Aerial view of Roma
|Population||6,906 (2011 Census)|
|Elevation||299.4 m (982 ft)|
Roma is a town in the western Darling Downs area of South West Queensland, Australia, 515 km (320 mi) by rail WNW of Brisbane. It is situated at the junction of the Warrego and Carnarvon highways. It is the centre of a rich pastoral and wheat-growing district, The town was incorporated in 1867 and is named after Lady Diamantina Bowen (née Roma), the wife of Sir George Ferguson Bowen, the Governor of Queensland at the time. Beef, grain and wool are its chief industries. It is in the Maranoa electoral district. It also serves as a centre for the larger Maranoa Region. At the 2011 census, Roma had a population of 6,906.
Hotels, pubs, and churches feature prominently near the centre of town. The ten hotels are within easy walking distance with most adjacent to another hotel. St Paul's Anglican Church is a copy of a 13th Century English Church in the shape of crucifix.
Roma was named after Lady Diamantina Bowen (Contessa Diamantina di Roma), wife of the first Governor of Queensland, George Bowen in 1867. In 1863 Samuel Symons Bassett brought Queensland's vine cuttings to Roma and established the Romaville Winery and a century later, Roma was the site of Australia's first oil and gas discoveries.
Roma has a number of heritage-listed sites, including:
- 75 Arthur Street: State Butchers Shop (former)
- 42 Bungil Street: Roma Government Complex
- 38-44 Hawthorne Street: Hibernian Hall, Roma
- McDowall Street: Roma Court House and Police Buildings
- 86 McDowell Street: Hunter's Emporium (former)
- 77 Northern Road: Romavilla Winery
- Warrego Highway: Mount Abundance Homestead
- Wyndham Street: War Memorial and Heroes Avenue
Roma has a humid subtropical climate, which gets enough precipitation to avoid the semi-arid climate. Its location on the far south of the Carnarvon Range at an elevation of 299 meters above sea level means that it is cooler and wetter than the plains to the south and west, while being warmer and drier than areas to the north and east. Temperatures in Roma range from 34 °C in summer to 20 °C in winter and winter minimums can drop below freezing, however it seldom gets colder than -3 °C. Rainfall is mild and distributed fairly evenly throughout the year, with an annual average of 587.9 mm (23.15 in), however it peaks in summer due to frequent showers and thunderstorms. Roma is usually too far inland to experience the influence of tropical cyclones and associated rain depressions, however there are exceptions, and these systems have caused significant flooding in the town. Extremes have ranged from 45.8 °C (114.4 °F) to -5.8 °C (21.5 °F).
|Climate data for Roma (Roma Airport 1985–2013)|
|Record high °C (°F)||44.0
|Average high °C (°F)||34.3
|Average low °C (°F)||21.0
|Record low °C (°F)||11.2
|Rainfall mm (inches)||72.4
|Avg. rainy days (≥ 0.2mm)||6.5||8.0||4.1||4.0||4.8||4.8||4.1||3.5||4.1||5.9||7.7||8.0||65.5|
|Source: Bureau of Meteorology|
The town is situated on Bungil Creek, a tributary of the Condamine River. In March 2010, Roma experienced its worst floods in over 100 years. Flooding also occurred in April 2011, a year of record rainfall in Roma. In early February 2012, Roma was devastated by its worst floods in history, eclipsing the level reached in 2010; 444 homes were inundated, twice as many that were flooded in the two previous years.
Having experienced three successive years of flooding, in May 2012, one insurer Suncorp announced it would not issue new policies to Roma residents, unless action was taken to mitigate the flood risk in Roma.
Industry and economy
The Maranoa's agriculture industry is worth approximately $620 million annually, 64.3% being generated from crops. 58.7% of businesses in the Maranoa are in the agriculture, forestry and fishing sector, which employs 32.7% of the region's workforce. 2005 was a record year for Roma saleyards processing 390,000 head of cattle. Roma is home to Australia's largest cattle saleyards. Forestry plantations include Hardwood and Cypress Pines. Roma and the Maranoa region is home to Australia's most active native Cypress Pine sawmilling.
Oil and Gas
In 1906 natural gas was used for lighting in Roma. The industry has expanded as more reserves were discovered.
Origin Energy's Spring Gully Coal Seam Gas Development is about 80 km north of Roma and its projects include an 87 km gas pipeline to Roma's neighbour town of Wallumbilla to connect with the 434 km Roma-to-Brisbane gas pipeline hub there ,  (see portfolio map of Queensland projects). Origin Energy is proposing Spring Gully Power Station as an $870 Million, 1,000 MW power station that will provide electricity to South-East Queensland. With a base at the Spring Gully CSG site, the power station will have the benefit of being close to the source of gas and able to use the waste-water left over from the other CSG operations.
