About the Western Downs HomeDoing BusinessEconomic DevelopmentAbout the Western Downs Select from the following to find out more about the Western Downs: Strategic Location | Land Use & Natural Resource | Our Population | Liveability | Climate Strategic Location Point your bonnet west of Brisbane to find the Western Downs, a region that’s the size of Switzerland. The Western Downs is bordered by the Banana Shire and North Burnett, the South Burnett and Toowoomba and Goondiwindi, Balonne and the Maranoa – and you’ll find it all just 208km west of Brisbane. When you arrive, you’ll find a landscape cocktail of farmland, agriculture and mining operations, served up in an environment that’s equal parts country charm and city-amenities. For many young families it’s a new place to call home, with diverse townships including Chinchilla, Dalby, Jandowae, Miles, Tara and Wandoan. The Western Downs offers an attractive location proposition for developers and investors too. The close proximity to thriving industries such as broad acre agriculture, intensive agriculture and energy opens up a plethora of opportunities. The region is truly connected to the rest of Australia, serviced by three major arterials – The Leichhardt, Moonie and Warrego Highways. Getting here by car is now even easier with the opening of the Toowoomba Bypass. Not driving? That’s no worries. Let someone else take the steering wheel with regular bus services via Bus Queensland, Greyhound Australia and Palmers Coaches to Brisbane city as well as within the region. Toowoomba Wellcamp Airport, 82km east of Dalby, connects the Western Downs with the rest of the world, and importantly, Western Downs businesses directly to their supply chain. Export opportunities have never been better since the development of Queensland’s only dedicated 747-8F International Freighter Service that departs from Wellcamp Airport. Land Use & Natural Resources There’s no shortage of room to move in the Western Downs. In fact, the region measures 38,000 square kilometres, making it larger than some European countries. Our size supports a thriving agriculture industry with ample space for broad acre farming particularly for grain and cotton. Beyond crops, the livestock industry is alive and well, dominated by cattle along with smaller industries of goats and sheep. In recent years, the Western Downs has seen a strong increase in intensive agriculture with a growing number of animals on feed. Powering the area are large-scale industrial operations including coal mining, coal seam gas and renewable energy facilities. The Western Downs is leading the way in renewable energy, with the Dalby Bio Refinery, established in 2008, wearing the title of Australia’s first grain-to-ethanol plant. Our Population By Australian standards, the Western Downs population is young, with an average age of 37 years old. Given our continued growth, we expect our population to grow over the next 25 years to nearly 40,000 people.1 Liveability When it comes to liveability, the Western Downs promises a triple threat of affordability, accessibility and amenities. Many young families are drawn to the region’s affordable cost of living, with housing prices that sit significantly lower than the Queensland average. Don’t believe us? At June 2018, the median house valuation in the Western Downs was $200,209. This was $258,151 lower compared to Queensland.2 The discounts don’t just stop for homeowners. For tenants, the median value of weekly rent was $250, compared to $395 for the whole of Queensland.3 As a tenant or freehold owner, the Western Downs makes sense – why struggle to make ends meet in the city, when you can escape to the country where the services are plentiful and maintained to a high level? Families moving to the area are pleased to find high-performing public and private schools, including Queensland’s largest school farm, Dalby State High School. Beyond the curriculum, our region promises children quality education in an environment that lets them truly be children – playing outside. With no peak hour traffic, long commutes to work and more time for play rather than work, our residents have time to enjoy public recreation facilities including six swimming pools, six skate parks and a multitude of new playgrounds and parklands within the region. It’s not just dinners cooked at home, there’s cafes, restaurants and bars to keep you busy and food trucks which rove the region supplying everything from boutique cheeses to pizzas and curries. You don’t need to drive out of the region to find access to primary services. The Western Downs has five hospitals and one Outpatients Clinic, combined with a growing suite of allied health services including physio, chiro and optometry to name a few. Finding fresh produce is simple when you live in a region whose primary industry is agriculture, whether you shop local or from supermarkets in town including Foodworks, Coles, Woolworths and Aldi. Weekend home improvements (and your Saturday morning sausage-sizzle routine) are made easy too with Bunnings and Mitre 10 in the region as well. On the shopping front, the Western Downs is serviced by elegant boutiques stocking designer labels and specialty stores stocking everything from soft furnishings to agricultural needs. Climate Much like the rest of Queensland, the Western Downs is a region of two seasons – summer and winter, with a blink-and-you-could-miss-it autumn and spring in between. In summer you’ll experience why Queensland is called the Sunshine State and in winter, cool frosts which cover the fields like reflective glass in the morning. Spring and autumn offer shoulder seasons where the country turns into a kaleidoscope of colour – whether its spring blooms or an ombre tone of orange leaves when autumn nudges summer out. If the daily temperatures weren’t enough, the agriculture industry makes sure you don’t forget the seasons with fields turning from white cotton to bright orange sorghum depending on the time of year. 1Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics 3218.0, Regional Population Growth, Australia; and Queensland Regional Profiles, Queensland Government Statistician’s Office, Queensland Treasury. 2Source: Hometrack 2011/2017, Housing Valuation System. 3Source: Hometrack 2011-2016, Housing Valuation System.