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South West Queensland is famous for fine wines, fresh produce and stunning wildflowers. Many tourists and locals enjoy visiting the annual Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers.
Toowoomba, is the heart of the region and one of Queensland’s largest regional urban centres, is well known as the ‘Garden City.’ Located only a 90 minute drive west of Brisbane on the crest of the Great Dividing Range, it is a gateway to the resource-rich Surat Basin Energy Precinct. It is an important business, agricultural and service hub for the entire region and also home to one of the state’s largest university campuses — the University of Southern Queensland. The Lockyer Valley is located between Toowoomba and Ipswich.
Warwick is the administrative centre and ‘Rose and Rodeo Capital’ of the Southern Downs region which is situated 1 hour south of Toowoomba and 2 hours south west of Brisbane. Stanthorpe is another town in this region, well known for its apples, grapes, stone fruit and wine.
Bus Queensland operates commuter services across TransLinks Southern, Eastern and Western regions, including the Lockyer Valley, Park Ridge and Toowoomba.
There is support from the Toowoomba regional council for new residents and multicultural services. Centacare also provides Toowoomba Refugee & Migration Support (TRAMS) for new arrivals including English classes and employment education. Other community organisations of interest include the Toowoomba International Multicultural Society and Multicultural Development Australia (MDA).
A National Cities Performance Framework is available for Toowoomba, which provides information about housing, infrastructure and liveability.
The Lockyer Valley regional council covers the towns of Gatton, Forest Hill, Grantham and Withcott. The council’s website has information about the libraries, sports and community centres in the region. For new arrivals, there is also a settlement program and an annual Multicultural festival.