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Saturday 19 September 2020
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Landcare Gets Down and
Dirty With Sequestration
October 19, 2010 - Do you remember Stanley the Soil Sample?? Back in April Landcare South East Burnett was publicising his embarrassing fungal problem.

Well, now in a further (and final) adventure of Stanley, Landcare has found Stanley a wife, Carbonita, and they plan to settle down and sequester ...

And if all that confuses you, you probably need to attend "What You Need To Know About Carbon ... Now!", a seminar that Landcare South East Burnett will be holding at Murgon PCYC next week.

Guest speaker will be Alan Lauder, author of "Carbon Grazing", who will examine the importance of building soil carbon.

The seminar will be held on Wednesday, October 27, from 8:30am until 3:30pm. Cost is $15 per person; $10 for seniors, pensioners, students and Landcare members; or $20 per family or couple (two or more from one property). Morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea will be provided.

RSVP to Penny Kennedy on (07) 4168-6179 or 0419-442-325.
Council Attractions
Clean Up At Tourism Awards
October 18, 2010 - Three South Burnett Regional Council attractions - Lake Boondooma Camping and Recreation Area, (right), the South Burnett Energy Centre and Wondai Regional Art Gallery - all won awards at the annual Fraser Coast South Burnett Regional Tourism Awards held in Urangan on Saturday night.

As well, the South Burnett Region Timber Industry Museum was inducted into the Hall of Fame for the second time, this time for winning the "Regional Attraction" category three times in a row.

2010 South Burnett winners:

  • Regional Attraction - Lake Boondooma Camping and Recreation Area
  • New Tourism Business - South Burnett Energy Centre, Nanango
  • Heritage & Cultural Tourism - Wondai Regional Art Gallery
  • Unique Accommodation - Redrock on Booie

Boondooma Homestead was a runner-up in the Heritage & Cultural Tourism category.
Free Webinar On New Business Laws
October 18, 2010 - The Queensland Department of Employment and Economic Development is inviting small businesses to register to view a free webinar on changes to national laws that will affect almost every Australian business.

On January 1 next year, all State Governments will introduce a single, national consumer protection and fair trading law to be known as the Australian Consumer Law (ACL).

This will replace key sections of the Commonwealth Trade Practices Act 1974 and the Fair Trading Acts of all States and Territories, including Queensland's Fair Trading Act 1989.

DEEDI warns the ACL will affect almost every Australian business.

The free online information seminar will provide an introduction to the law and also an opportunity to put questions to an expert panel.

The webinar will be held from noon (Queensland time) on October 26.

To register to take part, click here.

For more information on the Australian Consumer Law, visit the Consumer Law website or the Office of Fair Trading

* * *

The wild winds and rain on Friday night caused a heap of headaches for local Ergon Energy crews:

  • 200 customers near Kingaroy lost power from 10:05pm on Friday until 10:30am on Saturday when two poles came down in extremely wet locations

  • 150 customers in the Wondai region had a blackout from 5:35am to 1:50pm on Saturday when a pole top caught fire near Charlestown in an area without immediate access for Ergon crews

* * *

The Silver Lining Foundation training schemes at Ficks Crossing were featured on ABC Radio Wide Bay this morning.

They're doing a great job a turning out workers who now just need jobs!

Listen to the report by clicking here
Tourism Awards In Urangan Tomorrow
October 15, 2010 - The local tourism industry's traditional "night of nights", the annual Fraser Coast South Burnett Tourism awards, will be held in Hervey Bay tomorrow night.

FCSBT marketing manager Danielle Andreuzzi expects more than 240 people to attend the calypso-themed event in Urangan.

Awards will be distributed in 29 categories and usually the South Burnett end of the region does very well, scooping many awards.

This year's awards night will be celebrated with the knowledge that this may be the last time South Burnett operators will be invited to attend the event as merger talks could see the South Burnett being severed from this region to be attached to the Golden West.
Local Trainees & Apprentices Star in MRAEL Awards
The South Burnett shone at the annual MRAEL Awards

ABOVE: Trainee of the Year Maxine Scarffe (PCA) with MRAEL Kingaroy manager Frances Ross; Apprentice of the Year Benjamin Bird (Wards Electrical) with sponsor Ken Mills; Certificate III in Business Award winner Mia Forsyth (Kingaroy X-Ray); Tony Phillips, who accepted the Large Business of the Year Award on behalf of Tarong Energy

October 14, 2010 - Wide Bay-based training organisation MRAEL held its annual awards night at Maryborough last Saturday but many of the awards flowed straight back to the South Burnett.

