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Forced Council Amalgamations Become Law
August 10, 2007 - The controversial Local Government Reform Implementation Bill - which cuts Queensland's 156 local councils to just 72 - was passed at 4.05am today in State Parliament after a 14-hour session which ended when the ALP used its numbers to gag debate.

Click here to download mapEarlier yesterday, the State Government announced the amended legislation would also ensure councils would not be able "to request, arrange or cause a poll to be conducted by the Australian Electoral Commission or any other entity" to stop any public vote on amalgamations taking place.

"Staging a referendum will be an explicit trigger for immediate dismissal of individual councils," Local Government Minister Andrew Fraser said.

"If a council has already started a poll they must take all necessary steps to ensure that the poll does not go ahead and they must inform ratepayers that it will not go ahead."

The State Government has also threatened to fine individual councillors if ratepayers are polled on the forced amalgamations.

Download map (1.2MB PDF) of new boundaries.
Boonara HomesteadHistoric Homestead
On The Market
August 9, 2007 - The historic Boonara Homestead, near Goomeri, is temporarily closed and is on the market.

The homestead, located at 7191 Burnett Highway, was built in 1862 by E.B. Hawkins who selected the land in 1846. The original station covered approximately 73,800ha.

After Hawkins drowned during the California gold rush, Boonara was sold to David Jones (of department store fame) and remained in this family until 1967 when it was purchased by Cecil Euler who sold it to current owners Ted and Sandra Nesbitt who re-opened it as a B&B and cellar door in 2005.
2007 PCA Peanut Festival
Program Now On Line
August 8, 2007 - The program for the all-new PCA Kingaroy Peanut Festival - which will be held at the Kingaroy Showgrounds on Saturday September 8 - is now available on line.

The festival features the inaugural Queensland Strong Man Games. Entry forms and details for teams are also available to download.

On Sunday September 8, the fun will continue at Kingaroy Airport with a fly-in and other events.

For more information, contact the Kingaroy Chamber of Commerce and Industry on (07) 4162-8466.
Opportunities for Community Groups
August 7, 2007 - The call has gone out for community groups to assist during the Cycle Queensland Miles to Mooloolaba stopover in Kingaroy.

Up to 1000 people are expected to arrive on Tuesday, September 4, including riders, volunteer support crew and organisers. They will spend a free day in the region and then leave early on September 6.

Professional caterers will provide three meals each day but local groups are needed to run a food outlet on Tuesday and assist with the two evening meals. For more information, phone Event Director John Franklin on (07) 3844-1144 or download the attached information (91kb PDF).
Maidenwell Trading PostHealthy Focus At Trading Post
August 6, 2007 - Judy Carr, wife of well-known Yarraman doctor Bruce Carr, is the new owner at the Maidenwell Trading Post. Jane Free has been appointed manager ... and there's plenty of other changes happening at the small community store too!

Major renovations are planned, including a new kitchen and eating area and a conversion to healthy food including organic fruit and vegetables. As part of the healthy philosophy, cigarettes are no longer available. Products from the Carr family's Yalbury Olives property in Maidenwell are also featured, including 100% organic extra virgin olive oil processed on-farm.

There's also Elgas exchange gas cylinders, fuel, newspapers, and an all-day breakfast menu. Future plans include packed picnic lunches for day trippers to the Bunya Mountains. The Trading Post can be contacted on (07) 4164-6166.
Megan WellerLocal Teenager on Network 10
August 3, 2007 - Megan Weller, (right), daughter of Wooroolin peanut grower Wayne Weller, will feature in a special "farm science" episode of the Network Ten television show Scope on Monday.

The episode, filmed at PCA's Innovation and Technical Centre, describes Megan's research into peanut seed handling. The Year 12 Kingaroy State High School student won the Best Environmental Project category at the 2007 BHP Billiton Science Awards for her work.

The episode of Scope will air on August 6 at 4pm on Network Ten.

