Dalby // is a town and locality in the Darling Downs region of Queensland, Australia. Dalby is within and is the administrative centre of the Western Downs Region. At the 2016 census, Dalby had a population of 12,719.
Dalby is approximately 208 kilometres (129 mi) west northwest of the state capital, Brisbane, at the junction of the Warrego, Moonie and Bunya Highways. and the centre of Australia's richest grain and cotton growing area.
Baranggum (also known as Barrunggam, Barunggam Parrungoom, Murrumgama) is an Australian Aboriginal language spoken by the Baranggum people. The Baranggum language region includes the landscape within the local government boundaries of the Western Downs Regional Council, particularly Dalby, Tara, Jandowae and west towards Chinchilla.
Dalby was founded in the early 1840s at a place known locally as "The Crossing" on Myall Creek, a tributary of the Condamine River. The first settler was Henry Dennis, who explored the region and chose land for himself and others in the locality. Today an obelisk in Edward Street denotes the location where Dennis camped. A small settlement was founded to assist travellers heading north to nearby Jimbour Station. The explorer Ludwig Leichhardt visited the area in 1844, on his way to Port Essington.
In February 1853, the New South Wales government sent the Deputy Surveyor General Captain Samuel Perry to the area to survey a township. In August of the following year, Mr Charles Douglas Eastaughffe arrived with a document under the Seal of the NSW Government officially proclaiming 'Dalby' a township. Mr Eastaughffe was later appointed Chief Constable and remained in Dalby until his retirement.
The name of the town is believed to come from the village of Dalby on the Isle of Man and reflects immigration from the Isle of Man in the mid-19th century. The name was apparently chosen by Captain Samuel Perry when he surveyed the settlement in 1853.
In 1859, Dalby became part of the new Colony of Queensland.
Dalby State School opened on 1 June 1861. In 1869 the school split into Dalby Boys State School Dalby Girls State School. In 1885 the girls' school became Dalby Girls & Infants State School. In 1893 the two schools were combined as Dalby State School. In 1914 the school expanded to include a secondary school, which closed in 1954, due to the establishment of a separate secondary school, Dalby State High School.
Dalby Non-Vested School opened as a Roman Catholic girls school in 1864 and in 1866 became a non-vested school (the teachers' salaries were paid by the Queensland Government but the government did not operate the school). Circa 1880, the school either closed or continued without government funding.
Dalby was believed to have a healthy climate and in 1900 the Queensland Government built the Jubilee Sanitorium for consumptive patients. In 1904 the Dalby Town Council erected therapeutic thermal baths using artesian water from a local bore for those wishing to improve their health by "taking the waters". In 1938, the council closed the artesian baths as interest in "taking the waters" was declining. Medical opinion became increasingly doubtful of the benefits of bathing in mineral waters, favouring drugs and physiotherapy as better treatments.
Kincora Provisional School opened in 1908 "via Dalby" and was renamed Moonie River Provisional School circa December 1908. It closed circa 1916.
The Paragon Cafe was purchased in 1935 by Milton (Miltiadis) Dimitrios Samios part of the cultural phenomenon of Greek cafes in Queensland. Paragon Cafe employed three men and six women with taking increasing from 90 pounds to 200 pounds within the first year of trading.
Dalby State High School opened on 2 February 1954. Bunya Campus was acquired by Dalby State High School at the start of 2011 and has since provided students who live out of the catchment area the opportunity to attend Dalby State High School and participate in all it has to offer as a boarding student.
St Mary's College was a Catholic secondary school opened on 21 January 1963 by the Christian Brothers. In 2008, it merged with St Columba's School to create Our Lady of the Southern Cross College.
Dalby South State School opened on 29 March 1965.
The Christian Outreach College opened on 28 January 1984. It closed on 18 September 1991.
Dalby Library opened in 2014.
