Warwick and surrounds attracts 500,000 tourists every year.

Visitors come for the weather or for Southern Downs special events such as:

  • Warwick Rodeo
  • Jumpers and Jazz in July
  • Apple and Grape Festival in Stanthorpe
  • Leyburn Sprints
  • Killarney Bonfires
  • Snowflakes in Stanthorpe
  • Motor Racing most weekends

2017- Major Jobs Growth In Warwick & Surrounds

Significant additions to Warwick's workforce will be required during 2017 to keep up with demands on building these multi-million dollar developments, and staffing them in the years ahead. The council estimates* 770 jobs will be created, which is 10% more than the current 7,350 employed of the 15,000 Warwick residents. (Assumption of 49% employment rate based on Australia's workforce of 11,984,300, which is 49% of the population of 24,382,663- figures @ 7th March 2017).

Rose City will add 100 jobs

This $40m state-of-the-art expansion is perhaps the most exciting chapter in the history of Warwick's shopping plaza.

Gina Rinehart purchase of feedlot in Warwick

HANCOCK Prospecting has announced it has purchased Warwick's Maydan feedlot. The feedlot accommodates both short-term and long-term custom feeding and is licensed to carry 8,000 standard cattle units, specialising in providing feeding strategies for premium beef producers. It has demonstrated a consistent ability to produce premium high grade beef, most recently assisting several of its customers in producing award winning beef products. Speaking after the transaction HPPL Chairperson Gina Rinehart said the Maydan acquisition continues the company's pursuit of investments in the cattle industry with a focus on optimising the quality of beef.

Inland Rail to bring jobs to Southern Downs

The inland rail project will connect regional towns/farms to the domestic and international markets by providing a high capacity freight link.

This massive infrastructure project will benefit many parts of eastern Australia, including the Southern Downs, with 16,000 direct and indirect jobs at the peak of construction, and then 700 once operational.



Inland Rail project

John Dee Expansion to bring 150 new jobs

John Dee and Southern Downs Regional Council have been successful in a rare joint application between local government and the private sector for $4.97 million in Federal funding towards a $15 million project, which will bring 150 new jobs to the Southern Downs region.

The Federal Member for Maranoa, Mr David Littleproud MP today announced that the Federal Government had approved the John Dee and Council joint application to the Building Better Regions Fund for the redevelopment of the John Dee facility in Warwick, including the expansion of the water main.

The joint application is seen as an innovative approach to seeking funding for industry growth and job creation projects.

The redevelopment will entail the set-up of a new packaging area and cold stores, logistics and freight expansion, and will free up more space in the production area. Crucially, it will provide for 150 new jobs across the entire business at John Dee including information technology, freight and logistics, and processing.

Southern Downs Mayor Tracy Dobie welcomed today’s funding announcement by Mr Littleproud.

"From Council’s point of view, this $15 million project, to which the Federal Government has today committed $4.97 million, is an enormous boon for our region.

“150 new jobs are expected to come out of this redevelopment, along with the creation of a state of the art facility. Council's Economic Impact model suggests that the 150 new jobs will generate an additional 187 jobs in the wider economy, which is why projects of this type are important in regional towns like Warwick.

“It goes to the heart of what Council is striving for; more investment, more jobs, more visitors and more residents. Assisting existing businesses to expand and attracting new businesses to come into our area is a key function for Council's Economic Development Department.

“Council is really pleased to be involved in this joint application with John Dee and it just goes to show that by working together we can make a difference and we can work towards building a better region here in the Southern Downs,” she said.

Construction is likely to begin in September this year and the project is stage one of a larger investment that will occur.

Cr Dobie also highlighted that “Council hopes to announce other employment generating projects in the near future.”

The John Dee project augments the recent investment in the poultry industry with the Darwalla Group announcing a new $22 million chicken hatchery in Allora in addition to the significant investment by the Churches of Christ Care in the construction of the Regency Park Retirement Village, currently underway in Warwick.

Bunnings - will add 40 jobs

Major works start on $43 million Bunnings Warehouse

Fruit Juice Plant Expansion will add 30 jobs

Grove Juice Warwick plant expanding into the future. The current plant is around 2500sqm, the new block is 5000sqm, taking the total to 7500sqm. There will be significant flow-on effects for the local economy in Warwick.

Beef Processing Expansion will add hundreds of jobs

Warwick's own meat processing facilities will have a $15M expansion this year, creating numerous jobs.

