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.

Create a park with Toowoomba Regional Council

Toowoomba Regional Council (TRC) is planning to breathe new life into the Ethan Street Park and wants public input to create an enjoyable environment.

The CBD Traders have donated $3000 to assist with revitalisation of Toowoomba’s parkland areas along the East Creek detention basin areas, while TRC will also contribute to the project to ensure a park is established with features the community want.

Councillor Sue Englart said Council is hosting a workshop on Monday, March 16 from 3.30pm to 5.30pm at Middle Ridge State School Multipurpose Hall to allow the public to have input into the final park design.

Read more: Create a park with Toowoomba Regional Council

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

Work progressing on Gowrie Junction sewerage system

Work is progressing as planned on construction of a sewerage system for Gowrie Junction.

Toowoomba Regional Council's Water and Waste Committee chair Cr John Gouldson said the work was part of the larger Kingsthorpe, Gowrie Junction and Westbrook Sewerage Project.

"The project started last year with work on the construction of sewerage reticulation works in Kingsthorpe," Cr Gouldson said.

"While the work in Kingsthorpe is expected to continue until the end of the year, the start of the Gowrie Junction section represents a major milestone in the project.

"Council is investing significantly in these towns by providing a modern sewerage system to meet the needs of growing communities."

Read more: Work progressing on Gowrie Junction sewerage system

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

Middle Road, Anduramba upgrade to start from March 2

Motorists using Middle Road at Anduramba north of Crows Nest will see changed traffic conditions when construction starts on the road upgrade from March 2.

The Middle Road upgrade, valued around $5 million, is planned to be completed by early June 2015, weather permitting.

Toowoomba Regional Council Infrastructure Services committee chair Cr Carol Taylor said the upgrade followed multiple land slips on Anduramba Range Road during flooding in 2011 and again in 2013.

"The upgrade will provide a sealed, two-lane road capable of taking large vehicles travelling in both directions, while also providing improved flood protection," Cr Taylor said.

"The section of Middle Road being upgraded is an unsealed gravel road with a number of floodways, sharp bends and steep hills.

Read more: Middle Road, Anduramba upgrade to start from March 2

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

TRC News - 25 February 2015

This week's Council News segment includes:

  • Council launches region wide flood management initiative
  • World champion rider talks up mountain bike event
  • Mums lift 'baby weights' in an effort to get fit
  • Motorists advised of major street closure in Middle Ridge

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

Council launches region-wide flood management initiative

Toowoomba Regional Council this morning launched a multi-faceted program aimed at the long-term reduction and management of flood impacts across the region.

Council has unveiled the Safer, Stronger, More Resilient Region initiative with the public release of recently completed flood studies across the entire Toowoomba Region.

These studies form part of Council’s commitment to improve flood management and community awareness of flood risk.

Spread across 35 locations, the flood studies have been undertaken by specialist engineers and incorporate the latest data, modelling techniques and community input. The studies have all been peer-reviewed by independent flood engineers.

Read more: Council launches region-wide flood management initiative

Russell Street heritage-listed toilet block to go back on site

The historic men's toilet block in Russell Street, Toowoomba is being returned to its original site.

The toilet block was dismantled and placed in storage as part of the Outer Circulating Road (OCR) Victoria Street extension project.

Toowoomba Regional Council Infrastructure Committee Chair Cr Carol Taylor said the toilet block needed to be moved to allow construction of the new Russell Street drainage structure which has now double the capacity of the old structure.

"Council engaged a specialist company, Queensland Heritage Masonry, to carefully dismantle the toilet block brick by brick using hand tools in late 2013," she said.

"The same company will use their expertise to re-assemble the toilet block back on the original site. The work is expected to start next week and take four to five weeks, weather permitting."

Read more: Russell Street heritage-listed toilet block to go back on site

Council secures bushland on Stenner Street

cr-tait-stenner-stToowoomba Regional Council (TRC) has seized an opportunity to secure a piece of isolated bushland on Stenner Street, Middle Ridge with the aim of restoring it as an environmental park for the entire community.

