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KCCC Meets With Department Reps Over Mining Fears

June 15, 2011 - The Mining Registrar for the Brisbane District Craig Watson and the Registrar For Exploration Permits Todd Ellis met with representatives from local agribusinesses, landholders and the Kingaroy Concerned Citizens Committee in Kingaroy yesterday to discuss issues connected with mining in farming areas.

Chairman John Dalton said the meeting was divided into two sessions. The first covered community engagement and mining company access to farming land.

The KCCC proposed that the current "minimalist" approach where the mining company simply contacted individual landholders should be expanded with greater community consultation, a period of submissions and independent assessment of the application.

"The minimalist legal approach doesn't factor in the human component, people's emotions," Mr Dalton said.

He said the Department representatives had asked the KCCC to "polish up" the proposal and submit it for consideration.

The second session covered the State Government's new Strategic Cropping Land (SCL) legislation.

Mr Dalton said the KCCC believed most South Burnett land was not protected by this legislation because it failed to meet fixed pH and slope criteria. The meeting put this belief to the Department representatives.

"They will now send a technical analysis land team to confirm our fears whether we have been excluded ... to confirm that we don't get protection," he said.

This team is expected to begin inspections in the local area next week.

When the results of this inspection are available, the KCCC will make a formal submission to the State Government by mid-July about the SCL legislation (after gaining an extension to the submission deadline).

The KCCC believes the South Burnett should be placed "in a zone of its own" rather than being bundled into the coastal zone.

"We want the same treatment as the Granite Belt (which has been placed into a separate zone). We have characteristics that make us unique," he said.

Mr Dalton said the government representatives had given the group a good hearing and had encouraged the KCCC to keep on with its work as few other organisations had responded to the SCL consultation process.

ABOVE: From left, Mining Registrar for the Brisbane District Craig Watson (DEEDI), Lionel Wieck (Peanut Company Australia), Mining Registrar for Exploration Permits Todd Ellis (DEEDI), Sonny Crumpton (G Crumpton and Sons), Les Blanch (Proston), Gary Tessmann (KCCC), Cheryl Heidrich (Mundubbera), Ian Crosthwaite (Bean Growers Australia) and Fred Heidrich (Mundubbera)

Council Demands Apology From Channel 7
June 14, 2011 - The South Burnett Regional Council has demanded an apology for a misleading story aired on Channel 7's popular Sunrise breakfast show last week.

Presenter Natalie Barr read out an email live on air alleging waste by Council over the Glendon Street forecourt upgrade in Kingaroy.

In a public statement directed to Channel 7, departing Council CEO Tony Hayward set out the facts about the upgrade and said the story had caused "a great deal of concern" for Mayor David Carter and other members of the Council staff.

"The Council requests that an on-air apology be made by the presenters for the damage caused by reading on live television the email in question without considering the impact that this may cause, let alone the validity of the statement made by one viewer via an email," Mr Hayward wrote.

He also called for Channel 7 to interview the Mayor and/or himself to set the record straight.

Mr Hayward also expressed concern over what effect the story may have on his new job in NSW:

"I have recently been appointed to the role of General Manager of the Port Macquarie Hastings Council on the mid-north coast of NSW.

"Given the community and financial issues that this Council has gone through in recent times, resulting in the elected Council being sacked and replaced by an Administrator, I cannot begin to imagine what the residents of that area would be thinking if they were unfortunate enough to hear the content of the email that was read out on the Sunrise Morning Program today?"

Whitney BoomerangOur Boomerang
Won't Come Back
June 14, 2011 - Kingaroy's dream of being the heart of an aircraft manufacturing industry is now officially over with the assets of Queensland Aviation Manufacturing on the market.

Sydney-based SM Aviation is selling a Boomerang aircraft, plant, equipment, parts, tooling, supplies plus the Kingaroy hangar and production facility.

Queensland Aviation Manufacturing parent company Dean-Wilson Aviation was given $165,012 funding under the Federal Government's Sustainable Regions program to build its Kingaroy facility.

Production of the two-seat Whitney Boomerang trainer began in 2006.

In September 2007, SBBiz reported the official launch of the new aircraft and in 2008 Dean-Wilson Aviation was presented with the KCCI's Manufacturing and Engineering Business Award.

The Boomerang was the first fully certified two-seat trainer in the world to face new CASA crash test requirements and only the fourth aircraft certified to FAR 23 (a Federal Aviation Regulation airworthy standard for planes of less than nine seats) to reach production in Australian history.

Queensland Aviation Manufacturing had hoped to produce 10 aircraft during its first year of operation at its $450,000 Kingaroy facility. The long-term target was to produce one aircraft per week.