Photo: Mark Fergus, CSIRO
Changes At Volume II
August 2, 2007 - It's the end of an era at Volume II, the CD and music store in Shoppingworld, with longtime Kingaroy businesspeople Brenda and Denver Tuite handing over the reins to new owner Kath Madder.

All contact details for Volume II remain the same and the store will remain part of the Leading Edge music buying group.

Volume II stocks CDs and DVDs as well as a range of musical instruments, sheet music and amplifiers.
Tarong Coal Supports SBBiz Upgrade
August 1, 2007 - The new council boundaries announced late last week mean a major revamp of this Business Directory will soon become necessary ... and thanks to the Tarong Coal Community Development Fund this will now be possible.

The fund has agreed to support reprogramming so that listings, which are currently sorted along the old shire lines, reflect the new boundaries. The assistance will also help us refine the category structure of listings to make SBBiz even easier to use.

Now it's over to you ... What do you think? Should SBBiz continue to list businesses in the old Rosalie Shire or maybe just Yarraman and Cooyar? And what about businesses in the old Kilkivan Shire?

We'd love to hear your feedback. Please send your suggestions by email
CRS Opens Kingaroy Office
July 31, 2007 - The old Commonwealth Rehabilitation Service, now dubbed CRS Australia, has opened offices at 9 Glendon Street, Kingaroy (the X-ray clinic building).

This Federal Government vocational and rehabilitation service assists people with a disability, injury or health condition to get and keep a job and also provides injury management and prevention services.

They can be contacted on (07) 4164-0300.
Backdown Over Shire Divisions
July 30, 2007 - The State Government has backed away from the Local Government Reform Commission's proposal to hold only "whole of shire" elections in 2008 under the new council boundaries.

Premier Peter Beattie said Cabinet had considered the issue this morning after concerns were raised by mayors. The need for internal divisions will now be decided on a case-by-case basis in consultation with the new councils.

The Reform Commission had considered it would be too difficult to draw up new internal division boundaries in time for the 2008 poll.

Read the Premier's press release (10kb PDF)
South Burnett Regional CouncilNew Face of the South Burnett
July 27, 2007 - Kingaroy, Wondai, Murgon and Nanango Shires are to merge into the South Burnett Regional Council in the Local Government Reforms announced today by Premier Peter Beattie.

Kilkivan Shire will amalgamate with Cooloola Shire and Division 3 of Tiaro Shire (Theebine/Gunalda areas) to become Gympie Regional Council.

Rosalie Shire along with Crows Nest, Jondaryan, Millmerran, Pittsworth, Clifton and Cambooya Shires will join with Toowoomba City in Toowoomba Regional Council.

There will be no boundary change for Cherbourg Aboriginal Shire Council. And there will also be no divisions within the new councils.

The reasons put forward for the changes (and why Yarraman, Cooyar, Cherbourg, Goomeri and Kilkivan have not been included in the South Burnett):

South Burnett council submissions to the Local Government Reform Commission:

Future Proof Your Business!
July 27, 2007 - Four out of five businesses fail in the first five years, in fact only 4-5% make it past 10 years ... but BIEDO believes it may have some of the answers with its practical hands-on Business Planning workshops which will be held soon in Kingaroy and Nanango.

The workshops, funded by AusIndustry, have been customised for rural businesses. Cost is $30 per person which includes morning and afternoon tea and lunch. This course would normally be valued at $673. For more information download a flyer (117kb PDF)

The workshops will be held in Kingaroy on August 6 and Nanango on September 4. Bookings are essential (the venue will be advised when you book!). Phone BIEDO on (07) 5484-1652 or send them an email
High Noon For
South Burnett Councils
July 26, 2007 - Midday tomorrow will be crunch time for South Burnett councils ... the time when Premier Peter Beattie will announce which Queensland councils will disappear into merged "super councils" and what boundaries will change.

Two South Burnett councils, Wondai and Rosalie, have already announced they will hold a referendum on any proposed changes but the results of these polls will not be binding on the State Government.

