Farmer in field

Economic growth and development are important to the prosperity of our Region.

A number of industry-specific economic profiles are outlined below. 

Industry profiles

We have produced six industry profiles including  Agriculture, Health and Wellbeing, Food Product Manufacturing, Advanced Manufacturing, Transport and Logistics and International Education. These reports are intended to provide a summary of particular industries in our region. The profiles present key economic, sectoral and other statistical indicators in a range of categories.

Disclaimer: All figures and data presented in these documents are based on data sourced from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), other government agencies, .id Consulting and the National Institute of Economic & Industry Research (NIEIR). These documents are provided in good faith with every effort made to provide accurate data and apply comprehensive knowledge. No responsibility is accepted for inadvertent errors.

Prepared for Toowoomba Regional Council by .id Consulting. 

For further information, please refer to the Toowoomba Region’s online information tools.

An industry in transition

Manufacturing in the Toowoomba Region is increasingly transitioning from mass production and simple processing to highly specialised manufacturing. There is an increasing focus on niche manufacturing which utilises advanced materials or automation in the production process.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics defines advanced manufacturing as industries that manufacture specialised chemicals or equipment. Productivity in these particular sectors has increased by 41% in the Toowoomba Region in the last decade, with considerable growth in value-added providing further benefits to this niche industry.

It is now recognised that advanced manufacturing refers not only to the products used within the industry but also to the specialised knowledge, technology or processes required for production. This means that many manufacturers fall into the advanced manufacturing category, based on the increasing skills of their workforce, technological investment and a commitment to research and development.

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AM2.PNGLocal manufacturing workers now more qualified

The majority (55%) of manufacturing workers in the Toowoomba Region now have post-school qualifications, compared to 49% in 2011. In some manufacturing sectors, such as Transport Equipment and Machinery Equipment Manufacturing, more than two-thirds have post-school qualifications and one in five workers have an advanced diploma or higher.

Investment in research and development

Businesses in the Toowoomba Region are heavily investing in research and development to produce and test new products for overseas and domestic markets. More than $40 million was invested in research and development by Toowoomba Region businesses every year between 2012 and 2015.

Between 2005 and 2016, the  Toowoomba  Region was the second-largest generator of trademark applications out of all Australian regional cities, surpassed only by the City of Gold Coast (Department of Industry Innovation and Science).

Specialisations in agriculture, mining and transport-related manufacturing

am3The Toowoomba Region has developed a number of manufacturing specialisations that reflect local expertise and provide critical support to other key industries. In 2016, the region had a larger share of workers in Agricultural Machinery and Equipment Manufacturing; Aircraft Manufacturing and Repair Services; Motor Vehicle Body and Trailer Manufacturing; and Mining and Construction Machinery Manufacturing, when compared to Queensland.

These industries all had more than 50 workers and a location quotient* greater than 1.5 (the percentage of the Toowoomba Region’s total employment in that particular industry is greater than 1.5 times the percentage of employment in that industry at a state level).

*A simple way of identifying the main industries in an area, relative to a wider region, is to use location quotients. They are similar to benchmarking, but in this case, the percentage of the local economy (total employment, full-time equivalent or value-added) in a particular industry is divided by the percentage of the wider area (region, state, nation) that this industry makes up. A location quotient of 1 indicates that the industry is about as prevalent in the local area as in the wider area. A location quotient of greater than 1.2 indicates a significant specialisation of the industry.

A world leader in composite materials

A number of businesses and research bodies in the Toowoomba Region are working to understand and commercialise the vast potential from advanced composite materials and technologies. This includes Buchanan Advanced Composites, Wagner’s Composite Fibre Technologies and LSM Advanced Composites.

The Centre for Future Materials (CFM) based at the University of Southern Queensland (USQ) conducts world-leading research in advanced composite manufacturing in partnership with industry. CFM are collaborating on:

Pultrusion – Holistic engineering optimising the existing composite pultrusion process for increased productivity and development of novel value-added products such as fire-retardant sleepers and civil structures to be used for the Inland Rail project.

Filament Winding – Collaboration with Gilmour Space Technologies and Teakle Composites to develop composite rocket fuel tanks for low-cost space transport. The project will demonstrate the critical technologies in manufacturing linerless, filament wound composite tanks for liquid oxygen. The consortium will manufacture cryogenic linerless composite fuel tanks up to two metres in diameter and trial them in rocket flights.

Resin Infusion – Addressing the safety and technical risks applicable to infusion of hot exothermic resins, preventing thermal runaways that leads to charred resin, rejected parts, release of toxic fumes and risk of fire.

Smart Composites – Developing new multifunctional pultruded composite structures using novel graphene nanofibrous sensor for smart health monitoring of infrastructures.

Green Concrete – Developing a Reactivity Index to help understand the properties of fly ash and its effectiveness in producing a low greenhouse gas emission geopolymer concrete.

Expertise in machinery technology

Russell Mineral Equipment (RME) is a global leader in the design, manufacture and supply of Mill Relining Automation systems and services, contributing to the safety and productivity of over 380 mine locations around the world. RME operates in over 45 countries with international offices in the USA, Canada, Chile, Panama, Ghana and South Africa.

The Toowoomba Region is home to the National Centre for Engineering in Agriculture (NCEA), also based at USQ, where researchers are developing adaptive systems that sense, control and monitor farming inputs such as water, fertiliser and chemicals by using variable rate technology, drones and proximal sensors that function in real-time.

NCEA has an ongoing partnership with  John  Deere to explore methods to develop the next generation of agricultural technology – including machine automation and control, such as driverless tractors. This relationship will also foster training opportunities for researchers and offer postgraduates research opportunities to work with a world leader in machinery manufacturing.

