A community ‘at the heart for the 21st century’, is the vision the Highfields and District Business Connections has for its local community.
The Highfields and District Business Connections held an open growth forum at the Highfield State Secondary College to explore the area’s opportunities last Thursday evening.
Five leaders in the community put forward their vision, and included Senior Constable Chris Brameld, Rev Phil West of Carinty Brownsholme Retirement Village, Sharon Barker, principal of the Highfields State Secondary College, Major Sonny Lyyn, of the nearby Borneo Barracks, and Chris Mills, a local data analyst.
After each presented their vision for growth to the audience, it was time for the panel, comprising Dr John McVeigh, Cr Nancy Sommerfield, and Steve Torso to lend their views.
Over time, Highfields has grown from a very small farming community, to now enjoying a population larger than many of the provincial towns, on the Darling Downs.
The local schools are growing, the Brownsholme Retirement Village is set to expand, and there is land yet to be developed.
President of the Highfields and District Business Connections, Jim O’Dea, said the forum was a debate about what the Highfields community could become.
His committee has spent 600 hours working with community leaders on what the community needs.
“We need to move from a dormitory town, to a self-sustaining regional centre that complements, and not competes, with Toowoomba and our neighbours,” Mr O’Dea said.
Adding weight to the debate was Robert Prestipino, a trusted authority and strategic advisor to regional leaders.
As a qualified urban designer, registered landscape architect and corporate member of the Planning Institute of Australia, Mr Prestipino said the key challenge was ‘focus driven by clarity of purpose’.
He identified that community safety, community well being, and community connectivity, was at the heart of all sustainable communities.