A world class facility to employ our veterans

Toowoomba Regional Council have allocated us a 40ha site to build our facility...


Register Your Support

Your details will only be used for collating and demonstrating support for the construction of a museum as a centre for training and employing Australian Veterans. We will only disclose your details in our submission to the Federal Government requesting funding for this project.

Support Our Veterans!

As at September 2020, land has been allocated by Toowoomba Regional Council for the Museum project.

Now earmarked for a stunning Highfields escarpment location, the museum should be run by Queensland Museums as a centre for training and employing veterans.

The facility will provide a valuable and popular day-trip destination.

It will allow our veterans to train and work at a real-world facility providing a genuine service to other Australians.

For those veterans looking for trade training opportunities may be available at the Boeing facility at Wellcamp. 

These projects should employ more than 3000 veterans for the next 30 years.

Design Concept Presentation PDF
Click to view our concept plan.


Where is this Museum?

The Proposed Museum is located on public land on the Highfields Escarpment.


Is the site already approved?

Yes. Toowoomba Regional Council have provided us with a shovel-ready site.


Who decides when it will be built?

We have a site. We have plans. 
We are making an application to the Government for Regional Development Infrastructure Funding.

Who put the plans together?

The design images you see here are the result of a detailed plan put together by Aspect Architects Toowoomba office.


How big is it?

The amended plans on the allocated site are for a 5000m2 building.
Bigger than Queensland Museum's total display space. The plan is designed to be built in stages. Stage One is 2000m2.

What’s included in the building design?

Exhibition space, Restaurant, Public Amenities and a 2-level lookout.
A separate administrative centre and curatorial centre are planned on adjoining land.


What’s in the Outdoor areas?

A 1000 seat Amphitheatre, Native Gardens, Meeting spaces and Picnic Areas


How much will it cost?

High level costings in 2019 estimated $49 million.
This is being updated to reflect building costs in 2021.
Stage One has been costed at $20 million.


Who costed it?

The costings were completed by Qualified Engineering and Construction Companies in Toowoomba and independently verified by Wagner’s Toowoomba.


Will the costs blow out because of extra engineering works required on the escarpment?

No. The costings are based on a worst case scenario with extra deep concrete piers typically required for building near the escarpment.
Extra costs for car parking and council infrastructure are not included.


What does shovel ready mean?

The architects and engineers have progressed the plans to a stage that it’s ready to start as soon as detailed site plans are approved by Toowoomba Regional Council.
Zoning approval has already been granted, even before Toowoomba Regional Council allocated the land for this specific project.


How long will it take to build?

Total construction time is 28 months not including long-term landscaping.


What about the local environment?

The chosen site is an old dairy farm with cleared pastures. It will not see one tree removed. Rather, it will see thousands of native plants added to provide habitat for critical species.


Where will the funding come from?

We are submitting an application to the Government for Regional Infrastructure Funding.

Why isn’t Toowoomba Regional Council paying for it?

TRC have generously donated a massive and spectacular site.
If this site was zoned as residential, it would have a retail value in excess of $100 million.


3000+ plus jobs are quoted, where will they be?

Museums this size typically employ 350-500 staff, we have detailed plans to employ another 2500+ in Parks and Gardens roles and in Defence Industry projects.


How do I help to get this happening?

Registering your support on this website forms part of our public consultation to present to the Federal Government, please encourage your friends and family to register too.


Why build another Defence Museum when AWM is already getting $500m for expansion?

AWM is about the past. Its operation relies heavily on volunteers.

AWM displays are designed to provide the most powerful and meaningful displays about past service with a minimum of labour.

Our plan is about the future.

We want to maximise labour to provide the most paid job opportunities possible for veterans.

While we’d be thrilled to support the AWM and showcase some of their priceless exhibits that’s not our primary purpose.

In fact we want to offer as many diverse opportunities as possible that have nothing to do with defence, as part of veterans' rehabilitation.

It’s time to prove to all Australians that our ex-service personnel have plenty of valuable skills that make our veterans employable outside defence.


