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Located just 26km west of the Toowoomba CBD along the Warrego Highway, Oakey is ‘the perfect place to grow’, offering a safe and secure town for residents and visitors alike. Oakey is a vibrant town that prides itself on being friendly and welcoming. Oakey has very rich traditions, particularly in defence and the horse racing industry.
One of many attractions in Oakey is the majestic life-sized bronze sculpture of Bernborough which is located outside the Council Service Centre. Described as ‘arguably Queensland’s greatest horse’ by Queensland Racing, Bernborough was foaled at Rosalie Plains in 1939. He raced from 1941 to 1946 when heavy weights were carried to victory in a winning streak of 15 consecutive wins, which included the Doomben 10,000. Bernborough was one of five inaugural inductees into the Australian Racing Hall of Fame. More information about Bernborough including memorabilia can be found at the Oakey Information Centre.
The Oakey Army Aviation Centre provides a training facility and hosts a Singapore Armed Forces Helicopter Squadron and is located just outside the town. Additionally, the Australian Army Flying Museum displays all aircraft flown by the Australian Army since World War II, including the latest high-tech military helicopters. Other remarkable flying machines are on display including a replica Bristol Boxkite that was used to train pilots in World War I.
15km west of the town, near Jondaryan, is the major cultural tourist attraction The Woolshed, home to a historical museum and park, event venue, a brand new café and site of the annual Jackie Howe Festival.
Oakey is located on the edge of the resource-rich Surat Basin, with coal mining operating in the surrounding area. Local rural industries are predominantly cropping, beef grazing and feedlotting. An abattoir is located on the western side of the town.
Oakey is the largest regional town in the Toowoomba Region with a population of 4529 people (2011 Census). Oakey offers a mix of localised services, businesses and industry. There is a selection of shops, restaurants, and cafés; it has two supermarkets, a butcher, a baker, major banks, a newsagent, and most retail services. Oakey is a family-friendly town with quality education facilities for all ages from infants to year 12. Community facilities include a library, cultural centre, Council service centre, RSL and a range of health care services.
There is one state primary school and one Catholic primary school in addition to Oakey State High School, a co-educational secondary school for students in years 7 - 12. Oakey also has quality childcare centres, a pre-school and together with the nearby Toowoomba TAFE and the University of Southern Queensland, every stage of education is catered for.
Oakey is very well equipped with sporting facilities and programs and has a very active racehorse training community. Some of the facilities available for the active family in Oakey include an indoor sports centre, heated swimming pool, squash courts, tennis courts, golf course, bowling greens and pistol range. Numerous sporting clubs can be found here including bowls, swimming, rugby league, golf, soccer, tennis, pony clubs, martial arts, squash and pistol clubs to name a few.
Oakey has its own hospital in addition to a full range of medical services, including a medical centre located near the centre of town. An ambulance centre, dentist, optometrist, Blue Care aged care services, Meals on Wheels and two nursing homes with independent seniors units also service the community. Nearby Toowoomba boasts three high quality facilities comprising St Andrew’s War Memorial Hospital, St Vincent’s Private Hospital and the Toowoomba Base Hospital.
Oakey has been supplied with water from the Mt Kynoch Water Treatment Plant since the commissioning of the Toowoomba - Oakey pipeline in December 1997. Oakey’s waste water is treated at the Wetalla Waste Water Treatment Plant managed by Toowoomba Regional Council. Some treated waste water is then transported and used by the New Acland Mine outside Oakey.
New Hope Group is a majority Australian owned and operated diversified energy company which has been proudly based in South East Queensland since 1952. Its New Acland Coal Mine opened in 2002 and is located approximately 17 km from Oakey. The mine currently employs a local workforce of around 275 locals and 507 contractors. The proposed expansion project for the mine will boost current employment to 435 local jobs for mining operations, plus a further 260 jobs are proposed during the construction stage. Flow-on jobs and benefits will be substantial for local communities with indirect employment expected to grow to more than 1,145 jobs. Mining operations use recycled wastewater purchased from the Toowoomba Regional Council’s Wetalla treatment plant. New Acland’s industry leading rehabilitation program returns mined land back to sustainable grazing both after and during mining operations. The rehabilitation is supported by scientific cattle grazing trials.
The Oakey beef industry is set for expansion with the Queensland Government committing $2.5million to upgrade the western train line and improve supply to the abattoirs. Already the dominant industry with Beef City and Oakey Beef Exports employing around 1000 people, recent rainfall in the west of the state and the upgraded train line look to grow the industry over the coming seasons.
Oakey is ideally positioned less than 30 minutes drive from the Toowoomba CBD, 20 minutes from Brisbane West Wellcamp Airport and 10 minutes from the Charlton Wellcamp Industrial Precinct. Oakey is the perfect place to grow an active manufacturing and transport industry with lower land values and rates than Toowoomba. An upgrade to the western rail line is underway, with current plans for the inland rail project to pass just east of Oakey. Combined with the Toowoomba Second Range Crossing, this accessibility provides unique opportunities to deliver products to national and international markets. An opportunity exists with a shortage of quality aged care and retirement facilities in Oakey and long term residents desire to live local.
Oakey could be considered the gateway to the resource rich Surat Basin with coal mining operating in the surrounding area. Oakey is also home to significant defence infrastructure, two meat processing plants, a stock feed manufacturing plant and has its own gas power station delivering reliable power during periods of peak demand. A new solar power plant is currently being developed just outside of Oakey. The planned infrastructure projects and attractive property prices provide the perfect opportunity to establish a competitive business of any scale.
Toowoomba Regional Council has committed $3 million over three years to boost growth and investment in regional townships. The temporary economic development incentives offer significant infrastructure charge discounts to eligible industrial, business and residential developments in these areas. For more information or to check your eligibility, visit our temporary economic development incentives webpage.
The main industries in Oakey are:
The workforce in Oakey comprises of:
Recent upgrades to the Warrego Highway and future completion of the Toowoomba Second Range Crossing are making Oakey more accessible. Oakey provides access to the vast grazing country in Western Queensland and is located:
In 2015 a number of Community Growth Action Plans were developed.
Success for each community is best determined by the residents themselves, based on their aspirations, ideals and value systems. In order to better understand what these are, Council facilitated a number of meetings with community members to draw out what issues each town is facing, identify what the potential solutions and opportunities might be and to determine which ones should be focussed on as a priority. These have been documented in plans for five communities which can be found under the related links section.
Oakey Community Growth Action Plan
Oakey investment profile