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Council To Investigate Alleged Illegal Clearing
August 27, 2010 - South Burnett Regional Council will investigate what they claim is illegal clearing of vegetation at a rural residential development on Kingaroy-Burrandowan and Boonenne-Ellesmere roads, Kingaroy.

The development, by Crystal Property Investment Pty Ltd, is for 40 rural residential allotments and was approved by Kingaroy Shire Council in 2007.

It is understood the site is currently subject to a mortgagee sale.

In December 2008, Crystal submitted a request to delete a condition that prevented it from burning felled timber on the site. In March, 2009, councillors recommended that the Mayor, CEO and relevant officers discuss with the developers alternative solutions to disposing of the timber.

At this month's meeting, councillors voted to refuse the application to remove the condition, stating that burning the felled timber was not feasible due to protected vegetation on the site, the bushfire hazard and the significant number of firefighters and equipment which would be involved.

Councillors then voted unanimously to investigate the options available as it believed illegal clearing had occurred on part of the development.
Government Refuses To Lift UCG Ban
August 26, 2010 - Queensland Minister for Climate Change and Sustainability Kate Jones told last night's public meeting in Kingaroy that the State Government has rejected Cougar Energy's environmental assessment report into the recent water contamination scare and has demanded the company provide more information.

Cougar lodged an Environmental Evaluation report with the government earlier this month in response to questions about the groundwater conditions at its Kingaroy UCG site.

The Courier-Mail newspaper reported today that the State Government would now conduct its own investigation and would not lift the environmental protection order which is preventing Cougar from re-igniting its project.

Draft Maps Released
Of 'Protected' Land
August 25, 2010 - The State Government has released "Draft Trigger Maps" of food producing land that it has identified should be protected for future generations.

The areas, which are subject to on-site assessment, stretch from the NSW border west to Alpha and north to Cairns, (right).

Strategic cropping land is defined as land on which soil quality, topography and seasonal rainfall combined enable more than one quality crop to be grown on a commercial agricultural basis.

Mineral resources in these areas will not be developed "where they permanently alienate the land".

"Where a development is proposed in an area that is mapped as Strategic Cropping Land, it will not be permitted to proceed if it permanently prevents the land being used for cropping in the future, " Natural Resources Minister Stephen Robertson said.

"There will be a provision for a 'demonstrated exceptional circumstance' where there was a unique resource found nowhere else in Queensland - but these will be few and far between.

"Based on current technology at least, it would be difficult to see how an open cut coal mine could proceed on Strategic Cropping Land, whereas well-designed coal seam gas operations may be able to be accommodated under this policy without alienating the land.''

More detailed maps can be downloaded online from the DERM website
ANZ Seeds of Renewal
Grants Close Next Week
August 24, 2010 - The deadline is looming for the ANZ Bank's Seeds of Renewal program.

Individual grants of up to $15,000 are available to fund projects that create education and employment opportunities, build financial capability, help to bridge urban and rural social and economic gaps or support disaster recovery or preparedness.

The program is funded by ANZ and independently administered through a partnership with the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal.

Grants are open to not-for-profit organisations in communities with a population of 15,000 people or less.

For more information or to apply for an ANZ Seeds of Renewal grant, visit www.frrr.org.au

Applications close at 5:00pm on September 3, 2010. Successful applicants will be notified in late October.
Cougar Energy trial siteUCG Expert Panel
To Visit Kingaroy
August 23, 2010 - The State Government's Underground Coal Gasification Expert Panel will visit Kingaroy this week and residents will have an opportunity to raise their concerns about the local Cougar Energy project, (right), with them.

South Burnett Regional Mayor David Carter said the panel members would attend a meeting in the Kingaroy Town Hall Reception Room on Wednesday (August 25) from 7.00-9.00pm.

Invitations have been extended to the members of the Kingaroy Concerned Citizens Group and the Kingaroy Cougar Consultative Committee to attend.

Cr Carter said other concerned citizens of the region were also welcome to attend.

The panel consists of three independent specialists who will provide an assessment of the environmental, technical and economic viability of UCG technology and report back to the State Government.

Prof Chris Moran is a founding director for the Centre for Water in the Minerals Industry at UQ, and worked in CSIRO for 16 years in natural resources science and agriculture. He has 20 years experience in landscape and water research.

Prof Joe da Costa is based at the Centre for Coal Energy Technology, School of Chemical Engineering at UQ. He is a researcher on the application of nanotechnology for clean energy delivery and carbon capture technologies.