Premier Beattie has invited council mayors to attend a briefing on the changes immediately after a special Cabinet Meeting tomorrow morning. Read the full State Government press release here (10kb PDF)
Tourists Will Discover The Magic
July 25, 2007 - The South Burnett Times has released the latest version of its popular Touring The South Burnett touring guide, (right).

The 64-page glossy magazine has features on all South Burnett towns as well as town maps and the regional map produced by the South Burnett Tourism Association and South Burnett Local Government Association.

The magazines will be available at Visitor Information Centres and will be distributed at the Brisbane Exhibition.
More Changes Loom For Local Councils
July 24, 2007 - Hot on the heels of the review of council boundaries, the State Government is now calling for submissions for a review of the whole Local Government Act.

It has prepared eight Issue Papers for comment which can be downloaded from the Department of Local Government Planning, Recreation and Sport website

Closing date for submissions is 5pm Friday October 5, 2007.

The issue papers cover:
  • The structures and functions of local government
  • Local government and its place in the wider framework of government
  • The roles and powers of councillors and officers
  • Local government elections
  • Local laws
  • Asset, financial and infrastructure management
  • Performance reporting and compliance; and
  • The role of the department responsible for local government
Check Now To See If
You're Enrolled To Vote!
July 23, 2007 - With a Federal Election just around the corner, now is probably a good time to check that you're correctly enrolled to vote so that when the time comes you can have your say!

To check if you are enrolled, visit the Australian Electoral Commission's enrolment verification web page. If you need to make any changes, download an enrolment form and mail it to: Australian Electoral Commission, Reply Paid 9867, Brisbane, Qld, 4001.

NB. If you have just moved to Wondai and wanted to vote in the Council Amalgamation poll, you're too late! The Electoral Roll for this vote closed on Friday.
Burnets Have A New Adventure
July 20, 2007 - Dan and Joanna Burnet - the dynamic duo behind Spring Gully Olives and Springbrook Host Farm at Booubyjan, The Grape and Olive Restaurant at Goomeri and the Visit Oz agricultural training scheme - have launched yet another a new venture ... Adventure Marketing.

Adventure Marketing builds on the Burnet's extensive overseas contacts to promote Australian adventure travel companies internationally.

Dan and Joanna can be contacted on (07) 4168-6185 or by email
ACCC Seeks Feedback
On Proposed Media Merger
July 19, 2007 - The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is seeking feedback from South Burnett residents on the proposed sale of Southern Cross Broadcasting to Macquarie Media Group and Fairfax.

If the proposed sale occurs, CFM 89.1, 1071AM and television station Southern Cross TEN would be owned by Macquarie Media. The ACCC is considering whether this would affect the options that listeners/viewers in the South Burnett have, or lower the quality of programming particularly in terms of local news coverage.

The ACCC is seeking feedback by July 27, 2007. For more information, visit the ACCC's website.
Tanya Takes Over At Cafe
July 18, 2007 - Tanya Barker has taken over Darlene's Cake and Coffee Cafe Bakery at 23 Moore Street, Goomeri.

The cafe offers dine-in as well as take away home-style meals, hamburgers, pies, cakes and biscuits and and is open seven days from 8am-5pm Mondays to Saturdays and 8am to 3pm on Sundays.

Darlene's Cake and Coffee Cafe Bakery can be contacted on (07) 4168-4144.
Track Down Your Missing Skills in Victoria
July 17, 2007 - Do you have job vacancies that you just can't fill locally? Then this could be the solution for your business ...

The Wide Bay Burnett Regional Organisation of Councils (an umbrella group which also includes all South Burnett councils) has invited employers to submit job vacancies they would like promoted at the upcoming Queensland on Show, Work & Play Expo in Melbourne in August.

The Expo provides information designed to attract new residents to Queensland from southern States. Just download the form (11kb PDF) and fax it back to WBBROC on (07) 4121-7095 by Friday August 10.