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Cods happily in the blues to raise 10K for Lifeflight

COUNTRY CALLER FOOTBALL COVERAGE SPONSORED BY INTURA

By HARRY CLARKE

MANY among the small but spirited crowd who braved drizzly conditions at the Fish Tank yesterday had to do a ‘double take’ as the Condamine Cods A-graders ran onto the field to take on the top tier Toowoomba Rangers.

Instead of the club’s renowned green jumper, players came out wearing a foreign-looking royal blue strip to highlight the Cods’ annual sponsors day.

Each guernsey was emblazoned with the branding of RACQ LifeFlight and club sponsors, and were used to raise a remarkable $10,500 for LifeFlight when they were auctioned off after the game.

“LifeFlight are setting up a depot at their new helicopter pad at Roma and we would that was a great cause to get behind,” Cods president Sonny Power said.

“We decided to do up LifeFlight jerseys and have 15 jerseys with a different sponsor’s logo on it. The jerseys were donated by Gilbert and then we auctioned them off after A-grade.

“The top price jersey went for about 13 hundred. The support from bidders was really good.”

The Cods were pleased with the auction result and also the result on the rugby field, despite going down to the Toowoomba Rangers, 24-8.

The club is yet to record a victory in 2022 but Power said yesterday was a strong performance by the Cods, who also put up a gallant effort in their 32-7 loss in B-grade.

“That’s probably our best performance of the year, to get that score against the Rangers who are a top four team,” he said.

“It was a pretty slow start to the season for us, being a bit low on numbers and having a few quality players retire or move on this year.

“But we’ve got a few guys from the Marcus Oldham agriculture college down in Geelong who are living around Condamine there, doing their one-year assignment on farm.

“We’ve got four or five backpackers in the club too, which is good.”

COUNTRY CALLER FOOTBALL COVERAGE SPONSORED BY INTURA

Victory came over the Rangers for the Chinchilla River Rats in C-grade, which featured a father-son combination in Chris Hart and son Matt.

The older Hart showed grey hairs hadn’t slowed him down while Matt’s kicking game from fly-half, comprising two penalty goals and a successful drop punt conversion from the sideline, was a huge help in Chinchilla’s 18-12 win.

Centre Dustin Tennyson’s kicks in general play ensured the Rats dominated field position, while huge defensive efforts up front from captain Dan Seator and number 8 Josh Church gave Chinchilla momentum at the breakdown.

In the absence of a sponsors day home game this year, the Chinchilla River Rats would like to thank its 2022 supporters CNH, Chinchilla Club Hotel, Wood Ag, RDO Equipment, Qube, Purple Cow Butchery, CWS, McDonald’s and Malison farming.

Last minute scramble to keep bush booths open

Polling worker on election day. IMAGE: AEC

By CAITLIN CROWLEY

AN eleventh hour pitch from the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) to recruit polling workers has resulted in more than 7000 people putting their hands up in the last 72 hours, to ensure bush booths can open tomorrow.

Voters in sixteen areas across four Queensland electorates were being told they may not be able to cast their vote locally for Saturday’s federal election, unless they signed up to work at the polling booth as well.

The AEC put the call out on Wednesday for anyone willing and able to work at the regional and rural booths, to register their interest.

“Our efforts to engage army reservists, public servants, local councils, police services, job seekers, education departments and others will mean that many regional voting centres with no confirmed staff two days ago will now be able to open,” Electoral Commissioner Tom Rogers said.

The AEC had identified the Queensland electorates of Capricornia, Flynn, Kennedy and Leichhardt as cause for concern, with sixteen polling booths in those seats at risk of being unavailable for voters, with applications for postal votes already closed.

IMAGE: AEC

Locations desperately seeking staff included Proston in the South Burnett, Capella, Rolleston, Nebo and Glenden in Central Queensland, Hamilton Island and Kowanyama on the Cape.

“Recruitment difficulty is exactly what we advised could occur, both earlier in the pandemic and in the early stages of the election period, and why we’ve been urging people to assess all voting options,” Mr Rogers said.

“This is an unalloyed good news story of community members stepping up for democracy in a pandemic but its not at all a clear runway – that’s not how running an election in a pandemic works,” Mr Rogers said.

Now the only booths in Queensland still needing workers are Kowanyama and Kurumba.

The Electoral Commission has been recruiting for more than a year in an effort to secure the 105,000 polling staff needed nationwide.

