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Blackbutt Counts Down
To Showground Concert
August 18, 2011 - The 2011 Bloomin' Beautiful Blackbutt Festival has a special treat in store for fans of 1970s rock megastars The Eagles.

A stunning tribute band, The Eagels, (below), will be re-creating a live Eagles performance at the Blackbutt Showground on Saturday, September 3, from 5:30pm to 11:30pm. Support band will be Toowoomba bush band, The Band-O'-Coots.

Tickets are $20 (18 and over) and $15.00 (pensioner/ 13-18 years), with under 13s free. Tickets are available at Butt Art (Blackbutt), Coppards (Kingaroy), Blackbutt News, and Talk Realty (Yarraman).

The concert will kick off a week-long celebration of music, food, theatre, art, fashion, family and community in Blackbutt.

A highlight is on September 10-11 when a Market Fair will take over the town. There will be market and plant stalls, cooking demonstrations, equestrian displays and a sculpture competition.

For more information, visit the Bloomin' Beautiful Blackbutt website

Council Unveils New Assistance
Policies For Community Groups
August 17, 2011 - The South Burnett Regional Council has adopted new policies and application forms for not-for-profit groups aiming to get assistance from council.

Round 1 of Council's new Community Assistance Program opens today (August 17) and will close on September 7.

Council has also decided to provide annual grants to some not-for-profit organisations on an ongoing basis without the need for them re-applying annually. This will be at the discretion of the Community Assistance Panel and will be reviewed annually.

The new application forms are available on Council's website

The program has three strands of funding:

  • Community Assistance;

  • Community In-kind Assistance; and

  • Community Elite Performance Assistance.

Loans to community organisations can also be applied for on a separate form.

There are also forms available to hire garbage bins and a photographic consent form.

Council has advised potential applicants to check their eligibility before submitting applications and has emphasised no applications will be accepted on old application forms.

Also, no applications will be accepted outside of the round.

Round 2 applications will open on February 1, 2012 and close on February 22.

NB. This is separate to Council's RADF funding program.

* * *

The Kingaroy Town Hall Forecourt project is now expected to be completed mid-September.

The August Council meeting was told the project had been delayed due to delays in obtaining materials due to the high demand caused by the amount of reconstruction work being undertaken across Queensland.

Defective steel also had to be removed and reinstated.

The project was begun on February 14 and had been scheduled for completion by June 30. At the moment, the project is under budget by about $35,000.
Workshops To Help You Simplify IT
August 17, 2011 - Businesspeople ... is your PC your friend or your enemy?

If it's the latter, then you'll probably benefit from hands-on Simplifying IT computer clinics being held soon in Murgon (August 31) and Kingaroy (September 1).

The four-hour sessions, organised by consultant Val Sapin, are limited to a maximum of 10 people each.

They are designed for small business staff who want to develop quick budgets, draw charts, input data into financial computing programs and design professional-looking documents in Word. They will also cover using Skype, cloud computing and how to prepare a data disaster management plan.

Each session costs $200 (inc GST).

In-house business training and troubleshooting can also be arranged for $165/hour (no travel charges within the Burnett region).

For more information, contact Val Sapin by email or on mobile 0417-767-339.

* * *

The South Burnett Regional Council is calling for entries from the region's young artists for the 2011 Community Art Competition and Exhibition.

The theme for the competition is "Our Community" and there are cash prizes for the winners in two categories: $300 for 1st, $150 for 2nd, and $50 for 3rd.

Category 1 is for artists aged 5-12 years; Category 2 is 13-18 years.

All artworks, along with the winning entries, will be displayed at the Kingaroy Art Gallery from September 17.

Entries close on Wednesday, September 7.

For more information, contact Cr Cheryl Dalton on 0488-798-275.
United Petroleum Buys Dalby Bio-Refinery
August 16, 2011 - Local sorghum growers should be pleased with the announcement that United Petroleum has purchased the troubled Dalby Bio-Refinery, one of only three major ethanol plants in Australia.

United Petroleum is an Australian-owned independent fuel retailer and wholesaler and sells its PLUS ULP brand of e10 ethanol fuel in all States except Western Australia.

A company spokesman said the purchase of the Dalby plant was a strategic move as a great deal of its output would be used to supply the United Petroleum network.

