THE YEAR AHEAD: An artist's impression of the view from Cunningham St at the new development on 120 Cunningham St, Dalby. Picture: WDRC
THE YEAR AHEAD: An artist's impression of the view from Cunningham St at the new development on 120 Cunningham St, Dalby. Picture: WDRC

LIST: New Western Downs developments taking place in 2021

As this tumultuous year draws to a close, it’s common practice to not only reflect on what happened in 2020, but what 2021 has in store for the Western Downs.

Despite a year hindered by coronavirus, several groundbreaking announcements were made to ensure the positive future of our region, in the face of hardship and disparity.

We’ve compiled a list of developments that are set to begin or finish next year, showing there is a hope following an unprecedented year for Australia.

REVEALED: New development to go in at Mary’s pub site in Dalby

An artist's impression of the view from Cunningham St at the new development on 120 Cunningham St, Dalby. Picture: WDRC
An artist's impression of the view from Cunningham St at the new development on 120 Cunningham St, Dalby. Picture: WDRC

PLANS for a proposed community hub at the site of the much loved Mary’s Commercial Hotel has been approved by council following its closure in 2018.

Western Downs Regional Council endorsed the concept design at their meeting on December 9, which had been developed by renowned Queensland architectural firm Blight Rayner.

Some of the key features include colourful flowered arbours connecting Cunningham and Archibald Streets, an outdoor digital screen for movies, digital art shows and other video content, main plaza for events, and spaces to encourage new local eateries and temporary food trucks.

READ THE FULL STORY HERE:

EXCITING DEVELOPMENT: New mountain bike trails to boost region’s tourism

The Bunya Mountains. Picture: File
The Bunya Mountains. Picture: File

THE Bunya Mountains is set to get a new series of mountain bike trails as Western Downs Regional Council awards a contract for their construction.

Council announced the new trails as part of its COVID-19 Recovery Package to secure and create jobs while delivering exciting new opportunities for the region‘s future.

Western Downs councillor Kylie Bourne, who holds the portfolio for Tourism, Events and Regional Promotion, said the mountain bike trails would offer an exhilarating recreational facility in one of the region's most stunning natural landscapes.

“The Western Downs is earning its place as a dynamic tourist destination, and council is keen to build on this reputation and deliver new initiatives to support our region for generations to come,” she said.

READ THE FULL STORY HERE:

Multimillion tourism project puts Miles on the map

Origin Energy general manager at Condabri, Talinga and Orana Assets Alexandra Kennedy-Clark and Western Downs Regional Council Mayor Paul McVeigh at the project launch.
Origin Energy general manager at Condabri, Talinga and Orana Assets Alexandra Kennedy-Clark and Western Downs Regional Council Mayor Paul McVeigh at the project launch.

DECADES in the making, the Miles Artisan Project has finally come to life and is set to boost the Western Downs economy as more people travel out west to experience their own backyard.

At The Great Artesian Basin Interpretive Centre launch on Wednesday, November 11, stage one of the projects attractions were revealed, showing a modern and contemporary display that seeks to inform visitors and locals about the world’s largest Artisan Basin which has led to the prosperity of the Western Downs, from the agriculture industry to the energy sector.

READ THE FULL STORY HERE:

REVEALED: New ag machinery business in the Western Downs

Photo: Craig Brimblecombe (left) and Noel Baines have joined forces to establish STAG Machinery Group. Photo supplied.
Photo: Craig Brimblecombe (left) and Noel Baines have joined forces to establish STAG Machinery Group. Photo supplied.

THERE’S a new player in the agricultural machinery sector in Queensland, but the owners behind the exciting venture are familiar faces to farmers across Southern Queensland.

STAG Machinery Group is poised to assume responsibility for the Case IH dealerships in Toowoomba and Dalby, previously operated by Wideland Ag.

This new business is the result of a partnership between St George Machinery Centre’s Craig Brimblecombe, and Ag Requirements owner Noel Baines in Gatton.

Both men have long standing and successful Case IH dealerships and are well-known to producers in the Lockyer Valley and Southern Queensland.

READ THE FULL STORY HERE:

NEW BUSINESS: Shop franchise expanding into Dalby

John Abbott has opened another barber shop in regional Queensland.
John Abbott has opened another barber shop in regional Queensland.

FRESH haircuts and hot towels will become the norm for Dalby residents with a new barber shop opening at Dalby Shoppingworld.

Abbott’s Barber Shop will be operating out of their new shop front next to Woolworths in a matter of weeks, and is currently on the lookout for employees.

Founder John Abbott said his new shop will be family-oriented, and will cater to all men’s haircuts, as well as babies and toddlers.

“We’ve got a terrific spot right next to the entrance of Woolworths, with up to 30,000 customers walking into the supermarket each week,” he said.

READ THE FULL STORY HERE:

ANNOUNCED: Massive 110 turbine wind farm to be built near Dalby

The winds of change are blowing for the region, with a huge wind farm project on the way.
The winds of change are blowing for the region, with a huge wind farm project on the way.

THE Western Downs is fast becoming Australia's energy capital with a third renewable project – set to be one of Australia’s largest wind farms – announced today.

