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KCCI Seeks Input On Its Future From Members Tonight
August 2, 2010 - The Kingaroy Chamber of Commerce and Industry is holding its August Meet'n'Greet from 5:30pm tonight at CTC Employment Services, 101 Youngman Street, Kingaroy (just behind Subway).

As well as guest speakers from CTC Employment and the South Burnett Regional Council, the KCCI will also be seeking input from members on the following topics:

  • Is the KCCI a relevant support entity for businesses in Kingaroy - looking forward?

  • If not, what form could a support entity take?

The KCCI's Annual General Meeting is scheduled to be held in November. The current President (Leanne Stallwood), Treasurer (John Carey) and Secretary (Polly Birchall) have all 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.

KCCI Project Officer Kylie Schulte recently wrote to all KCCI members encouraging them to consider nominating for these positions.
Cougar Quizzed By ASX Over Kingaroy Water Contamination
July 30, 2010 - Cougar Energy has replied to a series of questions posed to the company by the Australian Stock Exchange in the wake of its $1.23 million share issue in mid-July this year and the water contamination scare that followed at its Kingaroy UCG plant shortly afterwards.

The ASX quizzed Cougar about exactly when it first became aware that benzene and toluene had been detected in groundwater; when it first learned of the DERM order; and why it didn't release the information to the market at an earlier time.

In its reply, Cougar states that it didn't have enough information to determine whether the recorded levels were related to the company's activities as hydrocarbons can derive from a number of sources.

Cougar also said it didn't consider that the test results indicated that serious or material environmental harm had been or was being caused.

"If DERM considered that the Test Results indicated a threat to the environment, the company would have expected DERM to contact it immediately," the letter to the ASX states.

Patrick is 2010
Student of the Year
July 29, 2010 - Nanango State High School student Patrick Walsh, (pictured, right, with Kingaroy Quota Club president Wendy Tully), was named Quota International of Kingaroy's 2010 Student of the Year at a ceremony held at the 1938 Council Chambers in Kingaroy last Saturday night.

Patrick, from Year 12, competed against students from Kingaroy and Nanango State High Schools. The students were quizzed on their general knowledge and then presented prepared and impromptu speeches in front of a small audience.

Patrick was presented with a cheque for $100 and now has the opportunity to win a $2000 bursary from Quota International for his tertiary studies at the district finals which will be held in at Coolum on August 14.
Les is a STAR at CTC
July 28, 2010 - The leader of Cherbourg's Safe Haven program, Les Stewart, (right), was presented with the inaugural Howard Leisemann STAR Award at the recent CTC Staff Day held at the Murgon PCYC.

STAR stands for "Service, Teamwork, Attitude and Reliability" and will be presented annually to the CTC staff member who has made an outstanding contribution in the area of service, has promoted teamwork and collaboration and has done so with a positive, dedicated and forward-thinking attitude.

CTC's Safe Haven team includes a community capacity building program, family support and youth workers and the Community Patrol which operates Wednesday through to Saturday between 5:00pm and 1:00am.

Les won the award from 17 nominations.

The STAR award has been initiated in honour of CTC's long-serving Chairman Howard Leisemann.
Action Group Urges Public To Attend UCG Meeting
Cougar Energy trial site

July 27, 2010 - The Kingaroy Concerned Citizens Group has invited all South Burnett residents to attend a public meeting to be held from 7:00pm tonight in the Tobruk Room at the Kingaroy RSL.

Spokesman Gary Tessmann said the meeting would discuss the recent water contamination near Cougar Energy's Underground Coal Gasification (UCG) trial plant, (above), as well as proposals by other companies for more UCG plants in the South Burnett.

"Companies with UCG interests now have exploration permits under about 35 per cent of Kingaroy residential homes and businesses," Mr Tessmann said.

"It is the view of the Kingaroy Concerned Citizens Group that all South Burnett residents need to be informed about these matters which concern land valuation, and coal and power industry activity that may potentially occur within 0.5 km of the town centre. Our silence is our consent to UCG.

