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The Darling Downs region has long been one of Queensland's most important agricultural assets, accounting for around a quarter of the state's agricultural production. From agriculture, the region developed into a diverse and resilient economy. Mining has also been a mainstay of the Darling Downs economy. The large reserves of thermal coal and coal seam gas in the Surat Basin continue to attract international investment.

The Darling Downs region includes the six local government areas of:

  • Balonne Shire Council
  • Goondiwindi Regional Council
  • Maranoa Regional Council
  • Southern Downs Regional Council
  • Toowoomba Regional Council
  • Western Downs Regional Council.

The Darling Downs Regional Plan (PDF icon 6.8 MB) has been prepared with a strong focus on resolving land use competition between the agricultural and the resource sectors and driving economic development.

The policies contained in the regional plan will contribute towards the protection of strategic areas of priority agricultural land use from potentially incompatible resource activities and maximise opportunities for co-existence of resources and agricultural land use.

The regional plan also safeguards areas required for the growth of towns in the regions through the establishment of Priority Living Areas while providing for resource activities to locate within these areas where it meets communities' expectations as determined by the relevant local government.

Maps of the Priority Agricultural Areas and Priority Living Areas by local government for the Darling Downs region are available online.

Areas of regional interest mapped in the Darling Downs Regional Plan include priority agricultural areas and priority living areas.

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For more information contact the Department.