Sources:

  • Department of Industry, Innovation and Science, Australian geography of innovation entrepreneurship

  • Department of Industry, Innovation and Science, SA3 Region Innovation Data 2009-16

  •  University of Southern Queensland, http://www.usq.edu.au/research

  • Economic and employment data - National Institute of Economic and Industry Research (NIEIR) ©2019

  • Australian Bureau of Statistics, Census of Population and Housing 2016

Related document

Industry profile - Advanced manufacturing

Future Freight Hub

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The Toowoomba Region is emerging as a significant freight hub for road, rail and air given its strategic location along the Melbourne-Brisbane freight route, efficiently linking national road and rail facilities and established infrastructure. Transport, Postal and Warehousing produced $468 million in value-added for the region’s economy in 2019 and was the fourth-largest generator of exports.

Over the last ten years, the transport industry value added increased by 16% despite the decrease in employment and exports. Road transport contributes the majority (36%) of value-added in the region, but all main modes have experienced growth in the last ten years. With the opening of Toowoomba Wellcamp Airport, air transport has seen its value-added more than tripled in five years from $19 million to $66 million. The completion of some major infrastructure projects, such as the Toowoomba Bypass (formerly Toowoomba Second Range Crossing) and Inland Rail Project, should support growth in the sector in the future.

Enabling export growth

The Toowoomba Region's key export sectors, Mining, Agriculture and Manufacturing, all rely on the distribution of product to meet the growing demand from domestic and overseas markets. Exports generated $8.6 billion to the economy in 2018/19, growing by $2.8 billion in the last five years. These industries are a strategic driver of economic growth in the Toowoomba Region.

Toowoomba Bypass

The $1.6 billion Toowoomba Bypass is a major state/region/city-shaping project jointly funded by federal and state governments. The 41km route opened to traffic on 8 September 2019 and is set to drive growth in the region’s transport and logistics capabilities linking Brisbane, the Darling Downs and the Surat Basin on the road freight network, playing a key role in accelerating the growth of regional Australia.

Inland Rail project 

The Australian Government has committed to building a once-in-a-generation piece of national infrastructure by constructing a 1,730km freight rail connection between Melbourne and Brisbane via central-west NSW and Toowoomba. The Inland Rail will be constructed over a 10-year period, with around 2,300 jobs expected to be created in the Darling Downs region during local construction. The Australian Rail Track Corporation Ltd. (ARTC) has been tasked with progressing pre-construction activities for the Inland Rail program. The Inland Rail Intergovernmental Agreement was signed in December 2019. It is estimated the construction will contribute around $5 billion to the local economy with construction set to commence in 2022. Completion of the project will see freight delivered from Melbourne to Brisbane in less than 24 hours, saving around $80 per ton in freight costs and significantly improving capacity and demand for distribution hubs to open up in regional cities like Toowoomba.

Toowoomba Trade Gateway

The Toowoomba Trade Gateway (formerly Toowoomba Enterprise Hub), is one of the most significant transport, logistics and business hubs in Australia.

Vital infrastructure was completed in late 2019 with funding assistance from the Queensland Government. More than 2000 hectares of land is available in an area that incorporates InterLinkSQ, Toowoomba Wellcamp Airport and the adjacent Wellcamp Business Park, and FKG Group’s AATLIS precinct.

Interlink SQ

InterLinkSQ is a 24-hectare intermodal freight terminal linking rail, road, air and sea, strategically located 13km west of Toowoomba. The facility comprises a master-planned premium transport, logistics, warehousing and industrial estate and will house 3km of state-of-the-art rail infrastructure utilising the current West Moreton rail line and capitalising on the proposed Inland Rail project. The combined InterLinkSQ Terminal and Industrial Park will provide seamless integration between roadside and portside and include extensive storage, maintenance and provisions facilities. Overall investment in the project is expected to near $1 billion by its completion in 2025 and the project is expected to create more than 1,500 jobs.

Seaway Group has signed an agreement with InterLinkSQ to build and operate a $235 million intermodal terminal on the Toowoomba site with construction due for completion in late 2020. Once the road and rail terminal is operational, Seaway will offer a daily freight shuttle service to the Port of Brisbane.

tl2Toowoomba Wellcamp Airport 

The $200 million-plus Toowoomba Wellcamp Airport (WTB) is jet-capable, available for regular passenger services, charter flights, fly-in-fly-out (FIFO) and international airfreight services and will further embed the region’s higher-order economic function as a major regional city. The Toowoomba Wellcamp Airport is already having a significant effect on the region:

  • After commencing passenger flights in November 2014, the airport now offers more than 80 direct flights a week to destinations including Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Townsville and western Queensland.
  • Toowoomba Wellcamp Airport offers Queensland’s only dedicated 747-8F international freighter service. Since November 2016, Cathay Pacific has operated weekly air-cargo services to Hong Kong, gateway to more than a billion consumers in China.

The Queensland Government has committed up to $10 million to help fund establishment of a Regional Trade Distribution Centre (RTDC) at Toowoomba Wellcamp Airport, which aims to boost rapid access to international markets for agricultural producers. The existing distribution centre will be expanded by 3000m2 with construction commencing in the second quarter of 2020. The new facility will be used to consolidate and distribute premium produce for export.

AATLIS

AATLIS is a world-first, industry-led collaborative- solutions precinct designed to help navigate sustainable and profitable pathways, being developed by the FKG Group. With a core focus on 5G connectivity and data intelligence systems based around its Tier III Pulse Data Centre, AATLIS aims to create productivity gains in the agri-food value chain through digital technology adoption and circular economy collaboration. A 42-hectare intensive horticulture project, to be built over four stages, featuring six glasshouses and eventually employing 500 people, has been approved by Council for inclusion.

The precinct will be a multi-faceted, world-class technology, innovation and fresh food district which will incorporate an integrated agriculture community, transportation and freight access, and low-cost energy solutions.

