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ACCC Won't Stop Teys Bros Merger
July 11, 2011 - The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission will not intervene in the proposed merger of Cargill Beef Australia and Teys Bros, owners of Murgon Leather, (see SBBiz May 13, 2011).

However the companies said today the proposed joint venture still required approval from the Foreign Investment Review Board and foreign antitrust regulators before it could be finalised.

"We are pleased to be one more step closer in joining our business with Cargill," Teys Bros CEO Mr Brad Teys said.

"The new joint venture will give us the scale and flexibility to better service our domestic and export customers to grow our business. This will also help us to expand the number of foreign markets we are currently selling Australian beef.

"Both Teys and Cargill are committed to keeping the plants that are operating today open after the merger."
Trudi Shares Seven Successful Strategies
July 11, 2011 - Kingaroy businesswoman Trudi Bartlett is keen to share her "Seven Successful Proven Business Strategies".

Trudi is holding a free workshop this Wednesday (July 13) from 6:00pm at Kingaroy RSL Club where she aims to pass on strategies to help businesspeople make more money in less time with less stress, including:

  • How to effortlessly create a successful set of business processes

  • How to ignite passion in the people who work for you

  • How to train, develop and motivate your team; and

  • How to manage your business in under two hours per week

Places are limited. To book, contact Trudi on 0488-112-298 or by email
Cougar Takes Legal Advice Over DERM Decision
July 8, 2011 - Cougar Energy advised the ASX this morning that it was taking legal advice over the recent actions of the Department of Environment and Resource Management, (see story below).

Cougar advised that it had received notification via a telephone call and a media release from DERM that the department had "upheld its proposal to stop Cougar Energy recommencing Underground Coal Gasification" at Kingaroy.

The company said it had so far received no formal notification of this announcement.

"(Cougar Energy) finds it unsatisfactory that the formal notification has not been released at the same time as the Media Release," the company statement said.

"Therefore the company is presently not in a position to assess the extent of the amendments or their implications.

"The company is not in a position to verify the statements made in the media release and will provide a further update to the market once it has received and considered the amended Environmental Authority."

The statement said that Cougar Energy was disappointed that despite co-operating with DERM and the Independent Scientific Panel (ISP), the company "had not been afforded the opportunity to meet with DERM and the ISP to seek a satisfactory resolution or even to discuss the technical issues involved".

"DERM has chosen to make a decision based on what the Company views are flawed conclusions," the statement said.

"Cougar Energy maintains that the Kingaroy project has not caused any environmental harm to the operating site, surrounding landowner properties nor the Kingaroy township.

"This is supported by the DERM acknowledgment that 'contaminants have not been detected outside the Cougar Energy site'."

  • Download Cougar Energy's statement to the ASX (118kb PDF)

  • Listen to an interview with DERM Acting Director-General Terry Wall broadcast this morning on ABC's AM Radio program
DERM Rejects
Appeal From Cougar
July 7, 2011 - The State Government has now officially rejected Cougar Energy's appeal against the suspension of its trial UCG plant near Kingaroy.

The Department of Environment and Resource Management (DERM) announced tonight that no further gasification would be permitted on the site, making final the suspension announced earlier this year (SBBiz, January 28).

DERM Acting Director-General Terry Wall said Cougar must now remove all infrastructure from the site, unless agreed otherwise by the landowner.

"It also means Cougar must treat and dispose of any contaminated water in surface storages and clean up groundwater at the site," Mr Wall said.

"Cougar is required to continue groundwater sampling until the department is satisfied that rehabilitation has been completed."

DERM said it would also do its own sampling to ensure Cougar complied with the requirements.

However, the fight may not yet be over for local residents, (above right), concerned about the project.

The ABC was reporting last night that Cougar could still have the decision reviewed and that the company would release a statement about the decision on the ASX website before the opening of trade tomorrow.

ABOVE RIGHT: Kingaroy Concerned Citizens Group member Damien O'Sullivan with Member for Nanango Dorothy Pratt at an anti-UCG protest rally last month
Sculpture Takes Shape At
Kingaroy Catholic College
July 6, 2011 - June 27, 2011 - Work is almost complete on a 2.2m sandstone sculpture which will take pride of place later this year in the grounds of St Mary's Catholic College in Kingaroy.

The statue, only the second monumental sculpture in the South Burnett, has been hand-carved by Kingaroy artist Mark Shellshear, (right), from a solid block of Helidon sandstone.

Mark has been working on the project for just over two months, seven days a week.

He has achieved a "grotto effect" with parts of the block left roughly hewn and other areas finely polished.

The sandstone block is expected to "have moods" in the open air, changing colour according to the weather and sunlight. During rain, it will appear pink.

