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Wanted: Some Bloomin' Beautiful Buskers
April 18, 2011 - The organisers of Blackbutt's Bloomin' Beautiful Festival in September are looking for some buskers keen to perform during the weeklong event.

This year's festival will feature shows, exhibitions, guided walks, literary events, music, film and theatre.

The organising committee also hopes to animate the village's streets with "sight, sound and spectacle". If you're a musician, living statue, performance artist, poet - or just think you've got what it takes to entertain the public - the festival organisers want to hear from you. They want "unplugged" buskers with no PA. Artists will be able to put out tip jars and sell CDs.

For more information, call Laraine on (07) 4163-0135 or email her.
LNP Candidate Still Sees A Lot Of
Hard Work Ahead To Win State Seat
April 15, 2011 - LNP candidate for Nanango Deborah Frecklington, (right), has wished State MP Dorothy Pratt well for the future but says despite Mrs Pratt's retirement announcement today, there is still a lot of hard work ahead to win the seat.

Speaking to SBBiz this morning, Deborah said she had been visiting towns throughout the electorate since her LNP endorsement in March.

"There would have been a lot of hard work ahead for me whether Dorothy had decided to re-stand or not," she said.

The Kingaroy solicitor said she saw a career in politics as being a natural progression of her role as an advocate for the people.

"I have always been interested in politics, coming from a conservative background," she said.

Deborah, 39, was raised on a cattle property at Guluguba, near Wandoan, and attended Ipswich Girls Grammar school. Her father, grazier Don Stiller, was mayor of Taroom Shire from 1997 until council amalgamations occurred in 2008.

Deborah and her husband Jason managed cropping properties at Meandarra while she studied law.

She said her family had made a commitment to the South Burnett region when they moved here in 2007. Deborah is a partner with Andrew Kelly in Kingaroy law firm Kelly & Frecklington Pty Ltd and her husband owns the Gloria Jeans Coffees franchise in Kingaroy Shoppingworld.

The couple's three children, Isabella, 13; Lucy, 11; and Elke, 8; attend St John's Lutheran School. She also has family in the region. Her sister Jackie Allery is principal at Raine & Horne, Kingaroy.

Deborah has been a member of the LNP since June 2010.

Speaking on ABC Radio this morning, Independent Member for Nanango Dorothy Pratt said she no longer wanted to participate in politics.

"I had such faith in democracy as they say," she told the ABC. "But I am now under no illusion as to the fact that we don't have it in Queensland and we don't have anyone who really wants to ensure that we do in the future. There is a culture in Parliament that I find quite distressing - I just don't want to be a part of that any more."

Dorothy was elected to Parliament in 1998 as a member of One Nation but later resigned from the party.

Eight Key Criteria Identify Strategic Cropping Land
April 14, 2011 - The State Government has released the eight proposed criteria that will be used to identify strategic cropping land in Queensland.

Environment and Resource Management Minister Kate Jones said the government had hired some of Queensland's best soil scientists to help develop the proposed criteria which would now be used to draft strategic cropping land legislation.

The criteria aim to reliably and consistently identify Queensland's best cropping land, ie land that is suitable for a range of crops in most seasons.
They cover slope, rockiness, Gilgai microrelief (small depressions in the land caused by wet weather), soil depth, drainage, soil pH, salinity, and soil water storage.

The Department of Environment and Resource Management is now finalising guidelines to help landholders and developers identify whether their land is "strategic cropping land" or not. These guidelines and a "how to" guide will be released next month.

The criteria, technical report and an independent expert review are available on the DERM website
Noxious Weed Spread By Floodwaters
April 13, 2011 - The South Burnett Regional Council will be contributing $24,000 to help treat an outbreak of parthenium along Barambah Creek.

Recent floods have distributed seeds from the noxious weed along waterways and across creek flats.

Native to South and North America, Parthenium hysterophorus is a declared Class 2 pest plant under Queensland legislation. It reduces beef production and costs cropping industries millions of dollars every year. Its pollen contains potent allergens that can cause reactions such as dermatitis and hay fever. It was first recorded at Toogoolawah in 1955.

