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Accents Named Best Cafe Restaurant
September 6, 2011 - Congratulations to Accents Restaurant and Cafe in Kingaroy which won the "Café Restaurant" category for south-east Queensland at the 2011 Savour Australia™ Awards for Excellence announced at Jupiters Casino last night.

Accents was competing against Sunshine Coast, Brisbane, Darling Downs and Gold Coast restaurants to win the award, including finalists Café 21 @ Treasury, Brisbane; Lock n Load Bistro, West End and The Gunshop Café, West End.

Judging for the award covers food, wine, service and the overall restaurant "experience". Judging is done "blind" from the initial booking phone call with no one at the restaurant aware of who the judge is.

Owner Jimmy Stephen opened Accents in Kingaroy just nine months ago but he is no stranger to Restaurant & Catering Association awards. He has previously won the "Best European Restaurant" gong at the Savini Restaurant and Wine Bar at Kangaroo Point.

Accents will now compete against category winners from other States at the National Awards which will be announced next month in Sydney.
Celebrate Spring & Support the AGL Rescue Chopper
September 6, 2011 - Kingaroy's Quota Club will be hosting a High Tea Garden Party next month to raise funds for the AGL Action Rescue Helicopter.

The AGL chopper (the Sunshine Coast Helicopter Rescue Service) has been helping South Burnett residents for more than 30 years and currently flies more than 1000 aero-medical and rescue missions every year.

The not-for-profit organisation receives government assistance but also relies heavily on sponsors and individual donations to keep operating.

The High Tea - which will also celebrate spring - will be held on Saturday October 1 from 1:30pm-4:30pm in the gardens of the Peterson family property 'Hopevale', just off the D'Aguilar Highway at Coolabunia.

Cost is $20. To RSVP please contact Glenys Peterson on (07) 4162-1318 or Anne Miller on (07) 4163-6854.

* * *

2010 Queensland Chamber of Agricultural Societies Rural Ambassador Wade Timms, from Nanango, has made it three wins in a row for Queensland by taking out the National Title in Adelaide at the weekend.

The Qld Rural Ambassador has gone on to win the national award four times: in 2004, 2007, 2009 and 2010.

The Rural Ambassador competition aims to find young people aged 18 to 30 who are involved in the agricultural shows and who can act as strong ambassadors the movement.

Congratulations Wade!

  • Listen to an interview with Wade on ABC Radio
Help Chris Raise $5000 To Fight
Rare Diseases ... Buy A Painting!
September 5, 2011 - Nimue Gallery in Kingaroy is throwing open its doors on Tuesday, September 20, to help raise money to fight some very rare genetic diseases.

Gallery owner Cherry Carroll has asked local and Brisbane artists to donate works which will be auctioned to raise funds for the Australian Mitochondrial Disease Foundation.

So far 32 artists have donated 56 pieces of art and as there are no reserve prices, there could well be some great bargains to be had!

Young artist Chris Sanchez, son of Burning Beats Cafe owner Paul Stoddart, has the extremely rare Kearns-Sayre Syndrome which at present has no known cure or treatment.

Chris, who is confined to a wheelchair, has formed a fund-raising team and has pledged to raise $5000 for AMDF.

If you can't make it to the auction, you can donate directly to Chris's fundraising team on the Everyday Hero website

The Nimue Gallery is located in King Street, Kingaroy, next door to the Carrollee Hotel. The auction will start at 6:30pm on September 20.
Cougar Considers Appeal To Land Court
September 2, 2011 - Cougar Energy is consulting with its lawyers over a possible appeal to the Queensland Land Court over its halted underground coal gas project near Kingaroy.

Cougar advised the ASX yesterday that the Department of Environment and Resource Management had notified the company of the results of an internal review of its decision to halt activities at the Coolabunia site.

DERM said a delegate appointed had confirmed the original decision to restrict activities at the site.

Earlier this year, DERM Acting Director-General Terry Wall announced no further gasification would be permitted on the site and said Cougar must now remove all infrastructure, treat and dispose of any contaminated water in surface storages and clean up groundwater.

Cougar received formal notification of this decision on July 19 but then exercised its right under the Qld Environment Protection Act to seek an internal review of the decision.

