Welcome to the Hands off OUR Highfields web presence. This site was developed due to the lack of consultation by Toowoomba Regional Council with Highfields residents in regards to the Draft Highfields Cultural Precinct Master Plan. Please use this site to gain accurate and detailed information and discover the devastating impact that it will have on our residents, our community and our environment.

Residents MUST write to council to express our concerns. If we don’t, as residents of Highfields, we will be the ones who have to live with the ramifications of this plan!

Please email:

Mr Heath Martin – Principal Planner – Land Use and Community. Email address: heath.martin@tr.qld.gov.au

In addition, please feel free to Copy the below addresses into your email. The more people we contact, the better!

  • Mayor Paul Antonio – Email address: paul.antonio@tr.qld.gov.au
  • Councillor Bill Cahill – Email address: bill.cahill@tr.qld.gov.au
  • Councillor Megan O’Hara Sullivan – Email address: Megan.OHaraSullivan@tr.qld.gov.au
  • Councillor Carol Taylor – Email address: carol.taylor@tr.qld.gov.au
  • Councillor Geoff McDonald – Email address: geoff.mcdonald@tr.qld.gov.au
  • Councillor James O’Shea – Email address: james.oshea@tr.qld.gov.au
  • Councillor Mike Williams – Email address: mike.williams@tr.qld.gov.au
  • Councillor Chris Tait – Email address: chris.tait@tr.qld.gov.au
  • Councillor Joe Ramia – Email address: joe.ramia@tr.qld.gov.au
  • Councillor Anne Glasheen – Email address: anne.glasheen@tr.qld.gov.au
  • Councillor Nancy Somerfield– Email address: nancy.sommerfield@tr.qld.gov.au

or send a letter to:

Chief Executive Officer
Toowoomba Regional Council
PO Box 3021
Toowoomba QLD 4350

Member for Toowoomba North, Trevor Watts MP, is running a petition which is our real opportunity to stop the resumption of houses http://www.trevorwattsmp.com/hooh

Mr Watts can also be emailed Toowoomba.north@parliament.qld.gov.au


Stage One of the Draft Highfields Cultural Precinct Master Plan includes:
• the resumption of up to 14 homes (these residents have still not been consulted by Council about this);
• changes to the housing diversity and affordability by changing residential zoning low-medium density. This is mentioned on page 18, “The Draft Master Plan should consider opportunities for exemplar medium density mixed use development of 2-4 storeys around the town centre and consider the support of a catalyst project to telegraph best practice standards to the development community” (this would affect the peaceful, safe and relative low rate of crime that we currently enjoy);
• in relation to new urban development the Local Plan states on page 5 “The design of these areas needs to be sympathetic to the existing local character and create a distinct sense of place.” No consideration at all has been given to the existing residents around Stringybark St, Clarke Rd and Fairview Cr, where homes are being destroyed and quiet cul-de-sacs turned into main roads;
• an urban focus on turning Highfields into a “town” (we are a suburb of Toowoomba);a focus on development (this plan was presented to the Urban Development Institute of Australia even before it was open to residents and public feedback); and
What it fails to actually state is that it plans on extending Fairview Cres through to Glen Crescent to connect to Highfields Road and Anderson Court to connect to Kratzke Road. These changes would require the resumption in these areas alone of up to 9 properties. This would add to the houses being resumed on Highfields Rd, Stringybark St and possibly Clarke Rd.

Our Flyer!

Check your Mailbox for our flyer to let people know what is going on and asking them to sign the petition. Look who dropped ours off!


