What’s on in Toowoomba and Stanthorpe

Read the What’s on in Toowoomba and Stanthorpe Podcast TRANSCRIPT

Andrew: Yeah welcome to what’s on in Toowoomba and Stanthorpe True AU dot news weekly podcast with Toowoomba advocate Daryl Nicholson, who owns and runs Toowoomba 4350 TV and Stanthorpe 4380, or O, TV. My name is Andrew McCarthy-Wood, thank you for your company. This is community, a podcast that’s brought to you by Leading Engagement Solutions. If you have a group, organisation, or business, engagement is so much more effective than just marketing. So find out how Leading Engagement Solutions can get you much better and more effective results. Give Claire a call on 0401 439 612 or pop your inquiry into the contact form on the True AU dot news website and well pass it on to her. So Daryl, how have been going, and what’s happening in Toowoomba and Stanthorpe?

Daryl: Oh mate, been heaps happening in 4350 and 4380, so I’m actually in 80 at the moment, out at Stanthorpe, and absolutely cracker of a day. It is again, at Toowoomba and this area here, 35 degrees high fire warning-

Andrew: Oh wow.

Daryl: [crosstalk 00:01:03] High hire danger again over ABC. But otherwise all good mate, great weekend, busy time in Toowoomba. As you know I’m at the sports club, we saw a lot of new faces. Lot of Brisbane people up in the CBD, and up at the club. And Toowoomba was active, it was really active. And mate I [inaudible 00:01:23] about yesterday, the Stanthorpe, I spoke to you before I jumped in the car on Sunday.

Andrew: Yeah we kind of crossed paths didn’t we? We were out at Stanthorpe for the Saturday evening and then I believe as you were, you did a live broadcast up in Toowoomba, that you headed out and we drove up through Toowoomba. Toowoomba’s beautiful, but Stanthorpe is a place that’s doing it a little bit tough because of the water situation and recent bush fires.
But I tell you what, we had a great time out there and tourists need to go and check this place out, because we had a couple of really good experiences. One of those was an awesome coffee from the main street, I don’t know exactly which coffee shop it was, because Jodie jumped out of the car and grabbed it. But the hospitality from that local community, are things that we’re probably not so used to when we’re in those city areas for example. Just that main road, I couldn’t believe it, we took a couple of photos which we put up online, people just stopping just to have a chat and encourage us and thank us for actually being out there and taking those photos. But a simple thing, we went to reverse out of our car spot and I realised that the locals had actually pulled up to let you out. And I’m not really quite used to that.

Daryl: They do, they do. It’s just so warm and friendly mate, it’s just unreal, it’s great. And they really appreciate, and this was a long weekend, and there were a lot of Brisbane people and I can testify to that, there were a lot of Brisbane and Gold Coast people up in Stanthorpe for the weekend, so it was absolutely great.
But mate I started my day, I started Sunday, I went to the Royal Bull’s Head Inn, they open every Sunday, on the first Sunday of the month. And we did a livestream from there which I’m sure you caught.

Andrew: Yeah, we shouted across.

Daryl: And the Royal Bull’s Head Inn is a very interesting place. It’s part of the history of Drayton, Toowoomba started in Drayton, and I’m going to tell you another story on the way out, but if you’re ever in Toowoomba on the first Sunday of the month, you need to check out the Royal Bull’s Head Inn. And it’s, there’s some ghostly tales in there and a lot of history, so it’s a really cool place to go. Owned by the National Trust, owned and managed by the National Trust.
So mate, we jumped in the car, drove in, I was listening to ABC Radio on the way out, Emma Griffiths has a radio show.

Andrew: Yeah right.

Daryl: On a Sunday morning. And she had a historian, Helen Gregory on the phone, and they were talking about gardening, how do you garden in a drought? And they talked about Toowoomba. Because we’ve just had the Carnival of Flowers, and you can testify that the gardens looked absolutely beautiful.

Andrew: They did.

Daryl: The curators put together, yeah. So the history of Toowoomba mate. It was, the word Toowoomba it originates, and it means “swampy water hole”. Because Toowoomba is virtually a swamp, believe it or not.

Andrew: Yes, yeah right.

Daryl: You know? We’re built on a swamp, so it’s swampy water hole now, Toowoomba is, and you know, the place that the curators and all the landscapers from Toowoomba Regional Council and all the people with private gardens utilised as much water as they could conservatively, and produced some beautiful gardens in a drought. You know? Which is really cool. Excellent.

Andrew: And they did. And look, the Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers it’s finished, but such a beautiful place. There’s still the you know, the effort and that is still evident when you drive up and through there for that recent carnival. So people should still continue to come out and enjoy the main street, the food, the cafes, and the beautiful flowers.