The sculpture will be re-located to the centre of a courtyard which has been prepared at the school.

Assistant School Principal John Dalton said the statue would probably be officially unveiled during a ceremony later this year to mark the completion of $5 million worth of upgrades at the school.

These include a new $1 million Trade Training Centre, library, science centre, P-6 computer room and sports centre.

PS. Mark Shellshear is also responsible for the only other stone sculpture in the area, "A Cry In The Wildnerness" which is located in Autumn Park in Nanango.
Macquarie Radio Network Signs Kingaroy Deal
July 5, 2011 - Macquarie Radio Network may soon become the new owners of Kingaroy radio station 1071 (4SB).

In a statement to the ASX today, MRN confirmed it had signed a "Heads of Agreement" with Smart Radio to purchase eight commercial radio stations in Queensland.

Smart Radio operates stations at Mt Isa, Emerald, Charleville, St George, Roma and Goondiwindi as well as Kingaroy.

MRN said the Heads of Agreement was subject to "customary conditions" including securing finance, Board approval and the conclusion of a long-term agreement.

* * *

Mining company AusNiCo has has identified "a potentially large copper‐silver mineralised system" at its Silver Valley prospect near Gympie.

In a release to the ASX yesterday, AusNiCo - a subisidiary of D'Aguilar Gold - said the mineralised zone had the potential to extend more than 5km.

In 2008, AusNiCo announced that it had discovered ore grade nickel sulphide at its Pembroke Prospect on the Black Snake Plateau near Kilkivan.

New drilling targets have also been identified in the region at Boyne River, Kilkivan East and Poperima Creek.

In June this year, D'Aguilar Gold reported that another subsidiary, Archer Resources, had returned high silver and base metal grades from recent sampling programs at the Rossmore Silver Prospect.

Tall Poppy Is Bringing
Science Week To Kingaroy
July 4, 2011 - "Tall Poppy" and molecular biologist Dr Kerry Manton, (right), will be hosting two special school holiday activities in Kingaroy next Monday (July 11) to help celebrate National Science Week.

Kerry, who has worked in local science education since 2007 with the Science in Schools Program, was one of 10 Queensland winners of the 2010 Young Tall Poppy Science Awards which recognise the achievements of Australia's outstanding young scientific researchers.

She sits on the Queensland University of Technology's Ethics Committee and has published several papers on her research specialty: biological regeneration. Kerry hopes her work will one day enable doctors to heal skin without scars and re-generate lungs damaged by smoking.

Kerry will be joined at the Kingaroy Town Hall by Kingaroy State High School science teacher Steve Langton to present two free sessions open to the public, families, teachers and students:

  • 2:00pm-4:00pm - "It's Not Science Fiction" activities for all ages: investigate enzymes and biofuels, check out your own DNA and take part in brain-teasing activities;

  • 4:00pm-5:00pm - "Regrowing Limbs & Seeking A Cure For Cancer" public lecture

The cost is free and afternoon tea will be provided. Please RSVP by July 6 by email.

Kerry, accompanied by scientists from DEEDI, will also be conducting hands-ion experiments with local students from July 11-13.
Cougar Energy Faces $2.4m Fine
July 1, 2011 - Cougar Energy could be fined up to $2.4m if found guilty of three charges laid today over its failed Underground Coal Gasification project near Kingaroy.

The Queensland Department of Environment and Resource Management alleges the company released benzene and toluene into groundwater but did not notify authorities for more than three weeks.

DERM Acting Director-General Terry Wall said Cougar had been charged with three counts under the Environmental Protection Act 1994.

Cougar faces a maximum $832,500 fine on each count.

UPDATE July 4: Cougar Energy's reply to the ASX (75kb PDF)
Our Latest Business ... the Stanwell Corporation
July 1 , 2011 - The State Government's electricity generators will start operating under their new structures from today.

As announced in November last year, the three "gencos", CS Energy Ltd, Stanwell Corporation Ltd and Tarong Energy Corporation Ltd, will now trade as two bodies.

From today, Tarong Energy has become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Stanwell Corporation.

Finance Minister Rachel Nolan said the reform "would allow the generators to meet the challenges of a competitive national electricity market".

She said the restructure had been undertaken in consultation with unions and the companies' 1500 employees and all award employees had been given a three-year job guarantee.

In April, former Tarong Energy CEO Helen Gluer was appointed interim CEO of the restructured Stanwell Corporation.
Electric Car On Trial In South Burnett

June 30, 2011 - You may have seen the little Mitsubishi, (above), tootling around South Burnett roads recently ... but you probably didn't hear it!

The iMiEV is all electric - not a petrol-electric hybrid - and has been loaned to Ergon Energy by Mitsubishi for evaluation.