Stage One of the Draft Highfields Cultural Precinct Master Plan includes:
• ‘a robust grid of city streets” which is an attack on our current road system that is actually a huge attraction of Highfields. The Master Plan states, “Because the bespoke cul-de-sacs mean that local trips are unnecessarily convoluted and perceived as distant, pedestrian and bike options are not possible.”;
• extending Clarke Rd to the New England Highway to allow an alternate route to and from the town centre. The plan indicates this by placing a dotted line through the sports oval and clubhouse on Kuhls Road. The map provided does not extend far enough to indicate that houses will be resumed by the additional connection onto the Highway;
• page 12 of the draft plan states that the road situation in Highfields at present “reduces mode of choice (car, bike or walk) and route choice (only one way to go in any direction) when making local trips”. If a change of venue is forced from Kuhls Rd Oval you will necessitate children being transported to and from sporting activities by car on the one in/out route available to the complex to the north, reducing incidental exercise and having negative impacts on social cohesion, connectedness and safety… the very things this draft plan purports to improve;
• Page 12 of the Master Plan states that there “is an existing fabric of disconnected streets and this needs to be addressed”. The plan states these “have a negative impact on social cohesion, safety, legibility, flexibility in land use, development redundancy and other effects that will be investigated”.
It is widely perceived that the quiet cul-de-sacs actually contribute to social cohesion, safety and flexibility in land use. These statements do not consider the permeability of Highfields streets provided by the many interconnecting walking and cycle paths which join these cul-de-sacs and streets.
Special notes here is in regards to the Highfields, Meringandan and Meringandan West Local Plan which the Master Plan refers to on a number of occasions.
• On Page 5 of the Local Plan it states “Consideration should be given to creating seamless linkages between the existing road network and the network of future residential developments. The most desirable outcome would be a grid network, where topography and constraints permit.” The proposed connections in the Draft Master Plan destroy sporting facilities and up to 12 residential homes which are major constraints. Recommendations are made for creating new connections between the existing road network and future developments. There is definitely no suggestion to change any of the existing roads in developed neighbourhoods.
• The new connections proposed on page 20 of the Local Plan are not mentioned at all. These proposed connections are in undeveloped areas, will have minimal impact on existing residents and reduce congestion on the existing main roads, especially the New England Hwy by providing alternative routes to Toowoomba
There is very little evidence of the implementation of the Local Plan in the Master Plan which was endorsed by Council on 17 June 2014: http://www.tr.qld.gov.au/our-region/major-projects/planning-development/2850-local-plans.

Highfields Youth and Elderly

The Draft Highfields Cultural Precinct Master Plan fails to cater for both the elderly and the youth of Highfields.

With the expanding local colleges, numerous youth will require facilities that meet their needs especially when school is finished at the end of the day. A lack of facilities will only need to serious social issues. The current skate park will not cater for these needs.

The only mention of any facilities that might cater for the youth is “a regional review of its aquatic facilities, including for those at Highfields, which has highlighted the need for upgrades to the existing aquatic facilities in Highfields to provide for year round utilisation.” This upgrade would benefit all members of the community but more needs to be done.

Under this plan, one local sporting field will be drastically affected which will in fact reduce the facilities available to the youth in Highfields.

The Australian Institute of Health and Wellbeing states “Based on population projections by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, there will be 9.6 million people aged 65 and over and 1.9 million people aged 85 and over by 2064…While longer lives are a positive outcome for individuals, at the population level, increased lifespans and older age generally result in increased ill health…However, most older Australians consider themselves to be in good health. This enables people to enjoy a good quality of life for longer and to participate fully in the community. It also reduces the general demand for health and aged care services.” What facilities are being provided for our older residents in this plan, which will enable them to participate in the community?


Population Growth

The Master Plan states that Highfields has been identified as a key growth area and is expecting a large population increase of 10000 people over the next 20 years.

The population data quoted to justify the major changes in road structures is outdated. Page 7 quotes data from as far back as 2006 (11 years ago!) and the population data used in regard to the doubling of the population by 2031 is already 6 years out of date. Assertions that the road grid needs to cope with a doubling of traffic are questionable with outdated information.

The plan changes the housing diversity and affordability by changing residential zoning low-medium density. This is mentioned on page 18, “The Draft Master Plan should consider opportunities for exemplar medium density mixed use development of 2-4 storeys around the town centre and consider the support of a catalyst project to telegraph best practice standards to the development community”.

New accurate statistics need to be used when implementing such a large change to a community that affects our valued lifestyles

New Library

The two proposed positions of the new library is of concern! The plan proposes to build a new library, and for it to be the catalyst project of the cultural precinct.

  • Page 42 depicts Option 1 – this proposes that the library be placed in the Charles and Motee Rogers Reserve by weaving the library through significant trees on site; and
  • Page 44 depicts Option 2 – this proposes closing the current entrance of Community Ct and placing the library on the corner of Balmoral st and O’Brien Rd. To implement this proposal, trees would still need to be felled to house the library.

