Garden City's bid for Commonwealth Games gold
TOOWOOMBA is going for gold in its bid to benefit from the Gold Coast 2018 - XXI Commonwealth Games.
The opportunity to host events, train visiting nations and provide produce for the games has Toowoomba Regional Council's Tourism and Events portfolio leader chomping at the bit.
Cr Geoff McDonald is chairing the Darling Downs South West Regional Working Group which was established by the Queensland Government to help the region benefit before, during and after the event.
The group wants to ensure the region gets its fair share of the games by doing things like attracting minnow countries to Toowoomba.
"They could base themselves here pre-games because it's cheaper here than at the Gold Coast," Cr McDonald said.
"There's an opportunity for us to back that nation and barrack for them, as a second choice of course."
Producers from the region are also in a position to provide goods like flowers, beef and wine for the games.
Cr McDonald said the region could provide for nations that have specific food needs.
"We could grow the produce so they don't have to import it," he said.
"That could create new industries and export opportunities later."
Sporting and community groups are in a position to take part in the games by volunteering.
Cr McDonald said coaches could get involved and then bring skills and knowledge acquired at the games back to the region.
A tourism boom could also result from high-level exposure brought by the games.
Cr McDonald said the region could develop an Indigenous Australian tourism industry.
"If we could develop a tour, run by local Indigenous groups, then visitors can come and see the longest living culture in the world.
"Then that industry can continue to develop."
Commonwealth Games Minister Kate Jones said: "It's very encouraging to see this working group up and running and getting excited about the games, which will not only be transformative for the Gold Coast, but bring benefits to communities across Queensland."
Organisations represented by the working group include:
- Toowoomba Regional Council
- Toowoomba and Surat Basin Enterprise
- Sport Darling Downs
- Department of National Parks, Sport and Racing
- University of Southern Queensland
- Southern Queensland Country Tourism