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Help deliver a world-class facility where veterans will prepare for civilian life.

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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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Support Our Veterans!

A proposal has been made to build a world-class museum in Toowoomba.

The museum should be run by Queensland Museums as a centre for training and employing veterans.

The facility will also provide significant economic benefits, boost employment and provide a valuable and popular day-trip destination to South-East Queensland.

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

For those veterans who prefer to work outdoors the centre will also employ veterans to design and build new parks and gardens.

Toowoomba Regional Council has more than 3000 hectares of unimproved parkland earmarked for development.

These projects could employ more than 1000 veterans for the next 30 years.

With ex-service unemployment reported to be at 30% (6 times the national average) running a centre to get veterans back into the workforce has never been more important.

Design Concept Presentation PDF
Click to view our concept plan.

Preparing veterans...

Australia has a rich tradition, started by General Monash in 1919, of preparing veterans for civilian life.

General Monash's legacy continued with projects such as the Great Ocean Road and Sydney Harbour Bridge.

The proposed museum in Toowoomba will provide a long-term facility for the training and employment of veterans which will benefit the entire region.

Toowoomba Regional Council will be able to train, upskill, and qualify veterans in a host of outdoor careers.

Queensland Museums will provide specific Museum training for Guides, Curators, Administrators and IT roles in the Museum.

The economic flow-on will help local businesses to grow creating broad employment opportunities benefiting not only our veterans, but the entire community.

A proven concept...

The idea of building a world class, beautiful facility to stimulate a regional economy is a proven concept.

 

Bilbao

The Guggenheim in Bilbao has transformed a run down river port into a world class tourist destination.

 

Lens

The construction of the Louvre Annex in Lens has rejuvenated the old coal mining town to the point where visitor numbers to Lens regularly exceed the Louvre in Paris.

 

Tasmania

This is not just a European phenomenon.

The MONA in Hobart has transformed Tasmania’s tourism economy in a similar way bringing thousands of new tourists to Tasmania.

This landmark has encouraged the construction of new 5-star hotels and restaurants and helped underpin the wider tourism economy.

FAQs

Where is this Museum?

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

 

Is the site already approved?

No. While this design is site specific there are at least 3 excellent sites available.

 

Who decides where it could be built?

Final site selection would be a joint decision of Federal, State and Local Government.

 

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 plans are for an 8000m2 building

 

What’s included in the building design?

Exhibition space, Curatorial Workshops, Restaurant, Administration offices, Public Amenities and a 2 level lookout

 

What’s in the Outdoor areas?

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

 

How much will it cost?

The building has been costed at $49million

 

Who costed it?

The costings were done by Qualified Engineering and Construction Companies in Toowoomba [ verified independently 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.

 

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 site selection, zoning and DA approval have been completed.

 

How long will it take to build?

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

 

What about the local environment?

All 3 sites have been heavily degraded over the last 100 years and need remediation. Our plans would see a massive regeneration of native vegetation.

 

Where will the funding come from?

The Federal Government has the capacity to fund this through a number of existing programmes, possibly including Regional Tourism and Veterans Affairs.

 

Why isn’t Toowoomba Regional Council paying for it?

TRC have funds for Toowoomba Escarpment Tourism but they aren’t adequate for the whole project.

 

2000+ plus jobs are quoted, where will they be?

Museums this size typically employ 350-500 staff, we have detailed plans to employ another 1000+ in Parks and Gardens roles and a further 500+ in Defence related 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. It’s 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.

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.

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 meets the Federal criteria as a regional centre for funding.

Toowoomba doesn’t have the natural tourism attractions of beaches, reefs or island resorts

Toowoomba has lost more than 1000 retail jobs in the last 5 years and needs to find a tourism strategy to counter these job losses.

Regardless of Toowoomba’s merit, any prospective host city must be:

  • Located far enough away from the major museums and galleries in Canberra so that it doesn’t rob existing cultural institutions of visitors.
  • Built away from the coast to avoid potential corrosion issues to exhibits from salt laden sea breezes
  • Big enough to provide the necessary infrastructure for staffing, maintenance of the building and exhibits
  • Able to provide best practice Corporate Governance
  • Ready to cope with the food and accommodation demands of 3000 extra visitors a day.
  • Be close enough to major population centres (3 million or more people) to build a credible visitation plan.
  • Within commuting distance from major existing Defence establishments to be a viable transition centre for ex-service personnel.

Toowoomba meets all the the requirements.

Without meeting all these criteria the centre is likely to fail at a huge financial cost to the Commonwealth and great emotional cost to veterans.

 

How much will it cost in the future?

After the initial construction costs, the centre should be self funding with little or no need for ongoing grants.

Adequate Funding for construction from the Federal budget is already set aside but not allocated to this project.
 
The economic benefit brought to Toowoomba justifies Toowoomba Regional Council funding the maintenance and building the supporting infrastructure.
 
The gate taking will largely fund the wages and operational costs of the Museum.
 
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?

There will be no Public Parking at the Museum.

A parking station and ticket office will be constructed in the CBD.

Electric Shuttle buses will depart every 3 minutes to take people to and from the Museum and will play educational videos to introduce visitors to the museum whilst they are on the short transfer journey.

 

Why Can’t I Park at The Museum?

There are four answers to this question.

Security

All visitors will buy their entry tickets and pass through security screening before they board the bus.

This eliminates security screening at the museum and ensures a positive educational experience for visitors from the moment they arrive at the facility.

Economic Benefit

Visitors arriving and departing from the CBD maximises tourism spend in the city creating opportunities for local businesses to thrive and to create more employment opportunities for local workers.

Congestion

Keeping cars away from the museum area stops visitors from adding to a parking burden in nearby streets. It also reduces in and outbound traffic to just the shuttle buses which will be quiet electric vehicles.

Aesthetics 

Removing a requirement for Car Parking from the design brief maximises Architectural freedom ensuring the most beautiful building is designed and constructed.

 

How will this benefit Toowoomba?

ABS statistics show Day Trip visitors spend $120 each, on average, and Overnight visitors spend $360.

A well-designed and managed museum should experience visitor numbers similar to those of the Australian War Memorial in Canberra

With a 50/50 split we can expect $240 million injected into the local economy each year thanks to 3000 daily visitors.

Toowoomba will have an additional 1,080,000 visitors each year.

The Museum itself will employ about 500 staff. The museum will also boost employment opportunities in local businesses that offer services suited visitors to our city -  our cafes, restaurants, motels, service stations and other South East Qld tourist attractions.

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 drawcard to bring people to Toowoomba.

Tourism numbers in Toowoomba have flatlined 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 muesum 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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