Conference hears gas mining key to green transition

By HARRY CLARKE

GAS coupled with renewable power is a “natural partnership” on the pathway to net zero and the pairing is already reducing emissions in other countries, Australia’s oil and gas industry conference has heard.

More than 2,000 delegates have gathered in Brisbane for the APPEA 2022 Conference & Exhibition, the largest oil and gas conference in the southern hemisphere, this year themed “Positive Energy For A Changing World”.

Global energy advisory firm Resource Investment Strategy Consultants (RISC) told delegates that major jurisdictions, including the US and UK, had seen significant emissions reductions from power generation through the phasing out of coal in favour of gas and renewables.

“We now have evidence that many jurisdictions have followed this path, with lower emissions correlating not only with an increase in renewables, but also increases in gas use,” RISC managing director Martin Wilkes said.

APPEA chairman Ian Davies, CEO of Senex Energy, opening in the 2022 APPEA Conference and Exhibition

He said with batteries lacking the scale required, hydrogen at scale at least 15-20 years away, hydroelectricity limited by terrain and climate, and nuclear not an option in Australia, natural gas remained the only source available to provide the back up to renewable energy.

“If we are to navigate the next steps down the path to net zero, coupling natural gas power generation with renewable power generation is the only real current option available to most of Australia,” Mr Wilkes said.

“On its own it won’t, and can’t get to net zero, but it can go a long way towards getting us there, and can also provide support to the development and integration of other technologies that can get us there.

“Gas remains the natural partner to renewables and provides the security of supply needed when the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine.”

More than 120 exhibits including models of carbon capture and storage technology, a robotic dog and drones used for monitoring and surveying and a huge excavator that can be operated autonomously, have been on show at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre.

With principal partners Woodside Energy and ExxonMobil, the conference speaking list has featured the leaders of some of Australia’s biggest companies including Santos chief executive Kevin Gallagher, Woodside chief executive Meg O’Neill and Shell Australia country chair Tony Nunan.

More than 2,000 delegates attended the APPEA 2022 Conference and Exhibition

Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association (APPEA) acting chief executive Damian Dwyer said natural gas was the key to so much change and uncertainty in the world, including challenges posed by climate change, the war in Ukraine and the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This exciting event showcases the best technology and brains of our industry, helping solve the global challenges of our time – decarbonisation and energy security,” Mr Dwyer said.

“The conference will show how central gas is to our lives – making everyday products, powering homes and business and contributing to our economy, including the billions we pay to governments annually that help pay for public services and roads, schools and hospitals.

“But the agenda also highlights the importance of decarbonisation, using lower emissions technology, replacing coal, partnering with renewables, supporting manufacturing and producing hydrogen.”

APPEA Queensland Director Matthew Paull said the host state, Queensland, had long been central to Australia’s energy needs.

Mr Paull said the state had also showed its smarts to constantly evolve with the development of new opportunities.

“Queensland continues to be a key player in Australia’s oil and gas story – the second biggest petroleum workforce in the country, with about 31,000 Queenslanders directly employed by almost 9,000 businesses,” Mr Paull said.

“This is due to the heavy lifting done by the Queensland Government over the years that has fostered new areas of growth in CSG in the Surat Basin and the LNG industry in Gladstone.

“The conference is a chance to continue to move further towards a cleaner energy future for the state, with decarbonisation central to the agenda and the opportunity to take our competitive advantage in Queensland and set the industry and state up for decades to come.”

Big Rig Tower takes outback tourism to new heights

The view of Roma's Big Rig from the new observation tower

By CAITLIN CROWLEY

ROMA’S iconic Big Rig is about to become an even bigger tourist attraction for the Maranoa region, with a new observation tower and tree walk opening to the public with a community celebration this weekend.

The Big Rig Tower is now the Maranoa’s tallest building at 40m high, offering sweeping 360 degree views of Roma and the country beyond, connected to a 100m tree walk for locals and tourists alike to explore.

“One of the benefits is the amazing view of the town from up there and how far you can see,” Maranoa Mayor Tyson Golder said.

“It’s pretty fantastic – well worth going and having a look. Everything looks pretty small, it’s a beautiful aspect.”

Roma’s new Big Rig Tower

The council project received funding from the state government’s Outback Tourism Infrastructure Fund and was forecast to increase visitation by more than 50 percent, helping grow the local economy by $3.3 million annually.

Tourism has become an increasingly important pillar of the outback economy, particularly through years of drought.