Daryl: Definitely. And what Helen was saying, Helen Gregory the historian, that the Botanical Gardens was actually a scientific project put together to try different native species of trees and plants and see how they would grow in a region like Toowoomba, in a cooler area. And if you walk around you’ll see signs that will indicate what those plants are and why they were put there. So, very interesting indeed. So definitely check out the Toowoomba Botanical Gardens.
Mate in the weekend, in review, Johnny Ruffo was in town at Rosalie Cellars on Saturday. And they had a group of about 60 to 70 people there. Johnny, of course, had brain cancer, he did a presentation for the, now I’ll be careful here again, the FU Brain Cancer Group.

Andrew: That’s right.

Daryl: So that was a fundraiser there, so I’m sure they raised you know, a good three or four thousands dollars out of that event.

Andrew: Yeah, good.

Daryl: And as I said, I was out here Saturday. I worked at Paola’s kitchen with Paola. And mate, I can testify, Saturday and Sunday, heaps of Brisbane and Gold Coast people came through. And that was because of the long weekend, and they were saying they were getting the message that there is still water available. You know, they did mention they saw the trucks bringing water in and that did scare them off at first, but then they understand that there’s still, the dams are still, still got water, but it’s not the crisis that everyone thinks it is. But they will start trucking water in, in December. Towards the end of December if we don’t get any decent rain, so. So it’s all good, do encourage you, they need rain, but they need the hospitality and the tourism-

Andrew: Well you mentioned hospitality and you also mentioned Paola’s kitchen. Can you tell listeners where they would head to, to enjoy that hospitality?

Daryl: Yeah, to find Paola’s kitchen you head just a few minutes outside of Stanthorpe to Robert Channon winery, and he’s got the winery set up there, you go for your tastings there and then Paola’s kitchen is next door. And a beautiful range of tapas, Spanish tapas food, and Argentinian hamburgers, and oh mate, the menu is just amazing. So, definitely need to put that on your list to-do when you come out to Stanthorpe, check out Robert Channon winery and Paola’s kitchen.

Andrew: What else is happening around the place?

Daryl: Mate, the Toowoomba Sports Club finally got their renovations approved. So the Toowoomba city, Toowoomba Regional Council have approved that. Work gets underway in about three weeks. They’ll start some demolition projects inside, and it’s a seven to eight million dollar project. So it’ll be exciting for Toowoomba, that project will go on for 12 months and the sports club will continue to trade.
Mate the CBD of Toowoomba’s having some troubles. Grand Central, you know, have been very aggressive getting some of the major tenants out of there. So we’re seeing some vacancy rates which is pretty sad, and some big shots have moved in from out of the CBD. So challenges like Rowes are spending 10 million dollars on building, they’re building up, combining all their furniture downstairs and turning upstairs into office space. So they’ve sort of been a bit smart and creative with what they do with their building. But yeah, there’s some challenges for the CBD ahead.
Mate the car-parking, it’s been a hot controversy there. It’s gone from two hour to one hour parking there. In the CBD. While it has increased the turnover of cars and trade, there’s still some more issues with car-parking. So the Toowoomba Regional Council have launched on their website a car-parking survey, now they have done this, mate, I participated in this five years ago, they’re doing it again. So the idea is they want to get the latest information from the public, consultation, to try and solve the parking for the next five to ten years. So we definitely a multi-storey carpark, that’s my opinion. But if you want to take part in that survey, go to the Toowoomba Regional Council website, and check that out.
Mid 30s today, this is Monday, it’s going to be mid 30s in Toowoomba, and that’s extraordinary for Spring, Andrew.

Andrew: Yep.

Daryl: What’s summer going to be like?

Andrew: I think yeah, gee, and if you look at the last couple of years these things sort of tend to happen in cycles and we’ve had a quiet few years in Toowoomba, we’ve not had to cast memory back too far to remember there were some really shocking storms that came through there.

Daryl: Definitely, definitely.

Andrew: So I guess people really need to consider to be storm ready, fire ready, everything ready for this summer, yep.

Daryl: Exactly. Just have your emergency kits available. Do some packing up, have back up water and just prepared. Because we know Mother Nature can be quite challenging, so.
Mate Tuesday, tomorrow, the Toowoomba Entrepreneurial Breakfast is on at the Engine Room at 7:00AM. I have been to this a couple of times, it’s a group of entrepreneurs, from Canvas Coworking, and they’ve got a guest speaker tomorrow morning. She’s Ellen Ronalds Keene. Now she’s a coach, educator and a podcaster. So she’s going to share her knowledge of what she’s been doing over the past few years with everyone there. Mate, there’s no charge to go, you buy your own coffee, you buy your own breakfast, and you network with some great business people and entrepreneurs in Toowoomba, so that is a good event to go to. So, if you’re looking for something to do tomorrow morning, 7:00AM. And we’re next on, it’s on every first Tuesday of every month too by the way, not just tomorrow.
This Friday the K&R Plumbing Supplies expo is on. Now what Paul Reedy does, he’s been doing this expo for 24 years at Rumours International.

