Member for Toowoomba North Trevor Watts and Toowoomba Regional Council Mayor Paul Antonio will work together to ensure the proposed development becomes a reality.
Member for Toowoomba North Trevor Watts and Toowoomba Regional Council Mayor Paul Antonio will work together to ensure the proposed development becomes a reality. Dave Noonan

Bold plan set to transform Toowoomba CBD

EXCLUSIVE: The State Government is set to pave the way for the multi-million-dollar redevelopment of the Toowoomba rail yards precinct.

The proposed project will involve State Government-owned land between Bridge, Ruthven and Russell and Railway and Bellevue Streets.

The plan is to transform the area into an integrated world-class urban village complete with extensive green, residential and retail spaces complete with an indoor marketplace.

The land is currently being used by Queensland Rail.

The project will also encompass land currently being redeveloped at the former gasworks site between Ruthven, Neil and Campbell Streets and Chalk Drive.

There is no suggestion the rail corridors which run though the proposed redevelopment precinct will be relocated at this stage.

Artist impression of aerial view of proposed parkland development the Toowoomba Railyards Precinct Plan of Development for the Toowoomba CBD. Contributed, Tuesday, May 07, 2013.
An artist's impression on how the rail yards precinct could look like when completed.

A confidential report prepared by Toowoomba Regional Council, Place Design Group and Jones Lang LaSalle into the project was handed to the State Government last week.

The Chronicle understands Premier Campbell Newman has given the project the green light to progress to the next stage.

Deputy-Premier Jeff Seeney, who is in Toowoomba today, is expected to announce the State Government-owned Queensland Rail land will be opened up to development allowing the project to proceed.

It is understood the State Government and Toowoomba Regional Council will declare the precinct a priority development area.

Member for Toowoomba North Trevor Watts, talking exclusively to The Chronicle, said the project would become the jewel in the crown of the city on the same level as Southbank and Roma Street Parklands have become in Brisbane.

"The project has the potential to deliver immense benefits for Toowoomba," Mr Watts said.

"However, the combined support of state government, local government and private partnerships would be needed to make the proposal a reality.

"The proposed redevelopment could deliver a once-in-a-generation renewal project for the Toowoomba CBD," he said.

Mr Watts said he hoped the project would begin within the next six to 18 months.

"It is now about progressing to the next stage," he said.

"It is time for us to partner up with the Toowoomba Regional Council and look at a suitable vehicle to get this project under way.

"It is about working together."

Mr Watts said the plan was to deliver an "intense" urban village across the inner city site.

"It could incorporate a major new city park with a 'grid' network of active green streets along with pedestrian and cyclist linkages," he said.

"Heritage listed buildings could be retained and given new uses with continued operation of the railways station and upgrades to public spaces along Ruthven St.

"There are many possibilities for this area to complement existing uses in the CBD."

Toowoomba Regional Council Mayor Paul Antonio said the proposed redevelopment was a great opportunity for the city.

"It has been a long negotiation process between the council and the state government which has been headed-up by Trevor Watts," Cr Antonio said.

"This is going to be fantastic for the community, and a great opportunity for the city.

"We could not be happier. It will be a catalytic project.

"We look forward to working with the state government now the land has been opened up to ensure the project becomes a reality," he said.

Do you think the proposed redevelopment of the Toowoomba railyard precinct is the right step forward for the city?

This poll ended on 07 June 2013.

Current Results





This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.


  •  Low and medium resident housing up to five storeys
  •  Commercial properties up to three storeys
  •  A place to meet, celebrate, play, unwind and relax
  •  To be developed in five stages over several years
  •  Potential to become Toowoomba's premier dining precinct
  •  A 3000sqm fresh produce market space to service 30 - 40 stalls
  •  Design based on Southbank and Roma Street Parklands in Brisbane
  •  Designed to ensure Gowrie Creek remains the central focal point of the development and major asset
  •  Design to include 11 focal points utilising heritage, industrial and indigenous history