News

Bid to lure world garden expo: 2000 jobs, $1.2 billion

TOOWOOMBA is aiming to play host to an event slated as the "Olympic Games of gardening" after negotiations for the Gold Coast to hold the event fell apart.

Mayor Paul Antonio is pushing for the Garden City to host the Australis World Garden Expo 2020.

Cr Antonio asked waste services general manager Kevin Flanagan in City Hall on Tuesday how much capacity Toowoomba Regional Council had in the system if there was to be demand for a significant amount of water for a "particular industry or something of that nature".

Mr Flanagan said council would be able to adjust to "sort that out".

"We have enough water to allow for growth to 2050. We are still one of the lowest consumption communities around Australia," he said.

Cr Antonio said there was an opportunity for Toowoomba to host the event.

The expo is expected to attract more than four million global visitors over six months and generate $1.2 billion in spending.

It could create 2000 jobs and require 15,000 volunteers.

Cr Antonio said he was planning to assemble a team to find out how Toowoomba could lure the event to the city.

"The chief executive officer of Australis World Garden Expo 2020 is overseas at the moment but we've asked him to come here next week. We are Australia's garden city.

"We've done a lot in four years, when you look at things like the airport (Wellcamp), the data centre (Pulse Data Centre), the Toowoomba bypass and rail, and people ask what I'm going to do next? This could be it."

Organisers say the event will be world-class, the likes of which has not been seen in Australia since Brisbane held World Expo 88.

"It will feature garden displays from about 50 countries, wetlands, performance spaces, accommodation and the jewel in the crown - a National Centre of Sustainability," the Australis website states.

"The result will be the creation of a living, breathing, tourist attraction."

Topics:  garden expo, gardening, general-seniors-news, toowoomba



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