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New Delay For Cougar At Kingaroy
September 23, 2010 - Any re-start of Cougar Energy's trial Underground Coal Gasification plant near Kingaroy will now probably not occur until December.

Cougar Energy announced yesterday it will hire third party specialists to assist in preparing the submissions for the geological and hydrogeological investigations which have been demanded by the Department of Environment and Resource Management (DERM).

DERM has set a December 10, 2010, deadline for these investigations to be completed.

A Cougar spokesman said yesterday further preliminary work would need to be undertaken to determine the extent of the scope of work, the ability to complete this work within the timeframe set by DERM as well as the costs of preparation.

Meanwhile, Energy has appointed Melbourne lawyer Sarah Christensen, (right), to fill a Board vacancy caused by the sudden death of Dr Michael Dalling earlier this month.

Ms Christensen, currently Cougar Energy's Company Secretary, will also continue in this position.

Chairman Malcolm McAully said Sarah's experience would be important as the company worked towards recommencing operations at its Kingaroy project.
Tarong Energy's $17 million Boost To Local Economy
September 22, 2010 - Did you know Tarong Energy contributes about $17 million every year to the local economy directly through contracts with South Burnett businesses?

The power generator held an information session last night at the South Burnett Enterprise Centre in Kingaroy to encourage local businesses to learn more about how they can do business with Tarong Energy.

Procurement team members Vince Aisthorpe, Mike Donovan and Norm Collingwood spoke to local businesspeople including representatives from clothing and safety gear providers, quarries, employment agencies and CBD traders.

ABOVE RIGHT: Michael Magnussen (Access Innovations Engineering Solutions), Neil McIntyre (Men@Work) and Tim Loth (Tarong Energy)

RIGHT: Danny Hoogstraten (Iron Bark Ridge), Carissa Beddows (Bunya Wakka Wakka Cultural and Heritage Aboriginal Corporation)
and Barb O'Hanlon (CTC Employment Services)
Valley Rail Trail Provides Business Opportunities
September 21, 2010 - Local businesspeople, tourism operators and Visitor Information Centre volunteers have been invited to attend a State Government Information Day at Moore next week to discuss the tourism and business opportunities which will be provided by the Brisbane Rail Trail.

When completed, the 148km trail will stretch from Wulkuraka railway station near Ipswich, to Fernvale, Lowood, Coominya, Esk, Toogoolawah, Harlin, Moore, Linville and Blackbutt. It will also intersect the popular Bicentennial National Trail at Commissioner's View near Benarkin.

Many sections are already open, including the Moore to Linville (7km) and Linville to Blackbutt (22.6km) stretches.

The Department of Infrastructure and Planning / Tourism Queensland information day will be held on Tuesday, September 28 from 9:00am to 4:00pm at the Moore Memorial Hall.

Guest speaker will be Dr Sue Beeton, Associate Professor from the Tourism School of Management, La Trobe University.

Registration is free and lunch will be provided, but to reserve a place, please contact Kaushik Singh by email by this Friday.
Managing Climate Risk Workshop
September 20, 2010 - A workshop to help local graingrowers manage climate risk will be held in Kingaroy next week.

The Grains Best Management Practice (BMP) Workshop will be facilitated by Jeff Clewett (Principal Scientist, Agroclim Australia) and DEEDI Grains BMP Extension Officer Hayley Eames.

The workshop will be held on September 29 from 8:30am to 3:30pm and morning, afternoon tea and lunch will be provided.

To find out venue details and to RSVP, contact Paddy Roe on (07) 3238-6048 or email him
Cougar Receives Two More Notices From Government
September 17, 2010 - Cougar Energy has received two more environmental evaluation notices from the State Government over its trial UCG plant near Kingaroy.

Cougar has been ordered to provide data and analysis of wells P1 and P4 by October 15 and have the additional monitoring bores installed, with provision of groundwater data, by November 17.

A statement from Cougar released today says "the Company is currently reviewing the requirements from DERM for further works and will provide information to the market shortly".

