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More Opportunities To Learn About Social Media
March 23, 2011 - The Bush Business Online team will be bring their popular social media workshops back to Blackbutt and Kingaroy soon.

A "Learn Facebook in a Day" workshop will be held in Blackbutt on Saturday April 9 from 8:30am–5:00pm at the Memorial Hall. Learn how to talk to your customers online and get a Facebook business page for your small business.

Two one-day workshops will be held in Kingaroy on May 10-11. The "Learn Facebook in a Day" session on the Tuesday will be followed by a "Social Media 4 your Biz" workshop on the Wednesday. This workshop will also cover LinkedIn and Wordpress.

The "Bush Business Online" workshop series is supported by the Federal Government's Small Business Online Program and is being presented by Sunshine Coast-based business Cre8you.

Each workshop costs $120. For more information or to book visit or phone 0406-460-351.
Cougar Energy Shareholders Warn Of Nuclear Future
March 22, 2011 - A group of angry Cougar Energy shareholders is warning that Queensland could be moving towards a nuclear-powered future because the State Government has chosen to shut down a potentially much cleaner alternative.

The Cougar Energy Action Group is stunned by the Queensland Government's decision in January to end an Underground Coal Gasification project near Kingaroy.

Group spokesman Steven White said as Queensland's population grows, and energy demands increase, "Queenslanders could find themselves staring into the eyes of a nuclear future". He said UCG technology, which is not new to Australia, could help avoid this.

Mr White said the Kingaroy project had been shut down in a "climate of scaremongering" following a laboratory reading which had later been shown to be false.

He said Cougar Energy had been unfairly singled out by Premier Anna Bligh and made a scapegoat because of public fears over the unrelated coal seam gas (CSG) industry which had suffered similar teething problems but had been allowed to continue unhindered.

Mr White also warned that the way Cougar Energy had been treated could create "serious jitters" amongst future investors in Queensland.

* * *

Kingaroy Cheese will be relocating to Dagun, south of Gympie, next month. Cheesemaker Erin Jones is setting up her own company, The Mary Valley Cheese Company, but will continue to produce Kingaroy Cheese-branded soft cheeses by arrangement from her new production facility.
It's Your Community - Have Your Say
March 21, 2011 - The South Burnett Regional Council is seeking feedback from local residents on how you see the local community developing in future years.

The survey is part of Council's development of a Community Plan.

What are the challenges / issues facing your town in the South Burnett? What issues are most important to you? What do like most about the South Burnett?

The survey form, which can be downloaded here as PDF (582kb), should be returned to Council by June 30, 2011.

Post to: South Burnett Regional Council Community Plan Survey Response, Reply Paid 336, Kingaroy, 4610.
More Power To Wild Horse
March 18, 2011 - Community radio station Wild Horse-FM at Yarraman will be able to broadcast further into the South Burnett following a decision by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) this month to allow it to increase its transmitter power.

4WHO (99.7FM) was established as a temporary broadcaster for the Yarraman community in 2002 and a permanent license was granted in 2004.

ACMA has also cancelled a non-operational allocation of the 97.7MHz frequency spot at Murgon which had been set aside for the ABC.

This position on the radio dial has now been made available for the ABC's new NewsRadio service from Wide Bay.
Learn How To Apply For Grants
March 17, 2011 - The Kingaroy Senior Soccer Club is hosting an interactive grant-writing course which will be held over four nights for representatives of local sports clubs and community organisations.

The course is free but participants must be committed to attending all four sessions which will be held on Wednesday evenings from 6:30pm-8:30pm at the Kingaroy Senior Soccer Club, Oliver Bond Street, starting next week (March 23).

Attendees will work with an experienced grant writer, former South Burnett Sport & Recreation Officer Scott North, to develop a grant application for their own club's needs, ready (or close to) to be submitted to a funding organisation.

Scott founded a private consultancy Finding Funding in 2009 to advise and support community groups needing to access essential funds for their projects.