"We are very excited about the Dalby Bio-Refinery purchase as it will continue to support our continued growth in retail and wholesale distribution in Australia," UP spokesman David Szymczak said.

The Dalby Bio-Refinery was opened in January 2009 and uses sorghum as its feedstock. It went into voluntary liquidation in June last year which sent shockwaves through the local Dalby community.

Mr Szymczak told the ABC that UP is looking at doubling the output of the refinery, which is currently producing about 80 million litres of ethanol.

* * *

The State Government's policy to protect urban areas from mining, announced yesterday, would not have saved Acland and will not protect Wandoan or the rural residential sub-divisions around Tara, according to Queensland Greens spokeswoman Libby Connors.

However it should lead to the immediate protection of Kingaroy, Oakey, Pittsworth, Warwick, Gowrie Junction and Kingsthorpe.

Roderick's Vineyard To Close
August 15, 2011 - Roderick's Vineyard at Redgate has announced it will be closing its doors after 13 years.

Veronica and Robert Roderick said the recent floods, low tourism numbers and the world economy had made it difficult for all local businesses.

The vineyard, cellar door and B&B was located on Goschnicks Road and was one of the first wineries in the Redgate / Moffatdale region.

The couple said they were leaving the business "with a heavy heart" but would be staying in the area.
Search On For Sponsors
August 12, 2011 - Nanango businessman Neil Rose - better known as the "Dancing Barman" - is looking for sponsors to help make this year's Small Farms and Country Lifestyle Expo a reality.

The Small Farms day will be held on September 24-25 at the Nanango Showground, a date selected to coincide with the 20th anniversary of the South Burnett Dog Show and the 50th anniversary of the Nanango Pony Club.

Neil is asking local businesses to donate cash so advertising for the event can be organised; 3m x 3m stall sites are also available to be booked for $20 each.

For more information, contact Neil on (07) 4163-3221.
Council Seeks Feedback On Town Plan Drafting Process
August 11, 2011 - The South Burnett Regional Council is asking local businesses for feedback on a proposed new Town Plan for the region.

Council is in the early stages of preparing a new Town Plan and is seeking feedback from the business community on how best to seek their feedback.

The new Town Plan will replace the four schemes currently operating in the region which have different guidelines and standards for managing new development. The new plan will create a consistent standard across the South Burnett.

The Town Plan covers sub-divisions, changes/expansions to existing businesses and new businesses.

To help with the development of the new Town Plan, Council would like businesses and business organisations to comment on what they want, expect and don't want from a new Town Plan and how consultation should occur.

A planning scheme's normal lifespan is about 7-20 years so it is important that local businesses and individuals have a say.

For more information, contact Lucia Johnson on (07) 4189-9508 at Council before next Tuesday (August 16).

* * *

Wondai-based HSR Seeds - formed from an amalgamation of Hylan Seeds and Snowy River Seeds - has opened a new warehouse in Toowoomba.

HSR Seeds supplies grain and forage sorghum, field maize, sunflower, popcorn and sweetcorn seed to growers throughout eastern Australia.

The new centre at Toowoomba will act as a distribution hub for the business.

* * *

Charges laid against Cougar Energy for allegedly breaching the Environmental Protection Act in regards to its failed UCG trial were briefly mentioned in Kingaroy Magistrates' Court today. The matter has been adjourned to September 29.
RSL Helps Jordana
Reach For The Sky
August 11, 2011- Kingaroy dancer Jordana Back, (right), feels like she's ready to take on the world after being awarded an RSL Youth Development Program grant at the start of this year.

Jordana was one of 180 outstanding Queensland students to share in $500,000 in youth grants awarded by the RSL Queensland.

The program was developed in 2007 with the intention to offer remote and disadvantaged Queensland students a chance to gain financial assistance to achieve their personal goals.

Jordana, a former Kingaroy State High School student, used her grant to move to Brisbane to attend the Queensland Dance School of Excellence.

"Moving from the country to the city involved a lot of changes and one of them being the change in dance standard," she said.

"When I first came to the Queensland Dance School of Excellence I was overwhelmed by the standards of my fellow classmates. They were all amazing with so much experience and talent. At the start this was very hard for me, but I put in the effort and have worked as hard as I possibly can and it has all paid off.

