Plans to attract more tourists and residents to Toowoomba city’s escarpment parks to enjoy new and upgraded bushwalking and biking trails are a step closer thanks to the announcement of State Government funding.
Toowoomba Region Mayor Paul Antonio today welcomed the announcement of State Government funding that will aid Council’s plans to unlock the tourism and recreation potential of Toowoomba’s escarpment park trails.
“Council thanks the State Government for its approval of $2.7 million through the Building our Regions program to help realise our bold ambitions for these natural recreation areas,” Mayor Antonio said.
“Council sees great potential to attract tourists and residents, especially people interested in outdoor recreation, to the numerous trails scattered along the Toowoomba city escarpment.
“Council last month endorsed the Picnic Point Parklands Master Plan which will guide future development across designated areas of the 65 hectare parkland, including sections of trails.
“Securing funding allows us to advance project plans that are outlined in our Destination Toowoomba: Escarpment Tourism – A Summit Project. Council is allocating $4.5 million to the project, which is scheduled to be carried out in stages to June 2021.
“There is untapped potential in these natural areas and Council intends to construct new trails and upgrade existing multi-use trails at sites including Redwood and Jubilee parks.
“Plans to upgrade mountain bike facilities also fit with the Council of Mayors South East Queensland proposal to bid for the 2032 Olympic Games and schedule events across the member councils.
“Lockyer Valley Regional Council is contributing more than $200,000 to seal Amos Road allowing better access to the mountain bike trails at Jubilee Park.”
Toowoomba Regional Council (TRC) Tourism and Events portfolio leader Cr Geoff McDonald said the plans would raise the area’s already impressive profile, especially for sports tourism.
“Our existing mountain bike trails have hosted club, state, national and Oceania title races and I’m positive any improvements will ensure we have the facilities to host bigger and better events, with an eye on the ultimate goal of the 2032 Olympic Games,” Cr McDonald said.
“An inter-connected series of escarpment trails will allow us to add more outdoor recreation activities to our events calendar. Attracting more visitors also has flow-on benefits for accommodation and restaurant operators.
“The trails are important natural assets and appropriate, unobtrusive upgrading or the establishment of new multi-use trails (for running, bike riding and horse riding) will expand recreation options for residents and visitors.
TRC Parks and Recreation Services portfolio leader Cr Joe Ramia said new public toilets would be constructed at J. E. Duggan Park and Jubilee Park.
Cr Ramia said a car park with disability permit spaces would be built at J. E. Duggan Park.
“Other improvements include a range of interpretative and way-finding signs, seating and picnic facilities,” Cr Ramia said.
“A new lookout will be built to replace the former Bob Dodd Lookout at the eastern end of Tobruk Memorial Drive.
“An inter-connected walkway will offer unrivalled views of the Lockyer Valley and add a unique attraction to one of our premier parks.
“The improvements will adhere to the area’s heritage values and not detract from the natural parklands setting which makes these areas among our most prized and popular parks.”