The South Burnett Regional Council and Biosecurity Queensland are mapping the extent of the current outbreak which covers about 80km of creek banks and 45 properties.

Due to the size of the infestation, Council is asking landholders to assist by reporting outbreaks on their properties so this information can be used to contribute to the mapping.

Mapping will identify priority treatment areas and where buffer zones can be put in place to contain the outbreak.

If you would like to report parthenium on your property - or need more information on the Parthenium Management Program - contact Council on  (07) 4189-9122.

After hours inquiries can be made to Cr Kathy Duff on 0437-020-705.
New Team Heads Up SBTA
April 12, 2011 - Cathy Davis from Hillview Cottages will head up the South Burnett Tourism Association's new management team following the group's recent AGM.

Shannon Scott (Taste South Burnett) was elected Vice-President and Judy Cooper (Crane Wines) will be Secretary/Treasurer.

Other members of the management team are Hazel Patterson (Kingaroy Kitchen), Elaine Madill (Wondai Art Gallery), South Burnett Regional Mayor David Carter (who will chair the meetings), Bernie Cooper (Crane Wines), Rhonda Kath (Mulanah Gardens) and Jayne Deshon (Deshons Retreat).

Cr Carter emphasised that the association covers the whole South Burnett area, not just the area within the regional council boundaries.

"It encompasses Blackbutt, through Yarraman to the Bunya Mountains and across to Goomeri and Kilkivan," he said.

The next meeting of the association will be held tomorrow at the South Burnett Energy Centre in Nanango.

* * *

South Burnett CTC will be officially opening a shade structure at the Pound Street Community Garden in Kingaroy on May 5. The sail has been made possible with assistance from the Tarong Energy Community Partnership Fund and the South Burnett regional Council.
Researchers Are Picking Our Brains
April 11, 2011 - Market research companies seem to be very interested lately in the views of South Burnett residents ...

One company has been surveying residents about their perceptions of Tarong Energy by randomly phoning selected households and businesses and organising focus groups.

Tarong Energy says the research will build upon past studies undertaken in 2006 and 2009.

Another group has been contacting local community groups and businesses to assess the social impact of mining on the community.

This survey is being undertaken by the School of Justice at the Queensland University of Technology to assess the impacts of non-resident mining labour on local communities.

If you wish to take part in this survey, and are aged over 18 and live in a community affected by mining, click here

A third group has been phoning random households with questions testing awareness about digital television transmissions and the upcoming closure of the analogue network in the region.

* * *

Cougar Energy has placed 90 million new shares at a price of 3.0 cents per share, raising $2.7 million before transaction costs ...less than the $6m which had been predicted, (see story below). Cougar said it will use the new funds to focus on the further advancement of its international UCG project portfolio including projects in China and possible sites in Indonesia and Malaysia.
South Burnett Biz
Expo Is On Today!
April 8, 2011 - The inaugural South Burnett Business Expo is on today at the Kingaroy TAFE college.

There's six keynote speakers - including motivational speaker, Olympic gymnast and dual Commonwealth Games gold medallist Brennon Dowrick - and nine seminar sessions.

Seminars will cover online and social media, ways to retain and retrain staff, opportunities created by the National Broadband Network, government and council tendering, supply chains, and succession planning.

There'll be a talk by Kingaroy businesswoman Andrea Steele on "how to grow your business".

There's also a rural stream focusing on farm management (Alan Broome), the grain industry (Ian Crosthwaite) and beef production (Damien O'Sullivan).

Keynote speaker Dr Scott McNeil will be explaining how to "Realise the Potential of Your Business (Importance of Innovating)".

Other keynote speakers include Cre8you (who will be giving visitors the opportunity to win a digital Flip camera valued at $199), Phil Harding from the South Burnett Regional Council, Graham Archdall, James Mangan and Brian Jarvis.

A showcase of local services and expertise will be in the auditorium all day and there'll be lots of opportunities for business networking.