* * *
Representatives from OriginOil and delegates to the the recent Algae World Australia conference have visited the algae oil demonstration site, (see SBBiz, August 3, 2011), which is being established at Tarong Power Station to capture flue-gas carbon dioxide.

Los Angeles-based Origin Oil is a strategic partner to Australian company MBD Energy in the project and is providing extraction technology.

Origin Oil has released photos and a video about their visit.

* * *

The foreshadowed sale of Kingaroy radio station 4SB (Radio 10.71) to the Macquarie Radio Network, (see SBBiz, July 5, 2011), is now a reality.

MRN officially completed the $6 million purchase of Brad Smart's regional radio network this week.

Smart Radio also operated stations at Mt Isa, Emerald, Charleville, St George, Roma and Goondiwindi.

* * *

The Toowoomba, Golden West, South Burnett, Southern Downs and Granite Belt regional tourism organisation(s), in conjunction with the Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation will be holding a SMART Exhibiting Workshop in Toowoomba which may be of interest to local small businesses and tourism operators.

The workshop, to be presented by qualified trainer Ron McDermott, will teach participants how to plan and prepare stalls for trade exhibitions and festivals ... how to make the most of the space you have been allocated, how to select the right product mix and how to connect with customers.

The workshop will be held on Wednesday, October 5, from 9:00am-noon in the Green Room at DEEDI, 203 Tor Street, Toowoomba. Cost is $15 which includes a light morning tea on arrival.

For more information, and to book, contact the Regional Tourism Office on (07) 4632-1988 or by email.
LNP MP To Be Guest
Speaker At Meet'n'Greet
September 1, 2011 - Opposition spokesman for tourism, manufacturing and small business, member for Currumbin Jann Stuckey, (right), will be the guest speak at the next Kingaroy Chamber of Commerce and Industry Meet'n'Greet.

The LNP is currently conducting a survey of small businesses - available on Jann's website as a PDF download - to assess the biggest issues facing business owners.

The Meet'n'Greet will be held at Kingaroy Hotel-Motel (opposite McDonald's) in Haly Street, Kingaroy on Monday, September 19, from 5:30pm.

All Kingaroy businesspeople have been invited to attend and there is no cover charge for this event.

* * *

The Burnett Catchment Care Association and the Sustainable Practices program will be hosting a soils workshop for local farmers at Binjour on September 14.

The workshop, "Valuing the Back Paddock …", will feature guest speakers Mark Sugars, a Senior Natural Resource Officer from DERM, and Bill Schulke, an Extension Officer with Private Forest Service Qeeensland.

Mark will discuss the importance of understanding soil capabilities and limitations for a sustainable grazing enterprise while Bill will share his knowledge of the tree/grass balance and show how to assess the value of "back country" for grazing and timber production.

The workshop will be held from 8:30am–3:00pm at 111 Slab Creek Road, Binjour. It is free but please RSVP by September 9 to (07) 4166-3898.

Participants have been urged to bring a hat and chair as there will be field demonstrations.

* * *

The Ficks Crossing recreational area, which was badly damaged during the January floods, has re-opened. The South Burnett Regional Council has announced that the facility - which boasts dormitory-style accommodation, a fully-equipped kitchen and a range of sporting facilities - is now back in shipshape condition.
National Parks 'Overrun With Weeds & Fire Hazard'
August 31, 2011 - LNP Candidate for Nanango Deb Frecklington has backed proposals by her party which she says will lead to better management of Queensland national parks.

The LNP yesterday released its policy commitments on National Parks, promising better management and a "good neighbour" policy for adjoining property owners.

Ms Frecklington said parks such as the Bunya Mountains were overrun by weeds and a fire hazard for local residents during the bushfire season.

"Our policy will ... ensure the parks are good neighbours to adjoining property owners who, under Labor's failed policies, have had to deal with feral animals and noxious weeds invading their properties," Mrs Frecklington said.

The LNP says just 17 per cent of protected areas have management plans and over the past decade, the ratio of rangers to National Park has dropped with each ranger now responsible for maintaining more than 150 sq km.

Ms Frecklington said the LNP would develop a State-wide "streamlined permit system" to encourage sustainable tourism in National Parks.

* * *

Registered training organisation Baseline Training will be conducting GIQ - Coal Surface Generic Induction training in Kingaroy from September 5-7.

