THE Dalveen community wants to set the record straight.

Following the 'Poor Dalveen' article published in the Stanthorpe Border Post last week which revealed Australian Taxation Office data that rated the Granite Belt village the third poorest in Queensland, the local community has rallied to defend their slice of paradise by the highway.

Dalveen residents said that regardless of income they are not "poverty stricken".

They have asked that instead of income, the focus be on the town's heartbeat.

Here are their stories:-

Nathan Parkes

EMPLOYED at the Southern Downs Regional Council's waste-water facility, Mr Parkes said his family's move to Dalveen 10 years ago was the "best thing" they ever did.

"The kids have just thrived since we moved," he said.

Before relocating to Dalveen Mr Parkes worked as a construction manager in Sydney and was lucky to spend two days a week with his wife Heidi, a researcher at the Applethorpe Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, and then newborn son.

"For us moving here was a step back financially but a big step up for us in terms of lifestyle and you can't put a price on that," he said.

"We probably wouldn't have had time to have our other two boys if we hadn't moved."

Mr Parkes, who also serves as a firefighter with the Stanthorpe Urban Utility and the Dalveen Rural Fire Station, said he had sounded out his three boys about moving to Stanthorpe but each time had been met with a resounding no.

"Why would they want to move when they have all this freedom?" he said.

Mr Parkes said the construction of the Dalveen Fire Station on unused tennis courts seven years ago highlighted the strength of the community.

"The town realised they no longer needed tennis courts but a rural fire station so we moved with the times and that's what we built," Mr Parkes said.

The facility was financed entirely by the community which has since raised another $23,000 to fund a training room.

Mr Parkes said the community was working to attract more young, working families to the village but for that to happen council needs to come good on their promise to look at developing a local area plan for Dalveen.

"They committed to us that they would develop the plan after amalgamation happened and they are yet to come through," he said.

"We are ideally placed between Stanthorpe and Warwick for families to live and work at either centre."

Grace Cameron

GRACE Cameron has lived in Dalveen for 52 years and is a former president of the Dalveen Queensland Country Women's Association, a former editor of the Windy Ridge Wanderings (the monthly Dalveen newsletter), and manager of the Dalveen Facebook page.

Mrs Cameron said Dalveen was the real definition of community.

"We made $570 from The Biggest Morning Tea this week, a poor community couldn't do that," she said.

Mrs Cameron also proudly revealed that this year will be the 91st staging of the Dalveen QCWA's Christmas Tree celebration which provides presents for all the local children.

Mrs Cameron's husband Archie maintains that little has changed in the town he grew up in except the kids "don't walk to school in bare feet during winter anymore".

Mrs Cameron said 10 years ago the community launched a Beautify Dalveen project with vacant wasteland turned into a community park.

"Trees were planted, the area was cleaned up and it was all done with local money," she said.

Mrs Cameron also pointed to the construction of a haven for travellers.

"This part of the highway was known for being a dangerous stretch so we created a rest area," she said.

Patsy Lee

PRINCIPAL of Dalveen State Primary School for more than 20 years, Patsy Lee spoke of the great relationship that the school has with the wider Dalveen community.

"To say Dalveen is a supportive community is an understatement," she said.

"In all the time I have been principal of the Dalveen State School the community focus has always been positive.

"If we need any assistance we just need to ask, the village is always working together to better itself."

Ms Lee said although there are only eight families represented at the school 30 monthly newsletters were printed because the community was so invested in the school.

"The school will continue to be part of a fantastic community," Ms Lee said.

"Being a small school we're just like an extended family, every child is nurtured and every child feels the best at something.

"A key value of the school is to take an active part in raising good citizens so we engage in voluntary projects within the community."

Stanthorpe Border Post

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