Potential buyers initially showed interest from China, India and South Africa however sales of the aircraft failed to materialise.
Last Chance To Catch
Bush Business Online
June 10, 2011 - Kingaroy RSL will be hosting the final event of Lisa Wain and Jakki Goodall's Bush Business Online program on June 30 with a "Where To Grow From Here" forum featuring a full day of guest speakers.

The keynote presentation will be delivered by Joe Millward, former International Innovations Manager for Gloria Jeans Coffees who will share his experience in using digital content, social media development and community management.

Other topics will include global strategies versus local strategies, SEO and social media ranking, converting your leads and online marketing.

Guest speakers include Gavin Merritt, from Getting Local Business Online at Coolum Beach, and Kingaroy's own Trudi Bartlett, from From Headache to Heaven and Janelle Frohloff from Somethings Country.

Cost is $110 which includes morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea. As a bonus, the day is free for all Bush Business Online members, ie anyone who has attended a previous BBO seminar.

For more information and to book, visit the cre8you website
Ergon Energy Helps the South Burnett Unplug

June 9, 2011 - Kingaroy State High School students are getting Unplugged with the help of the Queensland Arts Council and Ergon Energy.

The students were among the first in the State to see the new performance of the play which explores how young people can conserve electricity but still continue to live modern lifestyles.

The story is set in a share house with two friends balancing study, work, cash and bills.

ABOVE: Unplugged characters Toni (Sarah McLeod) and Damo (Kyle Walmsley) connect with Year 8 students Renee Shaw, Nicola Ballinger, Tahnia Miller, Daniel Thompson and Brandon Taylor with the help of Ergon Energy Area Services Manager John Box.

* * *

The South Burnett Energy Centre at Nanango is also spreading the word about energy conservation this month with special displays from June 18-24.

Did you know that the average Ergon Energy residential customer uses about 21kWh of energy per day which produces about 21kg of greenhouse gases? Have you ever wondered what you could do to reduce your energy consumption?

"Wise Up to Energy Use" will kick off with an open day on June 18 from 11:00am. There'll be LED lightglobe giveaways, displays by energy efficient suppliers/providers as well as a variety of information on energy conservation and renewable energy alternatives plus fun activities for the kids, including a free Queensland Arts Council performance of "Unplugged", (see story above).
Spencer Named Interim CEO
June 8, 2011 - Controversial former Toowoomba Council CEO Philip Spencer has been appointed interim Chief Executive Officer of the South Burnett Regional Council.

He has been appointed for a period of three months and will start work a week before current CEO Tony Hayward leaves for NSW.

Mr Spencer resigned from Toowoomba Council in 2008 after alleged run-ins with Deputy Mayor Paul Antonio, the former Mayor of Millmerran Shire.

  • Read more about Mr Spencer's shock resignation three years ago on the Toowoomba Chronicle website
Council Committee To Investigate Naming Options
June 8, 2011 - A public campaign to re-think the naming of the Kingaroy Town Hall Forecourt area appears to be gaining some traction within the South Burnett Regional Council.

At its May meeting, councillors voted unanimously to name the refurbished area the "Dr Ellen Kent Hughes Forecourt" in honour of the former Kingaroy Shire Councillor who was the first woman elected to Local Government in Queensland.

An immediate campaign was launched on Facebook and elsewhere claiming the area should not be named after "an obscure politician" but should recognise former Test Cricketer Matthew Hayden, who it was claimed, "had put Kingaroy on the map".

At their meeting today, Councillors will be asked to approve a compromise position to identify "a suitable venue" to recognise the sporting achievements of Hayden.

The proposal is that Council create a committee consisting of Crs Barry Green and Damien Tessmann, a representative of the Hayden family and three community members who will report back to Council identifying possible venues that could be named in recognition of Hayden's sporting achievements.

UPDATE 4:30pm - Councillors today rejected the formation of the consultative committee, opting instead to contact Hayden directly and seek his consent for a future naming project in the region. There was no decision to rescind the original motion to name the forecourt after Dr Ellen Kent Hughes.

* * *

Goomeri and Kilkivan business people are urged to have their say about local business conditions in an online survey organised by Gympie Regional Council.

The regional survey closes this Friday, so time is running out ...

To take part just click here and follow the instructions.
Ruth Helps Students Beat Exam Nerves

June 7, 2011 - South Burnett dance and music students have no more excuses for complaining about "exam nerves" after weekend workshops in Kingaroy conducted by AMEB examiner Ruth Bonetti.