"Only by attending this meeting can we become informed and express our concern. UCG is not an option for the South Burnett."

The State Government has imposed a moratorium on new UCG projects until the safety of the industry can be established.

Michael Slots In On Radio 1071
July 26, 2010 - A familiar local voice will be hitting the airwaves this afternoon on 1071AM.

Michael Monk - also known as DJdirex to younger folk about the South Burnett - will be hosting the Drivetime slot (3:00pm-6:00pm) throughout August.

The local promoter and entertainer is also well-known for his MC duties, including last year's Kingaroy Peanut Festival, Wine and Food in the Park, and Wondai's Funky Futures Festival.

Michael, (right), told SBBiz he'll be talking local issues, having fun with "Impossible Questions" and playing plenty of great music on 1071.

And next Saturday, Michael will again be in action as an MC at the Quota Oaks Day "races" which will be held at the Kingaroy Senior Citizens Club from 4:30pm.
Cougar Sacks
Kingaroy Workers
July 23, 2010 - Cougar Energy Managing Director Dr Len Walker announced this afternoon that the ongoing uncertainty around the company's Kingaroy UCG trial had forced it to sack employees in Kingaroy, Brisbane and Melbourne.

It's believed about 20 workers - about half of whom were based in Kingaroy - have lost their jobs.

Dr Walker told SBBiz that Cougar had been working three shifts per day at the Kingaroy project but because the site had now been put into care and maintenance mode, only one day shift was now required.

Cougar was forced to lay off the other employees as the company had no idea when the State Government would allow the project to restart.

"I'd like to pay a quiet tribute to all our staff," Dr Walker said. "They've all been passionate about this technology and this plant site which is probably unique in the world."

Dr Walker said the uncertainty and delay had not only been a disappointment to him but also to all Cougar's employees.
Classical Choir To
Perform This Sunday
July 23, 2010 - It's not every weekend you can hear a nationally renowned choir perform classical music in Kingaroy ... but you can this Sunday.

The Brisbane Chamber Choir will be performing a repertoire of German masters at the St John's Lutheran College Hall from 2:30pm.

Cost for the Singfest Showcase Concert is just $12 ($8 for aged pensioners and high school students), with under 12s free. A family ticket is $25. Tickets will be available at the door.

The Brisbane Chamber Choir, which was formed in 1997, is one of Australia's most exciting choral ensembles. It has toured Sydney (2007) and Melbourne (2006) to rave reviews and earlier this year presented Handel's Messiah in Brisbane.

The repertoire for its Kingaroy performance will be selected from works by Pachebel, Bach, Mendelssohn, Bruckner and Busslied. It will also perform selected numbers with local singers who have formed a Singfest Choir just for this occasion.

The Singfest Showcase Concert is the culmination of a weekend of training workshops organised by South Burnett Arts Inc in partnership with the Brisbane Chamber Choir and the South Burnett Regional Council's Regional Arts Development Fund.

For more information contact Jane Iszlaub
Council Budgets For $650,000 Surplus

July 22, 2010 - The South Burnett Regional Council passed its slightly delayed Budget for 2010-11 at a council meeting yesterday.

General rates revenue will rise 5 per cent and ratepayers will also notice the introduction of a small levy to assist aerial medical evacuation units.

Council has budgeted for an overall expenditure of $63.3 million with almost 80 per cent of this dedicated to service delivery and infrastructure. Importantly, there is also a small surplus of $650,000.

Fears that the Coolabunia Saleyards are about to be sold may fade with the announcement that more than $600,000 will be spent on upgrades to it and Yallakool Tourist Park.

A uniform rating system has been introduced across the region, including one differential rating category for all rural properties. Waste water charges have also been standardised.

Mayor David Carter said it was one of the toughest budgets he had been involved in but he was proud of what Councillors and staff had been able to achieve.

He said the 5 per cent increase had been due largely to costs imposed on Council by the State Government such as the ongoing costs of amalgamation, removal of State Government subsidies and new regulations such as the new Dog and Cat Legislation.