Dr Christopher Cuff is the Director of C&R Consulting and a chemical mineralogist with an international reputation for his expertise on the interaction of water and soil. He is also a former Dean of Science at James Cook University.
The 16 Hopefuls Looking For Your Vote!
August 20, 2010 - The South Burnett region is sliced into three Federal electorates which means there are 16 hopefuls who are vying to represent the area at tomorrow's election:

FLYNN

In Ballot Paper order:
1. Di Hancock-Mills (Family First) - real estate agent
2. Ken O'Dowd (Liberal National Party) - business owner
3. John McMahon (Democratic Labor Party) - pensioner
4. Chris Trevor (Australian Labor Party) - sitting Member of Parliament
5. Scott Duncan (Independent) - dairy farmer
6. Anne Goddard (The Greens) - farmer

MARANOA

In Ballot Paper order:
1. Bruce Scott (Liberal National Party) - sitting Member of Parliament
2. Grant Newson (The Greens) - self-employed
3. Greg McKay (Family First) - miner
4. Geoff Keating (Australian Labor Party) - teacher
5. Charles Nason (Independent) - primary producer

WIDE BAY

In Ballot Paper order:
1. Warren Truss (Liberal National Party) - sitting Member of Parliament
2. Santo Ferraro (One Nation) - property manager
3. Ken Herschell (Family First) - retired missionary teacher / pilot
4. Jim McDonald (The Greens) - retired academic
5. Nikolee Ansell (Australian Labor Party) - landscape architect

How To Make Your Vote Count

For the House of Representatives, put a "1" in the box on the green ballot paper beside the candidate who is your first choice, "2" against your second choice etc. You must number EVERY box for your vote to count.

There are two ways to vote for your Senate selections (white ballot paper):

  • Above the line - put a "1" in ONE box only above the black line. The rest of the ballot paper must be left blank.

    OR

  • Below the line - fill in EVERY box below the line in your order of preference, ie 1, 2, 3 etc. You must number EVERY box for your vote to count. The top part of the ballot paper must be left blank.

  • Click here to find the closest polling booth

    Remember voting is compulsory.

    UPDATE August 22: Successful candidates were:

  • Ken O'Dowd (Flynn - took seat from Labor),

  • Warren Truss (Wide Bay - re-relected); and

  • Bruce Scott (Maranoa - re-elected)
  • Classical Music is
    Bloomin' In Blackbutt
    August 19, 2010 - The Brisbane Philharmonic Orchestra will be performing in Blackbutt next month as the major fundraiser for the Bloomin' Beautiful Blackbutt Festival.

    The BPO is the only Queensland community orchestra to have been recognised at the National Orchestral Awards.

    The program will consist of a special performance of the Bach Double Violin Concerto performed by Yvette McKinnon and Robyn Weir along with a mix of classical and popular favourites.

    The Classics At The Conservatory concert will be held at the Blackbutt Community Hall on Saturday, September 11 from 7:00pm.

    Tickets are strictly limited. Cost is $25 for adults ($20 concession). For more information and to book your seat, phone (07) 4163-0135.

    ABOVE RIGHT: From left, BPO members Robyn Weir, Neridah Oostenbroek, David Miller and Melanie Doheny
    John Unveils His 2009 Shiraz
    August 18, 2010 - The South Burnett's smallest vineyard, Kingaroy Ridge (home to Cahills Wines) released its 2009 Shiraz this week, filling a big gap in the label's range.

    Owner John Cahill, (right), said the last vintage had sold out faster than he had anticipated. This, combined with difficult weather, meant the last shiraz he released was in 2006.

    John has also put together a matching recipe for the 2009 Shiraz, Slow-Cooked Chinese Beef (available for download on the Cahills Wine web page).

    The 2009 Shiraz is available at the Carrollee Bottleshop in Kingaroy along with John's Unwooded Chardonnay and Tawny Port.

    * * *


    A magnitude 2.6 earthquake rattled windows but caused no damage in Yarraman and nearby areas at 6:56pm on Sunday.

    The epicentre of the tremor was east of Nanango, in the State Forestry area.

    To see a seismogram of the quake, visit the Geoscience Australia website

    * * *


    Cougar Energy has requested another extension to the suspension of trading in its shares.

    It has asked the ASX to continue the halt until August 30 to allow it to prepare a new prospectus.