Andrew: Oh wow.

Daryl: 24 years. And what he does Friday night, he has like, some of the tradies up there, all the plumbers, builders, to come and have a look and have a talk to all these actual suppliers and that’s a private function that night, and I get involved with that one, but he has a live band on. But it’s an invite only thing, and it’s a good way for the trades people to meet the suppliers and see what’s going on.
But on Saturday, at 8:00AM we open the doors at Rumours International for the 24th year in a row at the same venue, it’s the K&R Plumbing Supplies extravaganza. So, people can come in. Every hour there’s lucky door prizes, so if you come in at 8:00, we do a draw at 9:00, there’s a chance you can get a lucky door prize. And you can just come around and find out all the latest and greatest in plumbing. They even talk to the reps there, so it is a really good morning.
James O’Shea, and the Semi-Pro’s will be broadcasting live from there. They’re doing their radio show with Power FM, and also Racing Nation. So come on down and check James and the team out. 8:00 until 3:00 on Saturday.

Andrew: And if you do head in there, you’re going to be there aren’t they, so people can catch up with you.

Daryl: Yeah definitely. Come in and I’ll be spruiking on the day, and you know, it is the day where it’s sharing information about plumbing, but it is a sales day as well. So if you’re renovating or building, K&R have got everything from roof to underground, so come and check it out.
Mate Saturday night after I finish up at Rumours, I’m mad, but I’ve got to go straight over the road to the new Goods Shed. The Goods Shed is part of the old railway precinct. The building was falling down and the council and the state government contributed 10 million dollars, to build, rebuild the place. So it’s having its first official function there, on this Saturday night. And it’s the Chamber of Commerce Business Awards. So I’ve been fortunate enough to, I’ll be working over there, running in a management role. But it’s where the, all the business organisations that are part of the chamber, are getting nominated and picking up the awards. So I’ll get some footage from there as well and share that. And it’s good to encourage business, anyway, even though it’s tough, then, they’re here to reward business and business people. So that’s on Saturday night as well.
Hey there’s a lot going on. The farmers’ market’s on Saturday morning at 7 o’clock in the morning. And do you know, it’s World Squash Day in Toowoomba on Saturday? Did you know that?

Andrew: World Squash Day! Look that used to be a sport that a lot of people got involved in. You don’t hear about it so much anymore.

Daryl: Yes. Well no, what happened was, it was a couple that were running the squash court in James Street just up from the corner of James and West Street, and they decided to retire, so the squashing fraternities created a, what would you call it? Not for profit incorporated. So they’ve all thrown a little bit of money and they’ve kept the squash courts open. So 10:00 until 5:00 it’s World Squash Day at the Toowoomba Squash Court, James and West Street, just up from there. And yeah, come down, have a look, join up, and you can be a member there and enjoy hitting that black ball around mate. Which is, it’s really a physical, a good physical aerobic game.

Andrew: Oh, it is.

Daryl: Yeah I love squash. I haven’t played for years, but I have been down to the squash court, and they’re doing each court up one by one, so there’s eight courts there I think, and they’ve done four of them up so far as the money comes in.
Sunday of course the usual PCYC market’s on at 6:00AM. There’s a special day out at Highfields. You’ve been down to Highfields, it’s beautiful out there mate.

Andrew: Oh it is.

Daryl: There’s a vet that’s been operating out there for 40 years. Highfields Vet Surgery is having the peace haven part 40 year celebration. Mate, they’re going to have bands, jumping castles, freebies. Bring a blanket and your pet. Bring your pet along, your dog, your cat. And they’re going to have a pet parade as well, so that’s on Sunday.
Tracy’s at it again. She had Johnny Ruffo at Rosalie Cellars on Saturday just gone. But it’s Walk for Brain Cancer at the Toowoomba Showgrounds from 8:00 until 12:00. So you can nominate yourself, there is a fee to take part in it, there’s some prizes, activities through the day, and that’s all part of FU Brain Cancer, and Tracy’s doing some amazing work to raise money for that.
Mate, huge week in Toowoomba again, what more can I say? If anyone says there’s nothing to do in Toowoomba, then they’re mad, there is heaps to do. Heaps to do.

Andrew: Look, Daryl Nicholson, thank you very much for your time. Look, you did mention that some of the businesses are doing it tough. We are here for those businesses and the community, so if you’re in the Toowoomba or Stanthorpe regions, and have a community event coming up, let Daryl know by going to the True AU dot news website. Putting your details into the contact form will pass your information on to Daryl, the Toowoomba advocate.

Daryl: Great stuff mate. Toowoomba 4350 TV and Stanthorpe 4358 TV. They’re more than just a postcode, they’re all about community.

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