Sources:

  • Toowoomba Enterprise Hub - http://www.toowoombaenterprisehub.com.au

  • Economic and employment data - National Institute of Economic and Industry Research (NIEIR) ©2019

  • Australian Bureau of Statistics, Census of Population and Housing 2016

  • BITRE, 2020, Airport Traffic Data.

Related document

Industry profile - Transport and logistics

One of Australia's most productive agricultural regionsag1

The Toowoomba Region has long been an agriculture hub, leveraging off its extremely fertile farming land. The region is hugely significant in terms of production, with 96.4% of its land area being used for agriculture. In 2019, the Toowoomba Region was one of the highest ‘gross value of agricultural production’ areas in Australia. Agriculture in the Toowoomba Region contributes 9% of Queensland’s Agriculture value-added. The industry’s importance goes beyond the agriculture sector, with significant flow-on benefits to the broader economy.

Rich and diverse

The area produces a wide range of agriculture products including eggs, cotton, beef, grain and dairy products. Its importance in the Queensland economy is highlighted by its large share of Queensland production across a number of commodities. Some of the high-value commodities are (2018/19):

  • Eggs: $187.6 million – 82% of Queensland production

  • Cotton: $125.6 million – 22% of Queensland production

  • Horticulture: $125 million – 2.7% of Queensland production

    • Avocados: $21 million – 8% of Queensland production
    • Lettuce: $11.7 million – 23.4% of Queensland production
    • Nurseries: $55.5 million – 6% of Queensland production
    • Cut flowers: $14.6 million – 9% of Queensland production
    • Onions: $1.2 million – 5% of Queensland production 
  • Cattle and calves: $115.8 million – 3% of Queensland production

  • Grain sorghum: $104.3 million – 31% of Queensland production

  • Poultry: $93.8 million – 17% of Queensland production

  • Milk: $42.1 million – 21% of Queensland production

  • Maize: $28.2 million – 40% of Queensland production

The Toowoomba Region also produces a significant proportion of the total Queensland production of
barley, chickpeas, wheat and pigs.

Major economic driver 

Agriculture is a highly productive industry in the Toowoomba Region, generating $754 million in value-added in 2019. It is one of the largest industries in the region, accounting for 7% of total industry value-added. The value of Agriculture has increased strongly in the past decade.

Strong employment growthag2

Agriculture provided 5,222 jobs in 2019, accounting for 6.1% of total employment, well above the  Queensland benchmark of 2.4%. The employment in the sector has increased significantly by around 23% over the past 10 years despite the decrease in agriculture jobs in Queensland by 5.2% during the same period.

Export focussed

The Toowoomba Region exports 60% of its agricultural output, valued at $1,051 million in 2019. Over 95% of the exports went to the Australian market, but $46.9 million went to international markets. The value of agricultural exports (domestic and international) has increased significantly over the past decade, by 83%. The Toowoomba Region is well placed to leverage its strengths in agriculture to benefit from the increase inag3 domestic demand for agricultural products and the shift in Australia’s trade and export patterns towards Asia.

TSBE Food Leaders Australia is driving economic diversity in the region through the Southern Queensland Innovation in Export Hub (SQ Export Hub). The program is providing the local Food and Agribusiness sector with support to develop their capability and enter new global export markets.

Highly competitive infrastructure

The Toowoomba Region’s agricultural exports are supported by fantastic transport infrastructure including road, rail, air and port facilities. Toowoomba is just over one and a half hours by road to the Port of Brisbane, giving easy access to domestic and international markets. The region is an emerging freight hub given its strategic location along the Melbourne-Brisbane freight route and established airfreight capability.

Major infrastructure investment in and around Toowoomba will considerably increase the competitiveness of the region’s agricultural industry, supply chain and export potential, including the Toowoomba Trade Gateway, one of the most significant transport, logistics and business hubs in the state:

Toowoomba Wellcamp Airport – a jet-capable airport offering charter flights, fly-in-fly-out (FIFO) and regular passenger and air freight services, embedding the region’s higher-order economic status. The international freight service is opening up new export markets for the region’s agricultural industry. The Queensland government has committed up to $10 million to help fund a Regional Trade Distribution Centre at Toowoomba Wellcamp Airport, which aims to boost rapid access to international markets for agricultural producers. The new facility will be used to consolidate and distribute premium export goods including beef, dairy products, fresh fruit and vegetables, pork and packaged nuts.

InterlinkSQ – an intermodal terminal linking rail, road, air and sea in South East Queensland. The facility comprises a master-planned premium transport, logistics, warehousing and industrial estate and will ultimately offer a daily freight shuttle service to the Port of Brisbane.

AATLIS – an industry-led solutions precinct aimed at creating productivity gains in the agri-food value chain, through digital technology adoption and circular economy collaboration. AATLIS incorporates the Pulse Data Centre and has Council approval for a 42-hectare intensive horticulture project.

Toowoomba Bypass – this $1.6 billion project opened in 2019 and will enhance the supply chain for the Agriculture sector by improving the productivity and efficiency of the transport and logistics industry, better linking Brisbane, the Darling Downs and the Surat Basin on the road freight network.

Inland Rail project – will enable freight to be delivered from Melbourne to Brisbane in less than 24 hours and save around $80 per ton in freight costs between Toowoomba and Brisbane. This new/upgraded line will also provide improved access to Sydney and Melbourne. It will also increase the volume capacity of freight, with trains able to carry the equivalent of 108 B Doubles.

These infrastructure improvements will help elevate the region’s role as a major agricultural production, transport and distribution hub. Toowoomba has a great opportunity to meet some of the freight demands of the Brisbane Airport, which handles around 12% of Australia’s international air freight and is Australia’s third-largest airport. It is also well-positioned to respond to the significant opportunities presented by Asia’s growth.