A new $60 million beef processing expansion at the Oakey Abattoir is underway. The faciliity currently slaughters 900 head of cattle a day, five days a week, but will expand to slaughter 1300 cattle a day, in a seven-day-a-week operation, with 780 employees.

Chicken farms will add 50 jobs

Construction commenced on new $22 million chicken hatchery in Allora.
The Darwalla Group’s hatchery, located in Bradfield Road, Allora, will generate 18 direct jobs, in addition to a number of contractor positions during construction. State of the art equipment will be imported from Belgium for the plant, which is expected to be operational just after Christmas this year.

Southern Downs Regional Council’s Mayor Tracy Dobie welcomed this development and said Council is working hard to attract new businesses and industry that will create jobs and growth in the region. “This new hatchery is a boon for jobs in the Southern Downs. It also adds to the clean, green reputation of the Southern Downs region as the place for people establishing world-class businesses,” she said. The Mayor also highlighted that the additional jobs generated by the hatchery will build on other new jobs in the region.

ABC Toilet Tissue Paper Manufacturing will add 20 jobs


Aged care will add 100 jobs

Churches of Christ, a leading not-for-profit seniors living provider is embarking on a series of major developments at Warwick and Stanthorpe. The Warwick development, adjoining the recently acquired 98 unit Regency Park Retirement Village, adds 128 residential aged care places for the Southern Downs community. There will be further development of the retirement village including the release of seniors living apartments delivered in future stages. Residents of the Warwick Campus can enjoy more open community spaces, café and community centre, in addition to a recently approved resident’s club house which is soon to be constructed. Also on the Southern Downs, and on track for a late-2017 completion, work is well underway on the $14.5million extension of the Villa Carramar Aged Care Service.

A new $35 million infant formula manufacturing facility.

Nature One Dairy, will expand operations in Wellcamp Business Park Toowoomba.

Southern Downs Becomes A Transport Hub For Queensland

Regular freight flights from Wellcamp to Hong Kong

Cathay Pacific cargo manager Nigel Chynoweth said the success of the flights to date put the airport in a good position to double or triple the number of export flights in the next six to 12 months - a forecast made by Food Leaders Australia CEO Dr Ben Lyons. He said each Cathay Pacific cargo plane which left Wellcamp airport was full, primarily with chilled beef and milk, along with seasonal produce and stock from Sydney and Melbourne.

Transport and logistics will add 30 jobs

Transport classification changes mean that B double routes are coming soon.  These transport routing changes will positively impact Warwick's freight companies such as Lindsay Transport.

Tourism to Boost Queensland Economy

The Premier, The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk and the Minister for Tourism, The Honourable Kate Jones announced in March 2017 that the number of international visitors to Queensland has reached an historic high.

“In 2016 we saw international holiday visitation grow a further 14 per cent and overnight expenditure was also up to $5.1 billion. Our top five international markets – China, New Zealand, Japan and the USA – all delivered double-digit holiday visitor number growth,” the Premier said.

In the Southern Downs the Tourism Sector contributes approximately $70 million to the economy and employs approximately 1350 residents. Southern Downs Regional Council is working to support the local tourism sector and has plans to help it grow.

Portfolio Councillor for Tourism Rod Kelly said the Economic Development and Tourism Unit is working on a new Visitor Guide and website, which are both on track to be launched by the end of April.
“The Visitor Guide will be one of the first in the state to use Tourism and Events Queensland’s revised branding and will be the key piece of marketing collateral to inform and encourage visitors to the region,” he said.

“The Region needs to focus on or target the type of visitor that is going to add the most value to the local economy in the form of expenditure and repeat visitation where applicable,” Cr Kelly said.

“An objective should be to target those visitors that have the capacity to make a demonstrable contribution to the local economy. In the hierarchy of expenditure, these are the international overnight stays followed by the interstate and domestic overnight stays that are accessing local accommodation providers.

“To support higher levels of visitation to the Southern Downs region it is important for all those stakeholders involved in the visitor economy and tourism to collaborate and support marketing campaigns, as well as facilitate higher levels of service within the sector,” he added.

However, Southern Downs Mayor Tracy Dobie said “Marketing is not the silver bullet. The product and the service need to match customers’ expectations.” “As a Council we encourage a collaborative effort from all operators in the region to ensure a complete visitor experience,” she said.
Our thanks for information supplied by
Scott Templeman
Southern Downs Regional Council
t 1300 MY SDRC (1300 697 372)

and the Council's Biz Connect Newsletters