Dalby has a number of heritage-listed sites, including:
- 133 Cunningham Street: former Dalby Town Council Chambers and Offices
- 153 Cunningham Street: St John's Anglican Church
- 169 Cunningham Street: St Columba's Convent
- 21 New Street: Dalby Fire Station
- 28B Nicholson Street: Dalby State High School
- Patrick Street: Dalby War Memorial and Gates
- 58 Patrick Street: Dalby Olympic Swimming Pool
Dalby has a humid subtropical climate (Cfa in the Köppen climate classification) and being located just to the west of the Great Dividing Range it is hotter and less humid in summer and colder and drier in winter than nearby locations on the other side of the range. Dalby has had a recording weather station since 1893, but that was replaced in 1992 by another station at the Dalby Airport. The town's highest recorded temperature was 45.6 °C (114.1 °F) on 4 December 1913, while the coldest was −7.2 °C (19.0 °F) on 5 July 1895. The annual rainfall is 681.2 mm (26.8 in), the majority of which falls as thunderstorms in the summer months.
Dalby experienced its worst floods since 1981 in late December 2010. The town's water purification system was flooded, resulting in water restrictions that have hampered clean-up efforts. 112,500 litres (24,700 imp gal; 29,700 US gal) of water were transported to the town of 14,000 residents. In early March 2013, Dalby received another severe flood, cutting the town in two after 122 mm (4.8 in) of rain was recorded over a few days. Flood waters peaked at 3.21 meters and a number of homes received water damage.
|Climate data for Dalby (Dalby Post Office, 1893–1992)|
|Record high °C (°F)||44.9
|Average high °C (°F)||32.0
|Average low °C (°F)||18.5
|Record low °C (°F)||8.1
|Average rainfall mm (inches)||88.0
|Average rainy days (≥ 0.2mm)||8.0||6.7||6.3||4.4||4.5||5.1||5.0||4.3||4.8||6.5||6.9||8.2||70.7|
|Average relative humidity (%)||43||45||45||43||46||49||46||41||38||39||38||40||43|
|Source: Bureau of Meteorology|
Industry in Dalby includes large-scale engineering, coal mining, and fuels (ethanol). Dalby is the centre of a diverse and productive agricultural area with rich black soil allowing the production of crops such as wheat, cotton and sorghum. Livestock raising including pigs, cattle and sheep is also popular. Two cotton gins are situated within 10 kilometres (6 mi) of the town.
Dalby is to be the site of the first dry mill grain-to-ethanol plant constructed in Australia (the first plant built specifically for the production of ethanol for fuel since the Second World War).
The local area is developing an energy-based economy with a large coal-fired power station and a number of coal mines and natural gas bores being established to the west of Dalby. A local company has been awarded a contract to establish wind turbines on adjacent farm land.
Approximately 50 kilometres (31 mi) west of Dalby is the Kogan Creek Power Station. This A$1.2 billion project is a 750-megawatt coal-fired power station, with adjacent coal mine being developed at the small town of Kogan, which is roughly equidistant between Dalby, Chinchilla, and Tara.
Dalby's Water Treatment Plant uses a state-of-the-art reverse osmosis process provided by two plants. The first Reverse Osmosis plant, which opened in 2004, was the first in Queensland. The second and larger plant opened in 2011. Water and sewerage treatment services are provided by Western Downs Regional Council. The town has made a ground-breaking deal with nearby gas companies by taking water from gas fields. It has been noted that the town will have a definite water supply for at least another 30 years, taking into account demographic trends.
Dalby's population has been increasing rapidly recently with many new estates created and subdivisions made. Some notable new estates include Sunnyside Estate, Heritage Gardens, Callistemon Park and a new estate on the Warrego Highway side of Sandalwood Avenue.
At the 2016 Census, Dalby had a population of 12,719.
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people made up 7.0% of the population.
- 84.0% of people were born in Australia. The next most common countries of birth were Philippines 1.9%, New Zealand 1.3%, England 1.1% and South Africa 0.8%.
