- Chinchilla Hospital
Chinchilla is located 166 kilometres north west of Toowoomba. It is known as the ‘melon capital’ as it produces a quarter of Australia’s rockmelons, watermelons and honeydews. Other industries include agriculture, cattle, grain, grape, strawberries and timber. The population in 2006 was almost 3300 residents, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. The town is well serviced. There are emergency services, churches, a library, museum and art gallery, childcare facilities and ten educational facilities. Residents are able to study from prep to Year 12 in Chinchilla and there is also a Queensland Institute of TAFE. There are many community clubs and sporting clubs. There is a Chinchilla Aquatic and Fitness Centre and many sporting options available. The Chinchilla Weir is a great location for water sports including boating. The Barakula Forest is close to Chinchilla and it is the largest State Forest in the Southern Hemisphere.
There are several rare species of plants in this park including some wattles. The Melon festival is a famous celebration for the region, which brings many tourists to the town. It is a fun and a different event with watermelon skiing, melon bungee, melon eating, pip spitting and melon smashing competitions. 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. The Chinchilla Hospital provides medical, allied health and community health services. There is an emergency department, operating theatre for general surgery, paediatrics, acute and palliative care.
There are also visiting specialists who run clinics at the hospital. For more specialist services, residents can travel or be transferred to Toowoomba Hospital, which is a two hour drive away. The Toowoomba Hospital is a large 324 bed Queensland Health public hospital. It has all the usual medical services plus more specialities including: intensive and coronary care, surgery, dialysis services, stroke and rehabilitation service, Ear, Nose and Throat surgery and a CT scanner. There are also two private hospitals in Toowoomba. Chinchilla is easy to get around by foot, bike or car. There is a train station which is serviced by the Westlander train operated by Queensland Rail. The line travels between the major centres of Charleville, Toowoomba and Brisbane. Greyhound Australia operates coach services that stop in Chincilla and travel between Rockhampton and Toowoomba. There is car hire available and a limited taxi service.
Chinchilla is two hours drive to the major regional centre of Toowoomba. From Toowoomba there are many bus coach options. See the Toowoomba Regional Council website for more transport information.
Flights currently operate to Brisbane and Sydney from Toowoomba aerodrome and the main flight operator is Skytrans.
- Toowoomba Regional Council - http://www.toowoombarc.qld.gov.au/our-region/transport
- Greyhound Buses - http://www.greyhound.com.au/
- Queensland Rail - http://www.queenslandrail.com.au/
- Health Determinants Queensland 2004 – Southern Downs Health Service District - http://www.health.qld.gov.au/hdq/documents/22418_6_sz_sou.pdf
- Queensland Holidays- http://www.queenslandholidays.com.au/destinations/southern-queensland-country/places-to-visit/chinchilla/index.cfm
- Australian Bureau of Statistics - http://abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/Previousproducts/LGA32350Population/People12002-2006?opendocument&tabname=Summary&prodno=LGA32350&issue=2002-2006
- Queensland Health - http://www.health.qld.gov.au/workforus/profiles/DarlingDowns/DD_Chinchilla.asp