Leverage opportunities 

The Agriculture industry’s importance goes beyond its own sector with significant flow-on benefits to the broader economy including food processing, machine manufacturing and freight and logistics industries. For example, local agricultural products are used to make a range of meat, bakery and dairy-related processed goods. The agriculture supply chain is being enhanced by major investment in research and innovation. This includes:

TSBE Food Leaders Australia is helping food producers and food processors in the Toowoomba Region access international markets and grow their business capabilities. This hub brings together growers, manufacturers and researchers to create a more efficient industry and new, value-added
products.

The University of Southern Queensland’s (USQ) Agricultural Science and Engineering Precinct was opened in 2019, co-funded by the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC). The precinct will be utilised primarily for GRDC-supported, USQ-led research, conducted for the benefit of Australian grain growers.

The Rural Economies Centre of Excellence is an applied research consortium that is strengthening the economic resilience of Queensland’s rural communities. Led by USQ, founding partners include the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, the University of Queensland, Central Queensland University, and James Cook University.

The Rural Centre of Excellence, part of a multi-million- dollar campus redevelopment at TAFE Queensland’s Toowoomba campus, provides industry-led vocational, and non-accredited learning opportunities to all aspects of the region’s agricultural industries.

The Centre for Agricultural Engineering (CAE) at USQ was established in 1994 to specialise in developing solutions for a sustainable and efficient rural sector. The CAE is focused on delivering applied, practical and profitable research solutions that strengthen agricultural productivity and address environmental management challenges in Australia and overseas.

USQ’s Centre for Applied Climate Sciences is a leader in the provision of climate science research and development from sub-seasonal to seasonal scales and in climate change research, relevant for industry and government, internationally and throughout Queensland and Australia.

The Centre for Sustainable Agricultural Systems at USQ conducts research and engagement that enhances the management of agricultural enterprises, maximising production and conservation outcomes.

USQ’s Centre for Crop Health delivers research ensuring healthy crops for improved food security and on-farm profitability. The centre leads focussed research into sustainable crop disease management in the summer cropping regions of northern Australia.

400M AgTech Investment Forum, an annual forum showcasing technologies from early-stage and mature businesses which integrate components including genetics, engineering, software and smart machinery, and outline opportunities for innovation and investment.

DIT Technologies is one local driver of Agtech solutions, including water supplementation and remote monitoring technologies, partnering with local innovators to focus on the future export of farming technology solutions globally.

Sources:

Related information

Industry profile - Agriculture

Study Toowoomba ie1

Toowoomba is Australia’s second-largest inland city after the nation’s capital and has rich
traditions in educational excellence. As one of Australia’s most liveable cities, Toowoomba is a wonderful place to enjoy a world-class, safe and inclusive educational experience.

The Toowoomba region has bold ambitions to burgeon as an education and training hub and to welcome increasing numbers of international students to our outstanding schools and universities.

Home to more than 160,000 people, the Toowoomba region provides the best of metropolitan and rural lifestyles. The city is renowned for its internationally accredited educational institutions and has developed major retail and hospitality attractions in recent years.

Toowoomba acts as a major agriculture and mining services hub for the surrounding region but also has a growing supply of professional services jobs in other industries. Health Care and Social Assistance is the largest employer in the Toowoomba region, which is a major health and wellbeing hub providing health services for around 300,000 people residing in the wider region.

Only 90 minutes by car from Brisbane, Toowoomba is within a short drive of the greater South East Queensland region, home to over 3.5 million people. The city is also connected by air, via Toowoomba Wellcamp Airport, to the major capital cities of Sydney and Melbourne with international connections beyond.

The Toowoomba Region’s rich traditions and bold ambitions deliver a unique charm and distinctive energy and we invite domestic and international students to experience our warm hospitality.

 

Labour Market Advantage

In 2018, the Toowoomba Region generated more than 85,000 jobs. In 2018, there was an estimated $14.4 billion pipeline of infrastructure developments supporting strong future demand for work. The buoyant local economy provides many opportunities for students and graduates.

  • There are more jobs than local resident workers meaning the city is an employment destination for surrounding areas.
  • The economy has been growing faster than the state average in recent years, with Gross Regional Product increasing by 3.6% per annum on average for the past 10 years.
  • The unemployment rate was 5% in June 2018 and has been below the Queensland average for the last five years. This reflects a healthy economy where the demand for labour is still strong.
  • In 2016, 31% of international students in Toowoomba were in employment, compared to 24% for Brisbane and 29% for the Gold Coast (ABS Census, 2016).
  • The share of the local Toowoomba Region workforce born overseas increased from 12% to 14% between 2011 and 2016.

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Lifestyle Advantageie3

Toowoomba is one of Australia’s most liveable cities with an abundance of green space, cultural services and recreational facilities, supported by an affordable housing market. Toowoomba is an Internationally Accredited Safe Community, making it a desirable destination for international students, migrants and tourists.

Highlights of living in the city include:

• The Grand Central Shopping Centre which offers over 50 fashion stores,  including global high street brands like H&M, a 5-screen cinema, a 550-seat food court and 140 specialty stores.

• Inner-city dining options, many located in laneways throughout the CBD.

• The largest performing arts precinct in regional Australia, boasting several performance and function spaces and serving as an entertainment hub. The heritage-listed Empire Theatre is renowned for its classic art deco architecture and has played an integral role in the cultural development of our region.

• Major festivals including the famous 10-day Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers which attracts over 250,000 visitors across all events. The city also regularly hosts large sporting events including pre-season National Rugby League and Super Rugby matches.

• Toowoomba Wellcamp Airport provides over 80 direct flights a week to interstate capitals and the option to directly link with overseas destinations.

