive. These outcomes have been reinforced through educational products and guidelines for landowners, which are commended.



awards-mayors-award-for-excellence-newRedwood Park Rainforest Recovery (Mayor’s award)

The Friends of the Escarpment Parks members have restored a small section of the 80 hectares of dry rainforest in Redwood Park.

They have done extensive planting and built a new walking track. Volunteers also have promoted the park and its rainforest to residents and visitors.



awards-mayors-commendation-newFKG Group head office facility (Mayor’s commendation)

The FKG Group head office facility is a purpose built structure that accommodates all current FKG staff as well as catering for future growth. The design has incorporated elements that enhance productivity, sustainability, liveability and leadership.

The FKG group has shown visionary thinking to create a head office that does much more than provide office accommodation for staff.

Toowoomba Regional Council News - March 4, 2015

This week's Council News includes:
  • Have your say on CBD car parking time limits, fees,
  • Council secures bushland in Middle Ridge,
  • Awards night to recognise the region's talents in urban design, heritage and environment,
  • And Oakey to host International Women's Day afternoon tea.
Click on the video below to watch this edition of Council News.

Council launches cutting-edge online consultation tools

Toowoomba Regional Council has launched a suite of contemporary community engagement practices to engage the region’s citizens on-line.

Council chose its Safer, Stronger, More Resilient Region initiative to debut the new consultation techniques and software as this project will have implications right across the region.

Toowoomba Region Mayor Paul Antonio said the new Have Your Say section on Council’s website issued in a new era of public consultation for the region.

Read more: Council launches cutting-edge online consultation tools

Ballin Drive detention basin project to improve creek banks

Site fencing at the Ballin Drive Park detention basin will be extended in early March to allow creek rehabilitation works.

Toowoomba Regional Council Infrastructure Committee Chair Cr Carol Taylor said while the construction of the 40ML detention basin was progressing well, the project also included works on East Creek banks north and south of the basin.

"The current creek has steep banks and is subject to erosion upstream and downstream of the detention basin," Cr Taylor said.

"Rehabilitation works will improve the condition of the creek banks and help prevent future erosion.

"The detention basin site is currently fenced for safety reasons and the fencing will be extended to Stenner Street to allow the upper creek works to take place.

"This will include extension of the fence along Ballin Drive and Stenner Street to include a large part of the park up to Stenner Street. The playground and an area along Amanda Drive will remain unfenced, although the basketball court will be inside the site fence.

Read more: Ballin Drive detention basin project to improve creek banks

East Creek culverts to be upgraded

Two key East Creek culverts are set to be upgraded as part of works to help improve flood mitigation in Toowoomba.

Toowoomba Regional Council's Infrastructure Committee Chair Cr Carol Taylor said the Mary Street and South Street culverts would be upgraded as part of the East Creek Master Plan.

"Work on both projects will begin in March and be completed by June this year," she said.

"The culvert upgrades will help reduce localised flooding at both locations as well as provide significant flood mitigation benefits for the city in conjunction with other East Creek projects."

Cr Taylor said the Mary Street upgrade would involve widening the immediate channel upstream and downstream of the culvert and installing a larger culvert structure under the street.

Read more: East Creek culverts to be upgraded

Council to help keep threatened grass species alive

Toowoomba Regional Council is playing its part in the survival of a threatened grass species.

Council's Infrastructure Committee Chair Cr Carol Taylor said the vulnerable Hairy-joint Grass, which is found in small numbers at the Waterbird Habitat, will be planted at the Garnet Lehmann Park and Ballin Drive Park detention basins.

"Council is running propagation trials which will help to gain a better understanding of the species, whose botanical name is Arthraxon hispidus, and ensure it remains abundant in the Toowoomba area," she said.

"While it is a threatened species, Council is lawfully taking cuttings of the protected species for conservation purposes and use in revegetation programs in the basins."

The Hairy-joint Grass is found at a number of isolated locations across south-east Queensland and northern NSW. Although it is a rare species in Australia, it is also native to Japan and central Eurasia.

Read more: Council to help keep threatened grass species alive

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