Oakey, Queensland

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Oakey
Queensland
Campbell Street Oakey.jpg
Campbell Street, 2014
Oakey is located in Queensland
Oakey
Oakey
Coordinates27°26′02″S 151°43′16″E / 27.4338°S 151.7211°E / -27.4338; 151.7211Coordinates: 27°26′02″S 151°43′16″E / 27.4338°S 151.7211°E / -27.4338; 151.7211
Population4,705 (2016 census)[1]
 • Density37.018/km2 (95.88/sq mi)
Postcode(s)4401
Elevation406 m (1,332 ft)
Area127.1 km2 (49.1 sq mi)
Time zoneAEST (UTC+10:00)
Location
LGA(s)Toowoomba Region
State electorate(s)Condamine
Federal Division(s)Groom
Mean max temp Mean min temp Annual rainfall
25.4 °C
78 °F
10.9 °C
52 °F
628.3 mm
24.7 in
Localities around Oakey:
Jondaryan Devon Park Kelvinhaugh
Yalangur
Jondaryan Oakey Kings Siding
Aubigny Biddeston Kingsthorpe

Oakey is a rural town and locality in the Toowoomba Region, Queensland, Australia.[2][3] In the 2016 census, Oakey had a population of 4,705 people.[1]

Geography[edit]

Oakey is on the Darling Downs. It is situated 160 kilometres (100 mi) west of the state capital, Brisbane, and 29 kilometres (18 mi) west of the regional city of Toowoomba.

The town is situated on the eastern side of the Darling Downs and the Toowoomba Region local government area. Oakey Creek, a tributary of the Condamine River, passes through the town. In January 2011 the Oakey Creek flooded, impacting 120 homes and businesses. In 2014 a Flood Early Warning System was installed upstream. It is surrounded by farms, and an open cut coal mine is located at Acland, 10 km north of the town.

History[edit]

Oakey Creek, 2014

Jarowair (also known as Yarowair, Yarow-wair, Barrunggam, Yarrowair, Yarowwair and Yarrow-weir) is one of the languages of the Toowoomba region. The Jarowair language region includes the landscape within the local government boundaries of the Toowoomba Regional Council, particularly Toowoomba north to Crows Nest and west to Oakey. Giabal is the Southern neighbour in Toowoomba City.[4]

Oakey and the creek around which the town is located, were named for the river oaks that dominate the banks of the creek.[5] Originally named Oaky, the spelling of Oakey was officially adopted in August 1940.[2]

The area was first settled in the early 1840s when pastoralists moved into the area and found the land to be suitable for grazing. The building of the Western railway line through the area prompted the growth of a township to service the pastoral community. Growth of the town was slow, however, featured some enterprising ventures, including a short-lived meatworks near the town, which planned to tin and export kangaroo and wallaby under the marketing name 'Australian Game'. The enterprise was unsuccessful and closed down in 1876.

In 1859, the Jondaryan Woolshed was built to the west of the town to service the rapidly growing wool industry.[6] The first shearing took place in 1861. The Jondaryan pastoral station dominated the area, encompassing over 400,000 acres (1,600 km2). The Woolshed was responsible for over 200,000 head of sheep and could cater for in excess of 50 shearers working simultaneously. Following World War I, the homestead landholding was reduced and separated to allow for soldier re-settlement programs.

The railway reached Oakey and Jondaryan in 1867.[7]

Oakey Creek Post Office opened on 1 June 1869; it was renamed Oakey by 1878.[8]

The town was surveyed in 1868, with the first sale being 28 June 1870.[2]

Oakey Methodist Church ca. 1912

Oakey Creek Vested School opened on 10 August 1874. In 1905 it was renamed Oakey State School.[9] The opening in August 1874 was celebrated:

"A grand picnic and ball was held here on the 3rd instant in honor of the opening of the above school. The school-house is a neat weatherboard building, shingled, and with a verandah on each side, and capable of accommodating between sixty and seventy children, and will amply supply the requirements of the district for years to come. The teacher's residence is a smart little four roomed cottage, but I should think rather small. The appointment of Mr. Tait as teacher is sure to give satisfaction."[10]

Burton Provisional School opened on 22 February 1900, ten miles from Oakey.[11] On 1 January 1909 it became Burton State School. It closed on 5 December 1944.[9]

The National Bank in Oakey in 1916

In early 1919, a new Catholic parish called St Monica's was established with Oakey at its centre. The first priest was Rev. Father Denis Matthew O'Keefe. He relocated the church to a more elevated 5-acre (2.0 ha) site and enlarged the building so it could be used as a church and a school.[12] St Monica's School opened on 1919 and was operated by the Sisters of the Good Samaritan.[9][13]

The War Memorial in Oakey, Queensland, Australia, built to commemorate the First World War and inscribed with the names of over 300 locals who served in the war.