"I still have a long way to come but my personal goal was to make a dramatic improvement and I can definitely say I have achieved it."

Since achieving her goal of attending the prestigious dance school, Jordana feels proud, happy and motivated to keep on trying and improving. And she's now encouraging other South Burnett students to apply for an RSL Youth Development Program grant.

"I have encouraged a lot of other students to apply. Basically, I just told them that there is nothing to lose by applying! It was a fairly straight forward process but also very educational," she said.

Applications can be made online at until November 11, 2011.
Dorothy Pratt Gives Blessing To
Independent Candidate John Dalton
August 10, 2011 - Retiring State MP Dorothy Pratt plans to endorse local school teacher John Dalton this morning as "the best candidate to continue her work" as the Independent candidate for Nanango.

She will introduce him to the media at 11:00am at her office in Alford Street, Kingaroy.

Mr Dalton is well-known as the spokesman and secretary for the Kingaroy Concerned Citizens Group (KCCG) and is Assistant School Principal at the St Mary's Catholic College in Kingaroy, where he has worked for 22 years.

The KCCG has campaigned passionately against the Cougar Energy UCG trial near Kingaroy and possible bauxite mining on local farmland.

The announcement that he will contest the State seat follows the decision several months ago by Mrs Pratt not to re-contest Nanango. Mrs Pratt has held the seat as an Independent for the past 14 years.

"This is probably a direct response to my recent involvement in local issues," Mr Dalton said. "I can thank Cougar Energy for that."

He said that being an Independent was the only form of political representation he was interested in.

"I don't think a local Member can serve both a political party and the people on every issue because on many occasions, the best responses have to be formulated locally and will fall outside the party line," he said.

"On that point, I would probably be asked to leave a Party if I joined one. I couldn't advocate something that either I or the local people knew was second best."

Mrs Pratt said Mr Dalton was "a passionate, community-orientated Independent candidate".

"His experience on the land and battling against mining companies has given him a firsthand understanding of what most landholders and communities are currently fighting and will fight in the future," she said.

"John is a teacher and has impressed me with his a broad knowledge, his ability to quickly absorb issues and act in a decisive manner as well as his people skills. The final decision, however, is up to the people."
Local Pub, Club Liquor Licences Listed As 'Suspended'
August 9, 2011 - At least nine South Burnett venues - including two pubs, three bowling clubs and a cafe - have been listed on an official government website which lists "suspended" liquor licences.

The Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation website is currently listing hundreds of Queensland venues with "suspended" licence status, including many well-known city venues.

The Brisbane Times website drew readers' attention to the list this afternoon and suggested the venues could be fined for selling alcohol illegally.

However it is uncertain whether the "suspended" status means the annual fees were not paid by August 1 or that there has been a delay in processing payments by Liquor Licensing.

Businesses contacted by the Brisbane Times were adamant the list was wrong.

UPDATE: Deputy Premier Paul Lucas confirmed this evening that as of 3.15pm today about 500 Queensland licensees had "outstanding payment issues".

Mr Lucas said licencees had been reminded of their obligations via letter in May and provided with a fee notice in June, well in advance of the August 1 due date.

"Advice was also distributed through peak bodies such as Clubs Queensland and the Queensland Hotels Association," he said.

"While we can see that the vast majority of people are paying on time, operators who take the risk and operate without a licence will have action taken against them which may include prosecution."

UPDATE August 10: At midday today, seven South Burnett venues were still listed as "suspended"
Veteran Bikes Will Be Cruising Our Roads

August 9, 2011 - South Burnett residents will have the opportunity to be transported back in time when pre-1919 motorcycles descend on our roads in a fortnight.

About 100 veteran machines will be touring local roads from August 21-26 as part of the 8th National Veteran Motorcycle Rally so drivers are asked to keep an eye out for the unique vehicles. The bikes will be touring to Kumbia, Tingoora, Tanduringie and Nanango.

There will also be a static public display at 9:30am on Wednesday, August 24, at the Senior Citizens Centre in Kingaroy which may be easier for fans to grab a few photos of their favourite machines.

ABOVE: Local veteran motorcycle enthusiast Col Rogerson travels back in time ...

