2014 Distinguished Past Student Award winner

From modest Farmer to Mayor sums up very quickly the lifetime work of 1964 graduate, Paul Antonio.

Born and raised in the Millmerran district, Paul studied for his Junior and Diploma in Agriculture at Gatton from 1960 to 1964, where he developed his leadership skills as captain of the 2nd fifteen rugby union side, prefect and Shelton House captain.

He then returned to the family grain, cattle and intensive pig raising property, during which time through to 1969 he also played “A” grade rugby league for All Whites in Toowoomba and the Millmerran club.

About this time he married and acquired his first property. He, wife Judy and son, Craig now own and operate five properties with a focus on grain production and breeding Angus cattle.

Prior to entering into local government, Paul was involved with the Millmerran Town Centenary as its president, and has received 25 year service medals for his commitment to both the local Fire and Ambulance Services.

Paul was also the Deputy Chairman of the Queensland Fire and Rescue Authority prior to it being removed by an incoming Government.
He was also chairman of the Eastern Downs Regional Organisation of Councils prior to amalgamation, as well as a Founding Director for the Natural Resource Management body, Condamine Alliance.

Paul began his foray into local government when elected to the Millmerran Council in 1982, later becoming the Deputy Mayor and then Mayor, where his strong leadership led the Council to a very healthy Shire which had no debt and $3million in the bank when amalgamation occurred.

With the amalgamation of nine Councils in 2008, Paul Antonio was elected to the new Toowoomba Regional Council and took up the position of Deputy Mayor – at the subsequent election he nominated for and duly won the position of Mayor, which he still holds.

Since then he has played a significant role in getting a pipeline built from Wivenhoe Dam to drought-proof the city of Toowoomba and his Council has overseen the development of a major airport for the city by private developers, the Wagner family.

He and his Council have played a major role in securing approval and funding from the State and Federal Governments for the construction of the Toowoomba second range crossing, which is due to start in the near future. This project, in dollar terms will be the largest inland road development ever undertaken.

Paul currently serves as Director of the Toowoomba and Surat Basin Enterprise Board as well as the Queensland delegate on the Melbourne to Brisbane Rail Alliance.