The 6.07 hectare property is between the Toowoomba Golf Club course and Griinke Drive Park and was owned by property developer Clive Berghofer.

TRC Development Assessment portfolio leader Cr Chris Tait said the opportunity arose to secure the land and protect it for future generations.

Read more: Council secures bushland on Stenner Street

Council calls for investors to hop aboard Railway Parklands

Toowoomba Regional Council Mayor Paul Antonio last night issued a call for investors “to hop aboard” the Toowoomba Railway Parklands project.

Cr Antonio addressed 160 landholders and a further 30 key stakeholders at the National Hotel during the first information session for the newly declared Priority Development Area (PDA).

“This is one of the most exciting projects this city has even seen,” Cr Antonio declared. “I am calling on developers to come to Toowoomba and have a serious look at the opportunities that exist here.”

Council last night launched a new 3D fly-over and promotional brochures for the area bounded by Russell, Neil, Campbell, Ruthven, Bridge and Mort streets.

Read more: Council calls for investors to hop aboard Railway Parklands

Toowoomba Regional Council News - February 18

This week's Council News includes:

Council calls for investors to hop aboard Railway Parklands,

3D fly-over of railway precinct released,

Golfers prepare to tee off in the CBD,

Mum 'n' Bub fitness classes added to CHANGE program,

How to apply for TRC grants,

And where you can meet with councillors one-on-one.

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




Australia Day 2015 award winners

Regional Citizen
of the Year:
Paul Wilson

Young Regional
Citizen of the Year:
Shenae Ciesiolka

Congratulations to our Australia Day Award winners

Proud Australians built this land - they toiled in the fields, they constructed our townships and, when called, bravely fought to protect our shores.

Their vision and sacrifices are the reasons we enjoy the many great benefits of our "wide brown land" today.

That's why January 26 is such an important date in our history – to honour the people who contributed to create a nation that is arguably the envy of the world.

Recognising the pillars of our communities - the heroes, the leaders, the big-hearted and the quiet achievers - has always been the objective of the Australia Day Awards and the 2015 recipients have again proven what a special group they are.

Toowoomba Regional Council Customer Service portfolio leader and Australia Day Committee chair Cr Anne Glasheen said the 2015 awards once more acknowledged the selfless attitudes and outstanding achievements of individuals throughout the Toowoomba Regional Council area.

"These people have typified what commitment and community spirit is all about," Cr Glasheen said.

Read more: Australia Day 2015 award winners

Expect traffic disruptions on Kingsthorpe Haden Rd bridge

Motorists using Kingsthorpe Haden Road may experience traffic delays over coming weeks while construction materials are delivered to the new bridge site over Gowrie Creek.

The works include construction of a higher, more flood resilient concrete bridge on a new road alignment approximately 30 metres to the east of the existing bridge with completion expected by mid-June, weather permitting.

Infrastructure Services portfolio leader Councillor Carol Taylor urged motorists to be patient while the unavoidable traffic delays occur.

"While these works have been planned to ensure minimal disruption to the local community, delivery of concrete pilings and deck units to the site will necessitate occasional lane closures under traffic control," Cr Taylor said.

"All effort will be made to avoid the peak traffic times on that road."

Read more: Expect traffic disruptions on Kingsthorpe Haden Rd bridge

TRC News - February 11, 2015

This week's Council News includes:

Committee approval for Toowoomba Civic Precinct Masterplan,

Vegemite verse visiting Japanese students,

The do's and don'ts this Valentines Day,

New residents' afternoon tea,

And apply for TRC grants.

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

Council approval for Toowoomba Civic Precinct Masterplan

civic-plan-1-newA people's precinct with community facilities, easy pedestrian access and additional underground car parking in the civic heart features in an updated Toowoomba Civic Precinct Masterplan which this week (Feb 17) was endorsed by Toowoomba Regional Council's February Ordinary meeting. 

Planning and Development Committee chair Cr Bill Cahill said the new masterplan was a guiding design for the future development of the city's Civic Square bound by Herries, Ruthven, Little and Victoria streets.

Read more: Council approval for Toowoomba Civic Precinct Masterplan


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