Not-for-profit arts group South Burnett Arts Inc, in conjunction with the South Burnett Regional Council RADF program, brought Ruth to Kingaroy for the weekend of workshops to help students tackle practice and performance issues.

Ruth has spent more that 30 years as a professional musician, teacher and speaker and has presented student and faculty seminars across Australia and in Europe and America.

Students learned "practice is not a dirty word" and how to "get the A out of AMEB".

ABOVE RIGHT: Ruth Bonetti talks to students. BELOW RIGHT: Flautist Leah Noll, from Kingaroy, was led through a Mozart piece while Ruth demonstrated ways to improve her performance
Dr Peter Wynn 'Alive & Well'
June 6, 2011 - Kingaroy doctor Peter Wynn is alive and well, it was confirmed this morning.

A Courier-Mail story - now removed from the newspaper's website - sparked fears amongst the popular GP's patients when it labelled him "missing".

The story claimed Dr Wynn's family was concerned for his safety and that police had issued a "be on the lookout" alert about 6:00pm.

However, Dr Wynn's surgery confirmed this morning that he was in Brisbane and would be returning to Kingaroy shortly.

The concerns arose after Dr Wynn's car hit a kangaroo.
MRAEL Launches Discounts
for Trainees & Apprentices
June 3, 2011 - Kingaroy-based apprenticeship and group training service MRAEL is helping local apprentices and trainees stretch their hard-earned dollars a little bit further by developing a discount program, dubbed "Employer of Choice".

MRAEL is partnering with different organisations to provide discounted services and other incentives to MRAEL apprentices and trainees, including:
  • Mobile phone and internet packages with Vodafone,
  • Discounts from Super Cheap Auto
  • Discounted gym memberships with Cardio Central
  • Corporate health care cover with Medibank
  • Discounted travel and accommodation packages with Flight Centre and Quick Beds Corporate
  • Corporate banking with the Commonwealth Bank
  • Student rate prices with Kingaroy Satellite Cinema

Kingaroy apprentice Ben Bird, who is hosted with Wards Electrical, says the MRAEL program will provide opportunities that he otherwise would not get.

"The discounts will really help out because we don't earn that much money, it will take the stress out of the little things," he said.

ABOVE RIGHT: MRAEL Group Apprentice Specialist Frances Ross with discount provider Steven Hudson (Kingaroy Satellite Cinema) and trainee Ben Bird (Wards Electrical)
Ergon Energy Boosts Envirofund to $150,000
June 2, 2011 - Ergon Energy's 2011 Envirofund program is offering $150,000 in grants to local community groups for projects with an energy conservation and environmental focus.

And in the wake of a devastating summer of natural disasters across Queensland, the corporation has boosted the program with an extra $50,000.

More than 30 not-for-profit community groups and organisations in regional Queensland have shared in $200,000 funding since 2009.

Projects funded have included a mobile energy education trailer in South West Queensland, a program to rehabilitate injured turtles in Cairns, solar heating a barramundi tank at a Townsville school and establishing organic community gardens in Toowoomba.

In the last round of funding, eight groups from the southern region were awarded Envirofund grants.

These local projects included establishing a bush tucker trail at Wondai and bird-proof bins at Kingaroy High School.

Grants range from $200 up to $10,000, depending on the size and merit of individual projects.

Preference would be given to projects with an energy conservation focus, however other environmental benefits will also be considered.

Applications close on July 20. For more information and an application form, visit the Ergon Energy website
Anita Offers Help To Local Tourism Businesses
June 1, 2011 - South Burnett tourism operators have been promised assistance from a State Government Tourism Industry Recovery Officer (TIRO) to help the region get back on its feet following this year's floods.

The officers will help tourism operators to determine their recovery needs and advise them about assistance programs available.

Anita Adams has been appointed as the TIRO for the Darling Downs / Western Downs / South Burnett regions and will work in conjunction with the Queensland Tourism Industry Council to assist local operators.

She can be contacted by email or on 0400-020-374.
Farmers Invited To Apply For Study Scholarships
May 30, 2011 - South Burnett primary producers have until June 30 to apply for a $29,000 2012 Nuffield Australia Farming Scholarship.

The scholarships enable participants to undertake overseas travel and develop a study program which suits their industry. It also provides an opportunity to rub shoulders with other Nuffield scholars and be updated on domestic and international agricultural issues.

Nuffield Australia is offering 23 scholarships to practicing farmers or farm managers. Each scholarship offers successful applicants a six-week global focus program after which they will pursue an individual study topic for a further 10 weeks.

Applicants should intend to remain involved in primary production and be aged between 28 and 40 (although people outside this age range can also apply). Academic qualifications are not a pre-requisite.