Roma has a relatively low unemployment rate of 2.9% in 2004.
Local tourist attractions include the Big Rig and Oil and Gas Museum, Romavilla Winery and Roma Saleyards. The winery is the oldest in Queensland. To the north of the town is Carnarvon Gorge in Carnarvon National Park. Over the Easter period, Roma holds an Easter in the Country event. The Roma Show is also held around Easter.
Roma has a range of facilities open to the general public. These include a public library, swimming pool, golf course, bowling green, Bassett Park showground, visitor information centre and a number of sporting clubs and civic facilities.
There are two schools in Roma, one is a state government school called Roma State College, the other one is non-government religious school called St. John's School.
Roma State College
Roma State College is located in Roma, the major provisional centre for the Maranoa District, South West Queensland for government and industry business. It is on the western fringe of the Surat Basin energy / resources "boom". Roma State College is a co-educational Prep to Year 12 College operating from three separate campuses: Junior Campus; Middle Campus and the Senior Campus. A Special Education Program embracing the full range of disabilities operates across all campuses.
St. John's School
St John's School, a Year P to 12 co-educational Catholic School, was established by the Sisters of Mercy in 1881.
'Cities' is a rugby team that has been in Roma. Darren Lockyer was captain of this team, and it was in this team that he was then scouted for the Brisbane Broncos. The 'Roma Tomatoes' mixed-gender Touch Rugby team was founded in 2009.
- Arthur Beetson, Australian rugby league captain and an "Immortal"
- Willie Carne, Australian rugby league international
- Albert Fuller Ellis, phosphate prospector
- Malcolm Farr, Political journalist and commentator
- Wally Fullerton-Smith, Australian rugby league international
- Ray Higgs, Australian rugby league international
- Patrick Holland, Novelist
- Darren Lockyer, Australian rugby league captain
- Fabian "Fabe" McCarthy, Australian rugby union international
- Ray Meagher, Actor, and amateur rugby player
- Bruce Scott, politician
- Brent Tate, Australian rugby league international
- Australian Bureau of Statistics (31 October 2012). "Roma (Urban Centre/Locality". 2011 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 23 March 2013.
- The Great Artesian Basin
- School of Arts Hotel, Roma
- St. Paul's Church of England in Roma
- (2010). Roma Tourism Guide and Travel Deals. Roma Tourism. Kalhaven Group. Retrieved on 27 April 2012.
- "ROMA DISTRICT COURT.". The Brisbane Courier (Qld. : 1864 - 1933) (Qld.: National Library of Australia). 18 February 1873. p. 3. Retrieved 23 October 2013.
- "State Butchers Shop (former) (entry 16975)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 2013-07-11.
- "Roma Government Complex (entry 16299)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 2013-07-11.
- "Hibernian Hall (entry 17006)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 2013-07-11.
- "Roma Court House and Police Buildings (entry 16048)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 2013-07-11.
- "Hunter's Emporium (former) (entry 16512)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 2013-07-11.
- "Romavilla Winery (entry 16504)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 2013-07-11.
- "Mount Abundance Homestead (entry 15146)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 2013-07-11.
- "War Memorial and Heroes Avenue (entry 15599)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 2013-07-11.
- "ROMA AIRPORT". Climate statistics for Australian locations. Bureau of Meteorology. Retrieved 7 January 2014.
- January 2014 Daily Weather Observations
- "Extreme flooding hits Roma, Queensland, with 400 homes and properties expected to be submerged". The Australian. 19 April 2011. Retrieved 22 October 2013.
- "Queensland flood clean-up gathers pace". ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation). 10 February 2012. Retrieved 27 April 2012.
- Jabour, Bridie (7 May 2012). "Suncorp refuses to insure Queensland towns". Brisbane Times. Retrieved 22 October 2013.
- (25 May 2005). Record year for Roma saleyards. ABC Rural. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved on 27 April 2012.
- Future challenges[dead link]
- ABS employment figure
- The Western Star. APN News Media. Retrieved on 27 April 2012.
- "Roma floods hit winery". ABC Rural (Australian Broadcasting Corporation). 20 April 2011. Retrieved 27 April 2012.
- "Roma". Centre for the Government of Queensland. Retrieved 24 January 2012.
- "My school". Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA). Retrieved 2012-11-29.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Roma, Queensland.|
- University of Queensland: Queensland Places: Roma
- Queensland Natural Gas Transmission Pipelines (map)
- Queensland Gas Transmission and Distribution (government department of energy)