With a population of 5 385, Stanthorpe is a small township that lies just under 2 hours drive south of Toowoomba and 3 hours south-west of Brisbane. Stanthorpe is named after the tin mining rush of the late 1800s, but is now known as being the heart of the Granite Belt agricultural region. The population is multicultural and diverse, which is attributed to the settlement of soldiers after World War I who used the region as a place for recuperation. Since then, people from all over Europe have moved to the region to work as farmers and have contributed significantly to the cultural vitality of the locale. The town also has hundreds of Australian and international seasonal workers who bring a youth vitality to the community.
The town is surrounded by wineries, orchards and farms and is bursting with things to see and do. Before leaving, all visitors must try the Apple Pie at Sutton’s, the berry desserts at the Bramble Patch, and an Italian buffet at Anna’s. Those interested in the outdoors take advantage of the national parks close by, and enjoy the numerous walks through Girraween or the waterfalls within an hour’s drive of the city. Like many small towns, Stanthorpe is centred around a main street and has multiple pubs, a Woolworths and a Supa IGA. The town has a few gyms and an active indoor and outdoor sport scene. Accommodation for visiting doctors is provided in the existing nurses’ quarters or the attached new Griffith University building. Warwick is a larger town just 40 minutes away which has a cinema and more shops.
The Southern Downs has a higher proportion of children, older people and males than the state average. There is also a high proportion of socioeconomically disadvantaged individuals (29%) a culturally diverse population with evidence of poor proficiency in English. The major causes of illness and death are coronary health disease, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), depression and lung cancer. The health determinants which drive these trends are harmful levels of alcohol consumption, smoking, obesity, poor nutrition, socioeconomic disadvantage, physical inactivity and mental health risk factors.
Stanthorpe Hospital is a 40 bed hospital with a 4 bed ED, birthing suites, theatre and outpatients. The service has a full time radiographer and access to CT facilities within the community during business hours. The hospital is staffed by GPs who have the ability to work privately within private practices around town. The site is a popular teaching location, and the hospital has medical, nursing and allied health students throughout the calendar year. Stanthorpe has a full complement of allied health workers who service the hospital, along with specialists in Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Psychiatry and Surgery. Telehealth is used well in this hospital, and critical patients are air lifted to larger centres such as Toowoomba or Brisbane.
Public transport to Stanthorpe is via road. Three bus services provide transport for Stanthorpe. Information regarding these services can be found via the Crisps Coaches, Greyhound Australia or New England Coaches websites. The former two provide service out of town at least once a day, whereas New England Coaches provides buses on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
- Granite Belt Wine Country Visitor Information Centre - http://www.granitebeltwinecountry.com.au/stanthorpe.html
- Crisps Coaches - http://www.crisps.com.au/
- Greyhound Australia - http://www.greyhound.com.au/
- New England Coaches - http://www.newenglandcoaches.com.au/
- Granite Belt Wine Country Visitor Information Centre - http://www.granitebeltwinecountry.com.au/
- Southern Downs Shire Council - http://www.southerndowns.qld.gov.au/
- Health Determinants Queensland 2004 – Southern Downs Health Service District - http://www.health.qld.gov.au/hdq/documents/22418_6_sz_sou.pdf