Cost is just $10 which includes lunch and morning and afternoon tea and the networking session between 5:00pm-6:00pm.

We'll see you there!

* * *
* * *
Gluer Named Interim CEO of Merged Power Corporation
April 7, 2011 - The interim CEOs of the two new Queensland power generation companies were announced today by the State Government.

Helen Gluer, who has been CEO at Tarong Energy since January 2007, has been appointed interim CEO to lead the restructured Stanwell-Tarong corporation.

David Brown has been appointed interim CEO of the restructured CS Energy. Mr Brown was appointed CEO of CS Energy in December 2007.

A State Government media release emphasised that after the restructure is completed, the new boards of the generating companies would be responsible for determining the process to finalise the appointment of permanent CEOs.

The Shareholder Review of Queensland Government Owned Corporation Generators, known as the "Genco Review", recommended that the current three government-owned power generators being reduced to two from July 1 this year.

Advisory Boards have been established for each of the two new corporations to guide the implementation of the restructure.
Trading Halt As Couger Seeks To Raise Up To $6m
April 7, 2011 - Trading in Cougar Energy shares has been halted until close of trade on Friday as the company prepares for a new round of capital raising which could raise up to $6 million.

AAP reported today that Cougar intends to place new shares under listing Rule 7.1, which covers share issues up to 15 per cent of a company's capital without shareholder approval.

The company will seek to make the placement with institutional and "sophisticated" investors.

* * *

There's still a few tickets left for the Degustation Dinner which will be held at the Tingoora Hotel on Saturday night.

The "South Burnett Showcase Food and Wine Evening", from 6:00pm, features an exciting menu paired with local wines.

Cost is $60 per head and bookings can be made at the pub on (07) 4168-5150.
Federal MP Congratulates
New LNP State Candidate
April 5, 2011 - Federal LNP Member for Maranoa Bruce Scott will be visiting Kingaroy today to meet the LNP-endorsed candidate for the seat of Nanango, Deb Frecklington.

Deb, a Kingaroy solicitor, (right), starred alongside her young daughter Lucy on stage at the recent Junior Cook-Off held as part of the South Burnett Wine and Food in the Park Festival.

Mr Scott said he was also looking forward to catching up with Kingaroy locals.

He will visit local school students, business owners and members of the Kingaroy RSL sub-branch.

* * *

UPDATE The schedule for the South Burnett Business Expo, (see story below), has been updated. Download the new Schedule of Events here (355kb PDF)
All-Day Business Expo
To Stir Up Excitement
April 4, 2011 - The inaugural South Burnett Business Expo will be stirring up ideas and encouraging business growth from 9:00am to 6:00pm this Friday at the Kingaroy TAFE college.

There'll be six keynote speakers - including motivational speaker, Olympic gymnast and dual Commonwealth Games gold medallist Brennon Dowrick - and nine seminar sessions from which to choose.

The expo is aiming high - hoping to create more employment, wealth, sustainability and liveability within the South Burnett region.

Seminars will cover ways to retain and retrain staff, opportunities created by the National Broadband Network, government and council tendering, supply chains, and succession planning. Successful Kingaroy businesspeople Rod and Andrea Steele will be hosting a seminar on "how to grow your business".

There's also a rural stream focusing on farm management (Alan Broome), the grain industry (Ian Crosthwaite) and beef production (Damien O'Sullivan).

Other keynote speakers include Cre8you, Phil Harding from the South Burnett Regional Council, Graham Archdall, James Mangan and Brian Jarvis.

A showcase of local services and expertise will be in the auditorium all day and there'll be lots of opportunities for business networking.

To find out more about the event and to register to attend, call the South Burnett Regional Council on (07) 4189-9174 or send an email

Cost is just $10 which includes lunch and morning and afternoon tea.

PS. Anne Miller and Dafyd Martindale from South Burnett Online - the people behind this SBBiz website - will be hosting a seminar on online marketing ... see you there!
Have Your Say On Coopers Gap Project
April 1, 2011 - The Initial Assessment Report (IAR) into the proposed 350MW AGL windfarm at Coopers Gap, south of Kingaroy, has been released for public inspection.