Local electrician Benjamin Bird (Wards Electrical and Communication) received top honors, winning the highly contested Apprentice of the Year Award as well as the Industry Award for Electrical. Ben is a 4th Year apprentice completing a Certificate III in Electrotechnology Systems.

Kingaroy trainee Maxine Scarffe (Peanut Company of Australia) was named Trainee of the Year and Most Consistent Trainee for her maturity, openness to approaching new tasks and high standard of work. Maxine has recently completed her Business Traineeship with PCA and has started full-time work with the company.

Tarong Energy was awarded the Large Host Business of the Year Award.

Small-Medium Host Business of the Year Award was presented to the ANZ Banking Group.

Other award winners included:

  • Ben Trace (Tarong Energy) - 3rd year Apprentice

  • Matthew Goyen (Goomeri Homes & Renovation) - Industry Award - Construction

  • Mia Forsyth (Kingaroy X-Ray) - Certificate III in Business

  • Jarrad Dascombe (Tarong Energy) - Certificate III/IV

  • Aleisha Marriott (Tarong Energy) - High Achievement Trainee

Outstanding workplace mentors included Terry Cole (Thiess Pty Ltd) and Tyler Scott (Tarong Energy).
Government Crackdown
On Unlicensed Builders
October 13, 2010 - The State Government is cracking down on unlicensed builders with a statewide audit of building sites announced this week.

Public Works Minister Mr Robert Schwarten said more than 100 inspectors from the Building Services Authority would be visiting randomly selected building sites.

"This crackdown will ensure all persons doing building work are licensed or otherwise operating lawfully," he said.

"During tough economic times, unqualified and unlicensed persons often believe they can make money in the building industry by competing unfairly against licensed operators. These rogue contractors also put consumers at risk."

In 2009-10, BSA staff interviewed 9594 contractors at 2604 building sites across the State. As a result, fines totalling $88,000 were issued and 38 investigations are still ongoing.

Any person caught unlawfully performing building work can be fined up to $25,000 while a company can be fined up to $125,000.

If a builder is caught engaging an unlicensed subcontractor, the builder may be fined up to $8000 for a first offence, $12,000 for a second offence and $16,000 for a third or subsequent offence.

* * *

As previously reported on SBBiz, the BSA has also increased its compliance investigations into advertising by unlicensed contractors.

Unlicensed contractors must state in any advertisement the maximum value of work they can perform without a licence, while BSA licensees must state their name and licence number.

In 2009-10, the BSA conducted 2632 investigations, issuing 482 infringement notices to unlicensed-contractor advertisers and 34 fines to licensees for non-compliant ads.

Several South Burnett-based businesses were amongst those issued with fines.
$1m Boost For Algae Power Project
October 12, 2010 - The State Government has committed $1 million for the carbon capture algae trial at Tarong Power Station (see SBBiz, November 20, 2009).

Premier Anna Bligh said Tarong Power Station near Kingaroy would be the first coal-fired power station in Australia to try the technology as part of a $5 million trial by MBD Energy Limited.

MBD Energy will build a one hectare algal biomass display plant beside Tarong Power Station. When completed, the test plant is expected to capture about 700 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year.

* * *

Coolabunia dairy farmer Damien O'Sullivan has requested the State Government test milk from his cows and drinking water from his property, located near Cougar Energy's UCG plant, after traces of benzene and toluene were detected in fat samples from his cattle.

Mr O'Sullivan has also asked Queensland Health if he and his family should undergo biopsies to test for benzene and toluene.

  • Read more on the Queensland Country Life website
Ergon Comes To The Rescue
October 11, 2010 - Ergon Energy linesman Terry Allwood, (right), was called out to a very special emergency in Murgon last Friday.

More used to dealing with downed power lines, Terry had to use all his wits to solve a furry problem which had Murgon residents worried.

It's not the fact that the koala was up a gum tree - that's what koalas do, of course - but what had the locals upset was the fact that a family of magpies was desperately try to shift the snoozing marsupial into a new location.

If he succumbed to the magpie blitzkrieg, the koala would have had to dodge highway traffic as he was resting in a tree in the median strip.

Wildlife carers were alerted to the koala's plight and Terry and an Ergon crew responded to the call at 10am.

After some clever thinking and swift manoeuvring, they had the koala out of harm's way and safely into a cage ready for relocation near the Murgon Golf Club.