“It puts a base under the community in our winter season and really with the droughts we’ve had in the past, it really keeps country towns going,” Cr Golder said.

“People have said to me, they just would not have survived without it, in that winter period.

“Any increase is good for the community, it’s good for jobs and businesses and so forth and it does have a flow on effect.”

The 100m Tree Walk connected to the Big Rig Tower

While the Big Rig Tower was built as a tourist attraction, Cr Golder said there’d been strong demand from the local community to use its 195 stair climb for exercise and training.

“Council will look at making it available for people to use it for exercise, so it’s got some unintended benefits for the community,” he said.

Locals will have their first chance to ‘Run the Rig’ this Saturday morning, with the tower opening at 6.30am to those keen to scale the steps as a warm-up for Roma Park Run at 7am.

Saturday’s community celebration begins at midday at the Big Rig Parklands, with food trucks, markets and live music through until sunset.

There’s free admission to the Big Rig Oil Patch Museum, Tower and Tree Walk all weekend, for more information head to Council’s website.

WATCH: Police raid 4500-plant cannabis grow house

FIVE people have been charged with drug offences after detectives seized cannabis plantations worth an estimated street value of $1.7 million from two rural properties in the Lockyer Valley.

Detectives from the Crime and Intelligence Command’s Drug and Serious Crime Group, with assistance from the Ipswich Tactical Crime Squad and Laidley police executed a search warrant at a Redwood Drive, Brightview rural property yesterday morning.

The property consisted of four greenhouses containing 4,581 cannabis plants of varying sizes, along with hydroponic growing chemicals, irrigation and machinery, which police will allege was used for the large scale production of cannabis.

Police also seized 28 kilograms of dried cannabis located in a shed on the property.

Five men (two 27-year-olds, a 46 year-old, a 36-year-old and a 21-year-old) were charged with producing dangerous drugs, possessing dangerous drugs and possessing anything used in the commission of a crime. All are due to appear in Ipswich Magistrates Court today.

As part of the investigation, detectives executed a second search warrant on a Boyces Road Mount Tarampa property yesterday afternoon, where a greenhouse with a sophisticated hydroponics system and a further 144 cannabis plants were seized.

State Drug Squad Detective Acting Inspector Stephen Thiry said properties were being used by a criminal syndicate for the large scale production of cannabis.

“This was a substantial cannabis production and we will continue targeting and dismantling such productions and the illicit proceeds of criminal syndicates given the risk they pose to the community,” Thiry said.

“Investigations remain ongoing and we encourage the community to report suspicious behaviour to Crime Stoppers.”

Cattle queen mustering up new cafe culture

By CAITLIN CROWLEY

THERE’S a new player in the Darling Downs food scene going a step further than ‘paddock to plate’ – serving up succulent Wagyu beef and locally sourced produce from somewhere you’d least expect.

Sonia Hornery greets me with her trademark megawatt smile but behind the bright pink lipstick is a fierce determination, resilience and entrepreneurial spirit which has led this cattle queen to her latest business venture.

She purchased what was Goombungee Antiques and Cafe late last year, embarking on a total transformation of the property and its menu, starting with a name change.

Sonia Honery outside Vintage Cow Cafe in Goombungee

“I called it Vintage Cow, because I sold old cows to buy it,” Sonia laughed.

“I wanted to do it without the bank, so the old cows – with the cattle market being as strong as what it was – had to go.”

“When I bought it I was really just buying somewhere to live in the short term, with the side line of being able to develop this into something that reflects the rural industry.”

Vintage Cow Cafe awaiting new signage

It’s an industry Sonia has dedicated her life to and a passion she shared with her late husband, Lachlan Hornery.

Their love story started on Queensland’s campdrafting circuit in the early 1990s and blossomed after Lachlan called on Sonia, then a young veterinary technician, to lend a hand on his Central Queensland property.

“He rings me and says, we’ve got a thousand cows to AI, will you come up and do them? I said yep, no worries. So I went up, and never came home,” she laughed.

Within two years the pair was married, and five beautiful children and a dream life on the land followed.

The Hornery family was pioneers of the Wagyu breed in Australia, taking Sonia’s interest in genetics and IVF to the next level.

“I was there from day one when the Hornerys started AI-ing – we built a purebred herd, so four generations of Wagyu,” she said.

Two of Sonia’s five children with their Wagyu herd

But that dream life was shattered when Lachlan was diagnosed with lymphoma in early 2008. At the time their children ranged in age from just two to eleven.