The IAR includes an environmental assessment of the corridor of land within which AGL hopes to erect wind turbines, install overhead and underground electrical cables and build access roads.

The report can be downloaded from the AGL website or viewed at the Kingaroy Library. Copies can also be obtained by contacting AGL on 1800-039-600.

Formal submissions commenting on the IAR should be sent to: Adam Mackett, Manager Power Development AGL, c/- AECOM, PO Box 1307, Fortitude Valley, 4006 by April 21, 2011.

A Community Information Day will be held at Cooranga North Hall, 41 Cooranga North-Niagara Road, Cooranga North, tomorrow (April 2) from 9:00am to 1:00pm.

The Coopers Gap project straddles the South Burnett Regional Council and Southern Downs Council boundary. SBRC mayor David Carter and Western Downs mayor Ray Brown have been quoted in the Sunday Mail as being supportive of the project.

The final decision on whether the windfarm proceeds rests with the State Government.

  • Download AGL's March newsletter which contains more information about the Coopers Gap project (1Mb PDF)

UPDATE April 3: Graziers split over proposed location of wind turbines

UPDATE April 8: ABC 7.30 Report: "Wind Farm Proposal Concerns Locals"
RDA To Host Funding Workshops
March 31, 2011 - Regional Development Australia Wide Bay Burnett will be conducting information workshops on the recently announced Regional Development Australia Fund in Wondai and Kingaroy in April.

The workshops are designed to help Local Government and regional organisations gain a better understanding of the funding guidelines and how to engage with RDA Wide Bay Burnett when considering regional projects.

The workshops will be held on Wednesday April 6 at Wondai Town Hall (2:00pm-3:30pm) and the Kingaroy Town Hall Reception Room (4:30pm-6:00pm).

For more information and to RSVP, click on either the Wondai booking link or the Kingaroy booking link
Funeral Today For Much
Loved Kingaroy Doctor
March 30, 2011 - The funeral for popular retired Kingaroy doctor Keith Shaw, OBE, will be held at St Michael and All Angels, Anglican Church, Kingaroy, at 11:00am today.

Dr Shaw, 88, was awarded the Order of the British Empire on December 31, 1982, for his services to medicine.

The former RAAF pilot received his medical degree from the University of Queensland in 1949. He was a Resident Medical Officer at Brisbane Hospital in 1950 and worked as a GP in Bundaberg and Kingaroy from 1952-1981.

He was president of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners from 1980-82 and was appointed a Life Fellow of the Association in 2008.

Dr Shaw had his own aircraft which he used to fly to visit medical staff in rural and remote areas of Australia. He dedicated much of his retirement to fundraising for the Royal Flying Doctor Service.

He passed away peacefully at his Kingaroy home on March 25.
ACCC Seeks Public Input On Fly Ash Decision
March 30, 2011 - The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has announced that it will refuse to authorise a fly ash agreement between Pozzolanic Enterprises, Tarong Energy Corporation and Tarong North Pty Ltd.

However the ACCC is now seeking submissions commenting on its proposed decision, prior to making a final decision in the coming months.

Pozzolanic sought authorisation (ie protection for conduct that might otherwise raise concerns under competition provisions of the Act) for an agreement that would provide it with first right of access to the majority of fly ash produced at the Tarong and Tarong North Power Stations.

The ACCC can grant such an authorisation when it is satisfied that the public benefit from the conduct outweighs any public detriment.

However competitors to Pozzolanic disagreed.

The Nucrush Group wrote to the ACCC expressing particular concerns about the Tarong North power station where it claims Pozzolanic has all the connection points to the baghouse filter hoppers.

Another competitor, Sunstate Cement, also was concerned that the agreement as it relates to Tarong North could materially constrain its future access to the only economically viable source of fly ash which it can resell in competition with Pozzolanic.