• The city is only 1.5 hours from Brisbane and 2 hours to the sandy beaches of the Gold Coast.

• Toowoomba is located on the edge of the Great Dividing Range and is ie4surrounded by a region of
beautiful rolling plains.

• As Australia’s Garden City, Toowoomba is the perfect place to pack a picnic, relax and enjoy one of our 150- plus parks and gardens.

Whilst housing costs are well below larger areas in South East Queensland, income levels of young adults are in fact, actually above average. This creates a substantial affordability advantage for students and new workers.

• The average young adult in the Toowoomba region was earning $27,000 per annum in 2016, higher than those living in Brisbane or the Gold Coast. Those in professional occupations were earning $5,000 per annum more.

• Higher income levels aside, housing costs are still extremely affordable. The cost of renting a three-bedroom home in Toowoomba was $200 per week cheaper in 2018 than on the Gold Coast, and $125 per week cheaper than in Brisbane.

 

Education Advantage

Toowoomba is known for having some of the best educational facilities in Queensland.

  • Study Toowoomba is a Queensland Government initiative promoting and supporting educational excellence in the Toowoomba region. This newly- established peak body represents education and training stakeholders dedicated to supporting students who choose to study in Toowoomba. Study Toowoomba will be instrumental in marketing the Toowoomba region as the destination of choice for international students.
  • Toowoomba is the founding location of the University of Southern Queensland (USQ), with programs offered at its main campus, via online education and with national and international education partners. The university is a founding member of the Regional Universities Network and is
    internationally awarded for its world-class online learning platforms and research expertise in Agriculture and Environmental Sciences.
  • TAFE Queensland’s Toowoomba campus is a major asset for the region with its courses tailored in consultation with employers in a range of sectors. International students can enhance English language skills, get trade qualified, or complete a professional- level qualification across a wide variety of industry areas. A new Rural Centre for Excellence will focus on educational opportunities and innovation in sustainable agriculture and horticulture practices. The campus incorporates real-world training facilities including Futures, a fully licensed training restaurant.
  • The Toowoomba region is home to 90 highly- regarded government and independent schools which service the broader Darling Downs region for junior, middle and senior schooling. Eight of these schools offer outstanding boarding facilities to regional, interstate and overseas students. Many schools offer family homestay for international students or a combination of boarding and homestay options.
  • The following independent schools in Toowoomba are on the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS):

Toowoomba Anglican School | Co-educational Kindergarten – year 12 | Boarding facilities available years 1 -12

Concordia College | Co-educational | Prep – year 12 | Boarding facilities available years 7-12

Fairholme College | Girls | Kindergarten – year 12 Boarding facilities available years 5-12

The Glennie School | Girls | Kindergarten – year 12 Boarding facilities available years 6-12

Toowoomba Grammar School | Boys | Prep – year 12 | Boarding facilities available years 5-12

St Ursula's College | Girls | Year 7- year 12 Boarding facilities available years 7-12

Downlands College | Co-educational | Year 4 – year 12 | Boarding facilities available years 4-12

Highlands Christian College | Co-educational Prep – year 12

St Saviour's College | Girls | Year 7 – year 12 ing facilities available years 7-12

  • Several CRICOS registered government schools located in Toowoomba also actively host international students for study tours and long-term exchanges, including:

Centenary Heights State High School Co-educational | Year 7 – year 12

Toowoomba State High School Co-educational | Year 7 – year 12

Harristown State High School Co-educational | Year 7 – year 12

Wilsonton State High School Co-educational | Year 7 – year 12

  • Educational Tourism provider, Camp Cooby, offers experiential learning experiences in outdoor education and leadership, social and emotional wellbeing, entrepreneurship and innovation, and environmental sustainability. Students of all ages engage in an active learning curriculum in
    combination with a unique Australian adventure camping experience. The team at Camp Cooby include qualified teachers, scientists, outdoor educators, psychologists, business innovators, and adventurous program staff.
  • The University of Queensland’s Rural Clinical School delivers a clinical training program to medical students through a mix of public, private and allied healthcare providers in a modern facility adjacent to the Toowoomba Hospital. The school includes a clinical skills laboratory, clinical simulation facilities and a medical library.
  • Queensland Rural Medical Education has partnered with Griffith University to promote and advance rural and remote health practise through training, research and collaboration with government and strategic health agencies. Qualified clinical educators deliver programs for high school students, medical students, practitioners, healthcare providers and research focusing on rural health.
  • Southern Queensland Rural Health (SQRH) is a University Department of Rural Health, a Commonwealth-funded collaboration between the University of Queensland, the University of Southern Queensland, Darling Downs Health and South West Hospital and Health Service. SQRH delivers effective rural training opportunities for nursing, midwifery and allied health students.
  • Qantas has chosen the Toowoomba region as the home of its first Qantas Group Pilot Academy. Purpose-built training facilities and student accommodation, together with a world-class pilot school, will be open to students from Australia and around the globe in 2019.
  • The USQ School of Creative Arts supports performing and visual arts. The McGregor Retreats have a 50-year history of offering a range of artistic workshops covering everything from watercolour to woodwork.
  • The city extends a warm welcome to hundreds of international students each year with the COOEE International Student Welcome Event. The Australian-themed event includes an official welcome from the Toowoomba Region Mayor.