The family relocated to Brookfield on the outskirts of Brisbane so Lachlan could undergo chemotherapy.

It was during those darkest days, Sonia found community in the tight-knit town and built bonds which would become invaluable after Lachlan lost his battle with cancer later that year.

“Brookfield was very much like a village, everybody knew everybody and it was a family that helped me raise those five children after Loc didn’t make it through chemo,” Sonia said.

It’s also where the idea of owning a local store or cafe first sparked, simmering away until late last year when Sonia found herself house hunting in Toowoomba to be close to her two youngest children during their studies.

At first she rented a place in the city but admits she hated it and immediately felt like a “fish out of water.”

She started looking further afield and stumbled onto not just somewhere to live, but a new business opportunity in the tiny town of Goombungee.

Vintage Cow Cafe on Goombungee’s main street

It’s clear Sonia has a knack for turning ideas into opportunities, listing various businesses she’s developed over the years – a horse riding venture, a dog kennel in the FIFO town of Moranbah, and a Wagyu pie concept she sold to Brumby’s.

Now it’s a boutique cafe celebrating the locally sourced and sustainable ethos today’s “conscious consumers” can’t get enough of, just as a new generation of young families moves into town.

“There’s a new culture – those young families who have maybe come from the city, they’re culturally trained to be exposed to that (food culture),” Sonia said.

“Breakfast is a big thing for us here, and I have my own Wagyu sausages and my own rissoles I make that morning, with a gravy I’ve made from where the rissoles are cooked.”

“I always say conception to consumption, not paddock to plate. Because I either AI’d or bred those calfs and grew them right through to when they went to the meat works.

“I used to slap them on the bum as they’d go out to the meat works and say, thank you for the school fees!”

Vintage Cow is proudly a deep fried-free zone with a seasonal menu reflecting what Sonia can source from a growing list of local suppliers.

“The farmers around here are supporting me – your chickens and your eggs and your veggie gardens – they walk in the door and say, ‘is there anything you need right now?'” she said.

She’s recruited a local baker who is taking the lead with cakes and sweet treats and a new chef to join her in the kitchen.

Tourists and diners coming for a country drive from Toowoomba and Highfields are her main customer base but Vintage Cow has been embraced by locals too, with Friday pizza nights proving particularly popular.

Sonia planning what’s next for Vintage Cow Cafe.

Sonia has big dreams for Vintage Cow and the large vacant block behind it, hoping to open the space for community groups and potentially even weddings down the track.

“I love making people feel good.

“There’s been times when I’ve gone, I’m just not game to dream again because if I don’t dream, I won’t have to be disappointed if those things I really wanted didn’t happen,” Sonia said.

For now, she’s turning her dreams into reality, one hearty meal at a time.

“I’ve had some pretty amazing people around me. That village mindset of Brookfield has overflowed into here.”

Littleproud takes questions from Caller audience

Maranoa MP David Littleproud and (INSET) Country Caller editor Harry Clarke

By HARRY CLARKE

THE call was put out to the Country Caller’s audience for questions they’d like asked of David Littleproud, Member for Maranoa and Australian Agriculture Minister, during the days before the 2022 federal election.

Downs talent shines at Fairholme art showcase

Sarah McMaster with her watercolour painting for Facets of Fairholme.

By CAITLIN CROWLEY

A CAREFULLY curated collection of artwork from across Australia will be on show at this weekend’s Facets exhibition at Toowoomba’s Fairholme College, including several pieces from Darling Downs artists and local senior students.

Year 12 student Sarah McMaster’s watercolour of Toowoomba’s Japanese Gardens will be among the works for sale and she said she couldn’t be more excited.

“It’s a really good opportunity, everyone can look at each other’s artworks and it’s very exciting for everyone really,” Sarah said.

Karen Haywood hanging art for the exhibition.

The boutique exhibition of around two hundred pieces is now in its fifth year and provides an avenue for established and emerging artists to share their work with the wider community.

“Toowoomba and the Downs is a rich centre for the arts so to have their support and engagement in a process like this is really rather wonderful,” said Fairholme head of arts Karen Haywood.

She said it was also an important learning opportunity for aspiring artists, not just from Fairholme, to come and see the innovative ideas and materials being used.

“For them to see artists who are making a career out of art is a pathway to the future for them,” Ms Haywood said.

Mayor Antonio receiving some tips from Sarah McMaster ahead of his portrait sitting.