There is concern that both plans may intrude on the Charles and Motee Rogers Reserve. The reserve, which is 6 hectares of vegetation and is the last of its kind in Highfields, is an endangered ecosystem.

There is no disputing that a new library is needed, however, providing options that don’t sacrifice the reserve would be beneficial. The Council Have Your Say Survey only includes these two options and won’t allow you to submit your survey without choosing one of the options, therefore, leading to false data.


There is concern that both options for the library may intrude and destroy sections of the Charles and Motee Rogers Reserve. The reserve, which is 6 hectares of vegetation and is the last of its kind in Highfields, is an endangered ecosystem.

The plan also mentions that, “Highfields enjoys a number of framing green spaces what are important element of the town’s fabric. The town centre Draft Master Plan should respond to reinforce their role in the town by creating meaningful connections with this open space resource”.

There are large environmental impacts of the removal of trees and vegetation as a result of the implementation of this plan. There is a significant stand of remnant open eucalypt forest in Clarke Rd. On pages 14, 21, 27, 32, 37 the author indicates that “Highfields is characterised by the surrounding bushland and therefore its inclusion is an important driver for the Draft Master Plan”, that the development precinct “needs to embrace the bushland setting and support conservation of this local resource” and create a “distinctive sense of place and economic offer through the preservation and enhancement of forest reserves integrated into town centres”.

Why not integrate the existing bushland in Clarke Rd into the Plan, which would provide far greater improvement in amenity and integrate a true bushland experience that would otherwise take 100 plus years to regrow.

Destroying trees in both Clark Rd and in the Rogers Reserve to then later plant other trees to replace them, is quite simply ludicrous.


Current facilities and Water retention

The impact on existing facilities of the Clarke Rd Extension would be disastrous. The Clarke Rd fields are primarily a water retention basin for flood mitigation. In significant rain events this flood water retention basin fills to capacity. This happens on a regular basis and in the 2011 floods, water flowed over the embankment making both Kuhls Rd and Clarke Rd impassable. The infill of this basin to connect Clarke to Stringybark Rd will cause major water issues!

The connection of Clarke Rd and Stringybark St will require the infilling of part of that flood retention basin. The end of the basin to be filled in is “the deep end” of the basin and even if only a minimal amount of the surface area is refilled the flood retention capacity of the oval will be reduced by significantly more.

Since 2011 the TRC has made significant changes to the surrounds of the oval. In 2011 the deep wide table drain surrounding the oval bounded by Clarke and Kuhls Rds contained much of the overflow from the retention basin allowing it to flow around the corner and down to the drain which crosses Clarke Rd. Since then this (table drain) has been filled in and replaced by curbing and channelling and a large traffic garden island which in any future flooding event would directly channel water into properties in the vicinity.

The plan includes widening Highfields Rd and there are still large areas upstream of the ovals not yet developed which will add to the volume of runoff in rain events. Also the runoff from the acres of roofs and bitumen proposed in the new development will largely flow east into the drain which crosses Clarke Rd slowing the outflow of the water from the Kuhls Rd oval. These two things combined will cause the retention basin to ‘fill and spill’ with less inflow i.e. much less significant rain events.

There is no indication in the Draft Master Plan to similarly retain runoff from the new development within the development area.
This plan proposes to push Clarke Rd through the Kuhls Rd clubhouse and sports fields. This will destroy a valuable community asset.

There are the new fields, available, north of Highfields but there is no safe cycle or walking route to those parklands and many of the children attending football training either walk or ride to training to be picked up by parents finishing work later. The position will mean children have to cross another major intersection to go to sporting activities

The fields to the north of Highfields and the route to and from are isolated and children walking or riding to or playing even in small groups would be unsafe. The Kuhls Rd Oval in contrast is surrounded by houses and visible to passing traffic. A much safer option especially on weekends and afternoons when they are regularly used by locals for non-club activities.


Voice your opinion

Council’s feedback address is listed below. Please follow and send your thoughts on the plan! There are several ways to do so!

Click this button to go to the council’s opinion poll (careful it is rather misleading)

Chief Executive Officer
Toowoomba Regional Council
PO Box 3021
Toowoomba QLD 4350

Our Blog


Due to the complete lack of consultation by council in regards to this plan, this website has been established by concerned residents. At a recent community meeting organised by the residents, council admitted that the consultation process was severely inadequate and they got it wrong.



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