Places are limited so bookings are required. RSVP to Scott by tomorrow to 0429-699-500 or by email.
A Smarter Way To Market The Arts
March 16, 2011 - Regional arts, cultural and events workers in the South Burnett will have an opportunity to spend two days in Kingaroy soon with some of Australia's most talented social marketing gurus.

Creative Regions, in partnership with The Auspicious Arts Incubator, is hosting a two-part workshop to educate and share the secrets of "values-based marketing" and social media such as Facebook.

Keynote speaker John Paul Fischbach said the workshops would provide smart, effective and timely marketing strategies. He will be joined by social media developer Craig Lambie.

The Smarter Arts Marketing workshop will be run over two separate weekends in March and April. Registering for the second workshop requires attendance at the first, which will be held on Sunday, March 27, from 9:00am-4:00pm at the Kingaroy Town Hall.

For more information, contact Jess Hall at Creative Regions by email
A Spirit That Could Conquer All
March 15, 2011 - "Thank God for generosity ... for a few days after the floods, cyclones and fires we didn't mind being told that somewhere deep in Australians there is a spirit that could conquer all".

These are the words of former Kingaroy Citizen of the Year Fr Kevin Ryan, (right), in one of his last columns for the Catholic Leader newspaper this month. Ironically, they are words that could sum up the life of Fr Kev, who died at his home in Gatton on Saturday, aged 76.

The former Parish Priest at St Mary's Catholic Church in Kingaroy (from 1988-1999) had a special devotion to people down on their luck.

Fr Ryan's practical care, including establishing a Centacare office in the South Burnett and organising a weekly Kingaroy "Bread Run" in conjunction with the local St Vincent de Paul Society branch, was often criticised by those whose eyes were closed to the real problems around them.

At a time when local authorities refused to acknowledge there was homelessness in Kingaroy, it was not unusual to find people camped overnight in his presbytery.

Fr Ryan celebrated his Golden Jubilee as a priest at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church, Gladfield, near Warwick, in June last year. He was ordained a priest in Warwick on June 29, 1960, and the next day conducted his first service at the Gladfield church, just down the road from where he grew up.

As well as his stint as parish priest in Kingaroy, he also served in Toowoomba and Oakey parishes and worked as a prison chaplain and a navy chaplain. His weekly "Real Life" column in the Catholic Leader newspaper was published for more than 15 years.

LachlanLachlan Named Our
Region's Top Junior Chef
March 14, 2011 - Congratulations to Lachlan White, 12, of Kingaroy, (right), who took out first place at the PCA Junior Cook-Off at the weekend.

Lachlan prepared "finger-lickin' chicken'n' bacon wraps served on super salad".

His creation wowed the trio of judges - David Costello (from the Courier-Mail), Tim La Budde (Kingaroy Kitchen) and three-times South Burnett regional cook-off winner Steve Gudzinski.

The PCA Junior Cook-Off, which was co-ordinated by Jason Ford from the Southern Queensland Institute of TAFE, was one of the highlights of the 2011 South Burnett Wine and Food in the Park Festival in Kingaroy's Memorial Park on Saturday.

Lachlan said he enjoys cooking because he "likes eating the things I cook" and cooks for himself and his family "almost every afternoon". His favourite celebrity chef is Hester Blumenthal, a popular choice amongst the six contestants.

The Cook-Off was sponsored by PCA, SQIT, Tarong Energy, Big W, Harvey Norman, Flamingo Wish, Crane Wines and Ford on Food.

Wine & Food in the Park on Tomorrow!
March 11, 2011 - The 13th annual South Burnett Wine & Food In The Park Festival will be held at Memorial Park in Kingaroy tomorrow.

At this year's Wine & Food In The Park you can:

  • Sample great wines from the South Burnett's leading multi-award winning wineries

  • Watch Junior Chefs cook up a storm in the PCA Junior Cook-Off

  • Be entertained by 10 non-stop hours of live music from some of Australia's top music acts.