Facets has also added a live portrait competition this year, recruiting Toowoomba Mayor Paul Antonio to pose in full mayoral robes for six artists on the Saturday morning.

“I’ll also have my chains on and that tells the story and has the name of every mayor of the Toowoomba region and when they served,” Mayor Antonio said.

“I’m a little nervous about it, I’ve never done this sort of thing before.”

He admitted he was a little daunted by the prospect of sitting still for two hours, but was looking forward to seeing the finished products.

“Given I’m sort of entering the latter stages of my political career, I think it’s probably something that I would like to have and would like to hang on the wall at home,” he said.

Facets: An Art Exhibition At Fairholme opens this Friday May 20th with a ticketed event, and is open to the public all weekend.

Bush footy premiers to reunite after 20 years

The A-grade premiership winning Mitchell Magpies of 2002
  • (ABOVE) MITCHELL MAGPIES 2002 A-GRADE PREMIERS: Darren Hockey, David Witt, Malcom Mitchell, Les Irwin, Neil Hodgen, Willie Lemon, John Birkett, Matt Hughes, Clint Castles, Ben Hindle, Clinton Gordon, Ray Newton – Capt/Coach, Brad Baker, Nigel Steadman, Grant Goodman, Darren Bobbett, Clinton Mailman, Randal Beale, Matthew Anderson. STAFF: Tony Shultz, Geoffrey Kenafake, Micheal Tate, Frank Maiore, Chris Allen, John Hamilton, Andrew Short

COUNTRY CALLER FOOTBALL COVERAGE SPONSORED BY INTURA

By HARRY CLARKE

VIRTUALLY every player from the mighty Mitchell Magpies’ champion team of 2002 will reunite for a home ground Old Boys Day on May 28, marking 20 years since the club last won an A-grade premiership in the south west Queensland rugby league competition.

As the current Magpies A-grade contingent makes a promising start to the season, organisers have special plans for the day which they hope will continue to inspire a winning mentality in 2022.

Replica club jerseys from two decades ago will be presented by the 2002 team to this year’s players before the game, and they’ll be auctioned off after the final whistle with proceeds being put back into the club.

“We haven’t won an A-grade grand final since 2002 and that 20 years is pretty significant, so we thought it would be good to get a few of the guys back together,” said Magpies president John Birkett.

“Some of them probably haven’t been back here for a long time. The good thing about Facebook is that we’ve been able to track 99 percent of them down, but there’s a couple who we can’t locate.”


MITCHELL MAGPIES 2002 UNDER-16 PREMIERS: Randal Hockey, Matthew Buldurs, Nathan Wichlacz, Lawson Black, Luke Burton, Brock Hamilton, Michael Anderson, Peter Beckey, Daniel Dodd, Kane Morvel, Keiran Gorry, Greg Hamilton, Adam Hamilton, Dane Burey, Toby Burey, Tynan Farndon, Brodie Edmedes, Drew Silvester, Damien Wichlacz. COACH: John Birkett, MANAGER: Ritchie Hamilton

In 2002 the Magpies also bagged the Under-16s premiership. Players from that winning team will also be attending to form a guard of honour for the current Under-16s as they run out onto the field.

May 28 will be a big day at the Magpies’ Kokoda Oval, colloquially known as “The Nest”.

The club be hosting St George for the fixture and and there’ll also be six games of junior football, making for a full day of rugby league.

There’ll also be a double header in Under-16s as the Magpies host a game between Roma and Wallumbilla-Surat.

Mitchell A-grade during a convincing win over the Chinchilla Bulldogs
Magpies lock Jackson Nicholls meets the Miles Devils defence. IMAGE: Harriet Brown

Having overcome Miles in an away game yesterday, the Magpies A-graders have now notched up three wins from four games in the 2022 season.

They beat Chinchilla at home last weekend and Birkett said is was a “different team” on the paddock compared to their loss to Roma the previous week.

“We played Roma the week before and they ran away with it, but last weekend we were like a different side and hopefully that carries on,” he said.

“It’s certainly been a long time between drinks (premierships). Our last win was 20 year ago and the time before that it was 28 years. Hopefully we won’t take another 8 years to win one.”

COUNTRY CALLER FOOTBALL COVERAGE SPONSORED BY INTURA

Despite vast distances which some players have to travel, the Magpies have been fielding strong numbers in all four senior grades this year.