There is a war memorial in Campbell Street, erected after the World War I, and at that time, made "of Rockhampton marble on a pedestal of sandstone, with a polished granite centre piece, on which are inscribed in gold letters the names of no fewer than 332 soldiers of the Oakey district who took part in the Great War."[5] The memorial was unveiled on 28 August 1922 by the Governor of Queensland, Sir Matthew Nathan.[14]

The Country Women's Association opened a branch in Oakey in 1924, which was noted to be 'thriving' in 1925,[5] and celebrated 90 years of activity in 2014.[15]

The racehorse Bernborough was foaled at Rosalie Plains in 1939.[16] He became well-known on the tracks around Toowoomba.[17] Eventually the horse was sold to a businessman in Sydney and raced in three states, winning 15 consecutive races between 22 December 1945 and 19 October 1946.[16]

During World War II the requirement for aircraft maintenance and construction exceeded the capabilities of Brisbane-based facilities. To expand the capability, a 934-acre (378 ha) site at Oakey was purchased to facilitate the raising of Number 6 Aircraft Depot (6AD). An airbase was sited approximately 2 miles (3 km) north of the town, and runways were built. With a full complement of RAAF personnel, the base housed almost 2,000 troops. The Depot serviced, assembled and conducted test flights of Bristol Beaufort, P-51 Mustang, Norsemen, CAC Wirraway and Supermarine Spitfire aircraft. This airfield became an Army Aviation Training Centre in the 1970s, now Swartz Barracks, a major helicopter pilot and maintenance training facility for the Defense forces.

St Jude’s Anglican church was dedicated on 21 June 1953 by Reverend R. W. Shand and closed on 5 December 2006.[18]

In 1975, Jondaryan Woolshed Historical Museum and Park was established to present the history of Jondaryan Station and its role in the development of pastoralism on the Darling Downs. The woolshed has been in continuous operation since it was built.

The Cooyar railway line serviced the areas to the north of Oakey between 1913 and 1968. Between 1914 and 1984 the area to the southwest was serviced by the Cecil Plains railway line.

Oakey State State High School opened on 28 January 1964.[9][19] As early as 1916 there had been community interest in the establishment of a high school in Oakey, with the disadvantage of "scholars having to reside in Dalby, Warick, or Toowoomba, after passing the examination" acting as a deterrent to many parents from pursuing higher education for their children.[20] It celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2014.[21]

Oakey State School celebrated its centenary in 1974.

The Oakey Library opened in 1975 and underwent a major refurbishment in 2014.[22]

The Oakey Power Station is a 332 MW dual liquid/gas-fired plant and was commissioned in December 1999.[23]

At the 2011 census, Oakey recorded a population of 4,529.[24]

In 2014, The Department of Defense investigated a contamination caused by fire-fighting foams used at the Army Aviation Training Centre and warned residents not to drink bore water.[25] The chemicals have been identified as perfluorooctane sulphonate and perfluorooctanoic acid.[26] The chemicals were used from 1970 until 2008.[27] A lack of testing of these chemicals means no conclusive impact on human health has been proven.[27]

Local government administration[edit]

Oakey has been part of Toowoomba Regional Council since 2008. However, like many small towns in regional Queensland it has been administered by various local government entities over its history.[28]

  1. Jondaryan Division (1879–1903)
  2. Jondaryan Shire (1903–2008) gaining Gowrie Shire (1903–1913) (part) in 1913, losing part to Millmerran (1913–2008) and Pittsworth (1913–2008) in 1913, gaining Newtown (1913–1917) (part) in 1917, gaining Drayton (1903–1949) (part) in 1949.
  3. Toowoomba Region (2008– )

Transport[edit]

The town is bypassed by the Warrego Highway (National A2), and is also on the main rail link connecting Brisbane and Toowoomba with south-western Queensland.