* * *

The Queensland Government's Draft State Planning Policy for Strategic Cropping Land is now open for public consultation.

Natural Resources Minister Rachel Nolan said a Regulatory Assessment Statement was put out for public consultation on May 31.

"After a 62-day consultation period, more than double the required period, this has now drawn to a close," she said.

"A range of stakeholders made submissions and these will all be considered as we work towards entrenching this policy in legislation."

Ms Nolan said the next step towards implementing the policy statement was the release of the draft policy for public consultation.

"I encourage all interested parties to once again take part in this important consultation process," she said.

The draft policy can be downloaded from Department of Environment and Resource Management's website.

Submissions and comments can be provided by submitting a response form to DERM online, by email, post to: Strategic Cropping Land Draft SPP, Land Planning, Land and Indigenous Services, Department of Environment and Resource Management, GPO Box 2454, Brisbane, Qld, 4001; or fax to (07) 3330-6236.

Submissions must be received by 5:00pm on September 30, 2011.
$600,000 Grant Forges Tourism Super Group
August 8, 2011 - The proposed merger between the Toowoomba, Golden West & South Burnett Tourism (TGWSB) regional tourism organisation and the Southern Downs and Granite Belt (SDGB) body (SBBiz July 15, 2011) appears to be a done deal.

In a media statement released late on Friday evening, Queensland Tourism Minister Jan Jarratt announced $600,000 funding to allow the merger to proceed and congratulated the organisations for "putting aside the things that divide them to move forward as a single, strong region".

"As well as helping them seamlessly merge, this funding will create a best-practice model that other organisations will no doubt be watching closely," she said.

"The grant will be used to establish a new tourism advisory board to oversee the merger and consult local industry, as well as assist in driving the new brand forward."

TGWSB has been allocated $150,000 to work with the Southern Downs Granite Belt body to "grow cross-regional tourism and stimulate greater stakeholder partnerships and co-operation"; $185,000 has been given to Toowoomba City Council to promote regional drive holidays.

The South Burnett Wine Industry Association, many of whose members are also members of the South Burnett Tourism Association, has publicly condemned a merger with its major wine tourism competitor, the Granite Belt (see South Burnett Wine, July 19, 2011).

Last month, TGWSB general manager Stuart Perry - who is also general manager of SDGB - said the merger was still up to members.

"The two RTOs will hold Special General Meetings to discuss the decisions with the members and seek membership approval of the merger," he said.

Similar confusion over merger funding arose when the South Burnett was severed from the Fraser Coast regional tourism area and merged with Toowoomba Golden West last year.

It was first thought that funding was being sought to "investigate" a possible merger, but it was later revealed the funding was to "implement" a merger (SBBIZ, August 9, 2010).

Whatever the fate of the latest merger, Mr Perry won't be around to see its outcome. It's been reported that he's moving to New Zealand next month to run the Whanganui Riverboat Centre.

UPDATE: A Special General Meeting to vote on the merger will be held on August 25 at the Empire Theatre, Toowoomba
Make It Count For The South
Burnett On Census Night
August 5, 2011 - Census Night is next Tuesday (August 9) and it's a sad fact that if you don't get counted the South Burnett area will miss out on about $4000 in benefits for each person who fails to return their form ...

In the city this may not be important, but in a rural area, every dollar counts!

Did you know the South Burnett area includes about 30,000 people?

But we won't know the exact number - and governments can't plan for future services - until everyone gets counted!

To reach each and every one of these 30,000 people is a massive task. The Census organisers (the Australian Bureau of Statistics) has appointed 13 Area Supervisors and one Remote Area Team Leader just to look after the South Burnett region.

Each of these Team Leaders supports about seven Collectors. Cherbourg also has two teams of 10 Collector/Interviewers.

So there's no excuse not to fill in your form!

Collectors started delivering Census forms on July 19 and will start collecting them on August 10.

If you haven't received your form by Sunday evening (August 7), have lost it or need help in any way, please contact the Census Inquiry Service on 1300-338-776.

Information is also available on the Census website and on Facebook

A major innovation this time around is that you can complete your Census online. However you must still have your paper form handy because you will need your Census Form Number to complete the process.