DERM issued the new environmental evaluation notices yesterday to Cougar after the close of ASX trading.

This followed Environment Minister Kate Jones telling State Parliament yesterday that Cougar's operations would be suspended until the department was satisfied that the company could meet all regulatory requirements.

"If it cannot then it will never recommence operations," she said. However she said five rounds of sampling had shown "no grounds for concern".

* * *

Cougar advised the ASX this afternoon that it has raised further funds in a series of "special advances" as well as under its previously announced fund-raising facility. Since September 2, it has raised about $1.03 million which will be used as working capital as well as further development work at the company’s Western Australia and China projects.
Super Nanango Team Pedals For 23 Hours!

September 16, 2010 - Congratulations to Nanango State High School's "Supermen", (above), who were runners-up in the 2010 Human Powered Vehicle (HPV) Championship, the signature event at the RACQ Technology Challenge in Maryborough last weekend.

The "Supermen" pedalled an amazing 445 laps in a time of 23:33:26.567 (that's right ... 23 hours!)

Also competing in the challenge were local teams "High Voltage" (Kilkivan State High School - 371 laps, 2nd in Junior Mixed category), "Chix on Dynamite" (Nanango State High School - 353 laps) and the "Yarraman Team" (Yarraman P-10 - 309 laps).

The "Goomeri Greyhounds" (Goomeri State School) came first and the "Kilkivan 10zzy Indians" (Kilkivan State School) third in the Smilie Pushcarts design prizes. After a series of races, "Kilkivan 10zzy Indians" came 2nd in the overall Pushcart category.

Nanango State High School Year 9 students also built a model "Eco-Habitech" housing display, (below).

The annual Technology Challenge is also sponsored by Ergon Energy, and once again local South Burnett Ergon employees worked hard to help make the day a big success. Thanks guys!


Photos: Courtesy John Box
South Burnett Under The Lens
September 15, 2010 - As part of this year's Heritage Nanango Funfest, a fun "Foto Competition" is being run with cash prizes in Advanced, Amateur and Student sections.

There are five different categories in each section, each with prizes:

  • Everyday Heroes (people / portraits / weddings)
  • Nature (animal / fauna / flowers)
  • Animals & Pets
  • Things & Digital Art
  • Land/Seascape

A Grand Champion Photo will also awarded in each section.

Entries must be delivered to Ringsfield House in Nanango, or the Nanango Visitor Information Centre, by Monday September 27.

For more information contact Clive Lowe on (07) 4171-0201 or by email

* * *


The South Burnett Regional Council has announced the winners of its 2010 Discover South Burnett Photographic Competition.

Competition judge Graham Burstow said he was very impressed with the overall quality of the entries received. The winners were:

  • My Holiday Snapshot Category – Glenda Banks for the "The Drought Swimming Pool"
  • People and Places Category – Annette Schumacher for "Wondai Dingos"
  • Through the Seasons Category – Glenda Banks for "Cutting the Lucerne"
  • Events, Festivals and Recreation Category – Wendy Matthews for "Magic Sunset"
  • Primary Students – Jenai Mackenzie Alberts for "Injury Time"
  • Secondary Students - Maddison McLean for "Good Night South Burnett".

Council also awarded a highly commended award to Aaron Mooney (Primary
Student) for "Liam" and Angus Oliver (Secondary Student) for "Peanut
Still Life".

The "Discover South Burnett" photographic exhibition will be on display at the Kingaroy Regional Art Gallery until the end of the month when a "People's Choice" award will be determined.
Workshop Links Technology and Sport
September 14, 2010 - South Burnett sportspeople will be able to find out more about technology in the sport industry at a free Technology Made Simple workshop being held in Kingaroy tomorrow.

"The workshop will provide some great tips on how to communicate with club members through modern means such as social networking sites by teaching easy website development and by discovering online tools," Queensland Sport Minister Phil Reeves said.

The workshop will be held from 6:00pm-9:00pm at the Southern Queensland Institute of TAFE, corner of Geritz Road and the Bunya Highway, Kingaroy.