Busy Weekend of Fun Fund-Raising
October 8, 2010 - This will be a big weekend for charity fundraising in the South Burnett.

  • The Kingaroy-Taabinga Rotary Club is holding its annual Bookarama at Kingaroy Town Hall on Saturday (9:00am-4:00pm) and Sunday (9:00am-noon). All proceeds will go to aid Rotary's community work.

  • The Maidenwell QCWA is holding a Cent Auction at the Maidenwell Hall from 10:00am on Saturday morning to raise funds for the RACQ Careflight helicopter and to purchase of gifts for local children which will be handed out at the Maidenwell Community Christmas Tree in December.

  • And last, but by no means least - in fact, it's probably the biggest charity fundraiser that will be held in the South Burnett this year - is the 2010 Relay For Life cancer fundraiser which will be held at the Speedway Oval in Kingaroy on Saturday and Sunday. There'll be live entertainment at the grounds, food stalls and a "Survivors' Walk" for people living with cancer.
Council Provides Six-Month Discount To Swickers
October 7, 2010 - The South Burnett Regional Council voted to discount for six months the cost of water supplied to Swickers Kingaroy Bacon Factory.

At their Council meeting held on Wednesday in Nanango, councillors were told an increase in water consumption charges on top of a 52% increase in throughput and production at Swickers, had created "unintended outcomes and financial implications" for the Kingaroy-based company.

Therefore Council resolved that for the first six months of the 2010-11 financial year, any water consumption recorded during this period that was in excess of 51,000 kilolitres would be charged at a rate of $2.77 per kilolitre.
PCA To Launch New Peanut Variety
October 6, 2010 - The Peanut Company of Australia, in conjunction with the Grains Research Development Corporation and the Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation, will be officially launching a new ultra-early peanut variety, Tingoora, at a function in Kingaroy next week.

The release is part of the joint Australian Peanut Breeding and Introduction Program for which PCA is the lead agency.

Dr Graeme Wright (PCA Peanut Breeding, Seed & Innovation) said Tingoora was a Hi Oleic ultra-early Spanish-type peanut which matures in around 110-115 days. It will provide South Burnett peanut growers with a new high-yielding option which will help them avoid end-of-season droughts.

The new variety has been in seed increase in North Queensland and the Northern Territory and PCA says it will have commercial quantities available for the 2010-11 season.

  • All peanut growers - and former growers - have been invited to attend the official launch of Tingoora, which will be held at the J. Bjelke-Petersen Research Station, DEEDI, Goodger Road (opposite Kingaroy Airport), from 10:30am-12:30pm on Friday, October 15. Phone PCA on (07) 4162-6311 for more information.
Did You Get Your Membership Renewal Notice?
October 5, 2010 - The Kingaroy Chamber of Commerce and Industry is urging former members of the Chamber who may not have received a renewal notice recently to visit the KCCI's website and fill in the online membership form.

Members must be financial to vote at the KCCI's Annual General Meeting which will be held from 5:30pm on Wednesday, November 10, 2010 at the Chamber Office, O'Neill Square, Kingaroy.

All positions on the Managing Committee will be declared vacant. Nominations are being sought now for the roles of President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer and Executive Committee members. A nomination form can be downloaded here.

Current President Leanne Stallwood, Treasurer John Carey and Secretary Polly Birchall have previously announced they are unable to continue in these roles although Leanne and John have indicated they are willing to continue as general members of the Executive Committee.
Have Your Say on
the Draft Regional Plan!
October 4, 2010 - South Burnett residents will have two opportunities this week to have their say on the draft Wide Bay Burnett Regional Plan.

This important State Government plan sets out the strategic directions for the region to the year 2031 - where people are going to live, land use options, growth areas, green space - in fact it covers everything from air quality and noise to economic development, tourism development, transport and waste recycling.

For example, the plan estimates the planning population for the South Burnett Regional Council area in 2031 will be 44,100 (up from 32,500). Most of this growth will occur in Kingaroy which has the capacity to accommodate more than 5700 new houses.

Estimated 2031 population for Cherbourg is 1500 with 130 new homes required.

The Draft Plan also predicts economic activity is likely to drift from Nanango to Kingaroy with the opening of the Kunioon coal mine.

Public information sessions on the plan will be be held at:

  • Kingaroy - Wednesday, October 6 from 6:00pm-7:00pm at the Kingaroy Town Hall Reception Room

  • Murgon - Thursday, October 7 from 6:00pm-7:00pm at the Murgon Town Hall Supper Room

The draft plan can be downloaded from the Department of Infrastructure and Planning website

It is open for public comment until December 24, 2010.

