Newspaper article The Chronicle (Toowoomba, Australia)

We Deserve So Much More

Newspaper article The Chronicle (Toowoomba, Australia)

We Deserve So Much More

Article excerpt

MAYOR Peter Taylor's call for a new RSL in Toowoomba has prompted me to climb back up on the soap box.

It's not just a decent RSL that the Garden City is lacking.

How is it that small towns across the region like Oakey, Gatton, Dalby and Chinchilla can have wonderful RSL clubs but Toowoomba, 10 times the size of those towns, doesn't?

What's wrong with us?

You can't keep saying aOh, we don't have the moneya, towns much smaller than ours aren't flushed with funds either but somehow they managed.

Four or five years ago I had a rant in this very column about Toowoomba's lack of sporting facilities and services as opposed to other cities our size.

While smaller centres like Hervey Bay, Mackay, Mt Isa and other Queensland towns up and down the coast have far better facilities a in particular an airport a it's the New Zealand city of Hamilton I like to refer when making comparisons.

Hamilton, on New Zealand's north island, has a population of about 150,000, not that much bigger than Toowoomba.

Yet, Hamilton has an international airport, which is just as well because the city hosts plenty of international sporting and entertainment events.

Of course, some would say Toowoomba too has an airport capable of hosting commercial aircrafts, only it's at Oakey.

A mate of mine is a pilot for an international airline servicing the Australia-Asia route.

He assures me that Oakey has the radar and strip for such commercial airlines to land now.

aYou just need to spend some money and build a terminal,a he told me.

So what if Oakey is an Australian Defence Force strip, Townsville accommodates defence and commercial aircraft without any dramas and it's a pretty busy airport.

Forget about lengthening the runway at Wilsonton, why don't we lobby the Federal and State governments to fix up Oakey so it can take commercial airlines?

But back to Hamilton, which not only hosts All Black rugby Test matches at its 25,800 seater Waikato Stadium, but it has its own Super 15 Rugby team in the Waikato Chiefs. …

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