RDA Darling Downs and South West RegionEconomic profile
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RDA Darling Downs and South West Region

About the area

Name origin

Toowoomba is thought to be named either after a property in the area in the 1850s, or from an Aboriginal word meaning "place where water sits" or "place of melon" or "place where reeds grow" or "berries place" or "white man".

Location and boundaries

The Toowoomba Regional Council area is located in south-east Queensland, about 125 kilometres west of the Brisbane CBD. The Toowoomba Regional Council area is bounded by the South Burnett Regional Council area in the north, the Somerset Regional Council area and the Lockyer Valley Regional Council area in the east, the Southern Downs Regional Council area and the Goondiwindi Regional Council area in the south, and the Dalby Regional Council area in the west.

Included areas

The Toowoomba Regional Council area includes the suburbs, townships and localities of Acland, Anduramba, Ascot, Athol, Aubigny, Back Plains, Balgowan, Bergen, Biddeston, Birnam, Blue Mountain Heights, Bongeen, Boodua, Bowenville, Branchview, Bringalily, Brookstead, Broxburn, Brymaroo, Budgee, Bulli Creek, Cabarlah, Cambooya, Canning Creek, Captains Mountain, Cattle Creek, Cawdor, Cecil Plains, Centenary Heights, Charlton, Cherry Creek, Clifton, Clontarf, Coalbank, Condamine Farms, Condamine Plains, Cooyar, Cotswold Hills, Cranley, Cressbrook Creek, Crows Nest, Cutella, Cypress Gardens, Darling Heights, Devon Park, Djuan, Doctor Creek, Domville, Douglas, Drayton, Dunmore, East Cooyar, East Greenmount, East Toowoomba, Ellangowan, Elphinstone, Emu Creek, Evanslea, Evergreen, Felton, Felton South, Finnie, Forest Ridge, Formartin, Geham, Gilla, Glenaven, Glencoe, Glenvale, Googa Creek, Goombungee, Gowrie Junction, Gowrie Little Plain, Gowrie Mountain, Grapetree, Grassdale, Grays Gate, Greenmount, Greenwood, Groomsville, Haden, Hampton, Harlaxton, Harristown, Headington Hill, Highfields, Highgrove, Highland Plains, Hirstglen, Hodgson Vale, Irongate, Irvingdale, Jondaryan, Jones Gully, Kearneys Spring, Kelvinhaugh, Kilbirnie, Kincora, Kings Creek, Kings Siding, Kingsthorpe, Kleinton, Kooralgin, Kooroongarra, Kulpi, Kurrowah, Lavelle, Lemontree, Leyburn, Lilyvale, Linthorpe, Maclagan, Malling, Malu, Manapouri, Meringandan, Meringandan West, Merritts Creek, Middle Ridge, Millmerran, Millmerran Downs, Millmerran Woods, Millwood, Missen Flat, Motley, Mount Binga, Mount Darry, Mount Emlyn, Mount Irving, Mount Kynoch, Mount Lofty, Mount Luke, Mount Molar, Mount Moriah, Mount Rascal, Mount Tyson, Mountain Camp, Muldu, Muniganeen, Nangwee, Narko, Nevilton, Newtown, Nobby, North Branch, North Maclagan, North Toowoomba, Norwin, Nutgrove, Oakey, Palmtree, Pampas, Pechey, Peranga, Perseverance, Pierces Creek, Pilton, Pinelands, Pittsworth, Plainby, Preston, Prince Henry Heights, Punchs Creek, Purrawunda, Quinalow, Ramsay, Rangemore, Rangeville, Ravensbourne, Redwood, Rockville, Rocky Creek, Rosalie Plains, Rossvale, Ryeford, Sabine, Sandy Camp, Scrubby Mountain, Silverleigh, South Toowoomba, Southbrook, Spring Bluff, Spring Creek, Springside, St Aubyn, St Helens, St Ruth, Stonehenge, Stoneleigh, The Bluff, The Pines, Thornville, Tipton, Toowoomba City, Top Camp, Torrington, Tummaville, Turallin, Umbiram, Upper Cooyar Creek, Upper Pilton, Upper Pinelands, Upper Yarraman, Vale View, Victoria Hill, Wainui, Wattle Ridge, Wellcamp, West Haldon, West Prairie, Westbrook, Western Creek, Whichello, Wilsonton, Wilsonton Heights, Woodleigh, Woolmer, Woondul, Wutul, Wyreema, Yalangur, Yandilla, Yargullen, Yarraman and Yarranlea.

Economic region
Toowoomba Regional Council area

Land use

The Toowoomba Regional Council area is a growing residential area, with significant rural and rural-residential areas, and some industrial and commercial land use. The Toowoomba Regional Council area encompasses a total land area of about 13,000 square kilometres. The main urban centre is Toowoomba, with smaller urban areas in the townships of Clifton, Crows Nest, Goombungee, Millmerran, Oakey, Pittsworth and Yarraman, and numerous villages. Rural land is used largely for beef and dairy cattle, crop and cereal growing, vegetable growing and sheep grazing, with some energy production, forestry and tourism.


The Toowoomba Regional Council area is served by the Daguilar Highway, the Gore Highway, the New England Highway, the Warrego Highway, the Westlander train and Toowoomba Airport.

Settlement history

European settlement dates from the 1840s, with land used mainly for cattle and sheep grazing. Population was minimal until the 1860s. Growth took place during the late 1800s, with land also becoming used for cereal growing and dairy farming, with some timber-milling in the northern areas, and some coal mining. Growth took place through to the early 1900s, particularly along the railway lines. More substantial development took place from the post-war years, with the population of the Council area growing from about 57,000 in 1933 to about 70,000 in 1954, then continuing to increase to 82,000 in 1966, and to 92,000 in 1976. Significant development occurred from the 1980s, with the population rising from about 95,000 in 1981 to about 117,000 in 1991, and then to about 149,000 in 2011.

Indigenous background

The original inhabitants of the Toowoomba area were various Aboriginal tribes.