Toowoomba tops state in new ‘liveability’ report
TOOWOOMBA and its wider region has been named the most liveable regional city in Queensland and one of top communities in Australia, according to new research.
The Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology's Australian Urban Observatory has released new findings, putting the Garden City ahead of a large portion of the country in terms of key liveability factors.
The new report, which gathered key data on 21 of Australia's largest cities, ranked communities based on aspects like "walkability", social infrastructure, access to public transport, distance from alcohol, public open spaces, housing affordability and local employment.
The top regional cities were all in Victoria, with Ballarat, Bendigo and Geelong scoring highly.
Toowoomba ranked well across a number of fields, topping the country for a resident's average distance to alcohol and coming second to Townsville for local employment access.
The research found nearly 90 per cent of Toowoomba region residents were close to local jobs.
However, the region struggled in areas like public transport, with just three per cent of residencies having "proximate access" to regular services.
Because the research included the entire Toowoomba region, a key finding from the Toowoomba-centred report highlighted how varied the liveability scores were when looking at on different areas.
As a result, the researchers revealed how different the outcomes were for people living in Toowoomba as opposed to towns like Pittsworth, Crows Nest or Clifton.
"Analysis of liveability for Toowoomba suburbs reveals wide variation over the city," the report said.
Lead researcher Dr Lucy Gunn said the findings showed regional cities could not be ignored when it came to infrastructure investment.
"The good thing about our regional cities is there is still time to avoid the problems that come with our sprawling capital cities," she said.
"There is an opportunity here for regional cities to capitalise on what makes them great and to recognise where they can improve to sustain their liveability for years to come."