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Cougar Mystery Solved

UPDATE (July 9): After initially refusing this morning to release a photograph of gas burning at the Kingaroy UCG test plant, (see story below), Cougar Energy this afternoon released this date-stamped photograph which should help clear up any lingering doubts that a flare was lit back in March.
The Tale Of The Small
Blue Flickering Flame
July 9, 2010 - Cougar Energy General Manager (Corporate Finance and Investor Relations) Brad Glynne has rejected claims from a local resident that "no one has seen a blue flame" from the company's Underground Coal Gasification (UCG) test plant, (right), near Kingaroy.

In an email to SBBiz today, the resident said the "small blue flickering flame" reported in April in The Australian was "misinformation".

In a statement to the ASX in March, Cougar reported "the successful ignition of the Kunioon coal seam". At the time, Cougar stated the main flare was ignited at 11.37pm on March 15 (see SBBiz, March 16, 2010). SBBiz asked a company spokesman to provide photographs of this milestone event but none was made available.

Mr Glynne told SBBiz today it would be a serious offence for Cougar to mislead the Australian Stock Exchange.

He said photographs were taken of the flare but "it was not really appropriate" to release them "given that the gas production went for a short period of time and then we had to rectify a problem". This short period of time, he said, was 10 days.

Asked to produce a photo to prove the flare had actually been lit in March and debunk the local claims, Mr Glynne replied "photos to us are not really critical" and re-ignition at the plant was imminent.

He said Cougar Energy had kept its investors and the public informed at all times through its releases to the ASX.
Mosaic Burns Reduce
Bushfire Destruction
July 8, 2010 - "Mosaic burning" may sound like some sort of exotic art form ... and in a way, it is. It's the art of replicating natural bushfire patterns in a landscape to maximise biodiversity.

A practical workshop on mosaic burning, organised by Landcare South East Burnett and supported by the Burnett Mary Regional Group and local rural fire brigades, will be held at Goomeri later this month to learn more about implementing patchwork burns for threat reduction while maintaining productive ecosystems.

Guest speakers will be CSIRO Fire Ecologist and Entomologist Don Sands, Sean Ryan (from Private Forestry Southern Qld) and Bill Schulke (DEEDI).

The workshop will be held at the Goomeri Golf Course, Goomeribong Road, Goomeri, from 9:00am to 4:00pm on Friday July 30. Cost is $25 per person which includes morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea.

For more information, and to RSVP, contact Penny Kennedy on (07) 4168-6179 or 0419-442-325.
Drew HuttonHutton To Address
UCG Action Meeting
July 7, 2010 - Well-known environmental campaigner Drew Hutton, (right), will be the guest speaker at the next meeting of the local residents action group Kingaroy Concerned Citizens Group Against Underground Coal Gasification.

The meeting will be held on Tuesday July 13 from 7:00pm at the DEEDI (formerly DPI) Research Station meeting room opposite Kingaroy Airport.

The meeting plans to discuss the move by Red River Resources / Black Gold Resources to investigate UCG coal near Kingaroy (see SBBiz story May 18), exploration by Cockatoo / Metallica Minerals in the region and the ongoing Cougar Energy project near Coolabunia.

For more information about the meeting, contact Gary Tessmann on (07) 4162-1991 or Damien O'Sullivan on (07) 4162-5108.
Damage To High Voltage
Cable Cuts Power Supply
July 6, 2010 - The power loss which blacked out half the Kingaroy CBD area about noon yesterday was caused when an 11,000 volt underground cable supplying the Haly Street substation was accidentally damaged.

An Ergon Energy spokesman said one of the company's borer-lifters, (similar to the vehicle pictured, right) was working adjacent to the substation when it struck the high-voltage cable, triggering automatic protection equipment which shut down the substation.

The power interruption affected 3775 customers in the eastern and northern parts of Kingaroy. Ergon crews restored power via an alternative network and all customers had power back by 2:34pm.