 

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  • No. 1 University in Australia for starting graduate salary

  • No. 3 for graduates in full-time employment

  • 28,000 students from 110 countries

Source: USQ, 2018; Good Education Group, 2018

 

The University of Southern Queensland is highly regarded for its student experience and research expertise in advanced engineering, environmental sciences and regional economics. For international students, USQ offers:

  • Education Partners in Malaysia, Mauritius, Pakistan, Russia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, and Vietnam
  • Dedicated student support
  • Scholarship opportunities
  • Study tour and English Language programs
  • Accommodation within residential colleges and homestays
  • Free airport collection and transfer to accommodation for newly arrived students
  • International student career advice
  • Student welfare, health, counselling and wellbeing
  • Multi-faith support services
  • Regular student events and activities

 

Related information

Industry Profile - Education and Training

Industry profile - Education (Chinese version)

University of Southern Queensland website

Toowoomba and Surat Basin Enterprise website

TAFE Queensland South West website

Important manufacturing sector

Food product manufacturing makes a major contribution to the Toowoomba Region's economy, adding fpm1significant value to the agriculture industry by turning raw ingredients into a range of value-added products. In 2019, the value of Food Product Manufacturing production was $316 million and accounted for 46% of the total manufacturing industry (value-added) in the Toowoomba Region.

Adding value to agricultural production

The Toowoomba Region's Food Product Manufacturing industry benefits from being located in one of
Australia’s most productive food areas. In 2019, the region was one of the highest gross value areas of agricultural production in Australia. Agriculture in the region contributes 9% of Queensland’s Agriculture value-added. The area produces a wide range of agricultural products including eggs, beef, cotton, cereal crops, poultry, milk, and pulses.

This direct access to food producers has enabled the Food Product Manufacturing industry to gain a
competitive edge in the supply chain and develop specialisations. In the Toowoomba Region, around 2.9% of value added is within the Food Product Manufacturing Industry, well above the Queensland benchmark of 1.8%.

Diverse range of products

Key Food Product Manufacturing activities in the Toowoomba Region include meat, bakery, dairy product, and grain mill and cereal product manufacturing, with a number of major players in the region. Oakey Beef Exports is one of Australia’s largest beef processing plants, packaging superior premium beef products for the world market. Approval for the abattoir to construct an automated cold storage facility and robotic palletising system for its beef products has recently been granted. The state-of-the-art cold storage facility will improve productivity and efficiency in supply chains. Oakey Beef Exports products are exported to international markets including Japan, USA, Republic of Korea, European Union, Canada, Taiwan and China.

Toowoomba Premium Milk (TPM) is a three-stage vertically integrated greenfield dairy project proposed to be built at Wellcamp Business Park. TPM aims to be Australia’s largest independent supplier and vertically integrated producer of selected milk products for export and has received development approval for the $75 million first stage of the project.

A Toowoomba Region pecan and macadamia processor has its products on the shelves of about 1800 stores in China. Stahmann Farm’s Riverside flavoured nuts have been exported on the Cathay Pacific freight service via Hong Kong since 2018.

Other major businesses in the region include Quality Desserts (sweet baked goods); Mother Meg’s (high-end baked goods); Story Fresh (grower and preparation of fresh-cut vegetables); CF Oats (oat products) and CJ Nutracon (beef stock).

Food product range

Key food product manufacturing activities in the Toowoomba Region include meat, bakery, dairy product, and grain mill and cereal product manufacturing. There are a number of major players in the area. In meat product manufacturing, there is JBS Beef City and NH Foods’ owned Oakey Abattoir. In April 2016, the State Government announced funding of $2.5m for the upgrade of rail facilities through to Western Queensland. This will help facilitate rail cattle movements between South West Queensland to Oakey. This includes siding upgrades which will potentially allow Oakey Beef Exports to undertake a major plant expansion, substantially increasing the abattoirs output. In dairy production, Toowoomba has two ice-cream production facilities: Pixie/Home Ice Cream and Weis Frozen Foods. Other major businesses in the area include Stahmann Farms (pecans and macadamias); Quality Desserts; Mother Meg’s (Australian fine foods); Story Fresh (grower and preparation of fresh-cut vegetables); and CJ Nutracon (beef stock).

fpm2Internationally focussed

Food Product Manufacturing is the third-largest international export sector in the Toowoomba Region (at the detailed industry level). In 2019, food product manufacturers in the region exported $446 million worth of goods. Over half of all exports were to international markets (57%). The region is well placed to leverage its strengths in food production and food processing to benefit from the shift in Australia’s trade and export patterns towards Asia.

TSBE Food Leaders Australia is driving growth in Food Manufacturing in the region through the SQ Export Hub program. The program is providing local Food and Agribusinesses with the support to develop their capability and enter new global export markets.

 

Strong growth in productivity 

Food Product Manufacturing currently employs 2,671 people, accounting for 3.1% of total employment, well above the Queensland benchmark of 1.8%. While employment levels have declined, primarily due to technological advances, worker productivity has increased significantly over the past 10 years, increasing by around 44%.

Superior infrastructure

The Toowoomba Region’s Food Product Manufacturing exports are supported by substantial transport infrastructure including road, rail, air and port facilities. 

Toowoomba is just over one and a half hours drive to the Port of Brisbane, giving easy access to domestic and international markets. Access to other areas of Queensland and Australia is also first-rate. Major infrastructure investment in and around Toowoomba, including the Toowoomba Trade Gateway, will considerably improve the competitiveness of Toowoomba’s Food Product Manufacturing industry and export potential.

