Roma, Queensland


Aerial view of Roma
Coordinates 26°34′24″S 148°47′12″E / 26.57333°S 148.78667°E / -26.57333; 148.78667Coordinates: 26°34′24″S 148°47′12″E / 26.57333°S 148.78667°E / -26.57333; 148.78667
Population 6,906 (2011 census)[1]
Established 1867
Postcode(s) 4455
Elevation 299.4 m (982 ft)
LGA(s) Maranoa Region
State electorate(s) Warrego
Federal Division(s) Maranoa
Mean max temp Mean min temp Annual rainfall
27.7 °C
82 °F
12.7 °C
55 °F
591.5 mm
23.3 in
Localities around Roma:
Euthulla Orange Hill
Dargal Road Roma Euthulla
Bungil Bungil Tingun

Roma is a town and locality in the Maranoa Region, Queensland, Australia.[2][3] The town was incorporated in 1867 and is named after Lady Diamantina Bowen (née di Roma), the wife of Sir George Bowen, the Governor of Queensland at the time. It is in the Maranoa electoral district. It also serves as a centre for the larger Maranoa Region. At the 2011 census, Roma had a population of 6,906.[1]


Roma is in the Maranoa district of South West Queensland, Australia, 515 km (320 mi) by rail WNW of Brisbane. It is situated at the junction of the Warrego and Carnarvon highways. It is the centre of a rich pastoral and wheat-growing district.


Roma was named after Lady Diamantina Bowen (Contessa Diamantina di Roma), wife of the first Governor of Queensland, George Bowen,[4] in 1867. In 1863 Samuel Symons Bassett brought Queensland's vine cuttings to Roma and established the Romaville Winery and a century later, Roma was the site of Australia's first oil and gas discoveries.[5]

Captain Starlight, a cattle rustler, was tried and acquitted in the Roma Courthouse in February 1873.[6] No successful conviction for cattle rustling has been made in Roma.

Heritage listings

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


Roma has a humid subtropical climate, which gets enough precipitation to avoid the semi-arid climate. Its location on the far south of the Carnarvon Range at an elevation of 299 meters above sea level means that it is cooler and wetter than the plains to the south and west, while being warmer and drier than areas to the north and east.

Temperatures in Roma range from 34 °C in summer to 20 °C in winter and winter minimums can drop below freezing; however, it seldom gets colder than −3 °C. Rainfall is mild and distributed fairly evenly throughout the year, with an annual average of 587.9 mm (23.15 in), however it peaks in summer due to frequent showers and thunderstorms. Roma is usually too far inland to experience the influence of tropical cyclones and monsoonal rain depressions, however there are exceptions, and these systems have caused significant flooding in the town.

Extremes have ranged from 45.8 °C (115.2 °F) to −5.8 °C (23.4 °F).[15][16]

Climate data for Roma (Roma Airport 1985–2014)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 45.8
Average high °C (°F) 34.2
Average low °C (°F) 20.9
Record low °C (°F) 11.2
Average rainfall mm (inches) 70.9
Average rainy days (≥ 0.2mm) 6.5 7.8 4.3 4.0 4.7 4.8 4.2 3.6 4.1 5.7 7.5 8.2 65.4
Average relative humidity (%) 34 41 34 33 37 41 38 31 27 28 32 33 34
Source: Bureau of Meteorology[15]


The town is situated on Bungil Creek, a tributary of the Condamine River. In March 2010, Roma experienced its worst floods in over 100 years. Flooding also occurred in April 2011, a year of record rainfall in Roma.[17] In early February 2012, Roma was devastated by its worst floods in history, eclipsing the level reached in 2010; 444 homes were inundated, twice as many that were flooded in the two previous years.[18]

Having experienced three successive years of flooding, in May 2012, one insurer, Suncorp, announced it would not issue new policies to Roma residents, unless action was taken to mitigate the flood risk in Roma.[19]

Industry and economy


The Maranoa's agriculture industry is worth approximately $620 million annually, 64.3% being generated from crops. 58.7% of businesses in the Maranoa are in the agriculture, forestry and fishing sector, which employs 32.7% of the region's workforce.[20] 2005 was a record year for Roma saleyards processing 390,000 head of cattle. Roma is home to Australia's largest cattle saleyards.[21] Forestry plantations include Hardwood and Cypress Pines. Roma and the Maranoa region is home to Australia's most active native Cypress Pine sawmilling.[22]

Oil and Gas

In 1906 natural gas was used for lighting in Roma. The industry has expanded as more reserves were discovered.