Oakey is connected to Toowoomba and Brisbane by bus. The town is serviced by the Oakey railway station on the Western railway line. The airport, which primarily functions as the Oakey Army Aviation Centre is located on the site of the original World War 2 airbase. It was serviced by Macair Airlines commercial air services originating in Brisbane, however the failure of Macair saw services commenced by Skytrans Airlines being routed via Toowoomba. The establishment of the Wellcamp airport south of the town, servicing Toowoomba, saw Skytrans being replaced by Qantaslink and REX airlines, and the reduction of airspace for the Army Aviation Centre.

Climate[edit]

Oakey's climate varies through the year, ranging from hot, humid and stormy summers to cool, dry and sunny winters. Oakey frequently records temperatures below 0 °C, often approaching −5 °C in winter and above 35 °C in summer, occasionally rising to above 40 °C. Its lowest recorded temperature is −7.5 °C (18.5 °F) and its highest recorded temperature is 42.8 °C (107.2 °F).[29]

Climate data for Oakey (Oakey Aero 1970–current)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 41.8
(107.2)
42.8
(109.0)
38.7
(101.7)
35.0
(95.0)
31.6
(88.9)
29.9
(85.8)
27.1
(80.8)
34.4
(93.9)
37.4
(99.3)
38.1
(100.6)
39.8
(103.6)
40.3
(104.5)
42.8
(109.0)
Average high °C (°F) 31.0
(87.8)
30.1
(86.2)
28.7
(83.7)
25.9
(78.6)
22.3
(72.1)
19.1
(66.4)
18.6
(65.5)
20.5
(68.9)
24.0
(75.2)
26.7
(80.1)
28.8
(83.8)
30.3
(86.5)
25.5
(77.9)
Average low °C (°F) 17.9
(64.2)
17.7
(63.9)
15.8
(60.4)
11.8
(53.2)
7.8
(46.0)
4.3
(39.7)
2.9
(37.2)
3.6
(38.5)
7.2
(45.0)
11.3
(52.3)
14.5
(58.1)
16.7
(62.1)
11.0
(51.8)
Record low °C (°F) 9.2
(48.6)
8.6
(47.5)
2.3
(36.1)
−1.1
(30.0)
−4.1
(24.6)
−6.9
(19.6)
−7.2
(19.0)
−7.5
(18.5)
−4.1
(24.6)
−2.2
(28.0)
2.0
(35.6)
5.8
(42.4)
−7.5
(18.5)
Average rainfall mm (inches) 79.3
(3.12)
79.7
(3.14)
51.1
(2.01)
29.9
(1.18)
39.5
(1.56)
30.4
(1.20)
29.3
(1.15)
26.2
(1.03)
31.4
(1.24)
56.9
(2.24)
76.1
(3.00)
92.5
(3.64)
622.3
(24.51)
Average rainy days (≥ 0.2mm) 8.5 7.3 6.7 5.1 5.8 5.9 5.9 4.8 5.4 7.3 8.1 8.9 79.7
Source: Bureau of Meteorology[29]

Industry[edit]

Industry is rural based, processing livestock and grain. The district has a high concentration of cattle feedlots, one Abattoir, a stockfeed manufacturer, grain trading and transport businesses. There are coal mining operations in the surrounding district, and businesses servicing the coal seam gas (CSG) industry further west have set up. The main town centre was redeveloped during 2005 by the council and now includes new shops, landscaping and tree plantings. The township also provides services for agricultural and mining activities in the local area. The Oakey Veterinary Hospital was established in 1952 and has developed a Specialist Equine Reproduction Centre.[30]

Facilities[edit]

Machine shearing at Jondaryan on the Darling Downs

The township has many amenities, including an Olympic-sized swimming pool and golf course. The golf course is located at the corner of the Warrego Highway and Mount Tyson Road.

There are several motels and hotels in town providing accommodation, as well as a caravan park catering for tourists.

The local RSL (Returned Services League) Club provides convention-style facilities, and is the hub of the war remembrance activities for the local area on Anzac Day and Remembrance Day.

The town has well-established daycare and pre-school centres.