  • Toowoomba Wellcamp Airport, a $200 million-plus jet-capable airport available for regular passenger services, charter flights, fly-in-fly-out (FIFO) and air freight services, will further embed the region’s higher-order economic function as a major regional city. As part of the Toowoomba Trade Gateway, the airport will open up new export markets for Toowoomba’s Food Product Manufacturing industry. Since November 2016, Toowoomba Wellcamp Airport has operated weekly air-cargo services to Hong Kong. This is Southern Queensland’s only scheduled international air freight-only service.
  • Regional Trade Distribution Centre (RTDC), supported by the Queensland government and proposed to form an integral component of Toowoomba Wellcamp Airport. The centre will support rapid air freight access for this region's high- value agricultural producers to key international markets. The 3400sq m distribution centre would supply about 500 tonnes of fresh produce a week for freight aircraft, with construction to commence in the second quarter of 2020. The new facility will be used to consolidate and distribute premium export goods including beef, dairy products, fresh fruit and vegetables, pork and packaged nuts.
  • InterLinkSQ, a 200-hectare intermodal (road and rail) freight and logistics facility and part of the Toowoomba Trade Gateway. The facility will house 3km of state-of-the-art rail infrastructure for the current West Moreton rail line and the proposed Inland Rail Project, providing extensive storage, maintenance and provisions facilities. Overall investment in the project is expected to near $1 billion by its full completion date in 2025. Seaway Group has signed an agreement with InterLinkSQ to build and operate a $235 million intermodal terminal on the site, with construction due for completion in late 2020. Once the road and rail terminal is operational, Seaway will offer a daily freight shuttle service to the Port of Brisbane.
  • Toowoomba Bypass, a $1.6 billion, major region/city- shaping project, set to drive growth in the region’s transport and logistics capabilities linking Brisbane, the Darling Downs and the Surat Basin on the road freight network. This will support the cost competitiveness of Toowoomba’s Food Product Manufacturing industry.
  • Inland Rail, a project which will see freight delivered from Melbourne to Brisbane in less than 24 hours, saving around $80 per ton in freight costs and significantly improving capacity and demand for distribution hubs to open up in regional cities like Toowoomba.
  • AATLIS is an advanced agri-food production and innovation precinct being developed by FK Gardner Group with a core focus on leading connectivity (including 5G) and data intelligence systems based around its Tier III regional Pulse Data Centre. AATLIS is located within close
    proximity to Toowoomba Wellcamp Airport and aims to create productivity gains in the agri-food value chain through digital technology adoption and circular economy collaboration.

These infrastructure improvements will enhance the supply chain for the Food Product Manufacturing industry by increasing the competitiveness of its production, processing, and freight and distribution base. The Toowoomba Region has a great opportunity to meet some of the freight demands of the Brisbane Airport, which handles around 12% of Australia’s international air freight and is Australia’s third-largest airport. It is also well-positioned to respond to the significant opportunities presented by Asia’s growth.

Growth in higher-value production 

Integration of new technologies and targeted export market campaigns will increase the Toowoomba Region’s ability to supply higher-value food products in greater quantities. Initiatives that are supporting this include:

TSBE Food Leaders Australia (FLA), a collaboration between businesses (TSBE) and researchers (USQ), whose aim is to support the growth and efficiencies of businesses working within the food and agricultural space nation-wide, and to capitalise on opportunities in the global market. TSBE has entered into a partnership with TAFE Queensland to identify training and development needs and provide up-skilling opportunities in the region through the Rural Centre of Excellence.

Southern Queensland Innovation in Export Hub (SQ Export Hub) led by TSBE and designed to maximise the efficiency of the new air, road and rail infrastructure within the region, leveraging the export capabilities of small and medium business operating in certain sectors, including Food and
Agribusiness.

Rural Centre of Excellence, TAFE Queensland’s new facility at its Toowoomba campus, will deliver high- quality training to ensure the rural industry’s workforce is equipped with a broad set of up-to-date skills. The courses on offer will include training in modern primary industry technologies.

400M AgTech Investment Forum, an annual forum showcasing technologies from early-stage and mature businesses which integrate components including genetics, engineering, software and smart machinery, and outline opportunities for innovation and investment.

Sources:

  • Economic and employment data - National Institute of Economic and Industry Research (NIEIR) ©2019
  • ABS Census of Population and Housing 2016

Related information

Industry profile - Food product manufacturing

Major regional health and wellbeing hub for the wider region 

As the capital of the Darling Downs, the Toowoomba Region plays an important regional economichw1 role, particularly in health and wellbeing. The city’s growing CBD employment cluster with major health assets reinforces this regional city role. In the Toowoomba Region, around 15.9% of all jobs are within the Health Care and Social Assistance Industry, well above the Queensland benchmark of 13.5%.

Driver of economic growth

The Health Care and Social Assistance industry is a major driver of economic activity in the Toowoomba Region. In 2019, it contributed $1,067 million to Gross Regional Product. It was the second-largest industry by value added in 2019, accounting for 9.9% of total industry value-added, and the second-fastest-growing industry over the past decade (+$484m).

Health Care and Social Assistance is the largest employer in the Toowoomba Region, employing around 13,583 people in 2019. It is also a major job creator, with an increase of 4,348 jobs over the past decade, the largest increase in employment of any industry in Toowoomba.

Diverse sector

Within this industry, the largest sub-sector is Hospitals, employing 4,187 people, followed by Medical and Other Health Care Services, employing 3,878 people. These subsectors have increased by around 939 people and 1,688 people, respectively, over the last 10 years. There has also been strong growth in the other sub-sectors. 

hw3hw2

Rich in health infrastructure

The industry is diverse and caters for the full spectrum of health care services for residents in
the wider region. The Toowoomba Region is home to eight hospitals, including three major
facilities:

  • St Vincent’s Private Hospital Toowoomba
  • Toowoomba Hospital
  • St Andrew’s Toowoomba Hospital.

TSBE Health links businesses with opportunities in the growing health industry by boosting the Toowoomba Region’s health profile and promoting the liveability and services in the region. TSBE Health will deliver the inaugural Downs Health Conference in 2020 and the group have also established the Workplace Wellness program, which will deliver economic benefits to the health sector as well as improved health to employees across the region. In addition, TSBE Health is delivering Westfund’s Let’s Shape Up Darling Downs, a new initiative designed to promote wellness in the workplace and provide sustainable outcomes for businesses.