The course is designed for all personnel who work in the Queensland coal mining industry and provides them with the knowledge and skills to comply with the new Standard 11 health and safety obligations.

The course will be held at Men@Work, 32 Knight Street, Kingaroy. Cost is $810 per person (GST exempt).

For more information - or to book - contact Michel Irving on 0411-327-820 or by email
AGL Windfarm Project Still On Track
August 30, 2011 - Coopers Gap Wind Farm project manager for AGL Adam Mackett this morning rejected in the strongest terms any suggestion that the project won't go ahead.

"We reject any suggestion in today's media that we would abandon this project and we hope to gain planning approval as soon as possible through the legislative process," Mr Mackett told SBBiz.

The initial Environmental Assessment report for the proposed 350MW wind farm near Kingaroy - which would produce enough power for approximately 150,000 average Queensland homes - received 31 submissions, including about 20 from local landholders.

"AGL has met with neighbouring landowners and we are continuing with this consultative process to progress the development of the wind farm. We are also currently engaging with landowners, local councils and State Government departments to ensure that the revised assessment report addresses all the issues raised in the 31 submissions we received," Mr Mackett said.

"We are confident that all aspects of the wind farm, including noise and setback, can be developed in accordance with Queensland's legislative requirements."

Mr Mackett said AGL was continuing to work with the community and was listening to their concerns but he emphasised the proposed site is located in one of the best wind resource areas in Queensland and that the project was a great opportunity for the State.

It is also located close to existing Powerlink transmission infrastructure.

"Coopers Gap represents a tremendous renewable energy opportunity for the local community and Queensland. The capital investment of about $800 million would provide a significant opportunity for regional contractors, local businesses and workers within the South Burnett and Western Downs areas," he said.

Find Out More About
Solar Energy On Thursday
August 29, 2011 - A BBQ lunch will be held outside Go Green Generation's office at 27 Alford Street, Kingaroy, from noon to 3:00pm on Thursday to launch the business's September Spring Solar Sale.

The BBQ will be free but gold coin donations are welcome with all proceeds going to the Kingaroy RSPCA. CROW-FM will also be doing a live outside broadcast from the event.

Go Green's Kelly Taffe said information about Renewable Energy Certificates for solar energy would be available.

And, as a special deal to help local schools, for every parent who signs up for a solar system, $100 will be donated to the school for environmental funding.

"This will be a coupon system handed in on time of deposit." Kelly said. "This will encourage the schools to have an Environmental Club and help fund it well into the future."

* * *

Tickets are selling fast for the special Flamenco Fire - Primavera Mia dancing extravaganza which is being brought to Kingaroy this week by the South Burnett Regional Council and ArtTour.

The heavily subsidised performance of Spanish dancing will be held at Kingaroy Town Hall on Saturday night. Doors open at 6:00pm and the performance starts at 6:30pm.

Tickets are $15 adults, $7.50 student / concession and children $5. Pursers Coaches will be providing bus transport from Murgon, Wondai and Nanango for $5 per person each way.

The South Burnett Community Orchestra and South Burnett Musical Society will be providing pre-entertainment, bar and canteen facilities.

Tickets are available from the South Burnett Regional Council on (07) 4189-9100 or see Thorps Jewellers in Kingaroy Shoppingworld. To book you seats on the bus, contact Pursers directly on (07) 4168-1533.

NB. Because of the Forecourt renovations, access to the Town hall is via Youngman Street only
Balonne Shire Mayor Critical Of Tourism Merger
August 26, 2011 - The merger between the Toowoomba Golden West and South Burnett Regional Tourism Organisation and the Southern Downs and Granite Belt RTO has Balonne Shire Mayor Donna Stewart worried.

Speaking to ABC Local Radio this morning, Cr Stewart expressed her concern that bigger is not always better.

"It's a much larger area with a lot less money," Cr Stewart said.

"I believe something like $200,000 is going to be lost to the Association and I'm quite disturbed that (we'll be) spreading ourselves too thin over a large area and that members are not going to get the representation that they got before."

Cr Stewart said Balonne would probably now be working closer with the Outback Queensland Tourism Association in future.

She noted that Balonne Shire was not given the opportunity to vote when the first merger - between Toowoomba Golden West and the South Burnett - went ahead last year.