    Cougar has also advised that it has lodged an Environmental Evaluation report with the State Government in response to questions about the groundwater conditions at its Kingaroy UCG site and the impact of the casing failure which led to the UCG trial being prematurely shut down.
    Register Now For Relay For Life!
    August 17, 2010 - This year's South Burnett Relay For Life will be held at Kingaroy Showgrounds on October 9-10 ... so it's time to get your team together and start fundraising!

    At the moment the Proston RFL team is leading the tally but there's plenty of time left. The 2009 event, which was held in Murgon, raised an amazing $78,833.31 for the Cancer Council.

    To register a team, click the "create" button on the Relay For Life website

    You'll need a credit card to pay the registration fee ($11 per child and $15 per adult). You can either register your entire team at once or just register a team captain then and then invite your friends to log on and join, too.

    For more information about this year's event, contact Jane on (07) 4163-6457.

    * * *


    Unidentified manKingaroy businesses may get a call today from the Missing Persons Unit in a bid to solve a two-year-old mystery ... the identity of a man, (right), found dead at Poona Dam, near Nambour, almost two years ago.

    The man, believed to be aged between 45 and 60, was carrying a Kingaroy video shop card but extensive inquiries have failed to identify him.

    However new information provided to police recently suggested the man may have frequented other businesses in Kingaroy.

    The man was wearing a red Bauhaus baseball cap, a long sleeved Duchamp black shirt, Aus sport grey tracksuit pants, white, orange and grey Fila ankle socks and a pair of Cougar white, navy, silver and orange sandshoes.

    He was approximately 178cm tall, with short straight grey hair and a heavy build. He had four tattoos on his shoulders including a Native American woman, a warrior, a shark and a buzzard.
    PCA Turnaround
    'Tracking Well'
    August 16, 2010 - The Chairman of the Peanut Company of Australia, Ian Langdon, has told shareholders the company has achieved a "sound performance" during the first quarter of the 2010-11 financial year.

    "The business turnaround plan is also tracking well and yielding clear benefits in delivering cost efficiencies and productivity improvements which will positively impact the business into the future," he said.

    In July, PCA announced it had recorded a loss of $20.01 million for the year to the end of March, due mainly to the write-down of PCA's Katherine properties which have been place on the market.

    "Although the losses from the Northern Territory operations have been significantly curtailed, PCA is still pursuing its exit strategy from corporate farming and will continue with its intention to sell the properties," Mr Langdon said.

    "Discussions continue with several interested parties in order to achieve a successful and viable exit plan."

    PCA's Annual General Meeting will be held in Brisbane on Thursday (August 19).
    Cougar Energy 'Alarmed' By Claims
    August 13, 2010 - Cougar Energy directors have expressed alarm at "misleading information" they say has been distributed during the recent water contamination scare in Kingaroy.

    "The Company and its Directors are alarmed at the misleading information being distributed by several parties in an apparent attempt to satisfy their own agendas, including the introduction and use of the expressions 'poisonous' and 'cancer-causing' in their efforts to seek attention and question the integrity of the (Cougar Energy) project," a media release from the company states.

    "Further it is important to note that two readings analysed by the independent testing laboratory proved to be false and provided incorrect results.

    "These were readings of 84ppb of benzene attributed to one of the Company's monitoring bores in the pilot plant area (200m from the gasification process) and 3ppb (trigger standard 800ppb) attributed to a distant saline water production bore.

    "The independent testing laboratory engaged by Cougar Energy has confirmed these mistakes in writing to the Company and copies of these reports have been passed on to DERM."

    New! Now You Can
    Follow Us On Facebook
    August 12, 2010: Regular readers of SouthBurnett.Biz can now follow us on the popular social media site Facebook.

    Today we added a Facebook social link to our front page (see the left-side column just above the "Discover The Magic" box).

    So if you'd like to follow SouthBurnett.Biz on Facebook in the future, all you need to is click the "Like" button.

    We'll be posting regular updates to our new Facebook page every Monday to Friday in future. These will provide a quick summary of our latest news, as well as short notes about any improvements or upgrades that we make to our core services as they occur.

    And if you want to read the full story about something that catches your eye, just click the link that we'll provide to it in every post - easy!

    You'll also have the opportunity to discuss any of the issues of the day in our Facebook page's discussion area, or simply voice your opinion about current affairs by commenting on any of the posts we make.

    We hope our new Facebook page will provide a valuable and useful addition to our services - one that lets you "talk back" to the news and share your views about important issues that affect the South Burnett. And we hope you enjoy it too!

