Toowoomba is Australia’s largest regional inland city and a key rural and regional centre in South East Queensland. Its reputation for quality schooling and healthcare makes it an ideal location for both families and businesses. There are over 42 schools in the region and with two private hospitals and the Toowoomba Base Hospital complex, Toowoomba offers competitive first class healthcare.
Key employers include the University of Southern Queensland, Grand Central Shopping Centre, Toowoomba Regional Council, Heritage Bank, Suncorp and Easternwell. According to Toowoomba Regional Council (2019), Toowoomba region’s current population is 167,000, this figure is expected to jump to 200,000 in the next 15 years.
Toowoomba has a vibrant and active business community lead by the Toowomba Chamber of Commerce which has a leading role in creating connections between local businesses, educating members and advocating on their behalf. Toowoomba and Surat Basin Enterprise (TSBE) links businesses with opportunities in the region. The Urban Development Institute of Australia (UDIA) has an energetic local branch in Toowoomba which comprises business leaders who are committed to building a better region. Toowoomba Regional Council has active links with all these and other organisations to facilitate growth opportunities in the region.
Toowoomba’s location offers great liveability. Commuting from Brisbane is possible although competitive house prices, the four seasons, lower humidity, range of schools, and many retail options mean that workers choose to live and work in the Toowoomba region. Towns and communities outside Toowoomba offer a rural lifestyle with acreage blocks and small farms, while still offering short commuting times.
Events in the region include the Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers - a week-long event in September each year, and the Hampton Festival (just north of Toowoomba), Features include an innovative restaurant culture using locally sourced ingredients. Other features are the street art in the inner city, numerous walking trails, Jubilee Park trail bike tracks, Toowoomba Regional Art Gallery and a network of galleries in the region, the restored and refurbished Empire Theatre, and many parks and gardens including the Queensland State Rose Garden State in Newtown and the UQ Boyce Gardens in East Toowoomba.
Toowoomba’s housing remains extremely affordable, with 58.2% of all house sales and 84.2% of all unit sales recorded during 2017 priced below $400,000. The median house price in Toowoomba in 2018 was $367,000, compared with a Queensland average of $458,000. The median house rental price was $300 per week.
New master planned communities are underway at Highfields and Cotswold Hills and others are in advanced planning stages at Mount Kynoch and Westbrook, providing a wide range of housing choice.