By Nicky Way
You know you've arrived in Moranbah when you reach the Big Red Rhino Bucket at the town's entrance. The bucket is part of the Federation Walk, a one-kilometre nature stroll that was four years in the making. The short walk will take you past Grosvenor Creek and get you up close and personal with some of the local wildlife.
Located 194km south-west of Mackay, Moranbah was created specifically to house mine workers. That's not to say other businesses don't thrive here though, with many accountancy, retail, education, health, building, construction and real estate firms operating in the town too. Other industries in the area including beef and grain.
Moranbah is home to workers from BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA), as well as Anglo American and Peabody Energy. Arrow Energy has a large gas project close to the town, and Dyno Nobel operates here too.
The health and education sectors are well represented, but with the population rapidly increasing there can be a long wait to get into childcare or to see a medical practitioner.
Health facilities include hospital, chiropractor, medical practices, dentist, physiotherapist, psychologists (visiting), optometrists and pharmacies.
Education services include two primary schools and a high school, C & K Moranbah, Moranbah Community Kindergarten and Simply Sunshine.
The town square has been revamped and includes a water feature, new children’s play area and an interactive musical feature as well as a range of shops including women’s boutiques, cafés, homewares, jewellery, electrical, post office, newsagency, sports shop, furniture, toys and others.
A second shopping precinct is located behind the square, with retailers including Target Country, Rockmans, Priceline Pharmacy and Coles (anecdotally said to be one of the largest in Queensland), beauty, clothing, hairdressers, cafe, and jewellery stores.
Other shops and services include High Country Enterprises (Mitre 10), A Kitchen Centre, NAB, ANZ, BOQ, Big Sky Credit Union.
Moranbah probably boasts some of the best facilities of any mining town in CQ, including a skate park, library, public swimming pool, rugby league, AFL, hockey, tennis, off-road racing, motocross, BMX club, golf, library and the Coalface Art Gallery.
A testament to the great sporting facilities are the famous rugby exports born and bred in Moranbah, including Josh Hannay and Clinton Schifcofske.
The town also has a great range of community events including the annual rodeo, May Day, mine picnics and monthly markets. And all issues and events are well publicised in the fortnightly newsletter The Moranbah Messenger, published by Moranbah District Support Services.
With a decent-sized population, a good mix of mining and private enterprise and a wide range of facilities, the residents have a lot to smile about. And smile they do – after all, Moranbah was voted Ergon Energy’s Friendliest Town!
"Hi there, I moved to Moranbah in early 2012 with my husband and three young children. Prior to moving to Moranbah my husband did 15 months of DIDO & FIFO (the FIFO was from Port Hedland to NSW) which was really hard on us. A job opportunity came up for us to move to Moranbah (all expenses paid plus subsidised rent) so we jumped at the chance and haven't regretted it one bit. It is a fantastic town, really nice people, fabulous primary school, just an awesome place to raise children. I can honestly say Moranbah is going to be home for many years to come."
- Kylie, Moranbah
"My family moved to the town of Moranbah six months ago, and one thing I have noticed since living here is that there is so much community spirit and support in this town. I have found it to be very friendly, and I have been astounded at how many friends I have made since I have been here. The facilities that have been available to me and my family are fantastic and the town always has something to offer on the weekends."
- Jennifer Taylor, wife and mum to one
"Spent two years in Moranbah while we both worked in the mines. Found the place over-priced and very negative if u were a contractor. Would not go back there to live. Now live in the camp and leave after shift, and the locals wonder why? Rent $3000 per week, houses over $500K everything is so much dearer."
- Ethel, Charters Towers
Ever lived in Moranbah? Tell us what you think...