Toowoomba also hosts the Darling Downs and West Moreton Primary Health Network (PHN), further boosting its role as the regional health hub for the region. PHN partners with community organisations, health care providers, hospital and health services, and state and federal governments, to improve primary health care services in our communities.

Health education and training hub

The sector also supports the region’s training and skills development needs. Other major health education facilities and infrastructure includes:

  • University of Queensland’s Rural Clinical School. Program delivery and operations in Toowoomba are based at UQ’s Teaching and Learning Centre, adjacent to the Toowoomba Hospital. The centre includes a clinical skills laboratory and clinical simulation facilities.
  • Queensland Rural Medical Education (QRME) promotes and advances rural and remote health practice through training, research and collaboration with government and strategic health agencies.
  • Southern Queensland Rural Health (SQRH) is a University Department of Rural Health, a Commonwealth-funded collaboration between The University of Queensland, University of Southern Queensland, Darling Downs Health and South West Hospital and Health Service. SQRH has been funded to deliver effective rural training experiences for allied health, nursing and midwifery students.
  • General Practice Training Queensland (GPTQ) deliver the Australian Government-funded Australian General Practice Training vocational training program for GP registrars to achieve recognition under the medical specialty of general practice. Toowoomba is the only one of three service centres in the South East Queensland region, located outside of Brisbane.
  • Fairholme College has partnered with Mater Hospital, Brisbane to deliver Certificate III in Health Services Assistance to students through their new on-campus Health Hub.

Major investment

There has been substantial investment into the Health and Wellbeing industry, with around $127 million of health and aged care related building approvals in the three years to 2018/19. All three major hospitals are investing in hard infrastructure and expanding their service offer. Some of the recent health and wellbeing-related investment includes:

  • Darling Downs Health is currently investigating the development of a new public health precinct to be built on the 76-hectare Baillie Henderson Hospital site. The Masterplan and Feasibility Study are due for completion mid-2020, with $9 million approved and funded by the state government. The total project cost is estimated at between $450 million - $750 million.

- A $1.8 million Renal Unit upgrade in Toowoomba Hospital was completed in February 2020.

- Work started in September 2019 on Toowoomba Hospital's first Health Operations Centre. The centre will monitor "real-time" information about patient flow and capacity for the hospital and the health service's 22 other facilities.

  • St Vincent’s Private Hospital expansion, including new emergency and radiology departments. Estimated at $15 million, the project will also house acute treatment, ambulatory care services and telehealth services in the new building, along with new medical imaging facilities, including nuclear medicine, ultrasound, X-ray, CT and MRI scanner. A recently acquired $2 million Robotic-Arm Assisted Surgery System performed the first procedure in August 2019.
  • A new $11.9 million upgrade to the health facility at the Oakey Army Aviation Base will provide primary care, mental health and rehabilitation, in-patient services, pharmacy, physiotherapy, dental and airfield emergency response services.
  • Construction commenced on a new $8 million Mental Health Hospital in September 2019. The new hospital will include a 29-bed facility and be operated by Mi-Mind Centre.
  • A development application to build a day hospital and a set of medical suites in Toowoomba has been approved, with the 3,825 square metre facility to be built in two stages.

In addition, some of the recent health and wellbeing education-related investment includes:

  • TAFE Toowoomba has completed the second-stage refurbishment of their health centre and is training students in nursing, counselling, mental health, youth work and aged care support. The health centre is part of a $7 million campus upgrade.
  • A new $1.3 million clinical training facility was opened in late 2019 at Baillie Henderson Hospital and will be operated by Southern Queensland Rural Health.


Retirement hotspot leveraginghw4

The Toowoomba Region’s ageing population, combined with its city role and highly skilled workforce, is expected to generate strong demand for new businesses.

The number of persons aged 65 and above in the Toowoomba Region is projected to increase by around 20,000 people between 2016 and 2041. The ageing population will increase the demand placed on health and wellbeing services and will provide opportunities for the region to build on its already strong foundations as a major health hub.

Toowoomba is rapidly developing as a retirement hotspot with a large number of facilities recently completed, under construction and in planning, providing retirees with an exceptional choice of facility type and location. The recent residential care related investment includes:

  • The Brodribb Home proposed an expansion of 15 new rental units in September 2019.
  • Construction of a $67 million expansion of Carinity Brownsholme retirement village in Highfields started in December 2019. Upon completion, the village will feature an additional 96-suite aged care facility.
  • A $30 million Aura Holdings, 85-unit retirement village adjacent to the Toowoomba Golf club. Construction of the village ‘The Ninth Middle Ridge’ commencing early 2020 with completion due mid-2021.
  • A new $12 million retirement village by the Oak Tree Group has been approved for Highfields. Work will commence on the gated community comprising 42 x two and three-bedroom villas in the first quarter of 2020.
  • Palm Lake Care have announced their latest Aged Caring Community will open in 2020, next door to Toowoomba Palm Lake Resort. The facility will feature five small community wings and a specialised Memory Support Unit.
  • Oak Tree Group received approval for a 51-unit retirement facility and a 43-unit townhouse development in Middle Ridge.
  • Gemlife lodged a development application in April 2020 for a new 230-lot over-50s gated lifestyle resort in Highfields.


Sources:

  • Economic and employment data - National Institute of Economic and Industry Research (NIEIR) ©2019
  • Building approvals - ABS 8731.0 - Building Approvals, Australia, Feb 2020
  • Businesses – ABS 8165.0 - Counts of Australian Businesses, including Entries and Exits, Jun 2015 to Jun 2019
  • Population projections - Queensland Government population projections, 2018 edition
  • 2020 TSBE Development Status Report – Toowoomba and Surat Basin Enterprise, Mar 2020

Related document

Industry profile - Health and wellbeing

 

 

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