To register for the workshop, contact the Department of Communities, Sport and Recreation Services on (07) 4121-1710.
Saving Doesn't
Have To Be A Secret
September 13, 2010 - Have you joined the South Burnett's Secret Savers Club yet?

The club is an initiative of Wondai businesspeople Michael and Mandy Monk and promises to offer members instant updates on local sales, limited offers and great deals in the South Burnett.

It is featured in the couple's second Clip Save 'N' Win flyer which was distributed to mail boxes throughout the region last week.

People who join the club will also go into a draw to win accommodation at the Coral Beach resort at Noosa.

The flyer also includes discount coupons from a number of local businesses (which can also be downloaded from Facebook).

* * *


Washington Developments' withdrawal of a development application for a new shopping centre at Blackbutt - and the subsequent decision by the Planning and Development Court to approve an appeal against the application - does not mean that the town will miss out completely on a new retail development.

"Council believes that there is room for commercial development in Blackbutt," according to a statement released by the South Burnett Regional Council.

"Mayor David Carter says that many residents have spoken with him and Cr Deb Palmer about their concerns that Blackbutt has no shopping centre options left."

Council reminded Blackbutt residents that its initial approval to use part of the land for commercial purposes was still current, however it would require an approved development permit for a development to proceed.
It's Bloomin'
Beautiful In Blackbutt
September 10, 2010 - Blackbutt's spring festival Bloomin' Beautiful kicks off this evening with a gala opening night from 7pm at the Blackbutt Memorial Hall with a touring exhibition profiling the works of Anneke Silver and Inez Fritschy with entertainment by Lloyd Back (formerly of Fat Cow).

Tomorrow, the Festival Country Markets will be running all day at Les Muller Park and there'll be street performances from Monster Blonde. High Tea will be served on the verandah (bookings essential).

Tomorrow evening, the Brisbane Philharmonic Orchestra will be playing Classics at the Conservatory at Blackbutt Memorial Hall from 7pm. Cost is $25.

On Sunday, there'll be a free brekky at the Blackbutt railhead to help visitors discover the Blackbutt trails network.
Country Music Fans Rolling Up
for a Big Weekend at Nanango
September 9, 2010 - The hard-working Nanango Show Society's premier music event, the Country Music Muster is on again from today ... and by the look of the caravans rolling in, it's going to be a huge success again!

This evening there'll be a BBQ and walk-up performers plus the bar will be open from 5pm. Guest artists for the rest of the weekend include Norma O'Hara Murphy, Tracy Coster, Dean Perrett and Glenn Jones.

For more information, see the Nanango Show Society website

  • Listen to Dean Perrett talking about this weekend's Nanango Country Music Muster and his latest album on ABC Radio


* * *

Cougar Energy announced this morning the sudden death of Director Dr Michael Dalling, AM, (right).

Dr Dalling's previous roles included Group General Manager of Nufarm Ltd and Managing Director of the Strategic Industry Research Foundation, a joint initiative of the Victorian Government and the CSIRO.

He became a Member of the Order of Australia in 2006 for his service to the biotechnology industry through contributions to research and development organisations and commercialisation efforts to benefit Australian companies, producers and consumers.

Cougar is now preparing a Supplementary Prospectus in accordance with its obligations under the Corporations Act 2001.
Spring Festival Weekend
at The Artists Cottage
September 8, 2010 - This weekend is going to be a huge one in the South Burnett ... and one of the highlights will be in Kingaroy.

Garry and Karla Eyre are holding their annual Spring Arts Festival at the Artists Cottage, opposite the Kingaroy Airport, in conjunction with a Colour Me Blue exhibition.

The weekend kicks off at 8:00am on Saturday with the popular Makers, Bakers and Growers Market accompanied by art demonstrations, live music and kids activities.