Oakey has a local hospital providing emergency services and inpatient care as well as a large co-located nursing home facility known as the EAF McDonald nursing home. There are two private GP practices in the town.[31]

The Oakey Library is located in the Oakey Civic Precinct at 60 Campbell Street between the swimming pool and the Community Centre. It boasts a 500-seat capacity Cultural Centre, and two multi-purpose sports halls at the two primary schools.[32]

The Oakey branch of the Queensland Country Women's Association meets at the Kenmore Library at the Anglican Church Hall at 5 Creek Street.[33]

Education[edit]

Oakey State High School, 2014

Oakey State School is a government primary (Early Childhood-6) school for boys and girls at 24 Campbell Street (27°26′21″S 151°43′14″E / 27.4393°S 151.7205°E / -27.4393; 151.7205 (Oakey State School)).[34][35] In 2017, the school had an enrolment of 380 students with 31 teachers (26 full-time equivalent) and 21 non-teaching staff (14 full-time equivalent).[36] It includes a special education program.[34][37]

Oakey State High School is a government secondary (7-12) school for boys and girls at 1 Campbell Street (27°26′42″S 151°43′09″E / 27.4450°S 151.7193°E / -27.4450; 151.7193 (Oakey State High School)).[34][38] In 2017, the school had an enrolment of 458 students with 46 teachers (42 full-time equivalent) and 32 non-teaching staff (23 full-time equivalent).[36] It includes a special education program.[34] In response to a skills shortage in transport and logistics Oakey State High School developed an innovative program called "Transport and Logistics Employees for our Community". In 2007, the successful partnership between school, training organisations and industry was recognised as the winner of the Showcase Award for Excellence in Community or Industry Partnerships by the Department of Education, Training and Employment.[39]

St Monica's School is a Catholic primary (Prep-6) school for boys and girls at 75 Lorrimer Street (27°26′27″S 151°43′09″E / 27.4408°S 151.7193°E / -27.4408; 151.7193 (St Monica's School)).[34][40] In 2017, the school had an enrolment of 159 students with 15 teachers (11 full-time equivalent) and 10 non-teaching staff (5 full-time equivalent).[36]

The University of Queensland has a campus for Equine Studies in the town.[31]

Attractions[edit]

The Oakey Army Aviation Centre located at the airport, also includes the Museum of Australian Army Flying, which displays aircraft and memorabilia dating from World War I to the present.

The Jondaryan Woolshed is open to visitors.

In popular culture[edit]