As well, there'll be street entertainers and a wide variety of foods available.
And Master of Wine Peter Scudamore-Smith will be conducting two special wine-tasting classes - but seats are strictly limited.

The festival gates open at 10:00am.
Tarong Energy Merger To Go Ahead In July
March 10, 2011 - The State Government has confirmed today that its restructuring plan for the power industry, (see SBBiz, November 25, 2010), which will see Tarong Energy merged with other power companies, will go ahead as planned on July 1.

Finance Minister Rachel Nolan said the mergers followed extensive consultation with the current companies, unions, competition regulators and employees.

"The restructure will result in the current three generation companies - CS Energy, Stanwell Corporation and Tarong Energy Corporation - being merged to form two new companies from July 1," she said.

"The restructure will be achieved by the reallocation of assets to the existing CS Energy and Stanwell corporate entities, using the provisions of Section 161 of the Government Owned Corporations Act.

"After feedback from the consultation process, the Bligh Government has altered the draft generator allocations to place the small hydro power stations and Mackay Gas Turbine within the Stanwell-Tarong portfolio.

"We have also decided to combine the ownership of the Glen Wilga coal resource in the Surat Basin, currently held by Tarong Energy, with the adjacent Kogan coal mine which supplies fuel to the Kogan Creek Power Station.

"Otherwise, the reallocation of portfolio assets is unchanged from the preferred structure announced on November 25."

  • Is algae the future of power generation? A pilot plant is being built at Tarong Energy. Read more about this fascinating project on Science Alert
Former Citizen of the Year Remembered
March 10, 2011 - South Burnett CTC Patron and former Kingaroy Citizen of the Year John Quatermass, (right), died last night after a short illness.

John was CTC Chairman from 1987 to 1992 and Deputy Chairman from 1992 until 2006.

He also owned and operated a very successful electrical business in Kingaroy for more than 40 years and invested a lifetime of community service in the region.

He served on the Lions Rodeo Committee, Kingaroy Hospital Board, the District Development Board, the Salvation Army Red Shield Appeal organising committee and was a former chairman of the Bunya District Scouting Association.

He joined Kingaroy Lions Club in 1967 and was a Jaycees Senator (the first awarded by Kingaroy Jaycees).

Learn How To Market Your Small Business Online
March 9, 2011 - Lisa Wain and Jakki Goodall, from Cre8you, who ran a series of popular small business seminars around the South Burnett last year, are returning to Kingaroy this week to run a workshop on social media and online marketing.

The workshop, which will be held at Kingaroy RSL Club on Friday (March 11) from 9:00am-5:00pm, will cover "Facebook for Business", "LinkedIn for Professional Networking" and "Wordpress for Blogging".

Participants are encouraged to bring their own laptops and follow along as Jakki and Lisa demonstrate how to create an effective online marketing strategy.

Cost is $120 and spaces are limited. Bookings can be made online, by phone to 0406-460-351 or email.

If you miss the Kingaroy workshop a similar one will be held in Blackbutt on April 9.

UPDATE: SBBiz was advised this morning that Friday's proposed Kingaroy seminar has been changed to a webinar. If you'd like to attend this, go to the website and register online.

* * *

AgForce Roadshow To Visit Cloyna
March 8, 2011 - AgForce's On The Road To Rebuilding roadshow will be paying a whistlestop visit to the South Burnett next week.

The roadshow, which is open to AgForce members and non-members, is a one-stop shop of information, advice and services to help rural producers rebuild after the January floods.

There will be opportunities to speak one-on-one with insurance providers, financial advisers and property planning experts as well as find out more information about volunteer services available.

The roadshow will be held at the Cloyna Community Hall from 8:30am to 11:30am on Wednesday, March 16.

Participants will enjoy a barbecue breakfast. Entrance is free but please RSVP for catering to AgForce on (07) 3236-3100 or by email.

SBBiz apologies for any confusion over the location of this workshop. The first information we received indicated it was to be held at Windera.