Application forms can be downloaded from the Nuffield website .

For more information contact Nuffield Australia CEO Jim Geitch on (03) 5480-0755.
Roll On Up To Goomeri on Sunday!
May 27, 2011 - The South Burnett's biggest - and wackiest - annual festival, the Goomeri Pumpkin Festival is on again this Sunday with all the fun of the fair ... including the traditional pumpkin roll down Policeman's Hill which literally stops the traffic.

As well as the Great Australian Pumpkin Roll, there'll be cooking demonstrations by celebrity chef Matt Golinski (Ready Steady Cook), street markets, antique cars, children's entertainment, delicious pumpkin foods and a huge street parade.

  • For more information, check out the festival's website
Rugby League Stars To Visit South Burnett
May 27, 2011 - Wests Tigers firstgraders Todd Payten and Geoff Daniela will arrive in the South Burnett today for a three-day visit to host rugby league skills clinics in the local area.

Todd Payten, (right), is probably best-known as the prop-forward who scored a try for Wests Tigers in the last minute of the 2005 Grand Final against the NQ Cowboys. He played his 250th NRL game a few weeks ago.

Geoff Daniela, (left), starred in Wests Tigers' defeat of South Sydney in April but unfortunately finished the game with a severe pectoral muscle injury which has ruled him out for the rest of the NRL season.

The players will hold a skills clinic at Cherbourg from 4:00pm this afternoon and then back up tomorrow in Kingaroy where they will watch the junior games (U7s, U8s and U10s) between the Kingaroy Red Ants and Cherbourg Hornets before heading to Nanango to watch the Nanango Stags' U12s, U14s and A Grade sides in action.

On Sunday they will conduct a junior kids clinic at Nanango from 10:00am.

Todd and Geoff's visit is part of the NRL's Adopt-a-Club program for rugby league clubs in areas affected by the January floods.
CEO Denies Rift With Mayor Sparked Decision To Leave
May 26, 2011 - South Burnett Regional CEO Tony Hayward, (right), is moving to Port Macquarie as General Manager of the local council but denies it has anything to do with his relationship with Mayor David Carter.

Rumours of a rift have reached SBBiz over the past few weeks with one council source, speaking off the record, saying the Mayor and CEO were not on speaking terms.

But Mr Hayward says this isn't so.

"I don't have a bad relationship with the mayor. In any relationship, as you know, there are ups and downs ..." he said.

Tony has served three years of his four-year contract with the SBRC. He has given five weeks notice and will start with the Port Macquarie-Hastings Council on July 18.

He admits Mayor Carter was "certainly surprised" when he gave notice earlier this week, but only as surprised as Tony was when he learned on Monday that his job application had been accepted.

When he saw the NSW role advertised, Tony saw it as an opportunity to move closer to his elderly parents and decided "to toss his hat into the ring".

He's no stranger to Port Macquarie. Tony completed Year 12 in the town while his father was stationed there as a bank manager. His parents later retired there and built a home. His father is now 88 and his mother 85 and Tony wants to spend more time with them.

He believes he's leaving the South Burnett council in better shape after working through many of the problems caused by amalgamation.

"There were issues at the Murgon end but things have happened that are positive for the town, for example Yallakool has re-opened. We couldn't resolve all the issues straight away because of finances but we've been chipping away," he said.

And although there are still things to be done "the building blocks are place".

Tony sees his biggest achievement as helping to get the Council Budget back into the black.

The first Budget was $6m in the red and the second was $4m in debt. The current Budget has a $700,000 surplus and Tony expects a surplus to be maintained when the books are closed off on June 30 despite the floods and rain earlier this year.

He is confident about the future of the South Burnett.

"It's a great place and very under-rated. When Council ran a stand at South Bank, I was surprised at how many Brisbane people still don't know where Kingaroy or Nanango are. Some know where the Bunya Mountains are but don't understand that Kingaroy is close by," he said.

"The South Burnett is very much like the hinterland of the Sunshine Coast. It's as good a place as Montville or Maleny ... it's just the way it is marketed, but of course this requires money and we have limited funds. If we can reach these markets somehow ..."

He sees benefits from the "Hand Made in Country" project, (see story May 3), perhaps rebadged as a "Hand Made in the South Burnett", if it lives up to its promises.

Council will now advertise the fill the CEO's position but Tony does not believe it will have much trouble filling the role.

In contrast, his new role as General Manager at the Port Macquarie-Hastings Council will have plenty of challenges.

