Toowoomba’s escarpment parks are set to be transformed with commencement of a $7.4 million upgrade, including the region’s first sensory trail at JE Duggan Park.
Visiting Toowoomba, Local Government Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said the Palaszczuk Government had contributed $2.71 million from the Building our Regions fund, with $4.46 million from Toowoomba Regional Council and $218,000 from Lockyer Valley Regional Council.
“These parks navigate through the beautiful Great Dividing Range which is an amazing feature of the Toowoomba and Lockyer Valley Regional Council areas,” Mr Hinchliffe said.
“The Toowoomba Escarpment Parks Upgrades will enhance connectivity and active usage from all members of the Toowoomba community through new and upgraded multi-use interconnected trails.
“It will include the Picnic Point Parklands, Redwood, Jubilee, McKnight, JE Duggan and Glen Lomond parks, and the Tabletop Bushland Reserve.
“The JE Duggan park will be Toowoomba’s first “all-abilities” trail with interpretive signage in braille describing the area and the history.
“There will also be rope trails to enable people with visual impairment to navigate the fully sealed, wheelchair-accessible pathways.
“Three small bush walks with great scenery and views east over the Great Dividing Range, including Table Top Mountain, are ideal for walking with children and those less mobile.
“This project will deliver improved picnic facilities and lookouts that will further enhance the visitor experience, encourage recreational visitor usage and promote sports tourism opportunities.
“The project will support 24 jobs during the construction period, with council estimating a further 19 ongoing jobs after the upgrades have been completed.”
Toowoomba Regional Council Environment and Community Chairman Councillor Geoff McDonald said the upgrades will help make the most of the Great Dividing Range’s spectacular scenery.
“Covering around eight hectares, this park is a forest regeneration site where a natural eucalypt forest has been encouraged to develop and as part of this upgrade, we’ll be planting more trees,” Cr McDonald said.
“Many tourists visit our region seeking new nature and adventure opportunities, and thanks to the Queensland Government’s funding we can continue to attract new visitors.”
Lockyer Valley Regional Council Mayor Tanya Mulligan said the project has gained legs thanks to a collaborative effort with Lockyer Valley Regional Council Mayor Tanya Milligan acknowledging the value of neighbouring Councils working together.
“The escarpment is a great shared asset with benefits for both the Lockyer Valley and Toowoomba region,” Mayor Milligan said.
“Working hand-in-hand with councils benefits the greater community and it is through partnerships these sorts of projects can go ahead.
“The multi user escarpment trails will connect and integrate to provide a fantastic recreational opportunity for our shared communities.”
The $365 million Building our Regions (BoR) program supports infrastructure projects in regional communities that create flow-on economic development opportunities and jobs.
To date, rounds 1–4 of program have approved funding towards 223 projects across 66 councils supporting over 2,419 jobs and attracted additional investment of $487 million from councils and other organisations.