* * *

Congratulations to the Wondai Visitor Information Centre for being named Visitor Information Centre of the Year in their category at the recent Queensland Information Centres Association conference held in Ipswich.

The Wondai VIC won the award for centres with one paid staff member - the third time it has been successful in this category. It beat similarly staffed VICs at Caboolture, Kuranda, Stanthorpe and Wynnum Manly.
Does Your Project Need $10,000?
March 7, 2011 - Round 2 of the State Government's Building Rural Communities Fund is closing soon.

Applications are for a one-off grant up to $10,000 (excluding GST) to implement projects that improve the economic, social, cultural and environmental capacity of rural and remote communities in Queensland.

Eligible regions are Wide Bay Burnett, Darling Downs and South West, Central Queensland, Mackay Whitsunday, North Queensland and Far North Queensland.

The Building Rural Communities Fund is providing a total of $2 million in funding over two years for rural community capacity building projects in Queensland's Blueprint for the Bush regions.

Applications close on March 31, 2011.

For more information, and to obtain an application form, visit the Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation's website.
Project Forges Links Between Farmers & Tourist Dollars
March 4, 2011 - South Burnett rural producers, business owners and residents have been invited to nominate for positions on a new food network/agri-tourism advisory group which aims to boost the local economy.

The South Burnett, Southern Downs and Western Downs regional councils, in partnership with Tourism Queensland and the Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation, have employed Southern Cross University (SCU) to run the two-year program.

The project hopes to help farmers "diversify into or connect with" the tourism industry and establish "a local food system that will underpin the development of food and wine experiences".

Toowoomba Golden West and South Burnett Regional Tourism General Manager Stuart Perry encouraged growers and businesses to get involved in the project which will be overseen by Rose Wright, from SCU, and managed by Regional Tourism Development Officer Julie McMurtrie.

The Project Management Committee is seeking nominations for a stakeholder reference group to "support and inform the implementation of the project".

"Any individual or organisation can apply to be part of this reference group," Ms Wright said.

"You may be a local farmer, chef or tourism operator, anyone with an interest in supporting the development of South East Queensland Country as a food and agri-tourism destination should apply."

Nominees must be from the Darling Downs, South Burnett or the Southern Downs region. Nominations close on March 14. For more information, or to request a nomination form, contact Julie McMurtrie on 0437-008-712 or email her

* * *

The South Burnett Regional Council has released its draft Arts, Culture and Heritage Policy (63kb PDF) and draft Art in Place Strategy (273kb PDF) for the Kingaroy Town Hall Forecourt and Library Precinct.

Comments on both close on March 25. Comments and feedback should be emailed to South Burnett Regional Council Manager - Community Cultural Services Carolyn Knudsen or mailed to PO Box 336 Kingaroy, 4610.
Opportunity For Employers
March 3, 2011 - Kingaroy, Murgon and Nanango State High Schools and St Mary's Catholic College are working together to organise a South Burnett Careers Market / Try A Trade day in July.

The 2010 event attracted more than 800 students and provided South Burnett employers with an excellent opportunity to showcase career opportunities within their industry/organisation.

The 2011 Careers Market/Try A Trade day will be held on Thursday July 29 from 10:00am to 4:00pm at Kingaroy State High School.

Employers interested in being involved are invited to contact Jodi Woodall at KSHS on (07) 4160-0683.

* * *

Murgon residents have been invited to help Clean Up Australia this Sunday from 8:30am at Ted Klohs Park (on the southside of town). A barbecue lunch will be provided.

At Widgee volunteers will meet outside the Widgee State School at 7:00am.

Participants should wear sturdy footwear and SunSmart attire – long sleeved shirt, wide brimmed hat, suncream and sunglasses.
Goomeri Clocks Up 100 Years
March 2, 2011 - Goomeri - the Town of 1911 - will be celebrating its centenary this weekend with a two-day community party.