- 88.7% of people spoke only English at home. Other languages spoken at home included Tagalog at 1.0%.
- The most common responses for religion were Catholic 26.3%, Anglican 19.6% and No Religion 16.9%.
Dalby State School is a government primary (Prep-6) school for boys and girls at 155 Cunningham Street ( In 2017, the school had an enrollment of 579 students with 43 teachers (39 full-time equivalent) and 35 non-teaching staff (23 full-time equivalent). It is one of the oldest state primary schools in Queensland.).
Our Lady of the Southern Cross College is a Catholic primary and secondary (Prep-12) school for boys and girls at 2 Nicholson Street ( ). In 2017, the school had an enrollment of 594 students with 48 teachers (44 full-time equivalent) and 31 non-teaching staff (20 full-time equivalent).
Dalby State High School is a government secondary (7-12) school for boys and girls at 26 Nicholson Street ( ). In 2017, the school had an enrollment of 1040 students with 94 teachers (89 full-time equivalent) and 71 non-teaching staff (54 full-time equivalent). It includes a special education program. The school has a boarding facility for boys and girls at 463 Bunya highway ( ). Many students from small towns surrounding Dalby (such as Jandowae and Warra) attend Dalby State High School, as these communities do not have schools which provide senior level education. The school also performs an annual musical, usually in late May, with performances running for a full week. It is produced and directed by teachers at the school and stars students from all year levels.
Dalby South State School is a government primary (Early Childhood-6) school for boys and girls at the corner of Owen & Bunya Streets ( In 2017, the school had an enrollment of 653 students with 46 teachers (43 full-time equivalent) and 32 non-teaching staff (21 full-time equivalent). It includes a special education program (Prep-10).).
Dalby Christian College is a private primary and secondary (Prep-12) school for boys and girls at 2A Mary Street ( ). It is operated by the Christian Community Ministries. In 2017, the school had an enrollment of 328 students with 25 teachers (24 full-time equivalent) and 17 non-teaching staff (13 full-time equivalent). It has an early learning centre and boarding for secondary students.
There are two locally published newspapers including the Dalby Herald and Northern Downs News, as well as the Dalby Magazine. Dalby also has its own community radio station, 88.9 4DDD which was founded on 26 January 1992.
Dalby receives most commercial and ABC radio and television services from Toowoomba, the nearest regional city. Local news stories from Dalby and other Western Downs communities is often featured on WIN News, a regional television news bulletin compiled in Toowoomba.
Condamine has a rugby union team which compete in the Darling Downs Rugby Union competition, against such teams as the University of Southern Queensland Rugby Union Club, Toowoomba Rangers Rugby Union Club, Toowoomba City Rugby Club, Roma Echidnas, the Condamine Cods, the Dalby Wheatmen, the Goondiwindi Emus, the Warwick Water Rats and the University of Queensland Rugby Union Club (Gatton Campus).
Dalby Library has 2 Creative Studios which have the latest in content creation tools, professional equipment and software, music production and recording, and digital production and editing to help create and share projects.
There is also the Dalby Cemetery, a monumental cemetery.
- Luke and Cody Cook, Winners of House Rules (2016)
- Brodie Croft, NRL player for the Brisbane Broncos
- B. R. Dionysius, poet
- Jayson Gillham, classical pianist
- David Gleeson, golfer
- Stirling Hinchliffe, Queensland Labor politician
- Jerry Jerome, stockman and boxer
- Sir James Killen, Liberal MP for Moreton 1955–1983
- George Lee, gliding champion
- Jason Little, former Australian professional rugby union player
- Andrew McCullough, rugby league player
- Andrew McGahan, author
- Mark O'Shea, of the country music duo O'Shea
- Steve Price, rugby league player
- Margot Robbie, actress
- John Size, Australian Racing Hall of Fame trainer
- Hugh Sweeny, first Australian prisoner of war in World War II
- Stephen Wilson, Paralympic athlete
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