The Ergon project is focussing on the way electrical vehicles such as the iMiEV could complement the energy grid in homes fitted with PV systems and "demand" smart meters. The idea is that the electric cars could act as a mobile "battery pack" that could feed back into the grid at peak periods.

The iMiEV is based on Mitsubishi's "i" minicar with the petrol engine and transmission removed. These have been replaced by 330v permanent magnet electric motor that develops 180Nm. The battery is a 16kW/h advanced lithium ion pack mounted under the centre of the car.

On full charge, the iMiEV has a range of 160km (highway) or 110km (urban) and also features air conditioning, ABS brakes, and airbags.
Council Slashes Red Tape and Application Fee
June 28, 2011 - Complaints from local shed supply companies about unnecessary delays and complicated permit applications have been heard by the South Burnett Regional Council with a decision to slash approval times and reduce fees.

Sheds erected on vacant Rural or Rural Residential blocks of less than 10ha can now receive a development permit in five business days through the use of a simplified application form.

As well, the approval fee has been cut from $600 to $200.

A new Risk Smart application kit for Class 10 buildings (ie sheds) was shown to local building companies who gave it the thumbs up before it was put to Council at its May meeting for approval.

The kit is free and is available from Council's customer service centres or can be downloaded from the Council website.

This is an interim measure while Council moves to amend its Planning Scheme to permanently remove the requirement for a development permit for these types of buildings.

A Council spokesman said it was hoped the amendment could be approved by the State Government within six months.
I Wish I Was ... An Author!
June 27, 2011 - Kingaroy teacher Lyn Jackson has teamed up with probably the South Burnett's youngest author, Megan Underwood, (right), to produce a new children's book to help youngsters "turn that frown upside down".

"I Wish I Was" came about as a joint venture between the unlikely duo after one day Lyn noticed Megan looking a bit sad at kindy.

"I saw this as an opportunity not just to lift Megan's spirits but also a way to encourage literacy among the kindergarten children," Lyn said. "I hope with its publication that it will continue to do so."

The book, which is available as both a paperback and hardcover, was officially launched at St John's Lutheran Kindergarten last week.

It was written and illustrated by Lyn, who is director of St John's Kindy, and Megan.

Copies can be ordered from Lyn online
It's Official: Prime South Burnett
Farming Land Is Not Protected
June 24, 2011 - The worst fears of many South Burnett farmers were confirmed this week after a technical analysis team visited local properties and admitted they would not be protected from mining under State legislation.

The Department of Environment and Resource Management team visited properties in the Kingaroy region on Tuesday, testing soil and measuring slopes.

Kingaroy Concerned Citizens Committee (KCCC) spokesman Mr John Dalton said the DERM team found that many properties at Wooroolin, Memerambi, Coolabunia and Inverlaw would not be protected under the State Government's Strategic Cropping Land legislation.

Many had land sloping at rates between 5 per cent and 10 per cent. The Strategic Cropping Land protection only extends to land with a slope less than 5 per cent. However flatter land around Kumbia would be protected.

Mr Dalton said the KCCC's hope that the South Burnett could be placed into a "zone of its own" also now appears unlikely because DERM did not want to complicate the assessment criteria. However the Department has invited the KCCC to submit a proposal to address local conditions.

Mr Dalton said a draft submission was being prepared and would be sent to the Department shortly. One solution could be if DERM extended the slope rate to 7 per cent.

UPDATE July 7, 2011: Natural Resources Minister Rachel Nolan has extended the public consultation period for the Regulatory Assessment Statement for the Strategic Cropping Land policy by one month to August 1.
Community Bank Digs Deep To Support Local Groups

June 23, 2011 - Local community groups received $25,000 assistance from the Yarraman & District Community Bank at the group's annual presentation evening last night.

South Burnett Community Enterprises Limited, the company that operates the Community Bank, presented cheques to 10 community groups from Yarraman and surrounding areas.

The projects supported:
  • $6600 - Tanduringie State School Parents and Friends Association to fund the purchase and installation of shade covers for the school's sand pits.

  • $4000 - Yarraman & District Community Kindergarten Association towards the purchase and installation of patio

  • $3000 - Blackbutt Singers for uniforms

  • $2870 - Bloomin' Beautiful Blackbutt Festival towards promoting the festival

  • $2320 - Yarraman & District Historical Society Community Radio to fund outside broadcasting equipment

  • $2000 - Blackbutt Golf Club to acquire chairs

  • $1960 - Yarraman Memorial Society for flood repairs

  • $1918.20 - Blackbutt District Tourism and Heritage for office equipment

  • $798 - Timbertowns Woodworking Group Inc to fund health and safety equipment

  • $750 - Yarraman & District Historical Society Inc to purchase a new fridge

  • $750 - Students' Christmas project to fund craft for Christmas

Yarraman & District Community Bank Branch Chairman Frank Smith said he was thrilled the ranch was able to return its profits to the local community groups.