"The ACCC's draft view is that authorisation of the proposed agreement will not provide any significant benefit to the public," ACCC chairman Mr Graeme Samuel said.

The ACCC's draft determination and submissions are available from the ACCC website

Further information about making a submission can also be found on the ACCC's website.

New Committee To Take Over Peanut Festival
March 30, 2011 - A motion to wind up Peanut Festival Inc - the organising body for the 2009 Kingaroy Peanut Festival - was defeated at a Special Meeting of Association members held in Kingaroy last night.

Association member Rob Patch, owner of The Peanut Van, presented a proposal to allow the organisation to continue functioning which was accepted by a majority of the members present.

Another Special Meeting of the Association will now be held on May 19 to elect a new Executive Committee.

* * *

Cougar Energy, still fighting to restart its Kingaroy UCG project, has signed a co-operation agreement with Inner Mongolia DeTailong Investment Energy Ltd for the commercialisation of a UCG project at the Wu Ni Te coal mine in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.

The project will operate under a 50/50 joint venture, sharing profits and expenses, and its commercialisation will be subject to receipt of all necessary project registrations and the standard procedures of evaluation and financing.

Marketing Idea Hand-Made For The Country
March 29, 2011 - Toowoomba and the Darling Downs' pilot "Hand Made In Country" marketing project is being extended to the South Burnett and Southern Downs.

Tourism bodies Toowoomba Golden West, South Burnett Tourism and Southern Downs Tourism aim to position the expanded region - which includes the Granite Belt - as an area known for its high quality handmade goods and produce "offering visitors and residents alike a unique and real experience together with products that reflect our rich cultural heritage".

The "Hand Made In Country" project aims to develop "an exciting network of artisans that produce high quality handmade products with the vision of developing better skills and visitor experiences".

Artisans - including woodworkers, silversmiths, stonemasons and quilters - and crafting groups have been invited to register to find out more about the project.

Forward your name, address, email/website and trade/art to Krista Hauritz by email or write to Hand Made In Country, c/- BMO Business Centre, PO Box 180, Dalby, 4405. Krista can also be contacted on 0421-148-098.
Ergon Energy Donations Pass $5m Milestone
March 28, 2011 - Ergon Energy customers have now donated a massive $5 million to the Royal Flying Doctor Service via regular donations from their power bills.

Through the scheme, customers can contribute via regular donations of $2 or $5 from their quarterly electricity bills, or make a larger one-off donation if they wish.

Since the scheme kicked off in 2000, more than 94,000 Ergon customers have chosen to support the program. Ergon staff have also contributed to the fundraising via payroll deductions.

RFDS Queensland CEO Nino Di Marco said donations raised through the Ergon Energy scheme were vital to keeping the Flying Doctor in the air.

"For over 10 years, Ergon Energy and its customers have played an important part in helping the RFDS provide medical care services to the people of Queensland, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year," Mr Di Marco said.
High School Puts Lid On Bird Litter
March 25, 2011 - Kingaroy State High School is determined to deter pesky birds who have been spreading rubbish all over the grounds.

The school has bought 17 new "bird-proof" bins with a $1000 grant from Ergon Energy to make sure rubbish stays where it belongs.

"We had a big problem with crows, currawongs and magpies getting into the bins then making a big mess with the scraps. It wasn't good for the school environment and our neighbours weren't too happy either," said Student Council Environment Committee Chairperson Tammy Woodbury.

"The new bins have significantly reduced the amount of rubbish on schoolgrounds and we've had positive feedback from neighbours."
Crane Wines To Host Meet'n'Greet
March 24, 2011 - The Kingaroy Chamber of Commerce and Industry will be holding its April Meet'n'Greet on Monday, April 4, from 5:30pm at Crane Wines, Haydens Road, Booie.

Guest speakers will be Sally Potter from the recently formed South Burnett Young Leaders group and Bernie Cooper from Crane Wines.

Cost is $10. For more information and to RSVP, contact Joanne Thorp at the KCCI on (07) 4162-8466.