A 500MW Wambo wind farm project has secured planning approval from the Queensland Government.

The project will be located 20km northeast of Jandowae and will comprise up to 110 wind turbines and a 50MW/200MWh battery storage and associated infrastructure.

READ THE FULL STORY HERE:

Solar farm deal set to create 400 jobs in Western Downs

Western Downs Regional Council Mayor Paul McVeigh, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Queensland Minister for Natural Resources, Mines and Energy, Dr Anthony Lynham visiting the Darling Downs solar farm Picture: AAP Image/Darren England
Western Downs Regional Council Mayor Paul McVeigh, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Queensland Minister for Natural Resources, Mines and Energy, Dr Anthony Lynham visiting the Darling Downs solar farm Picture: AAP Image/Darren England

A SOLAR farm energy deal between Salesforce and global renewables company X-Elio, for Queensland’s Blue Grass Solar Farm, is set to create 400 construction jobs in the Western Downs.

Construction has already commenced on the 200MW utility solar farm located in Cameby, and it is set to wrap up in 2021.

Salesforce Australia and New Zealand chief executive officer, Pip Marlow said, under the new agreement, the Blue Grass project will supply generation certificates to meet Salesforce’s renewable energy requirements.

“We are proud to team up with X-ELIO on the Blue Grass solar farm, a project which will bring jobs to regional Queensland, support the local community and deliver new renewable energy generation,” he said.

READ THE FULL STORY HERE:

New Western Downs solar farm to generate 200 jobs

A new solar farm is set to be built in Wandoan in the Western Downs.
A new solar farm is set to be built in Wandoan in the Western Downs.

WANDOAN is set to host a global first – Shell Australia‘s first solar farm.

The construction phase will bring 200 jobs to the region, with the project set for completion in 2021.

The industrial scale solar farm will generate 120 megawatts of solar electricity from about 400,000 photovoltaic panels which will feed into their gas plants.

Western Downs Mayor Paul McVeigh said the region was leading the way for the energy sector in Australia.

“A great thing about what's happening in Wandoan is it’s diversifying the economic capacity of our region,” Cr McVeigh said.

“This cements the Western Downs as the energy capital of Queensland, if not the energy capital of Australia.

READ THE FULL STORY HERE:

1000 jobs created as council hands down $50m COVID package

Western Downs Regional Council mayor Paul McVeigh announced a $50m stimulus package to drag the region's economy out of COVID-19 woes.
Western Downs Regional Council mayor Paul McVeigh announced a $50m stimulus package to drag the region's economy out of COVID-19 woes.

A MAMMOTH program approved by Western Downs Regional Council will create up to 1000 jobs, generate savings and slash costs to ratepayers.

Standing at George Anderson Park on Tuesday morning, recently re-elected mayor Paul McVeigh announced the historical $50 million Recovery Package, an ambitious plan to drag the Western Downs region out of the economic woes created by the global COVID-19 pandemic.

The mayor claimed the stimulus package was the largest spend of any council west of the Toowoomba Range, with some of the projects being jointly funded by state and federal governments.

“It‘s a $50 million spend to create jobs, to underpin our local economy and really support our local community in these really tough times with COVID-19,” Cr McVeigh said.

“This is probably the largest input of funds from any council, certainly west of the range that we‘re going to put into our communities.”

Council will spend over $14.8 million on accelerating major infrastructure projects such as resealing roads and footpath upgrades.

A further $33.5 million will be spent on major projects including upgrades to Lake Broadwater, Thomas Jack Park and mountain bike trails at the Bunya Mountains.

READ THE FULL STORY HERE:

Major Tara parkland redevelopment fast tracked

Tara Lagoon on September 29, 2018.
Tara Lagoon on September 29, 2018.

WESTERN Downs Regional Council has secured funding from the Queensland Government to commence a construction project in Tara.

The Tara Lagoon Parklands will be the first major project to be fast tracked as part of Council’s $50 million recovery package.

The redevelopment is supported by the Queensland Government’s Building our Regions program with Council receiving $2.4 million to move ahead with the next stage of works.

State development minister Kate Jones said the government was proud to be partnering with councils and the private sector to deliver projects that create jobs.

READ THE FULL STORY HERE:

Dalby Cultural Precinct to receive $7m upgrade

MyALL 107 is receiving upgrades from the Bulding Better Regions Fund.
MyALL 107 is receiving upgrades from the Bulding Better Regions Fund.

DALBY’S cultural hub will receive a $7 million injection to upgrade facilities and draw vital jobs into the region.

$7,056,000 was secured through Round Four of the Building Better Regions Fund (BBRF), Dalby’s Cultural Precinct – Myall107 – will undergo a major redevelopment, Maranoa MP David Littleproud announced today.

“Transforming the Dalby Cultural Precinct is going to create jobs, give us more ways to learn, enjoy events at the cultural centre and bring services that our urban cousins enjoy much closer to home,” Mr Littleproud said.

“I’m a firm believer in bringing people together and improving community services because it has a positive flow-on effect on our quality of life and how we support each other – the $7 million upgrade to the cultural precinct reflects this.”

READ THE FULL STORY HERE:

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