Retiring General Manager of both the Toowoomba, Golden West and South Burnett RTO and Southern Downs Granite Belt RTO Stuart Perry defended the merger, saying it was about creating an organisation with a more powerful marketing capability.

Quizzed why powerful marketing was not possible with smaller groups, Mr Perry told the ABC that current marketing initiatives had been very successful but with a large package "no one can miss us".

He said the identities of all the individual products and experiences across the region would be kept "very much alive".

"We're going to be such a great RTO in terms of size and product offer that we'll be sitting there as one of the bigger attractions right alongside the big RTOs across the State," he said.

Western Downs tourism operators supported the merger 26 votes to 9 last night.

Local Cattle Shine
At Brisbane Ekka
August 25, 2011 - This year's Brisbane Ekka has left first-time South Burnett exhibitor Kevin Temperton, (right), from 'Bellbird Vineyards', very happy, if a little bit stunned.

He decided to try his luck and submitted 13 yearling calves for judging. They were bred out of Angus cows at Coolabunia from a Hillsborough Limousins bull. They were then weaned and sent to the Kjal Feedlot at Cushnie for 100 days.

The calves were entered into various competitions including Coles and Woolworth carcass cuts and seven were judged live.

To Kevin's delight one of the live calves came 2nd in Class 20 (Single Steer - 360kg to 480kg), a hotly contested category with entries from across Queensland and NSW. The hook entries also secured a 10th in the Woolies competition and a 6th in the Coles contest against almost 150 competitors.

Murray and Bronwyn Lord, from 'Rhodesleigh' at Dangore Mountain, might be "old hands" at the Ekka (they've been showing for about four years), but they did even better ...

The couple's Charolais cross heifers won Class 23 (Pen of 3 Steers or Heifers - 360kg to 420kg) and were crowned Reserve Champion (Pen of 3 Steers or Heifers).

Like the Bellbird yearlings, the Rhodesleigh calves were also finished at the Kjal Feedlot by Kevin, Jan and Andrew Perkins.

The extra good news for both exhibitors were the auction results. Midge Thompson, director of Aussie Land & Livestock in Kingaroy, handled the sales in Brisbane.

The Rhodesleigh heifers, with an average liveweight of 381kg, made $3.30kg or $1257 per head. The Bellbird calves returned $1466 (average 470kg).

* * *

Kingaroy State High School cattle also posted some excellent Brisbane Show results including a 2nd in Class 17 (Led Steer - 401kg to 445kg) and 4ths in Class 24 (Inter-School Steer Judging Competition) and Class 2A (Led Steers - 351kg to 375kg).

* * *

Locally-owned Kingaroy Cheese also achieved success at the 2011 Ekka. Their Bunya Black (Ashed) won a Silver and their Triple Cream Brie (Stuart River) a Bronze in Class 15 (Mould Ripened Cheese - White).
Committee To Oversee Strategic Cropping Land Legislation
August 24, 2011 - Queensland Natural Resources Minister Rachel Nolan today announced a new committee will provide independent scrutiny of the soil science central to new Strategic Cropping Land legislation.

Ms Nolan said the accuracy of the soil science must be robust and accurate and able to withstand independent scrutiny.

"It is for this reason I have moved to appoint the Strategic Cropping - Science and Technical Implementation Committee," she said.

"The Committee will provide oversight to the application of the soil science test as it is rolled out and ensure a degree of independent scientific oversight."

The committee will be made up of four professional soil scientists, two put forward by the Association of Soil Scientists and one each nominated by the Queensland Resources Council and the Queensland Farmers' Federation.

Ms Nolan said Prof Clive Bell, from the Soil Science Association and an academic for more than 35 years, has already agreed to be on the committee.

The Strategic Cropping Land legislation is due to be introduced later this year.
Confused About Digital TV?
August 24, 2011 - South Burnett residents confused by the upcoming changeover from analogue to digital TV have been invited by the South Burnett Regional Council to attend an information session to be held at Durong next Wednesday.

The digital TV changeover is expected to occur throughout the South Burnett on December 6, 2011.

On this day, old TVs will no longer be able to pick up analogue free-to-air TV signals. If you can already see channels such as ABC2, 7mate, Gem and Go! (and you don't have pay TV), it means your TV is capable of receiving digital broadcasts. However, if you can't see these new channels now, it means you won't be able to watch any TV after December 6.