The eCensus can be completed at anytime from now, answering as if you were answering on August 9.

It would probably be a good idea NOT to try to do this on August 9 itself, as the ABS is anticipating the website could become overloaded if everyone in Australia tries to access it at the same time!

Some people are worried about telling the truth on Census forms for all sorts of reasons ... However the information you give is kept strictly private and confidential. Personal information that could identify you is NOT provided to the Police, Centrelink or anyone else.

If you don't fill out the Census Form, you can't whinge later if waiting lines at the hospital seem longer or other government services seem slower. Realistically, governments cannot plan for services without knowing exactly what's happening in our region.

  • For a bit of fun, see how YOU compare with other Aussies in the ABS Spotlight
Ergon Offers 75 Apprenticeships
August 5, 2011 - Ergon Energy has today launched its 2012 apprentice recruitment drive, with a record 75 positions on offer.

Positions for the 2012 intake are available in more than 30 locations throughout Queensland including 13 positions in the Wide Bay-Burnett.

These will be located at Murgon, Maryborough, Bundaberg, Hervey Bay, Gayndah, Gin Gin, Kingaroy and Mundubbera.

The 2012 apprenticeships available include communications technician, distribution linesperson, transmission linesperson, systems electrician, mechanical fitter and boiler maker.

Five positions have been identified for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander applicants - at Murgon, Thursday Island, Charters Towers, Townsville and Moura - although A&TSI candidates are encouraged to apply for roles at all other locations, too.

In 2010-11, more than 2500 people applied for the 61 Ergon Energy positions on offer.

Applications for 2012 apprenticeships close at 9:00am on August 19, 2011.

For more information, contact the Ergon Energy Careers Team on 1800-656-810 or email them
Sporting Champs
To Tackle Cancer
August 5, 2011 - Legendary Australian batsman Doug Walters, champion jockey Malcolm Johnston, PGA champ Wayne Grady and Test bowler Carl Rackemann will be teaming up in Kingaroy next month to help raise money for cancer research.

The sporting superstars will be the guests at the Relay For Life Sportsman's Spectacular dinner and auction at Kingaroy Town Hall on September 23.

Tickets are $65 head (or $600 for a table of 10) and are available by contacting CROW-FM on (07) 4169-0700.

There's also an opportunity for groups of five to play a round of golf at Kingaroy Golf Club and chat with Wayne Grady in a golf/dinner package. Contact CROW-FM for more details.

ABOVE RIGHT: Racing legend Malcolm Johnston with former Aussie Test cricketer Doug Walters. Photo: Phil Purser at
PCA Expert To Be Guest Speaker At Conference
August 4, 2011 - Dr Graeme Wright from the Peanut Company of Australia in Kingaroy will be a guest speaker at an industry seminar in Toowoomba next month focussing on mycotoxins.

The Graintech Scientific Mycotoxin Seminar will be held from 10:30am-2:30pm on September 1 at the "Tabletop" function room at Picnic Point.

Mycotoxins are produced by microfungi such as moulds, mildew and rust.

The seminar will explain the impact of mycotoxins on human and animal health and discuss current testing procedures.

Dr Wright will present a case study explaining how mycotoxins are identified and addressed throughout the peanut supply chain in Australia.

A second guest speaker will be Prof Wayne Bryden, Professor of Animal Science at the University of Queensland.

Cost is $295 per person. For more information, or to book a seat, contact Craig Moore at Graintec Scientific on (07) 4638-7677 or by email
Free Workshops For Murgon Business Members
August 4, 2011 - The Murgon Business and Development Association, in association with Kingaroy small business trainer Trudi Bartlett, is offering a free Business Building Course to members of the association.

The course is being funded by the MBDA and free to all members. Murgon businesspeople who aren't members can join for $55 and the course will be included.

It will run for five weeks on a Tuesday night from 6:00pm to 8:00pm on August 16, 23 and 30 and September 6 and 13.

It aims to "re-ignite the passion" in your business, provide tips on how to increase sales, and ideas on ways to market your business for free (or for very little cost).

To register, phone Trudi on 0488-112-298 or email her
MBD Energy Gears For Public Float
August 3, 2011 - MBD Energy, the company behind an innovative carbon capture algal project under development at Tarong Power station, is getting ready to launch an initial public offering of shares next year.