On Saturday evening, the Colour Me Blue Art Exhibition and competition will be held at the Mayo Vale Gallery from 6pm. Entry is free and there'll be wine available from Captains Paddock. A silent auction will run for the month with all proceeds going to "Beyond Blue"

On Sunday, artists will be demonstrating their skills and art forms. Brunch will be available from Cafe Nouveau from 9:00am until 11:00 followed by the cafe's regular menu for lunch.
Ellee Says No To Bullies!
September 7, 2010 - Kingaroy mother Amanda Choy is one very proud woman ... her 15-year-old daughter Ellee is making waves to help stamp out bullying in Australian schools.

In fact, Ellee's campaign has reached the ears of the metropolitan media, with a Channel 7 camera crew flying in by helicopter on Saturday just to interview her.

Amanda and Ellee relocated to Kingaroy in early July after Ellee suffered repeated bullying at a high school on Brisbane's northside.

Apparently Ellee's creativity and art skills pleased her teachers but annoyed some of her fellow students who intimidated and alienated her, Amanda told SBBiz.

Ellee is now fighting back. She has started a "No2Bullies" campaign which includes a website and You Tube videos.

She has developed the artwork and logos, (below), and along with her mother is planning sample bags which will be given away to school students.

"The idea is to encourage others to find a positive way to handle bullies," Amanda said.

The sample bags will include lollipops (as "Bullies Suck") plus posters and inspirational messages.

The pair are now looking for sponsors for their campaign, which they hope will go national. Amanda said Harvey Norman Kingaroy and Brisbane company Voc Ed Learning Group have already come on board.

Book Now For Bush Business Online!
September 6, 2010 - The Bush Business Online program is coming to Kingaroy tomorrow!

All local small businesses have been invited to attend a series of workshops which will be held at the Kingaroy RSL Club from tomorrow to Friday to polish their online marketing skills.

The workshops, part of a 12-month skills development program, are being run by Lisa Wain and Jakki Goodall from the Sunshine Coast-based cre8you.

Cost is $27.50 per session or $120 if you enrol for the full 12-month program.

Topics to be covered include: Viral loop marketing, e-Directories, social media and e-tools.

All participants will also be given their own secure online learning space where they can access further self-paced tutorials as well as regular updates to the latest social media tools and tips.

For more information, about the Bush Business Online courses visit the Cre8you website

Cougar To Install Four New Wells At UCG Site
September 6, 2010 - Cougar Energy will install four new monitoring wells at its Kingaroy UCG trial site to assess groundwater levels and water quality as a result of its meeting with State Government officials last Friday.

The monitoring wells will be installed by early to mid-October.

The meeting followed the rejection by the State Government of Cougar's environmental assessment report into the recent water contamination scare and its demand that the company provide more information.

Cougar said today it would also provide further technical data to the government about the failure of the casing at well P4 (which is believed to be responsible for the water contamination) and the measures taken as a result at the new wells P5 and P6.

"Cougar Energy and DERM have agreed to meet regularly to assess progress of the supplementary work. Further consideration of the shutdown order at the Kingaroy project will be made when the agreed work has been completed to DERM's satisfaction," a Cougar statement said today.


UPDATE 1: According to News Limited, the top-traded stock by volume on the ASX this morning was Cougar Energy, with 75.4 million shares worth about $2.83 million changing hands by noon.

UPDATE 2: Listen to Cougar Energy Managing Director Dr Len Walker on Boardroom Radio
Kingaroy Misses Out On UAV Research Centre
September 3, 2010 - Despite Kingaroy playing a major role in the development of Queensland's Unmanned Aerial Vehicle industry, the Queensland University of Technology and CSIRO have sited their Australian Research Centre for Aerospace Automation research centre at Brisbane Airport.

The group has been testing their collision avoidance, emergency landing and separation management technologies near Kingaroy for several years and at one time UAV development had been discussed locally as a possible commercial future for the Sir Joh Bjelke-Peterson Airport precinct.

Kingaroy has also hosted the group's annual Outback Challenge competition for many years which has been testing various search and rescue technologies.

Queensland Treasurer Andrew Fraser opened the new ARCAA centre in Brisbane today. The centre will house more than 35 aviation research scientists and support staff.

* * *

Cougar Energy's Company Secretary and Chief Financial Officer Rodney Watson has resigned from the company.