To help residents become more informed, Council has organised for a guest speaker from the Digital TV Switchover Taskforce to attend an information session which will be held after the next Council Meeting.

The presentation will provide a general overview of the Digital Switchover Awareness program and will explain the Household Assistance Scheme, Viewer Access Satellite Television, and the Satellite Subsidy Scheme.

The presentation will be held from 1:00pm on August 31 at the Durong Hall, Wondai-Chinchilla Road, Durong.

If you can't make it to Durong, information about the digital changeover is also available on the Federal Government's Digital TV Switchover website
Historic Bikes Draw
Crowd Of Admirers
August 24, 2011 - A static display of more than 130 veteran motorcycles, (right), drew a large crowd of admirers at the Senior Citizens Centre in Kingaroy this morning.

The historic pre-1919 vehicles have been touring local roads this week as part of the 8th National Veteran Motorcycle Rally.

Riders have come from throughout Australia. Tomorrow they'll be heading out to Tanduringie State School for lunch; on Friday they'll lunch at Ringsfield House in Nanango and attend a special Rally Dinner at Kingaroy RSL.

Three generations from Raymond Terrace and Wallsend in NSW accompanied a 1916 Harley-Davidson to Kingaroy ... Stephen, Jason and Neville Elliott are members of the Newcastle Vintage Motorcycle Club.

John Pettrigrew, from Shepparton in Victoria, brought his extremely rare unrestored 1912 Kirmer to Kingaroy. The bike, made in Birmingham in the UK, is thought to be the only example left in the world. It was found in a cellar in Ballarat in the 1950s where it had been left forgotten since World War I.
Free Workshops For Farmers, Sports Clubs
August 23, 2011 - The Burnett Mary River Group and the Better Catchments Program will be hosting a Precision Agriculture & Soils Management Workshop next Tuesday (August 30) at Wooroolin Hall.

Guest speaker will be Tim Neale, Director of Precision Agriculture.

The free workshop, which will run from 9:00am-3:00pm, will also include visits to local farms.

Smoko and lunch will be provided but for catering purposes, please RSVP by Friday to (07) 4169-0720.

* * *

The Department of Communities will be hosting a free workshop in Kingaroy in October to assist sporting clubs and community groups with financial management.

The workshop, to be held on October 12, will cover a range of topics. The presenter will be Leisa Donlan, a fellow of the Australian Society of Association Executives, who has 15 years' experience in the not-for-profit sector.

South Burnett Regional Mayor David Carter has encouraged sportspeople, parents, coaches and teachers to attend the workshop.

"This is a great opportunity to get practical advice which will help you deliver strong financial foundations and strategies for your club," he said.

The workshop will be held at the South Burnett Enterprise Centre, 6 Cornish Street, Kingaroy. Registrations can be made online or by phoning the Department of Communities, Cultural Services, Sport and Recreation on  (07) 4125-9399 by October 7.
Sk8 Is A Gr8 Way To Party
August 22, 2011 - The Murgon PCYC has come up with a fun way to help make the South Burnett Skateboarding project self-funding.

Sgt Michael Eadie and his team from the PCYC are offering to host two-hour Skateboard Parties for children at any of the South Burnett's skateboarding bowls (in Blackbutt, Yarraman, Nanango, Kingaroy, Wondai, Goomeri or Kilkivan) for just $20 a head (a minimum of 10 kids).

Skateboards, helmets and pads will be provided and there'll be lessons from Skateboarding Australia accredited coaches.

Party bags are an optional extra at $5 / head.

So if you're looking for a special birthday treat for your children, give Michael a ring on (07) 4168-1889.

RIGHT: A young South Burnett skateboarder at the Taabinga Holiday Program run by the Murgon PCYC earlier this year
Bash Will Hit Kingaroy
On Thursday Afternoon
August 22, 2011 - The XXXX Gold Variety Bash will roll into Kingaroy on Thursday afternoon.

And there's no chance that you'll miss them ... there'll be 102 Bash cars, 36 official vehicles and 12 support vehicles (ie more than 400 people!).

The annual Bash - the biggest fundraiser for Variety Queensland - kicked off on August 18 in Hervey Bay and will finish up 3000km later at the Gympie Muster.