It has been reported this IPO could raise between $60-$100 million.

MBD's Tarong project involves a one hectare algal biomass display plant being constructed beside the station. Algal synthesisers capture waste greenhouse gases at the source and use them to promote the growth of oil-rich micro-algae. These algae produce oils suitable for plastic, fuel and fertiliser production. All the algae is recycled: 35 per cent as oil and 65 per cent as low-methane stockfeed. The process also produces fresh water and oxygen.

In 2008, MBD Energy built a 5000sq m test plant at James Cook University in Townsville to prove the technology.

In 2009, mining giant Anglo American bought a 20 per cent stake in the Melbourne-based company. MBD has also secured a 19.9 per cent investment from private equity firm The Sentient Group.

In October last year, the Queensland Government committed $1 million to MBD's project at Tarong. At the time, Premier Anna Bligh said Tarong would be the first coal-fired power station in Australia to try the technology as part of a $5 million trial.

MBD Energy has also signed agreements for trials at the Loy Yang power station in Victoria and Eraring Energy in NSW.

* * *

The ACCC has conditionally authorised a fly ash supply agreement between Pozzolanic Enterprises Pty Ltd, Stanwell Corporation Limited and Tarong North Pty Ltd until March 1, 2014.

Pozzolanic had sought protection for conduct that might otherwise be considered uncompetitive (see SBBiz, March 30, 2011).

"The ACCC considered the agreement put before it by Pozzolanic was unnecessarily restrictive. However conditional authorisation, requiring changes to the fly ash agreement to bring about greater certainty in relation to third party access to fly ash at the power stations, is appropriate," ACCC Chairman Graeme Samuel said.

Key conditions include an upper limit on the amount of fly ash that Pozzolanic can take from Tarong and Tarong North Power Stations and the company must report to the ACCC.

On March 29 this year, the ACCC issued a draft determination, proposing to deny authorisation and sought public submissions. It hosted a pre-decision conference on May 12 where a number of interested parties put forward their views.
Apprentice Of The Year Ben Gets
Ready To Celebrate Full-Time Job

August 2, 2011 - Ben Bird's biggest fan is his mum Trish, which is to be expected, but in reality she's got good reasons to be proud of her 20-year-old son.

The Tingoora electrician has just completed his apprenticeship in electrotechnology and has secured a full-time position at Wards Electrical in Kingaroy.

On top of that, he was MRAEL's Apprentice of the Year in 2010, winning the highly contested category as well as taking out the Industry Award for Electrical. He was presented with his awards at a function in Maryborough last year.

Ben was half-way through Year 12 when he contacted Frances Ross at MRAEL in Kingaroy to inquire about possible apprenticeships.

A few weeks after his final exams, he started an apprenticeship placement - organised by MRAEL - at Wards Electrical. It was Christmas Eve, 2007.

Ben did his training at the TAFE campus in Kingaroy and soaked up on-the-job experience at Wards, working on many different types of commercial projects including refurbishments at Kingaroy Shoppingworld, Murgon ambulance, Target Kingaroy and the Harvey Norman building. He also did general domestic work, assisted in new house projects and worked on control circuits at the Envirospheres complex in Nanango.

At the same time, he was also excelling at his TAFE studies and actually completed his 3rd and 4th year of training in just 12 months. His mum Trish is also eager to point out that he achieved honours in all his subjects!

Ben is full of praise for the hosted system of apprenticeship training.

"MRAEL were awesome during my apprenticeship and Frances (Ross) has been really supportive and responsive. It was breezy," he said.

Ben officially completes his apprenticeship on August 12 and will be starting work as a Wards employee the next day.

ABOVE: Ben Bird with father Malcolm and mother Trish ... he flew through his apprenticeship
New ISO Standard To Define Pesticide Protection
August 1, 2011 - A new ISO standard has been released for protective clothing to help farmers and agricultural workers reduce job-related risks when using liquid pesticides.

The new standard defines specific protection levels. It will allow pesticide manufacturers to indicate on the product label the required level of protection needed for each product.

Likewise, garment manufacturers will be able to produce, certify and sell protective clothing labelled with these defined protection levels.

For more information visit the ISO website