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Dalby, Queensland facts for kids

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Dalby Aerial
Dalby Council Chambers
Dalby Court House
Lake Broadwater
St John's Anglican Church
(From left to right)
Aerial view of Dalby,
Dalby Council Chambers,
Dalby Court House,
Lake Broadwater,
St John's Anglican Church
Dalby is located in Queensland
Location in Queensland
Population 12,719 (2016 census)
 • Density 39.280/km2 (101.73/sq mi)
Postcode(s) 4405
Area 323.8 km2 (125.0 sq mi)
Time zone AEST (UTC+10:00)
LGA(s) Western Downs Region
State electorate(s) Warrego
Federal Division(s) Maranoa
Mean max temp Mean min temp Annual rainfall
26.3 °C
79 °F
11.9 °C
53 °F
682.5 mm
26.9 in
Localities around Dalby:
Macalister Pirrinuan Kaimkillenbun
Ranges Bridge Dalby Irvingdale
Nandi St Ruth Bowenville

Dalby is a rural town and locality in the Western Downs Region, Queensland, Australia. In the 2016 census, the locality of Dalby had a population of 12,719 people.

It is on the Darling Downs and is the administrative centre for the Western Downs Region.


Dalby main street ca. 1915
Children marching in the main street, ca. 1915

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. Myall Creek Post Office also opened in 1854 in Roche's store, with Mr Simpson as the first postmaster. It was renamed Dalby in 1855.

In 1859, Dalby was made part of the new state of Queensland. In August 1863 Dalby was officially proclaimed a municipality in the Government Gazette, and was invested with all the trappings of the Westminster System.

From 1873 to 1949 the electoral district of Dalby was an electoral district of the Legislative Assembly of Queensland.

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.

Dalby Sir Joshua Thomas Bell Memorial
Dalby War Memorial, 2008

The Dalby War Memorial was unveiled by the Queensland Governor, Matthew Nathan, on 26 July 1922.

Heritage listings

Dalby has a number of heritage-listed sites, including:


Dalby has a humid subtropical climate (Cfa in the Koeppen 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 towns highest recorded temperature is 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)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 44.9
Average high °C (°F) 32.0
Average low °C (°F) 18.5
Record low °C (°F) 8.1
Rainfall mm (inches) 88.0
Humidity 43 45 45 43 46 49 46 41 38 39 38 40 43
Avg. 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
Source: Bureau of Meteorology


Dalby aerial
Aerial view of the town taken in 2008.

The opening of a shopping centre at the northern end of Cunningham Street has brought new life to the Dalby CBD. Dalby Shoppingworld includes Woolworths, Big W, Amcal and other speciality shops.

Dalby's Water Treatment Plant uses a state-of-the-art reverse osmosis process, and will soon have a second RO plant to cater for the town's increasing needs. 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.

Monument to Cactoblastis

Cactoblastis monument, Dalby, Queensland, Australia
Dalby Cactoblastis monument

Dalby has a monument to the Cactoblastis cactorum in a park by the Myall Creek which runs through the town. The Argentinian caterpillar successfully eradicated the prickly pear in the 1920s.


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.


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%.


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 State School is a government primary (Prep-6) school for boys and girls at 155 Cunningham Street (27°11′05″S 151°15′44″E / 27.1846°S 151.2623°E / -27.1846; 151.2623 (Dalby State School)). 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 (27°10′18″S 151°16′03″E / 27.1718°S 151.2676°E / -27.1718; 151.2676 (Our Lady of the Southern Cross College)). 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 (27°10′41″S 151°15′34″E / 27.1781°S 151.2595°E / -27.1781; 151.2595 (Dalby State High School)). 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 (27°09′08″S 151°17′42″E / 27.1523°S 151.2949°E / -27.1523; 151.2949 (Dalby State High School - Bunya Campus)). 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 and Bunya Streets (27°11′41″S 151°16′12″E / 27.1948°S 151.2701°E / -27.1948; 151.2701 (Dalby South State School)). 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 (27°10′20″S 151°16′41″E / 27.1722°S 151.2780°E / -27.1722; 151.2780 (Dalby Christian College)). 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.

Notable residents

  • 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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