The Toowoomba Cycling Criterium Track has officially been renamed the Peter Watts Criterium Track.
At a private ceremony at the track, attended by his family, Toowoomba Region Councillors, Council staff and the cycling community, many paid tribute to the memory of Peter Watts with one Councillor describing him as a character of ‘zeal, ambition and dedication’.
Toowoomba Region Mayor Paul Antonio said Council unanimously endorsed the decision to officially name the facility the Peter Watts Criterium Track at its meeting in September 2017.
“Peter Watts, the former Council officer and avid cyclist who died suddenly in January 2017, now has one of his proudest achievements with Council named after him,” Mayor Antonio said.
“The renaming of the track stands testament to the impact Peter had on this project specifically, and more broadly on Council staff, the cycling community and residents of our region.
“Peter was a triathlon champion, a keen cyclist and an outstanding Council staff member.
“He was a loving son, husband, father, grandfather – and friend. It’s only fitting that the Criterium Track honours his memory forever.
“As a passionate member of the Cycling Development Facilities Committee, Peter was directly involved in concept development and detailed design works for the new track.
“He provided technical oversight and engineering expertise to guide its development.
“In collaboration with design and project management staff from Council, Peter played a significant role in managing the construction of the track and he oversaw the track’s development from its start to its completion.
“Peter raced regularly on the track when it was completed and continued to provide support to the various teams to help resolve track maintenance and condition issues.”
“He held the role of Principal Program Officer in the Infrastructure Services Group within Toowoomba Regional Council (TRC).
TRC Deputy Mayor and Infrastructure Services Committee chair Cr Carol Taylor said Peter’s intensely modest character prevented many people from being aware of his achievements and contributions to our community.
“As a member of the Cycling Development Facilities Committee, Peter injected his heart and soul into overseeing this Criterium Track’s development, from its proposal to its completion,” Cr Taylor said.
“I retain a deep personal admiration for Peter, and it seems this sentiment is collectively shared by all those fortunate enough to have been close to him.
“As the Chair of Eastern Downs Regional Road Group, I witnessed first-hand the countless work hours Peter contributed to improve our region, while maintaining his regular work responsibilities and pursuing excellence in his chosen sports.
“His contributions are very much appreciated by Council and the wider community.
“The quality of life that we hold dear in this region is enhanced by characters like Peter – characters of zeal, ambition and dedication.
“We honour Peter Watts’s contributions to Toowoomba Regional Council and our community by setting a legacy in an area he was most passionate about.”
The Criterium Track, which stands at the south-east corner of the Toowoomba Showgrounds at Glenvale, offers cyclists of all skill levels a safe recreation and training venue.
The $2.34 million circuit has been open to the public since 2011 and is regarded as one of Australia’s best and most challenging cycling criterium circuits.
The Toowoomba Cycling Criterium Track was officially opened on November 27, 2011, as a jointly funded project by the Toowoomba Regional Council and the Queensland Government.
The Criterium Track was facilitated by a Deed of Agreement between the Royal Agricultural Society of Queensland, as the trustee of the land, and TRC.
Council began developing this track in August 2005, when a Cycling Development Facilities Committee submitted a proposal to Council requesting that an off-road cycling Criterium Track be built in Toowoomba.
As one of Australia’s most challenging cycling Criterium circuits, the track has attracted elite state and national competition. It has a versatile and flexible layout with distances ranging from 350m to 1.76km.
In May 2017, a submission was lodged by Dr Ross Harrington, requesting consideration by Council to formally name the cycling criterium track at Harvey Road, Glenvale as the ‘Peter Watts Criterium Track’.
A meeting of the Toowoomba Regional Council Environment and Community Committee on September 13, 2017 recommended the renaming for approval. The recommendation was adopted by Council on September 19, 2017.