Origin Energy's Spring Gully Coal Seam Gas Development is about 80 kilometres (50 mi) north of Roma and its projects include an 87 kilometres (54 mi) gas pipeline to Roma's neighbour town of Wallumbilla to connect with the 434 kilometres (270 mi) Roma-to-Brisbane gas pipeline hub there.[23] Origin Energy is proposing Spring Gully Power Station as an $870 Million, 1,000 MW power station that will provide electricity to South-East Queensland. With a base at the Spring Gully CSG site, the power station will have the benefit of being close to the source of gas and able to use the waste-water left over from the other CSG operations.

Santos GLNG, is developing CSG fields in the district and is undertaking the project on behalf of a joint venture arrangement with Santos Limited, Petroliam Nasional Berhad (PETRONAS), Total, and Korean Gas Corporation (KOGAS). The projects are spatially intensive and include production and monitoring wells, underground gas storage, injection wells, fixed above-ground gas field facilities, water management infrastructure, and above and below-ground gas and water pipelines.[24]


The groundbreaking study, known as the Roma Managed Aquifer Recharge Study, is the first of its kind in Australia. It is also considered experimental in nature as the risks are largely unknown. The Roma CSG Field pilot trial (Hermitage) Stage 4 is in operation (Completed Q4 2012) and Roma CSG Field (The Bend) Stage 4 operation is due to commence Q3/Q4 2014. The project will allow for the injection of up to 24 ML/d of treated coal seam gas water into the Gubberamunda Sandstone aquifer for up to 20 years[25]

In 2010, a SANTOS project study investigated the possibility of introducing treated CSG produce water into Roma's existing underground aquifer which supplies the town's water needs, including drinking water [26] Water bores have been shut down and hence been restarted at nearby Wallumbilla due to methane being detected in the Gubberamunda Sandstone aquifer (2014).[27][28] Bore water for the town is obtained from the Artesian Basin.[29]


Roma has a relatively low unemployment rate of 2.9% in 2004.[30]

McDowell Street looking east, 1915.

However, only 68.5% of the people living in Roma are employed full-time, with 21.9% working on a part-time basis only.[31]

The town has quite a large service industry. With a number of restaurants and bars opening up in recent years. It is estimated that the population of the town has doubled since the last census due to all the mining work and support industries. The area is also becoming a large manufacturing hub for the mining industry with a large number of businesses opening up in the area.


4ZR is Roma's local radio station, broadcasting on 1476 AM.[32] The Western Star is Roma's local newspaper.[33]

Tourist attractions

Local tourist attractions include the Big Rig and Oil and Gas Museum, Romavilla Winery and Roma Saleyards. The winery is the oldest in Queensland.[34] To the north of the town is Carnarvon Gorge in Carnarvon National Park. Over the Easter period, Roma holds an Easter in the Country event. The Roma Show is also held around Easter.


Hotels, pubs, and churches feature prominently near the centre of town. The ten hotels are within easy walking distance with most adjacent to another hotel.[35] St Paul's Anglican Church[36] is a copy of a 13th Century English Church in the shape of crucifix.

Roma has a range of facilities open to the general public. These include a public library, swimming pool, golf course, bowling green, Bassett Park showground, visitor information centre and a number of sporting clubs and civic facilities. The Airport has regular flights from Brisbane.


There are two schools in Roma, one is a state government school called Roma State College, the other one is non-government religious school called St. John's School.