"Our Council would actually have been able to cut rates if we didn't have the huge impact of so many State Government costs we must now bear," he said.
Kunioon Mine Now On Hold To At Least 2025
July 22, 2010 - Tarong Energy confirmed this week that the Meandu Coal Mine will be used to supply Tarong Power Station until at least 2025.

It said this followed extensive investigations to determine the quantity of economically viable coal at Meandu Mine.

Tarong CEO Helen Gluer said the corporation has scaled back its activities at Kunioon because there was no longer an urgent need to establish a mining lease however some exploration and environmental activities would continue.

"The Corporation will remain in the market for land in the Kunioon Mine area as the resource remains an important part of the Corporation's fuel supply strategy," she said.

"Since taking ownership of the Meandu/Kunioon resources in February 2008, Tarong Energy has undertaken an extensive program to determine the quantity, quality and cost of extracting the coal from both resources.

"This information has provided the basis for our decision to continue at Meandu Mine. The mine will sustain our power generating and mining operations in the long-term and ensure jobs and investment stay in the South Burnett region.

"While most mine development related activities on the Kunioon resource have been scaled back, the information we have gathered through environmental impact studies, land acquisitions and drilling has laid a solid foundation for future planning and mine development at Kunioon sometime in the future."
Scientists To Meet With Community
July 22, 2010 - The Independent Scientific Expert Panel examining Queensland's Underground Coal Gasification trials will meet with the Kingaroy community to discuss the results of its environmental evaluation of the Cougar Energy project, South Burnett Mayor David Carter said today.

He said Department of Environment and Resource Management Director-General John Bradley had confirmed to him that the meeting would take place as soon as the environmental evaluation was complete.

The Independent Scientific Expert Panel has been appointed by the State Government to assist with the preparation of a Government Report on the future of the UCG industry.

The panel consists of Prof Chris Moran, former CSIRO scientist and founding director of the Centre for Water in the Minerals Industry at the University of Queensland; Prof Joe da Costa from the Centre of Coal Energy Technology at the University of Queensland; and Dr Christopher Cuff, former Dean of Science at James Cook University and currently Director of C&R Consulting (Geochemical and Hydrobiological Solutions) Pty Ltd.

DERM To Post Water Test Results Online
July 22, 2010 - The Department of Environment and Resource Management (DERM) has created an area on its website specifically dedicated to Cougar Energy's trial Underground Coal Gasification project near Kingaroy.

A DERM spokesman told SBBiz last night that future results of water tests would be posted on this website when they become available.

DERM has also released a new information sheet about Cougar's trial project and the recent water contamination scare.

  • Download the information sheet

  • DERM website

  • Residents who have concerns about the water supply can also call Cougar Energy toll-free on 1800-259-010.
Angry Residents Call For Cougar Trial To Be Shut Down

July 21, 2010 - A motion that the Cougar Energy underground coal gasification trial be permanently shut down was passed unanimously at last night's town meeting in Kingaroy.

Members of the Kingaroy Concerned Citizens Group said a permanent ban on the Cougar "experiment" was the only way the State Government would be able to demonstrate to the people of Queensland that it had strong environmental credentials.

About 150 local residents attended the sometimes fiery gathering at Kingaroy Town Hall.

Natural Resources, Mines and Energy Minister Stephen Robertson and Department of Environment and Resource Management Director-General John Bradley fielded questions at the meeting, which was also attended by South Burnett Mayor David Carter, local councillors, State Member for Nanango Dorothy Pratt and representatives from Cougar Energy.

Coolabunia farmer Damien O'Sullivan told SBBiz that local residents had made the Minister and his Director-General "well aware" of their "concern and disgust" at the Cougar project.

Mr Robertson told the meeting an investigation into the water contamination was underway and assured residents if the Cougar project was unsafe, it would be halted.

Cougar Crisis Meeting This Afternoon

July 20, 2010 - South Burnett Mayor David Carter, Member for Nanango Dorothy Pratt and local landholders will meet with Natural Resources, Mines and Energy Minister Stephen Robertson at 4:30pm this afternoon to discuss the Cougar Energy water contamination scare.