There'll be historic displays, demonstrations, food stalls, a parade of vintage transportation, entertainment and free children's rides at the Centenary Reunion at the Goomeri Showgrounds.

Queensland Governor Penelope Wensley will perform the official opening at 2:00pm on Saturday. She will then attend a special public land auction of two blocks in Mayne Street and dedicate a Memorial Stone to the Town of Goomeri in Lions Park.

On Saturday night, an old-time dance will be held at the Hall of Memory with a licensed bar. On Sunday morning, old-fashioned games will be held at the sports oval.

For more information, contact Sandra Nesbitt on (07) 4168-4520.

* * *

Cougar Challenge 'Last Ditch Attempt': Protest Group
March 1, 2011 - The Kingaroy Concerned Citizens Group says it is not surprised by today's announcement by Cougar Energy that it will challenge the State Government's ruling on the local UCG project.

In a media statement, KCCG president Gary Tessman said he fully supported the government decision to close the plant and commended it for acting decisively.

"It seems to be plain to everyone except Cougar Energy that the decision to shut the plant is one that is based simple scientific common sense," Mr Tessman said.

"They are responsible for benzene in the local underground water, there are cows testing positive for BTEX chemicals across the road, they had unexplained technical failures, underground cave-ins or explosions, and bore pipes rising out of the ground. They can't seriously expect any government to let that continue."

He described Cougar's response as a "last ditch attempt to save the company" by attacking "any possible small fact" in the government ruling, while "ignoring the obvious fact that the operation was a stuff-up".

"We think the government and the Independent Scientific Panel was right on the money when they decided that a UCG operation had no place in Kingaroy, and that Cougar Energy has demonstrated its incompetence so clearly. We are somewhat grateful that the failure of the trial happened after only a few tonnes of burning, and saved us from another 20,000 tonnes of whatever happened last April," he said.

Cougar Energy Challenges Kingaroy UCG Project Ban
March 1, 2011 - Cougar Energy is challenging the State Government's decision to halt its underground coal gasification project, (right), near Kingaroy.

It lodged a submission with the Department of Environment and Resource Management (DERM) yesterday which sets out several grounds as to why the proposed orders should not be made, including:

  • The severity of the response proposed by DERM (shutting down an entire mining operation) far exceeds, and is completely disproportionate to, the nature of the grounds, facts and circumstances identified by DERM in its Notice of Proposed Action;

  • The requirements of procedural fairness and jurisdictional limits of the Queensland Environmental Protection Act have not been adhered to; and

  • The need for the government-appointed Independent Scientific Panel (ISP) to appropriately review all of the Cougar Energy reports submitted under three Environmental Evaluation Notices to DERM (17 reports totalling more than 650 pages).

The Cougar Energy submission also includes a response by the company to the Summary Report by ISP which was published on January 28.

"Cougar Energy believes that DERM's proposed amendment to the existing Environmental Authority is flawed and invalid, and relies on incorrect and flawed statements of the Queensland Government's Independent Scientific Panel," Cougar chairman Malcolm McAully said.

Mr McAully said Cougar's Kingaroy project had "never presented any danger to human health, drinking water, livestock nor farming activities in the region".

Business Expo On April 8
March 1, 2011 - A date has been fixed for the South Burnett's inaugural Biz Expo, an initiative of the South Burnett Regional Council, the Burnett Inland Economic Development Organisation (BIEDO), Department of Employment, Economic Development & Innovation (DEEDI) and the Southern Queensland Institute of TAFE (SQIT).

The Expo, at the Kingaroy TAFE College, will run from 9:30am to 5:00pm on April 8. It is aimed both at businesspeople and members of the general public.

Guest speakers will cover a wide range of topics including business assistance, innovation, crisis recovery, regional cohesion and sustainable living.

Council's new Regional Economic Development Strategy will also be officially launched.

For more information or information on how to become a stallholder or event sponsor, contact the South Burnett Regional Council Business & Economic Development Section on (07) 4189-9174 or by email