"Since opening our doors in 2005, we have seen our business grow, and this brings huge rewards for local people who may not have the financial support they seek without the support of their local Community Bank Branch," he said.

"The more a community gets behind its local Community Bank branch, the more it can return funds to support local projects and future sustainability."
Proteco To Host July Meet'n'Greet
June 23, 2011 - The Kingaroy Chamber of Commerce and Industry's next Meet'n'Greet will be held on Monday July 11 from 5:30pm at Proteco's complex at 67 William Street, Kingaroy.

Guest speakers will be Proteco director Josh Gadischke and Bernie Pegrem from Toastmasters International.

Cost is $10. Please RSVP to KCCI Project Officer Joanne Thorp on (07) 4162-8466 or by email
Nicki Wins Trainee
Award In Brisbane
June 22, 2011 - Congratulations to MRAEL Group trainee Nicki Mallias, hosted at the South Burnett Regional Council, who won an award at the Industry Leaders & Training Awards held at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre last Friday night.

Nicki won the Civil Trainee of the Year award for demonstrating a commitment to excellence and leadership.

She is completing a Certificate II in Civil Construction.

"I am extremely honoured to have been nominated for this award and I am so delighted to have won!" she said.

"I would not have made it this far without the great support that I have received from my mentors at both MRAEL and the South Burnett Regional Council."

ABOVE RIGHT: From left, Kristina Saedder (MRAEL Group), Nicki Mallias (Certificate II in Civil Construction) and Phill Dugdell (South Burnett Regional Council)
Transport Plan To Shape Region To 2031
June 21, 2011 - The Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads is developing an integrated regional transport plan for the Wide Bay-Burnett region, designed to shape transport infrastructure in the region until 2031.

The plan will apply six local government areas including the South Burnett Regional Council and Cherbourg Aboriginal Shire Council.

The State Government says the Wide Bay Burnett Integrated Regional Transport Plan 20112031 will deliver a "coherent 20-year vision to guide government decision-making on future transport planning, projects and investment, including the identification of strategic priorities to achieve the desired regional outcomes for transport".

Currently the Department of Transport and Main Roads is working with government, industry and interest group stakeholders to develop a draft plan. After this is finalised, the local community will be invited to comment.
Community Gives Thumbs Up To Tarong Energy
June 20, 2011 - Independent market research commissioned by Tarong Energy in the South Burnett has given the corporation a big tick of approval in the local community.

The research, by Deborah Wilson Consulting Services, involved focus groups in Blackbutt, Nanango, Kingaroy and Murgon, one-on-one interviews with business and community stakeholders and telephone surveys of randomly selected residents.

The respondents rated Tarong Energy highly for reputation in the community, performance in working with the community, a good employer, a safe workplace and competent in its operations.

The survey also found that the community would like more information about Tarong Energy's environmental responsibilities as well as funding support for smaller community groups and projects.

Tarong Energy's South Burnett operations will become part of Queensland's largest power generator on July 1 (under the Stanwell Corporation banner) but the Tarong power stations and Meandu Mine will retain their own identities.
BGA Field Day On Thursday
June 17, 2011 - BGA AgriServices will he hosting their annual Information Day for farmers and graziers in Kingaroy next Thursday (June 23) at their Youngman Street premises.

There'll be nine presentations, starting at 10:00am, covering everything from woody weed control to cattle vaccines, solar energy and broadacre irrigation.

Another presentation sure to be popular is "Appreciating South Burnett Wines" with Bernie Cooper from Crane Wines.

Primary producers are also invited to bring along their weeds for identification.
Tractor Tattoo Hits The
Right Note With Council
June 16, 2011 - The South Burnett could boast a new festival if the concept of a "Tractor Tattoo" takes off.

At its June meeting, the South Burnett Regional Council voted to endorse the recommendation of the Arts, Culture and Heritage Management Committee to support the concept.

Rod Ainsworth, from Creative Regions, suggested the strategic arts project.

The proposal is to commission an artist to turn a tractor into a musical instrument and then hold a musical festival with the tractor as the focus on the third weekend in September (to coincide with the Antique Tractor Rally weekend).

A focus group identified a tractor as something everyone in the region could "identify" with.

Council would not run the event but would "auspice" it. Creative Regions would prepare the concept plan at no cost and Council would apply for grant funds.

An orchestra (to be decided) would be invited to create a song.

UPDATE: July 1, 2011 - The proposed date for this event is September 2012