    PS: Don't have a Facebook account yet? It's completely free and it only takes a few minutes to get one. Just click here.
    John BradleyDERM Lifts Ban On
    Use Of Groundwater
    August 11, 2010 - Restrictions on the use of groundwater bores near Cougar Energy's UCG trial plant at Kingaroy have been lifted.

    Department of Environment and Resource Management Director-General John Bradley, (right), said today the latest testing results had shown there were no concerns with water quality in the local bores.

    The use of bores in a 2km zone around the Cougar plant was banned late last month after a water contamination scare and cattle sales were temporarily halted.

    "While the latest tests show low levels of benzene and toluene at the Cougar Energy plant itself, these are below Australian Drinking Water Guideline standards and only trace levels of toluene can be detected at some neighboring bores," Mr Bradley said today.

    "After reviewing the fifth round of testing results, DERM is advising Kingaroy landholders there is no need to continue restrictions on access to groundwater sources in the 2km radius. DERM’s scientific staff consider the groundwater quality at neighbouring bores is comparable to the water quality shown in tests undertaken before the UCG plant commenced."

    Biosecurity Queensland has also confirmed no special precautions are now required before cattle in the 2km zone are taken to slaughter. Landholders had been advised previously to restrict access to the groundwater in that area for 48 hours prior to slaughter.

    Belltower Closes But
    Catering Will Continue
    August 11, 2010 - Karen Bradwell will continue her catering, decorating and event organisation business despite the upcoming closure of the Belltower Restaurant.

    Karen told SBBiz yesterday the restaurant would officially close on August 22 "due to unforeseen circumstances".

    "If you have an existing booking or a function, I will assist you to find and/or arrange a suitable alternate venue," she said.

    "If you find a suitable venue for your function, I will still be available to provide the catering and decorating for that function."

    * * *

    Last night's power blackout in Kingaroy and surrounding areas was caused by a damaged lightning arrestor on a pole just outside the Kingaroy substation.

    About 5000 customers supplied from four of the feeders at the Kingaroy substation lost power at 9:45pm.

    Supply was restored to almost 4000 customers in eastern and northern Kingaroy and Coolabunia in just over two hours after Ergon Energy crews carried out safety checks at the substation. They then replaced the lightning arrestor so supply could be restored to the remaining customers on the Kumbia feeder at 2:10am.
    Minister Meets With
    Concerned Citizens
    August 10, 2010 - Queensland Minister for Climate Change and Sustainability Kate Jones met with members of the Kingaroy Concerned Citizens Group (KCCG) at Parliament House last Thursday to discuss the recent UCG water contamination scare in Kingaroy.

    Also at the meeting were Member for Nanango Dorothy Pratt and the Director-General of the Department of Environment and Resource Management, John Bradley.

    KCCG members John Dalton and Damien O'Sullivan presented the Minister with information to support the concerns held by local residents that underground coal gasification is not appropriate in areas with valuable water resources.

    Mrs Pratt also took the Minister through a timeline of events showing the plant was not shut down until mid-July, three months after the first contamination reading.

    Concern was also raised that, although the benzene levels were now being reported at or below the acceptable drinking levels of 1 ppb, there had been no explanation for an earlier reading of 84ppb just after the trial burn.

    The KCCG members were also concerned that there had been no plan in place to restore water quality or aquifers had the full trial proceeded and produced higher contamination levels.

    After the meeting, Mrs Pratt spoke in Parliament about her frustration about the Cougar incident:


    ABOVE: Dorothy Pratt, John Dalton, Kate Jones, Damien O'Sullivan and John Bradley
    Beef-Up in Kingaroy
    August 9, 2010 - Meat and Livestock Australia will be holding one of its popular Beef-Up forums from 11:30am at the Kingaroy Town Hall reception room tomorrow.

    There'll be discussions on the key profit drivers of beef businesses and sustainability practices that can make a real difference to the bottom line, including:

    • Nutritional technologies to improve animal performance, better target markets and improve profitability.

    • Innovative heifer and breeder management practices to improve turnoff.

    • Strategies to improve land condition for long-term sustainability and greater profits.

    • Updates on the latest factors affecting markets here and overseas.
      how to improve reproductive performance and liveweight gain.

    Cost is $20 per business.

    For more information contact Rodd Dyer on (07) 3620-5234 or by email.

    * * *


    By a vote of 7-1, the South Burnett Regional Council has agreed to support the integration of South Burnett tourism with the Toowoomba Golden West tourism organisation.