This is a very important document that will guide government policy directions for the next 20 years.
Don't Miss Out On A
Huge Day In Nanango!
October 1, 2010 - Tomorrow will probably be Nanango's biggest day of the year with Funfest events being held in and around the CBD all day.

Events get underway at 9:00am with the opening of the traditional Uniting Church Floral Display at the Uniting Church in Gipps Street. An Open Day at the CTC Kids Centre in Drayton Street will run until noon before ending with a sausage sizzle.

From 10:00am, there'll be street stalls, food stands, kids' games and rides in Drayton Street. At 11:00am, there's going to be free billy tea, damper and showbags as the South Burnett Energy Centre celebrates its first birthday.

The Funfest Street Parade will be held in Drayton Street and Fitzroy Street from about 12:30pm before ending at Pioneer Park, where the afternoon's activities will take place until a fireworks display at 8:00pm.

Funfest also coincides with the regular Nanango Markets and Nanango Races at Lee Park Raceway.

The Funfest Photographic Competition will be on display at Ringsfield House between 10:00am and 4:00pm and the Funfest Art Exhibition at the Nanango Cultural Centre between 9:00am and 4:00pm.

The legendary King & Queen Of The Mountain footraces will be held in Drayton Street between 4:30pm and 5:30pm.

  • You can download the full 2010 Funfest Program here
Outback Joe Found But Team
Just Misses Out On $50,000 Prize
October 1, 2010 - Great news!!! After four years lost in the bush near Kingaroy, "Outback Joe" has finally been found!

An international UAV team - a team of students from the University of North Dakota - located the elusive dummy but failed to drop the bottle of water to him so missed out on the $50,000 first prize in the annual UAV Outback Challenge However, they took home $15,000 as consolation.

News of their success was big news in Grand Fork, North Dakota. Read more here

Team member Danny Hajicek said the team was happy with the result.

"We're disappointed about the small technical difficulty over the drop but a thousand and one other things could have gone wrong and didn't," he said.

Another US team, Robota, also come close to where Outback Joe was located before a communications failure forced their UAV to abort its mission. They won a $5000 consolation prize.

Eight high school teams competed to drop a chocolate bar to Outback Joe, this time sitting within the bounds of the airport. The pilots couldn't see the aircraft, and had to rely on signals, including video, beamed back to them.

The winner of the Airborne Delivery Challenge was the Calamvale Hornets which dropped a chocolate bar right between Outback Joe's legs. This produced an alarmed response from Joe on Twitter: "Steady on teams!"

The winning documentary was made by Team Latitude 38 UAV (watch a YouTube clip from this team, below:).

UPDATE November 18, 2010: Full summary of this year's UAV Challenge
Cricket Heroes Challenge South Burnett All-Stars
September 30, 2010 - Some of Australia's best-known cricketers will be in Kingaroy tomorrow to take part in a 20/20 match against a South Burnett Invitational XI.

Former Test stars including Greg Chappell, Jeff Thompson, Carl Rackemann, Martin Love - and a host of other well-known names - will be playing against local cricketers at Kingaroy's Lyle Vidler Oval from 6:00pm.

The members of the Queensland Bulls Masters team will also be attending a Relay For Life fund-raising dinner at Wondai and taking part in Nanango's Funfest Festival on Saturday as well as running coaching clinics in Blackbutt, Nanango, Kingaroy, Murgon and Cherbourg.

The visit to the South Burnett has been sponsored by the South Burnett Regional Council. Tickets will be available at the gate.

* * *

Cougar Energy announced today it is negotiating with an investor group to form a potential strategic alliance for the development of Underground Coal Gasification projects.

Cougar's trial UCG plant at Kingaroy is still on hold while geological and hydrogeological reports are being prepared for the Queensland Department of Environment and Resource Management.

UPDATES October 1:

  • Cougar has entered into a strategic arrangement with Chinese-owned Limitedless International Holdings Pty Ltd. LIH will take up $1m worth of Cougar Energy shares by the end his month with a further $1m placement after the companies negotiate a "Definitive Cooperation Agreement" by January 31, 2011 to work on UCG projects in China. LIH is also expected to provide seed capital of $3m and access to its Chinese coal leases.

