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A Little Rain Won't Stop Us Having Fun and Games!
September 7, 2007 - While no one in the South Burnett can complain about the recent damp weather, the organisers of this year's PCA Kingaroy Peanut Festival have their fingers crossed that tomorrow will dawn a little bit brighter (and warmer!).

But even if it is raining, the Festival will definitely still be going on, so come on down to Kingaroy Showground from 9am to join in the fun!

The day will kick off with the Strong Man and Farmers Breakfast at 9am. There'll be displays by working dogs, camel rides, a sky-diving demonstration and a Roulette performance.

The inaugural Queensland Strong Man Games will feature The Peanut Van Thresher Pull (a Guiness World Record will be set!), Queensland Strong Man Games, Mission Australia Junior Queensland Strong Man Games, and the Little Peanuts Games.

There will also be musical entertainment, comedy acrobats, food, stalls and amusement rides. Popular local band Blues Excuse will be onstage from 4pm.
So come to Kingaroy and enjoy all the fun!
Andrew FraserMore Confusion Over Merger Polls
September 6, 2007 - Local Government Minister Andrew Fraser, (right), says the Australian Electoral Commission has ruled out the possibility of holding a poll on forced council mergers in conjunction with the upcoming Federal Election.

He praised the AEC for "resisting pressure from Prime Minister John Howard", the ABC reported today. Mr Howard has offered to pay for the ballots and the Local Government Association of Qld had nominated October 20 as the preferred date.

Wondai, Nanango and Rosalie shire councils have all indicated they are interested in participating in such a poll.

However Mr Fraser said today the deputy electoral commissioner had told a Senate inquiry that October 20 was out of the question. The commissioner had also ruled out holding a vote on the mergers in conjunction with the federal poll.
McConaghy Buys $33m Shopping Centre
September 5, 2007 - McConaghy Properties Pty Ltd, owner of Kingaroy Shoppingworld, has purchased a new $33.6 million shopping centre at Toowoomba to be known as "The Ridge".

McConaghy Properties also owns Westlands Plaza at Roma, Lismore Shopping Square and Castletown Shoppingworld at Townsville.

Managing director Jim McConaghy told QBR today that all the group's shopping centres had been refurbished in recent years "with the exception of Kingaroy" however Kingaroy Shoppingworld would soon be given a $10 million extension which would include a new Best & Less store and an extra 10 new specialty stores.
Weave Business Magic On The Web
September 4, 2007 - Do you want to grow your business by using the Internet? Radio4smallbusiness presenter Gordon Cramer will be explaining how at a free three-hour seminar in Kingaroy next week.

The seminar, to be held at the South Burnett Enterprise Centre on Wednesday September 12 from 12:45pm will cover:
  • The one-minute web site
  • On-line auctions
  • How to write great descriptions
  • How to position your business on the web
  • How to optimise for search engines

The seminar is free but bookings are essential. Please phone Angela, Jill or Peter at the Wide Bay Burnett ACC on (07) 4121-7099 or email Small Business Field Officer Peter Gregory.
Ministerial Forum To Meet In Wondai
September 3, 2007 - The Wide Bay Burnett Ministerial Regional Community Forum will be held in Wondai on September 24.

The forum, which follows community consultations earlier this year on ways to market the Wide Bay Burnett region, will be held at the Wondai Memorial Hall from 9:30am to 1pm. Emergency Services Minister Neil Roberts and Member for Mt Ommaney Julie Atwood are scheduled to attend.

There is no formal opportunity at the Forum for public input however the public can raise relevant points with Forum members during breaks.
Eateries To Feature
On New Wine Map
August 31, 2007 - The South Burnett Local Government Association and South Burnett Wine Industry Association are inviting local wineries, cellar doors and eateries to advertise in the new South Burnett Food and Wine Trail Map which is currently being prepared.

The new map will now also include eateries, especially those that utilise and promote South Burnett produce.

For more information, download the attached the flyer (80kb PDF) or contact Tourism Project Manager Narelle Colquhoun on (07) 4162-6271. The booking deadline is September 7.
Kunioon Decision Inches Closer
August 30, 2007 - A decision on the future of the proposed Kunioon coal mine project has moved a step closer with the closure of the comment period earlier this week for the Draft Terms of Reference (190kb PDF) for the project.

The Queensland Government's Environmental Protection Agency called for submissions on the draft TOR which closed on August 27. Final Terms of Reference will now be drafted and then the EPA will call for public submissions on a draft Environmental Impact Statement.

If it goes ahead, the Kunioon mine near Kingaroy will produce up to 7.5 million tonnes of coal per year with a planned mine life of 25 years. A coal handling and preparation plant and a tailings treatment plant would also be built as well as 15km conveyor to carry the coal to Tarong and Tarong North Power stations.
Swickers Wins Food Safety Award
August 29, 2007 - Swickers Kingaroy Bacon Factory has taken out an Outstanding Company award at the 2007 HACCP Awards announced at the 14th annual Australian HACCP Conference held on the Gold Coast earlier this month.

The judges noted that there is a strong commitment to food safety and quality requirements by all Swickers' staff and the company has invested huge resources into training to ensure quality standards are maintained.

The Australian HACCP Conference is the largest annual discussion forum for industry professionals involved in food safety.
KCCI Launches
2007 Business Awards
August 28, 2007 - The 2007 Kingaroy Heritage Business Excellence Awards were officially launched by the Kingaroy Chamber of Commerce and Industry last night at a function at the Heritage Building Society branch in Shoppingworld.

This is your chance to reward outstanding Kingaroy businesses and employees for their hard work during 2006-07. Closing date for nominations is October 5. There are five $50 Heritage accounts to be won for just nominating your favourite business!