The meeting, to be held at the Council Chambers in Kingaroy, will also include John Bradley, Director-General of the Department of Environment and Resource Management (DERM).

The Kingaroy Concerned Citizens Group is urging all affected residents to attend this meeting to "make the South Burnett's feelings regarding this project" known.

The group believes a permanent ban on Cougar's Underground Coal Gasification project is the "only acceptable solution".

Water Test Was 84 Times Over Limit
July 19, 2010 - A leaked briefing paper from the Department of Environment and Resource Management shows Cougar Energy told DERM on July 13 that benzene levels had been detected in a bore at its Underground Coal Gasification project site near Kingaroy at 84ppb - 84 times the recommended limit.

The Australian Drinking Water Guideline value for benzene is 0.001mg/L or 1ug/L which is equivalent to 1ppb.

DERM claims Cougar's laboratory finalised these results on July 8 but it took the company five days to notify the department.

Get BSA Compliant
NOW or Risk a Fine!
July 16, 2010 - Some South Burnett fencing contractors have already been fined and if recent public notices in newspapers are a guide, the Building Services Authority is about to pounce on other local tradespeople, too.

The BSA has begun to strongly enforce legislation passed on December 21, 2007 which makes it an offence for a person who does not hold a BSA contractor's licence to advertise to carry out any building work in Queensland unless their advertisement states the value of the work they are entitled to carry out without a licence.

Advertising by unlicensed contractors must include a "value statement" such as "cannot perform building work valued in excess of $3300" or "cannot install signs over 3m in height or valued in excess of $5000".

Unlicensed hydraulic services designers must state "cannot perform building work value in excess of $1100". Unlicensed fencers (pastoral and agricultural fencing) must state "cannot perform building work valued in excess of $27,500".

As well, the BSA is cracking down on licensed building contractors who are required by law to state their name and licence number in all advertising (this includes the Yellow Pages, signwriting on the side of vehicles and all media).

A BSA licence is required for the following work, regardless of the value:

  • Plumbing & Drainage
  • Gas Fitting
  • Hot Water Systems (although a licensed electrician can install a hot water system without a BSA licence)
  • Fire Protection
  • Hydraulic Services Design (work up to $1100 can be done without a licence)
  • Pest Control (chemical)
  • Completed Residential Building Inspection
  • Building Design - Low Rise, Medium Rise and Open
  • Site Classification

The following job descriptions either require a BSA Licence or a "value statement" by unlicensed contractors:

    Air-Conditioning Installation, Awnings & Canvas, Bathrooms, Bricklaying, Builders, Building Inspections / Services, Cabinetmakers, Carpenters, Carports, Concrete & Driveways, Fencing, Floors & Sanding, Garages / Garage Doors, Gates, Glass & Glazing, Guttering, Handyman, Heating, Home Improvements, Irrigation & Pumps, Kitchens, Landscaping (retaining walls, paths, paving, pergolas), Leadlighting, Metal Fabrication, Painting (but not wallpaper), Patios, Decks & Pergolas, Paving, Plaster, Property Maintenance (unless limited to lawns & gardens), Renovators, Restumping, Roofs & Roof Restoration, Screens, Doors & Grills, Sewage & Waste Water Treatment, Shade Sails, Signage, Skylights & Ventilators, Stair Replacement, Stonemasons / Stonework, Swimming Pools & Spas, Tiling, Wardrobes (built-in), Water Tanks & Bores, Windows & Doors

  • A licensed contractor who places a non-compliant advertisement will receive a warning for a first offence and a fine for any subsequent offence.

  • An unlicensed contractor will receive a $1000 fine for a first offence. Subsequent offences will be prosecuted in court where a maximum fine of $10,000 per offence will be sought.

SBBiz is endeavouring to contact all local tradespeople whom we believe may be affected by this crackdown to ensure their listing is recorded accurately.

But please DO NOT wait to hear from us ... contact us immediately on (07) 4163-6854 or 0419-739-689 if you believe there may be a problem. And don't forget to warn your mates, too!