  • Queensland Country Life newspaper has reported that Kingaroy cattle tested after the UCG water contamination scare have been cleared by the State Government. Biopsies carried out by government vets on 25 suspect cattle in July have found no traces of the chemicals benzene, toluene, ethyl benzene and xylene.
Catch Up With Outback
Joe in Kingaroy Today
September 29, 2010 - Today is the public day of the fourth annual UAV Outback Challenge competition at Kingaroy Airport.

International, local and school teams have built Unmanned Airborne Vehicles (UAVs) and are competing for great prizes.

The main event is the $50,000 Search and Rescue Challenge to find "Outback Joe", (right), a missing bushwalker who is busily tweeting on Twitter (@OUTBACK_JOE) begging to be found.

Today's public day features the High School Airborne Delivery and Robot Delivery challenges.

If you've ever been puzzled what all the fuss is about with UAVs, get out to Kingaroy Airport today and take a look.
Landcare To Celebrate 21st
Birthday at Kingaroy Town Hall
September 28, 2010 - Queensland Governor Penelope Wensley AO will visit Kingaroy next month as part of the 21st anniversary celebrations for the Landcare movement in Australia.

Landcare began in 1989 after the National Farmers Federation and the Australian Conservation Foundation signed an historic agreement that signified their commitment to the Landcare ethic.

The Kingaroy event, which will be held at Kingaroy Town Hall on October 15, is the last in a series of celebrations which have occurred around the State.

Guest speakers will include Landcare Queensland Chairman Geoff Penton, Erin Lawless (South East Burnett Landcare) and Glen Baker (North Burnett Landcare).

The public is invited to attend this free event but places are limited and bookings are essential. To RSVP, send an email to Landcare by October 8. Places will be confirmed by email.

* * *

Cougar Energy yesterday sent a six-page letter to all State MPs arguing the case for a re-start of the Underground Coal Gasification trial near Kingaroy.

The company said a letter to MPs from the Kingaroy Concerned Citizens Group earlier this month - which posed nine reasons for opposing UCG - was "based on fallacies or misrepresentations of fact".

In its letter, Cougar presented "10 facts about underground coal gasification in Kingaroy" including that the project had presented no danger to human health, no danger to drinking water, no danger to livestock, no danger to other farming activities and had not contaminated the community ground water supplies.

  • Download the full-text of the Cougar Energy letter here (156kb PDF)
Free Sausage Sizzle at
Kingaroy Centrelink
September 27, 2010 - Centrelink Kingaroy will be holding a "self-service promotion" on Thursday to help clients learn more about accessing Centrelink services online.

There'll be a sausage sizzle from 10:30am to 2:30pm, lucky-dip giveaways and Centrelink staff will be on hand to assist customers to register for online self-service, upgrade their access or make a trial transaction.

"It's a great opportunity for customers to have a helping hand as they navigate their online self-service options for the first time," Centrelink Kingaroy manager Ann Rigbye said.

PS. Did you know clients of Kingaroy Centrelink can buy low-cost computers thanks to a partnership with not-for-profit organisation WorkVentures? There are a range of computers available including Internet-ready Pentium 4s loaded with Windows XP Pro and Microsoft Office 2003. More information will be available at the Self-Service day.
Storm Damage Blamed For Wondai Blackouts
September 24, 2010 - Storm damage has been blamed for a power failure that left 1300 homes in the Wondai region without electricity last night.

Ergon Energy crews worked through the night to locate and then repair a blown lightning arrestor that interrupted the power supply to homes in Wondai, Cushnie, Tingoora and Greenview.

Crews patrolled the line but as the damage was not visible from ground level, additional crews were called in to assist in trying to locate the cause of the outage by progressively restoring power to sections of the line.

As a result, most customers would have had their power supply interrupted on three or four occasions during the night.

The blown lightning arrestor was identified early this morning at the Tingoora-Chelmsford crossroads near Cushnie.

An Ergon spokesman said the arrestor would have been damaged during the last storm in the area but had remained operable until last night.

It was replaced and power was fully restored by 9:00am.

* * *

Meanwhile, Ergon Energy will resume its helicopter patrols of high voltage powerlines following an incident last month which caused the aircraft to make a forced landing near Maryborough.

Although inquiries are ongoing, an Ergon spokesman said the company was satisfied it was safe for the flights to resume.

The patrols are part of Ergon's routine inspection process to check on the condition of main high-voltage feeder lines and vegetation management requirements, especially in the lead-up to the storm season.

Flights in the South Burnett will begin on September 27 and will be in the air between 7:30am and 5:00pm on week days.