Yarraman Progress Association president Rob Mackie chatted with Toowoomba Mayor Geoff McDonald after the candidates forum on Saturday night

March 4, 2024

A forum for candidates contesting the upcoming Toowoomba Regional Council elections drew a bumper roll-up of candidates on Saturday night.

In all, 16 of the 27 candidates contesting Toowoomba’s 10 councillor seats – and both candidates contesting the mayoralty – turned up at the Yarraman Bowls Club to explain to residents why they were running for office (see audio files, below).

Several of the candidates also shared apologies from colleagues who could not make it.

The evening was organised by the Yarraman Progress Association (YPA) to help Yarraman and district residents become better informed about the March 16 poll.

YPA president Rob Mackie invited each of the eight candidates then present to speak for three minutes apiece.

After all candidates had their say, the meeting would have a short break before a second session where the audience of about 30 could pose questions.

This seemed a good plan at 5:00pm however during the next 30 minutes another eight candidates turned up (some blaming the New England Highway roadworks).

It quickly became apparent the YPA’s original idea would be unworkable so Rob invited the audience to buttonhole candidates individually over refreshments.

Topics covered on the night included the lack of public transport in the Toowoomba region, maintenance on parks and gardens, highway noise and safety in Yarraman and the need to encourage visitors to festivals such as the Carnival of Flowers to venture into rural areas away from the Toowoomba CBD

Also noted were Council’s investment in Yarraman over the past four years – in particular its expanded waste facility – and the importance of the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail as a tourist drawcard.

However, with the TRC facing a potential $270 million bill to reinforce Cressbrook Dam in the coming term – a figure bigger than Council’s annual capital works budget – promises of future projects were understandably missing.

Yarraman residents mingled with Council Candidates after the formal part of the evening at the Yarraman Bowls Club

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Mayoral Candidates

In the order they spoke on the night:

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Councillor Candidates

In the order they spoke on the night (organisers received apologies from several candidates):


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