Roma State College

Roma State College is located in Roma, the major provisional centre for the Maranoa District, South West Queensland for government and industry business. It is on the western fringe of the Surat Basin energy / resources "boom". Roma State College is a co-educational Prep to Year 12 College operating from three separate campuses: Junior Campus; Middle Campus and the Senior Campus. A Special Education Program embracing the full range of disabilities operates across all campuses.[37]

St. John's School

St John's School, a Year P to 12 co-educational Catholic School, was established by the Sisters of Mercy in 1881.[37]


'Cities' is a rugby team that has been in Roma. Darren Lockyer was captain of this team, and it was in this team that he was then scouted for the Brisbane Broncos. The 'Roma Tomatoes' mixed-gender Touch Rugby team was founded in 2009.

Notable people

See also


  1. 1 2 Australian Bureau of Statistics (31 October 2012). "Roma (Urban Centre/Locality)". 2011 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 23 March 2013.
  2. "Roma - town (entry 28969)". Queensland Place Names. Queensland Government. Retrieved 17 August 2016.
  3. "Roma - locality (entry 47453)". Queensland Place Names. Queensland Government. Retrieved 17 August 2016.
  4. Ashton, Paul (2006). "Australians and Greeks: Volume III: The Later Years By Hugh Gilchrist. Sydney: Halstead Press, 2004; PP432 notes, appendicies [sic], bibliography, index; clothbound, $49.95". Public History Review. 12: 120–122.
  5. (2010). Roma Tourism Guide and Travel Deals. Roma Tourism. Kalhaven Group. Retrieved on 27 April 2012.
  6. "ROMA DISTRICT COURT.". The Brisbane Courier. National Library of Australia. 18 February 1873. p. 3. Retrieved 23 October 2013.
  7. "State Butchers Shop (former) (entry 602155)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 11 July 2013.
  8. "Roma Government Complex (entry 601536)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 11 July 2013.
  9. "Hibernian Hall (entry 601689)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 11 July 2013.
  10. "Roma Court House and Police Buildings (entry 601285)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 11 July 2013.
  11. "Hunter's Emporium (former) (entry 601775)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 11 July 2013.
  12. "Romavilla Winery (entry 601767)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 11 July 2013.
  13. "Mount Abundance Homestead (entry 600371)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 11 July 2013.
  14. "War Memorial and Heroes Avenue (entry 600824)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 11 July 2013.
  15. 1 2 "ROMA AIRPORT". Climate statistics for Australian locations. Bureau of Meteorology. January 2014. Retrieved 7 January 2014.
  16. January 2014 Daily Weather Observations
  17. "Extreme flooding hits Roma, Queensland, with 400 homes and properties expected to be submerged". The Australian. 19 April 2011. Retrieved 22 October 2013.
  18. "Queensland flood clean-up gathers pace". ABC News. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 10 February 2012. Retrieved 27 April 2012.
  19. Jabour, Bridie (7 May 2012). "Suncorp refuses to insure Queensland towns". Brisbane Times. Retrieved 22 October 2013.
  20. "Maranoa". Retrieved 17 August 2016.
  21. (25 May 2005). Record year for Roma saleyards. ABC Rural. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved on 27 April 2012.
  22. Future challenges Archived 30 May 2005 at the Wayback Machine.
  23. "ACCC releases its final decision for the Wallumbilla to Brisbane Gas Pipeline". Australian Competition and Consumer Commission. 22 February 2013. Retrieved 17 August 2016.
  24. "Santos GLNG Gas Field Development Project". Retrieved 17 August 2016.
  27. "Water contamination may be linked to coal seam gas wells". Retrieved 17 August 2016.
  28. "Methane Contaminated Town Water in Wallumbilla - Shine Lawyers". 27 May 2014. Retrieved 17 August 2016.
  29. The Great Artesian Basin
  30. ABS employment figure
  31. "Roma Demographics (QLD) Local Stats". Retrieved 17 August 2016.
  32. 1476 4ZR AM website, Resonate Broadcasting. Retrieved 20 November 2016.
  33. The Western Star. APN News Media. Retrieved on 27 April 2012.
  34. "Roma floods hit winery". ABC Rural. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 20 April 2011. Retrieved 27 April 2012.
  35. School of Arts Hotel, Roma
  36. St. Paul's Church of England in Roma
  37. 1 2 "My school". Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA). Retrieved 29 November 2012.
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