And despite the introduction of the Charleville-based Western Ringers into the competition, a couple of Magpies players from Charleville and Cunnamulla have remained committed to the club.

“Over the years the ties that players have had to the Magpies have either been through relations that have played or mates of mates,” Birkett said.

“We’ve always had guys from surrounding towns such as Roma, some guys from out on properties and from the west.

“A lot of times young guys can’t get work here in Mitchell so they go to Roma, but keep playing for the Magpies, so we’ve been lucky to keep them involved” Birkett said.

“The four grades have got reasonable numbers again this year and we’re probably stronger now than last year, so it’s looking good for the season.”

Mitchell Magpies A-grade celebrates victory over the Miles Devils. IMAGE: Rileigh Lawson

Report casts doubt on Toowoomba’s Olympics dream

TSBE CEO Ali Davenport and Toowoomba mayor Paul Antonio with the Olympics Capability Report

By CAITLIN CROWLEY

HIGH hopes Toowoomba could host a range of sporting events during the 2032 Olympic Games have had a reality check, after analysis from Toowoomba and Surat Basin Enterprise (TSBE) found there were “numerous challenges to be overcome” to secure a “significant role in the Olympics.”

When Brisbane won the bid last year, Mayor Paul Antonio said the Games would be a “once in a lifetime opportunity for the Toowoomba region to shine on the world stage”.

Now TSBE’s long-awaited capability report has found the best chance for Toowoomba to get in on the Olympics action was to maintain its hosting rights for preliminary football matches and potentially provide pre-games training, food and renewable energy to the world’s biggest sporting event.

TSBE CEO Ali Davenport and Mayor Paul Antonio with the Olympics Capability Report

“I’ve always been enthusiastic about the prospects of it,” Cr Antonio said.

“But I’ve also been practical enough to realise that the main events, the glory moments, will certainly be in places like Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast.”

The TSBE assessment showed while the region was well serviced for facilities at a community sport level, a “significant gap exists” between the requirements for community and elite sport.

The Toowoomba region has only been allocated hosting rights for preliminary rounds of football and retaining these matches “must be the region’s single biggest priority”, the report found, with “competitive tension” from other regions likely to cause a reassessment of Toowoomba’s merit as a host city, closer to the Games.

“To do that, we’re going to need to upgrade the Toowoomba Sports Ground,” TSBE CEO Ali Davenport said.

“We’re also going to need to attract more investment into hotel accommodation and look at our people transit around the city as well.”

There are approximately 2,500 short term accommodation rooms currently available in the Toowoomba region, while around 15,000 spectators a day, for 5-10 consecutive days, are anticipated for preliminary football games.

Toowoomba’s “limited 4.5 Star and no 5 Star rated accommodation” is of greatest concern, the report said, making the city less attractive as a host for Olympics spectators, Games staff and partners including sponsors and media.

“We need to get more accommodation and to do that, we need to get regular events so that accommodation providers, and I’m talking hotels, will see this as a great opportunity to invest in our region,” Ms Davenport said.

An artist’s impression of proposed Olympic Games facilities at Wellcamp. IMAGE: Wagner Corporation

“Infrastructure like the Wellcamp Entertainment Precinct, that’s regular events, so that could draw people to our region which would mean we would have to invest in those hotels,” Ms Davenport said.

Cr Antonio said: “I do hope that when hotels are built, they’re principally built in the CBD of Toowoomba”.

The report identified continued lobbying for a passenger rail service from Brisbane to Toowoomba as another key priority.

“As a region we should have passenger rail anyway, so that is definitely one of our advocacy pieces for our region,” Ms Davenport said.

Mayor Antonio said: “We’re certainly working hard on that… We’re rather disappointed that we’re not hearing too much at the moment”.

The report found Toowoomba could potentially host equestrian, shooting and archery events, but only if current facilities were upgraded to an international standard.

The city would also need to host regular and successful national and international sporting events leading up to the Games and gain final approval from the International Olympic Committee.

Hosting rights for all three of those sports are currently allocated to Brisbane.

“I think we need to be realistic about the regions that are going to benefit most from the sport, and those is the ones like Brisbane and the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast,” Ali Davenport said.

“What we need to do is find those opportunities that we know we can deliver, and maximise those.”

TSBE and the Toowoomba council want to do that with the help of a new Olympics Taskforce, encouraging locals with relevant experience to apply to participate.

“We want community members that are going to help us drive our vision and maximise every single opportunity for us,” Ms Davenport said.

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