Oakey has been regularly mentioned on the Australian soap opera, Neighbours, with characters both originating from the town and moving to the town. One of the most well-known Oakey residents was Drew Kirk, and the town served as an important location for him and his family. In the 2001 season finale, Libby Kennedy went into labour in a barn while Drew and Stuart Parker were at a rodeo. Then, in 2002, Drew Kirk was thrown from a horse, sadly dying as a result. The Kirk family was revisited in 2018 when Drew’s son Ben visited the town to try and connect with the father he never knew. He is offered a job at his uncle’s garage and leaves his home in Erinsborough.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Australian Bureau of Statistics (27 June 2017). "Oakey (SSC)". 2016 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 20 October 2018. Edit this at Wikidata
  2. ^ a b c "Oakey - town in Toowoomba Region (entry 24998)". Queensland Place Names. Queensland Government. Retrieved 17 November 2019.
  3. ^ "Oakey - locality in Toowoomba Region (entry 49179)". Queensland Place Names. Queensland Government. Retrieved 17 November 2019.
  4. ^ "Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages map". State Library of Queensland. 2020. Retrieved 23 January 2020.
  5. ^ a b c "THE OAKEY DISTRICT". The Brisbane Courier. 2 May 1925. p. 15. Retrieved 26 January 2017 – via National Library of Australia.
  6. ^ Cook, Penny (2006). Discover Queensland Heritage. Corinda, Queensland: Pictorial Press Australia. p. 12. ISBN 1876561424.
  7. ^ Tulk, Darren (August 2008). "The Oakey Region". Australian Railway History: 251–264.
  8. ^ Premier Postal History. "Post Office List". Premier Postal Auctions. Retrieved 10 May 2014.
  9. ^ a b c d Queensland Family History Society (2010), Queensland schools past and present (Version 1.01 ed.), Queensland Family History Society, ISBN 978-1-921171-26-0
  10. ^ "OAKEY CREEK". The Darling Downs Gazette and General Advertiser. Queensland, Australia. 12 August 1874. p. 3. Retrieved 26 January 2017 – via National Library of Australia.
  11. ^ "TEACHERS TRANSFERRED". Daily Mercury. 73 (299). Queensland, Australia. 16 December 1939. p. 8. Retrieved 23 November 2019 – via National Library of Australia.
  12. ^ "NEW ROMAN CATHOLIC PARISH". The Brisbane Courier (19, 273). Queensland, Australia. 27 October 1919. p. 8. Retrieved 23 November 2019 – via National Library of Australia.
  13. ^ "DISTRICT NEWS". Toowoomba Chronicle. LX (285). Queensland, Australia. 7 December 1921. p. 9. Retrieved 23 November 2019 – via National Library of Australia.
  14. ^ "WAR MEMORIAL". The Brisbane Courier. 29 August 1922. p. 9. Retrieved 26 January 2017 – via National Library of Australia.
  15. ^ Walker, Helen; Gordon, Stella; Klein, Beryl; Cox, Edna (2014), Ninety years of memories : the history of the Queensland Country Women's Association Oakey Branch 1924 - 2014, Oakey, Qld. Oakey Branch, QCWA, ISBN 978-0-9925119-1-3
  16. ^ a b "Oakey – Culture and History". The Sydney Morning Herald. 19 November 2008. Retrieved 24 July 2014.
  17. ^ "Bernborough Our Wonder Horse". Sunday Mail (828). Brisbane. 3 March 1946. p. 12. Retrieved 26 January 2017 – via National Library of Australia.
  18. ^ "Closed Churches". Anglican Records & Archives Centre. Archived from the original on 3 April 2019. Retrieved 3 April 2019.
  19. ^ Oakey State School (1974), Oakey State School centenary 1874-1974 : programme and historical souvenir, Oakey State School, retrieved 26 January 2017
  20. ^ "OAKEY NEWS". Darling Downs Gazette. Queensland, Australia. 1 September 1916. p. 5. Retrieved 26 January 2017 – via National Library of Australia.
  21. ^ Kevin Farmer (19 May 2014). "Oakey High celebrates half a century of education". The Chronicle. Toowoomba Newspapers. Archived from the original on 3 December 2014. Retrieved 16 November 2014.
  22. ^ "Public Libraries Statistical Bulletin 2016-17" (PDF). State Library of Queensland. p. 16. Archived (PDF) from the original on 30 January 2018. Retrieved 19 January 2018.
  23. ^ "Generation". ERM Power Limited. Archived from the original on 10 November 2014. Retrieved 10 November 2014.
  24. ^ Australian Bureau of Statistics (31 October 2012). "Oakey (State Suburb)". 2011 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 16 March 2013. Edit this at Wikidata
  25. ^ "Town to meet over water contamination". Archived from the original on 7 November 2014. Retrieved 8 November 2014.
  26. ^ "Defence warns Oakey residents not to drink bore water". Retrieved 8 November 2014.
  27. ^ a b Amy Remeikis (1 October 2015). "Queensland town in Defence water contamination scare". Brisbane Times. Fairfax Media. Archived from the original on 23 January 2016. Retrieved 2 February 2016.
  28. ^ Queensland, Queensland Government Statistician's Office, Queensland Treasury and Trade. "Historical Register of Local Government Names, Queensland, 1859 to 2008–09". www.qgso.qld.gov.au. Archived from the original on 23 January 2017. Retrieved 25 January 2017.
  29. ^ a b "Oakey Aero". Climate statistics for Australian locations. Bureau of Meteorology. June 2013. Retrieved 21 June 2018.
  30. ^ "Oakey Veterinary Hospital". Archived from the original on 23 December 2014. Retrieved 20 October 2014.
  31. ^ a b "Oakey". Toowoomba Regional Council. 7 December 2012. Archived from the original on 8 August 2014. Retrieved 16 March 2013.
  32. ^ "Oakey". Toowoomba Regional Council. Archived from the original on 19 October 2014. Retrieved 24 October 2014.
  33. ^ "Branch Locations". Queensland Country Women's Association. Archived from the original on 26 December 2018. Retrieved 26 December 2018.
  34. ^ a b c d e "State and non-state school details". Queensland Government. 9 July 2018. Archived from the original on 21 November 2018. Retrieved 21 November 2018.
  35. ^ "Oakey State School". Archived from the original on 13 June 2011. Retrieved 21 November 2018.
  36. ^ a b c "ACARA School Profile 2017". Archived from the original on 22 November 2018. Retrieved 22 November 2018.
  37. ^ "Oakey SS - Special Education Program". Archived from the original on 13 June 2011. Retrieved 21 November 2018.
  38. ^ "Oakey State High School". Archived from the original on 22 June 2013. Retrieved 21 November 2018.
  39. ^ "2007 Showcase Awards for Excellence in Schools" (PDF). Department of Education, Training and Employment. Archived (PDF) from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 20 October 2014.
  40. ^ "St Monica's School". Archived from the original on 5 March 2017. Retrieved 21 November 2018.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]