The nine councillors were sacked in 2008 when a public inquiry into the construction of the Glasshouse Entertainment Centre, (left), examined allegations of mismanagement after the budget for the project blew out from about $6m to $42m. The Port Macquarie-Hastings Council is currently run by an administrator until fresh council elections are held in 2012.
Just Look For the Logo
For A Good Food Choice
May 25, 2011 - Selected meals at nine dining venues in Kingaroy have been designated "good food choices" as part of a community nutrition program to increase the consumption of healthy food outside the home.

The Good Food Choices program is being implemented RHealth and the South Burnett Healthy Community Committee.

The process involves accrediting dishes which are a Good Food Choice at participating venues.

So far, 50 dishes have been accredited in nine Kingaroy venues with three more accreditations pending.

Good Food Choices are defined as meals that contain little fat or good fat, are low in sugar, low in salt, a good source of fibre and include at least one serve of vegetables.

The nine accredited venues offering Good Food Choice dishes are:
  • Utopia Cafe
  • Kingaroy Seafood & Takeaway
  • Red Pepper Deli
  • Pioneer Lodge Motel
  • Taste South Burnett
  • Lee's Kitchen
  • Burning Beats
  • Captain's Paddock Cafe
  • Accents Restaurant
Ergon Deadline Looming For Solar PV Installations
May 24, 2011 - Ergon Energy has been inundated with applications to connect solar photovoltaic systems ahead of reductions in Federal Government incentives.

For the best chance of approval and connection before the Federal Government's rebate is reduced on July 1, the Corporation is urging that applications for systems 5kW and greater be submitted by this Friday (May 27).

May 27 is also the cut-off date for systems 2kW and greater being connected to a single wire earth return (SWER) section of the network.

Applications for systems less than 5kW should be submitted by Friday, June 10.

An Ergon Energy spokesman said all efforts would be made to process applications within these timeframes, however due to the large volume it could not guarantee approval would be granted in time for customers to qualify for the greater rebate.

Ergon Energy customers can also apply for the Queensland Government Solar Bonus Scheme.

After Tuesday, June 7, the scheme will be restricted to systems 5kW and less. Ergon customers wishing to install systems greater than 5kW should submit their connection application to the Corporation by 5pm June 7 in order to qualify for the scheme.

It is a legal obligation to gain approval from Ergon Energy before the system is connected to the wider electricity network.

* * *

Craftspeople interested in registering with the Hand Made In Country project, (see story May 3), are urged complete the following survey by Friday (May 27). The information collected will be used for the development of the project and funding and sponsorship applications.

  • Click here to complete the survey.
Information Sessions For Associations and Consumers
May 23, 2011 - The Office of Fair Trading will be conducting free information sessions in Murgon, Cherbourg, Kingaroy and Wondai next month to provide information for members of Incorporated Associations and the general public.

At the sessions, Fair Trading officers will provide advice and tips on:

  • The requirements and responsibilities of Incorporated Associations including auditing requirements, annual reports and Annual General Meetings

  • Consumer rights and issues, including refunds, warranties, credit and hire purchase, scams and door-to-door traders.

At the end of the presentations, there will be an opportunity to ask questions.

The sessions will be held at:

  • Murgon - Tuesday, June 7, at The Australian Hotel. 9:00am-10:00am (general consumer information) and 10:00am-11:00am (Incorporated Associations)

  • Cherbourg - Tuesday, June 7, at The Ration Shed. 2:00pm-3.00pm (general consumer information)

  • Kingaroy - Wednesday, June 8, at Kingaroy RSL Anzac Room, 10:00am-11:00am (general consumer information) and 11:00am-noon (Incorporated Associations)

  • Wondai - Wednesday, June 8, at Dimities Cottage, 2:00pm-3:00pm (general consumer information)

Reservations for the information sessions are not required

* * *

Congratulations to Glen and Judy McKewen, Goomeri, and Ray and Marilyn Sippel, Murgon, who have been named among the top 5 per cent of suppliers at the 2010 Parmalat Excellence in Milk Quality awards held in Toowoomba last week.
New Blood To Breathe Life Into Kingaroy Peanut Festival
May 20, 2011 - A new committee has been elected to guide the future direction of the Kingaroy Peanut Festival.

At an Extraordinary General Meeting held last night, Kevin Krosch was elected president of Peanut Festival Inc and Stewart Parfett was elected Secretary. Ray Wilton was re-elected Treasurer.

Outgoing President Dafyd Martindale and interim Secretary Anne Miller, who resigned from the Executive Committee earlier this year, were thanked for their service to the association.

The first order of business for the new Committee will be organising the inaugural South Burnett Motors in Motion event which will be held at the Kingaroy Airport in October.