There are also some new categories this year. Download the nomination form (227kb PDF) for more details and then mail it to the KCCI at PO Box 930, Kingaroy, 4610 or fax to (07) 4162-8431.
Nominate Your Community
For An Achievement Award
August 27, 2007 - Here's your chance to stand up and be counted ... on what regional events, businesses, communities and services deserve to be recognised across Queensland.

Nominations for the 2007 Regional Achievement and Community Awards for Queensland close on September 28.

There are awards in five categories:
  • Business Enterprise
  • Events and Tourism
  • Regional Service
  • Environment and Landcare
  • Community of the Year

Nominations can be made via the internet or on forms available at any Commonwealth Bank branch.
Barambah Wines Go
With Kingaroy Cheese
Relay For Life On This Weekend!
August 23, 2007 - The South Burnett Relay For Life community fund-raising event - which was such a huge success last year! - is on again this weekend but at a new venue from last year ... the Kingaroy Showgrounds.

The event will start at 3pm on Saturday and conclude at 9am on Sunday. Teams of between 10 and 15 people will each aim to raise $1000 to aid in the fight against cancer. Last year in Kingaroy 44 teams raised an amazing $71,000 for cancer research and patient services!

For more information about this year's event, visit the Relay For Life website or phone Storme Vunderink on 0411-339-772.
Wondai Takes Up Federal Offer On Merger Poll
August 22, 2007 - Wondai Shire Council has decided to take up a Federal Government offer so a poll of residents on its forced amalgamation with Nanango, Kingaroy and Murgon councils can finally go ahead.

Wondai Council will write to the Federal Government and ask that its ratepayers participate in a vote which would be held on the same day as the Federal Election.

Wondai was forced to axe its original poll of ratepayers - which was to be held last weekend - in the wake of new State legislation which banned councils from seeking the opinions of ratepayers on the merger issue.

Ironically, the State Government introduced an amendment today to annul its original amendment which gave it the power to sack councillors who held a poll.
Nanango Calls Public Meeting on Merger
August 21, 2007 - Nanango Shire Council will hold a public meeting this Friday night to allow shire residents to express concerns about the impact of local government amalgamations.

Nanango Shire will be combined with Murgon, Wondai and Kingaroy shires into one super South Burnett Regional Council under the forced amalgamations announced by the State Government late last month.

The Nanango meeting will be held at the Cultural Centre in George Street from 5:00pm.
WorldSkills On Show In Kingaroy
August 20, 2007 - A regional round of the WorldSkills competition will be held at the Kingaroy TAFE college this week.

This is a unique opportunity for local apprentices, trainees and vocational training students to demonstrate their skills - and it's the first time that a regional round has been held in Kingaroy. WorldSkills competitions are held in 29 regions throughout Australia. Winners can go on to compete at national and international levels.

To help mark WorldSkills in Kingaroy, the Kingaroy Chamber of Commerce will be holding its monthly Meet'n'Greet from 5:30pm tonight at the TAFE College, on the corner of the Bunya Highway and Geritz Road. For more information, contact the KCCI on (07) 4162-8466.
Wondai Council Axes Poll
August 17, 2007 - The referendum that was to be held in Wondai Shire tomorrow to allow ratepayers to voice their opinions on the merger of the shire with Kingaroy, Nanango and Murgon has been cancelled.

Council announced in the South Burnett Times this morning that "in accordance with Section 159ZY of the Local Government Reform Implementation Act 2007" (the legislation passed in State Parliament last week) the poll would not proceed.

However Wondai Shire Council has not ruled out taking up Prime Minister John Howard's offer (see story below) to hold another vote at a later date.

Download Local Government Reform Implementation Act 2007 (723kb)
PM Intervenes To Ensure Merger Polls Can Take Place
August 16, 2007 - The Federal Government will legislate to overturn the State ban on councils holding referendums on forced amalgamations.

Prime Minister John Howard said today federal Coalition MPs had approved a draft law which would mean any State law which "penalises, discriminates against or interferes with local councils or other people being involved in plebiscites" would be invalid.

The Federal Government was not expressing a view as to whether any individual council mergers should occur but was simply allowing plebiscites to be held.

"We will reimburse the local councils the cost of the conduct of the ballots so they will not be at any expense," Mr Howard said. "But whether councils have them is a matter for them, the outcome's a matter for the people."

UPDATE: Premier Peter Beattie labels PM's move a stunt and threatens High Court challenge. Read his press release (12kb PDF)
Six Steps To A Better Business
August 15, 2007 - Toowoomba business coach Kirsten Gadsby will be holding a free one-hour workshop in Kingaroy next week to explain how you can "build a business that works without you!"

The workshop will be held at the Kingaroy RSL Club from 10.30am on Thursday August 23. Registrations from 10am. Email Kirsten to reserve a seat.

Kirsten, whose methods were explained at a recent KCCI Women In Business lunch, says business owners and their families can find balance, build healthier relationships and more efficient businesses if they follow certain steps.
Cafe Opens In Rogers Drive
August 14, 2007 - Rosamund Innes, well-known for her Rhapsody catering service at the South Burnett Enterprise Centre, is managing a new venture: the Mitre Ate Cafe at the Turner's Mitre 10 Home and Trade store in Rogers Drive, Kingaroy.

The cafe is open 7am-5pm Monday to Friday and from 8am-4pm on Saturdays and 8:30am-3pm on Sundays. It offers breakfasts as well as gourmet meals and salads, coffees, desserts, cakes, cheese platters and much, much more. There are also a hot box and cold drinks.

The grand opening will now be held on September 1. Mitre Ate will also be available to host Christmas parties with seating available for up to 80. Rosamund can be contacted by email
Have Your Say On Council Amalgamations
August 13, 2007 - The State Government has forbidden local councils (see story below) to poll electors on forced council amalgamations but there are still ways you can have your say: