IPSWICH City Council’s plans to revitalise the Cobb and Co tourist drive between Ipswich and Toowoomba has been given a green light by the Federal Government.
Tourism and Libraries Committee Chairperson Councillor David Pahlke said following the allocation of funding from the Federal Government council was now the proud owner of a replica Cobb and Co Coach.
Ipswich City Council received $83,500 from the Federal Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government through the Regional and Local Community Infrastructure program and this has been used to buy the city’s new Cobb and Co coach. Council thanks the Federal Government for their important contribution towards this project.
This coach will be the cornerstone of Council’s plans to draw on the Cobb and Co story as a tourist attraction for the region. Ipswich was the site of the first Cobb and Co journey in Queensland when the first coach in the State travelled from Brisbane to Ipswich on January 1, 1866.
Cr Pahlke said the Cobb and Co route would be celebrated in the new brochure for the Cobb and Co Tourist Drive which was due to be released by June this year. The brochure is being produced in conjunction with Lockyer Valley Regional Council and together with the staging post signs, is part of the reinvigoration of the tourist drive.
Federal Member for Blair Shayne Neumann said he was delighted to see the provision of these funds to purchase such an important part of our history. It’s a case of tradition meets tourism.
Ipswich is enjoying a resurgence of pride in recent times and projects like the Cobb and Co tourist drive are important part of maintaining that sense of community and pride. Historically, Cobb and Co coach linked rural communities to urban parts of the new colony of Queensland.
This replica is an important reminder of the history of Ipswich and will serve as a great tourism attraction.The Cobb and Co drive starts at the award winning workshops Rail Museum in Ipswich and finishes at the Cobb and Co Museum in Toowoomba.
Passengers and mail were transported from Ipswich by railway to Grandchester which was the end of the rail line at that time. Passengers were then picked up by another Cobb and Co coach to continue their journey from Grandchester to Toowoomba by road.
Cobb and Co had a long history in Australia as the company’s coaches carried passengers, mail and parcels for 70 years in every mainland colony of Australia as well as New Zealand, South Africa and Japan.
At the turn of the nineteenth century, the company operated 39 routes in Queensland, covering 7750 kilometres. Averaging two services per week on each route, Cobb and Co would harness 9000 horses and travel more than 31,000 kilometres every week.
The last Cobb and Co coach ran on the Yuleba-Surat route on August 14, 1924.