    Council is currently a member of the Fraser Coast South Burnett Regional Tourism Organisation.

    It voted to support the merger despite admitting it had been misled by the Fraser Coast body over a funding application. Council believed this funding was to investigate a possible merger, however the funding (which has since been approved) was actually to implement a merger.

    All councillors, except Cr Kathy Duff, voted to "progress the potential integration" with Toowoomba and actively participate in the process.
    KCCI Backs Careflight Fundraising Scheme
    August 6, 2010 - The Kingaroy Chamber of Commerce and Industry has thrown its weight behind a fundraising initiative for the CareFlight Rescue helicopter service.

    The Careflight service, based in Toowoomba, currently is available to service the South Burnett only at weekends and during school holidays but they are working towards providing a seven-day a week service this year.

    However to do this, Careflight requires an additional $750,000 per year.

    The KCCI has launched a CareFlight Community Support Initiative where local businesses will promise to match community donations dollar-for-dollar.

    For more information download a sponsorshop proposal (1.2Mb PDF) or contact KCCI president Leanne Stallwood on (07) 4163-6006 or CareFlight Fundraising Program Manager Bianca Ousley on 1800-630-014.
    Jazz On The Lawn Key Fundraiser For Kumbia Kindy
    August 5, 2010 - Kumbia Kindergarten's popular annual fundraiser Jazz on the Lawn - which has grown into a special celebration for the whole local community - will be held at Cardowan Homestead on Sunday August 29.

    Cardowan, owned by Rick and Alice Greenup, is located about 20km north-west of Kumbia at 1563 Ironpot Road.

    Tickets for the day can be purchased online (search for "jazz"). The $45 entry fee includes champagne on arrival, a gourmet meal and entertainment from jazzman Andrew Riek. Under 18s are $20 and Under 12s free.

    "Support for this event is really key to being able to keep the centre open," spokeswoman Abigail Andersson told SBBiz.

    "Next year with changes to the government funding scheme, kindergarten will become out of reach for many working families. The government promised with the restructure it would open 112 new kindergartens but they are not even trying to keep the existing ones afloat.

    "For small kindergartens such as ours with such a small group of mothers trying to orchestrate the fundraising and do all the government requires of us on top of our own personal lives, it's a big ask."
    Graham House Wins ClimateSmart Award
    August 4, 2010 - Graham House Community Centre, in Murgon, has taken out the prestigious ClimateSmart Partnership Award at the 2010 Premier's ClimateSmart Sustainability Awards in Brisbane.

    The trophy was presented at a gala dinner attended by 500 people at the Brisbane Convention Centre.

    The Partnership Award recognises partnerships between local communities and/or government which bring about real social and ecological benefits through sustainability initiatives.

    Graham House was recognised for its Carlink project, a regional corporate carpooling facility which enables partnering organisations (government and non-government service organisations) to log and coordinate planned travel via a web interface.

    Minister for Disability Services Anna Palaszczuk congratulated Graham House saying it was a "strong example of Queensland’s commitment to environmentally sustainable enterprise and community action on climate change".

    Graham House Transport Coordinator Lesley Dennien said Graham House was extremely proud and privileged to accept the award.

    • See SBBiz May 14, 2008 - "Booklet To Help Transport Woes"
    Michael MonkSaving Money is A Snip
    August 3, 2010 - South Burnett residents from Yarraman to Goomeri are being invited to join a Secret Savers Club in a Clip Save 'N' Win flyer being distributed to mail boxes throughout the region this week.

    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.

    People who join the club will also go into a draw to win two nights' 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).

    "We feel that now is as good a time for coupon books as it can help families looking to save on purchases and stimulate the local economy at the same time whilst also helping local business to maintain trade and move stock," Michael told SBBiz.

    "The coupons are for local South Burnett businesses only and while coupon books have been seen before in the South Burnett (produced by parties from outside of the SB), Clip Save 'N' Win is compiled and produced by locals."

    Michael and Many are already hard at work producing their September edition with the deadline for advertising this Friday (August 6).

    * * *

    Cougar Energy was this morning granted a further extension until August 18 of the Voluntary Suspension from trading on the Australian Stock Exchange. A company spokesman said this was pending completion of Cougar's ongoing negotiations for a new funding package.

    Meanwhile, the Department of Environment and Resource Management says the latest results of underground water quality tests on 10 bores near Cougar's plant at Kingaroy have found traces of benzene and toluene but within Australian Drinking Water Guidelines.