Ironically - and despite recent tragic events - insulation is NOT considered building work so it not covered by this legislation.
Well-Known Kingaroy
Business To Close
July 15, 2010 - Kingaroy's only specialist CD shop, Volume II, in Shoppingworld will close on Friday.

Volume II was started by popular Kingaroy businesspeople Brenda and Denver Tuite. It's name reflected the fact that the Tuites' main store at that time was located in Kingaroy Street.

In August 2007, the Tuites sold the Volume II business to Kath Madder.

The closure was probably inevitable following the growth in both legal and illegal downloads of music from the Internet. According to a recent report in the Sydney Morning Herald, illegal downloads by Australians soared 33.6 per cent to 1,049,000 last year. Legal downloads from sites such as Bigpond Music are also increasing in popularity.

Ironically, when SBBiz contacted Volume II today to get a comment, staff were too busy to talk ... it seems their clearance sale is attracting a lot of last-minute customers!
Artists impression of UCG wellCougar Gets Ready To
Re-ignite Coal Seam
July 14, 2010 - Cougar Energy has told the Australian Stock Exchange gas production at its Underground Coal Gasification test plant near Kingaroy has been scheduled to restart in the last week of this month.

In a statement released today, Cougar said the installation of two new production wells (dubbed P5 and P6) was complete.

This follows a hitch in April when blockages forced Cougar to shut down its P1 and P4 wells.

Final site preparation work has commenced, involving assembling and testing of pipework and electrical systems, air injection testing for the new wells, and preparation of the coal seam prior to ignition.

Cougar also told the ASX that its recent share placement raised $1.23 million. These funds will be used to advance several projects, including the Kingaroy test project, a joint venture in Western Australia and preliminary funding of projects in China.
Wine Industry Urges South Burnett 'To Go It Alone'
July 13, 2010 - South Burnett Wine Industry Association (SBWIA) members voted unanimously last night to support the formation of an independent South Burnett Tourism Association rather than support a proposed merger with Toowoomba.

The vote follows SBTA discussions about a possible de-merger from Fraser Coast South Burnett Tourism to join the Toowoomba & The Golden West Tourism association.

FCSBT and TGWT are currently seeking funding to investigate the implications of such a merger. SBTA president Neil Archer will meet with the TGWT Executive next Monday to discuss a merger and will report back to the next SBTA meeting on July 29.

The SBWIA is a member of the SBTA and most SBWIA members are also individual members of the SBTA.

The SBWIA will also push for the South Burnett Regional Council to withdraw its financial support (suggested to be $35,000 a year) from FCSBT and put it towards an independent South Burnett body to promote both wine and tourism.

  • Last month Tourism Queensland announced that overall tourism numbers to the Fraser Coast-South Burnett had collapsed by 12% for the year ended March 2010. Interstate visitors were down 28%. Both FCSBT and TGWT are funded by Tourism Queensland.

UPDATE July 21, 2010 - It was announced today that TGWT will receive $42,800 from the State Government to lead a project "to move administration of tourism in the South Burnett region to Toowoomba and the Golden West". TGWT will also receive $8955 to host a Southern Queensland tourism conference in partnership with Toowoomba Events, Brisbane Marketing, Fraser Coast and South Burnett Tourism, and Southern Downs and Granite Belt Regional Tourism.
$21,985 Boost
For Local Sports Clubs
July 12, 2010 - South Burnett sporting groups have received a welcome boost from the latest round of the State Government's Sport and Recreation Active Inclusion program.

Groups to receive funding include:

  • Bushrangers Rugby League Football Club to conduct coach training and volunteer governance training - $4800;

  • Kingaroy Netball Association to conduct coaching foundation and development courses and umpire level 1 and 2 accreditation courses to support netball at Kingaroy - $2955;

  • Kingaroy Senior Soccer Club to conduct a funding applications workshop - $5000;

  • Kingaroy Swimming Club to provide a 10-week participation program for swimmers and conduct a coach training and mentoring program - $4880; and

  • South Burnett Junior Rugby League Inc to conduct a "come and try" day to support rugby league in the South Burnett - $4350.