Why Build in Toowoomba?

Toowoomba has provided the land.

Toowoomba has 100 percent backing by all of its councillors.

The Toowoomba business community is passionate about tourism and has the skills and capacity to support a world-class tourism project.


How much will it cost in the future?

The centre will be self-funding with little or no need for ongoing grants.
We expect to charge for entry in a similar way to MONA in Tasmania.
Income from visitors, once we are established, should cover maintenance, administration, marketing and wages for 300+ veteran employees.
There will also be an opportunity for RSL and other service clubs with Gaming machine revenue to fund parks and garden projects built by veterans as they see fit.
The more support we receive from RSL clubs the more gardens we can build throughout Australia.


What about the cost to ratepayers?

A museum in Toowoomba would charge an entry fee.

Between $2 and $6 from each entry would cover the Toowoomba Regional Council's share of the project

The remainder of the entry fees collected will go towards maintaining the collection both in Toowoomba and Canberra, training and employing veterans to work at the museum and on other TRC projects.

This means Veterans working on Parks and Gardens projects for TRC will be paid by the Museum. Toowoomba will get extra Park and Garden improvements at no cost to TRC staff wages.

Essentially the true cost is nil but with the benefit of keeping downward pressure on rates while improving the beauty of our public spaces.


Where Will People Park?

The Highfields site has adequate space for on-site parking. There are also plans to run shuttle buses from Toowoomba CBD to the museum which will also benefit the residents of Highfields by increasing public transport options.


How will this benefit Toowoomba?

Museum experts advise us that, once established, we should expect 3000 visitors each day. With the expectation that half the visitors will stay the night and half will be "day trippers", this indicates $240 million injected into the local economy each year (ABS Statistics).


Will the building just house a museum?

The museum can be used to hold many different events or functions.

Given the nature of the building, such events will need to be dignified and respectful.


Do We Need a Beautiful Architect Designed Building?

Local visitors and school groups will visit the museum for history, culture and heritage – the building design would be a secondary consideration for such groups.

International visitors may not understand our heritage and they need to be given a reason to visit.

The Bilbao solution to this issue was to ensure visitors feel uplifted and inspired by providing a breathtakingly beautiful building.

A stunning piece of architecture encourages the initial visit and gives visitors an added reason to recommend that experience to their friends and family.

Visiting a beautiful building which also houses culturally and historically significant displays is a great combination for visitors.


Will a Museum of National Significance detract from other Tourism on the Darling Downs?

No. It is more likely to do the opposite and increase other tourism activity on the Darling Downs.

We need a major draw-card to bring people to Toowoomba.

Tourism numbers in Toowoomba have flat-lined for 5 years and the industry needs help.

While we have a large number of excellent facilities there is no nationally prominent attraction that can be used as a marketing focus to bring visitors to the region.

Tourists who visit the museum will have ready access to details of our other Heritage and Tourism trails.

This will require all Tourism stakeholders to sharpen their offer to ensure they get the maximum spin off from increased visitors to Toowoomba.

Having options for additional activities while they are here to see the Museum will provide a vital value-add for potential visitors and help them to choose to visit our region.


Why invest in Tourism instead of schools and hospitals?

Working at the Museum will be a great way to transition out of the Military.

The Museum will help by employing some veterans who may otherwise stay caught up in the Health System.

So the Museum will actually take people out of the Health systems and free up our hospitals for other people.


Why is there a focus on employing veterans?

Ex-service unemployment is reportedly around 30%.

This is between five and six times the national average.

This not just a waste of excellent people it’s also a drain on our nations resources by forcing people to sit around who want to be actively employed.

By building a skilled veteran workforce to construct parks and gardens we automatically create a large team of workers capable of helping in natural disaster cleanups throughout the nation

The current availability of soldiers to do this work cannot be guaranteed in the future

Register Your Support

Your details will only be used for collating and demonstrating support for the construction of a museum as a centre for training and employing Australian Veterans. We will only disclose your details in our submission to the Federal Government requesting funding for this project.

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