The Board of Directors announced today that it had appointed Sarah Christensen as Company Secretary and current financial controller Rajeev Chandra as CFO.

Cougar Energy shares, which only resumed trading yesterday, slumped to a three-year low of 3.1 cents after the announcement.
End of An Era In Kilkivan
September 2, 2010 - The rail era officially ended in Kilkivan this week with the removal of the historic Bridge Street rail bridge.

The small wooden bridge was built in 1888 and allowed traffic to cross above the now closed (and rapidly disappearing) Theebine to Kingaroy rail link.

The former Kilkivan Shire Council negotiated with the Queensland Government to remove the bridge as part of a compensation deal struck after the closure of the Theebine railway line.

The rail embankment will now be filled and a new roadway will be built in place of the bridge.
Qld Government Holds Key To Cougar's Future
September 1, 2010 - The ability of Cougar Energy to continue as a going concern is dependent upon it raising new capital and on the State Government lifting the Environmental Protection Order on its Kingaroy UCG project.

Cougar Energy's Preliminary Annual Report released today reveals the company incurred a loss of $4.09 million (more than $1m more than the previous 12 months) and had cash outflows of $4.65 million (more than double from the previous year) during the year ended June 30.

Assets totalled $37.6 million but the report states that in the event Cougar Energy is not permitted to proceed with its Kingaroy project, the value of its Kingaroy assets would be impaired. It has been estimated this writedown could be as much as $26 million.

The company's forecast working capital requirements for the next 12 months exceeds the company's current cash position.

"This indicates a material uncertainty that may cast doubt over the Company's ability to continue as a going concern, unless additional capital can be raised," the report states.

However Directors believe there is "a reasonable expectation" that they can raise additional funding.


* * *

The Kingaroy Concerned Citizens Group has released three protest signs which it is urging South Burnett residents who oppose Underground Coal Gasification to post prominently around town.

The signs, (right), read "Ban UCG Now", "UCG is Toxic" and "UCG Planned Here". They are available as a set of three for $10. For more information, contact Gary Tessman on 0428-621-991.

* * *

UPDATE: Late this afternoon Cougar Energy announced that trading in its shares would recommence on the ASX tomorrow (September 2).

The company also released its new share prospectus, details of its ongoing equity financing and the text of a letter to shareholders where it has vigorously defended its environmental record and the safety of its Kingaroy UCG Project.
Artists impression of UCG wellCougar Requests Another Suspension To Share Trading
August 31, 2010 - Cougar Energy has again requested an extension to its voluntary suspension of share trading, this time to September 2.

Cougar told the ASX yesterday that is "finalising the terms of a financing facility" and is also finalising the preparation of its annual accounts.

"These accounts will be lodged at the same time as a prospectus ... to permit the Company to issue new fully paid ordinary shares that may be traded without restriction," Cougar said.

Meanwhile, a Cougar spokesman said yesterday company representatives would meet with Queensland Government officials this week to clarify their request for additional information about the Kingaroy Environmental Evaluation Report.

The report by Cougar was submitted to the Department of Environment and Resource Management on August 16 however DERM later notified that it had not accepted the report and would advise of "any further regulatory requirements in due course".

The Cougar spokesman said the company intends to respond as quickly as possible to any requests for further information and remains committed to re-commencing operations at its Kingaroy UCG project.
Government Will 'Do Everything
It Can' To Help Pork Industry
August 30, 2010 - The State Government wants to do "everything it can" to grow the Queensland pork industry, Primary Industries Minister Tim Mulherin said last week after visiting Swickers Bacon Factory in Kingaroy.

Mr Mulherin said the visit was part of his state-wide strategy to conduct face-to-face meetings with companies that are adding value to primary industries.

"It’s important to meet the people behind these operations, see what they are doing and find out if we can help them to expand and employ more Queenslanders," he said.

Mr Mulherin said the pork industry was expected to contribute $240 million to Queensland's economy this financial year.

"We want to do everything we can to grow the industry to be sustainable and profitable into the future," he said.