Last year the children's charity raised between $1.2-$1.3 million.

The crews will spend Thursday night in Kingaroy before heading off to the finishing line on Friday.
Goomeri P-10 Says Konnichiwa To Fukui High School Students
August 19, 2011 - Goomeri State School P-10 recently hosted 12 students and a teacher from various high schools in the Fukui prefecture of Japan.

The students stayed with host families for 12 days and participated in various school activities, including excursions to the Sunshine Coast and Dreamworld.

The Japanese students studied English in the morning as well as being integrated into mainstream lessons.

The school hosted a Japanese cultural day on August 10 for students in Years 4-9. Students made sushi, sumo split pin puppets, origami, (above right), cards and played soccer.

Flood Aid Package Deadline Extended To January
August 19, 2011 - The State Government has extended the deadline for flood assistance for primary producers, small businesses and not-for-profit organisations until January 31, 2012.

The government has recognised that because of a shortage of tradespeople, some people have still not been able to complete the work needed to apply for assistance.

The flood assistance package was due to finish on September 30 and the Cyclone Yasi package on October 31.

"(The extension) is in direct response to requests from producers, local Government and industry groups such as Canegrowers, Cotton Australia and Agforce," Premier Anna Bligh said.

Minister for Agriculture, Food and Regional Economies Tim Mulherin said both Category C and D assistance under Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements would be extended.

"Category C assistance consists of grants up to $25,000 for small business and primary producers in the effected local government areas," Mr Mulherin said.

"Category D assistance includes special concessional loans of up to $650,000 for eligible businesses, primary producers and not-for-profit organisations suffering extreme damage, with a grant component of up to $50,000."

To find out more about recovery grants and concessional loans, contact the QRAA on 1800-623-946.

* * *

Trudi Bartlett from Headache To Heaven will be holding the last of her free business building workshops this month.

The workshops will be held from 6:00pm at Kingaroy RSL (August 22) and Nanango RSL (August 31). To RSVP, contact Trudi on 0488-112-298.

* * *

The D'Aguilar Highway road closure scheduled for August 23 on the Blackbutt Range has been cancelled. The Department of Transport and Main Roads has advised that the road will now be closed for blasting (weather permitting) between Benarkin and Moore from 1:30pm and 2:30pm on Tuesday, August 30, 2011; and at the same times on Tuesday, September 6, 2011.
APN Share Price Hits New Low
August 18, 2011 - Share prices in APN News & Media, publishers of the South Burnett Times, sank to a new low of just over 80c this afternoon - down from $1.58 in May - after the company presented its half-year results to the ASX.

APN reported a net loss of $98.33 million for the first half of calendar 2011 but still paid an interim fully franked dividend of 3.5c.

The sharp turnaround, from a profit of $38.98 million in the corresponding period last year, was linked to its New Zealand metropolitan titles.

In May, APN Chairman Gavin O'Reilly told shareholders at the AGM that APN would implement "a round of restructuring initiatives" in response to an earnings fall.

The Australian newspaper reported today that cost savings in publishing were expected to deliver $7 million in savings for APN this year, with staff numbers being cut 6.5 per cent across its regional titles.

Please Register Your
Dogs .... With Ergon!
August 18, 2011 - You know you should register your dogs with Council ... but Ergon Energy is also urging dog owners to register their pets with them, too (and the good news, it's free!)

On average, one Ergon Energy meter reader is bitten or attacked by a dog every week, (right).

During the past 12 months, in the Wide Bay-Burnett region, there were seven dog bites, two dog attacks and an injury sustained in evading an anticipated dog attack.

Most attacks resulted in only minor injuries requiring first aid but every year a handful require serious medical attention.

The grim statistics have prompted Ergon Energy to reinforce its request for customers to register their dogs with them.

General Manager Service Delivery Southern Paul Jordon said that with the co-operation of the community, dog bites could be eliminated.

"Meter readers deserve to be able to do their jobs safely and return to their families at the end of the working day without being bitten or attacked by dogs," he said.

"Registering dogs means our meter readers are aware before they enter a premises that there are dogs there and they can take extra precautions."

Dog owners can register their pets with Ergon Energy by calling the National Contact Centre on 13-10-46.