Specialist crews will rejoin the damaged high-voltage cable this week but Ergon does not expect there will be any further impact on power supply.
Calling All Singers!
July 5, 2010 - South Burnett Arts Inc is partnering with the Brisbane Chamber Choir to create the South Burnett Singfest on July 24-25, a weekend dedicated to choral music in Kingaroy.

The weekend includes once-in-a-lifetime learning opportunities for local singers. The program includes a workshop for local conductors, instruction on correct vocal warm-ups and techniques and addressing common singers' faults.

Singers will also learn the secrets of sound production with vocal specialist Kathryn Morton.

They will then combine to form the Singfest Choir which will work under the direction of internationally renowned choral conductor Graeme Morton, (above right), to perform for the public at a Showcase Concert from 2:30pm on Sunday July 25 at St John's Lutheran College Hall, Ivy Street, Kingaroy.

For more information contact Jane Iszlaub by email
PCA Announces $20m Loss
July 2, 2010 - The Peanut Company of Australia has recorded a loss of $20.01 million for the year to the end of March.

PCA Managing Director and Chief Executive Craig Mills said a loss had been foreshadowed in the half-yearly results but the $20.01 million figure was greater than forecast.

He said the poor result was due predominantly to the write-down of PCA's Northern Territory assets which the Company has earmarked for sale.

Mr Mills said it was important to note that PCA's current assets exceeded liabilities by approximately $22.9 million.

He assured shareholders, growers, employees and customers that the loss would not adversely affect the day-to-day operations or agreements held by PCA.

Kevin Honoured With
Top Lions Award
July 1, 2010 - Kingaroy wine producer Kevin Temperton, from Bellbird Vineyards, was presented with the prestigious Melvin Jones Fellowship award at the Kingaroy Lions Club changeover dinner at Whipbird Chapel last Saturday.

The award, named after Lions International founder Melvin Jones, is the highest form of recognition within the service movement. Fellows are selected by other club members and clubs must earn the right to nominate members for the award.

Kevin, (pictured at right with Matt Connelly), has been a Lions Club member for many years and has also served on other local committees including the Wine and Food in the Park organising committee.

Also at the dinner, Matt Connelly was officially installed as Club President for 2010-11.
Learn More About
Native Forestry
June 20, 2010 - Are you interested in growing native trees on your property? Then this is the workshop for you!

Private Forestry Southern Queensland (PFSQ) is running a Native Forest Regrowth Management Field Day near Chahpingah, west of Kingaroy, from 9:00am on Thursday, July 29.

Topics to be covered include working within the State Government's regrowth legislation, forest products, growth rates and harvest management.

For more information and to register interest in the field day, contact PFSQ on (07) 5483-6535 or by email

* * *

Meet the new owners of Taste South Burnett. Read more on South Burnett Wine
Peanuts - The New Brain Food?
June 29, 2010 - Can peanuts make you smarter? Or keep those brain cells ticking over for longer? Research to be conducted at the University of South Australia in conjunction with the Peanut Company of Australia may soon have the answer.

The Australian Research Council has announced an $80,007 grant to researchers to "evaluate peanuts as a source of bioactive nutrients for enhancement of endothelial function and cognitive performance".

The research team will be led by Dr Alison Coates who joined the University of South Australia in 2004 after completing a three-year postdoctoral fellowship in the United States.

The funding is part of the ARC's Linkage Projects scheme which enables Australian universities to undertake innovative research in partnership with industry.
Wondai Gallery
Opening This Friday
June 28, 2010 - Artworks by Proston State School students will feature in the Kidz Korner display at the Wondai Regional Art Gallery in July.

The main exhibition at the gallery will feature the Imbil Village Artists with a variety of works including pastels, watercolours and oils. Works by Marion Bennett will be in the Third Gallery.

The July exhibitions will be officially launched on Friday night with a wine and food evening from 6pm. Cost is $5 with glasses and bottles of local wine available for purchase.

The exhibitions will run at the gallery until July 31. The gallery is open 10:00am 4:00pm daily.

* * *

Did you know SupaIGA's catalogue is now available on the internet? Instead of juggling your junk mail you can now read it here:
Tourist Bodies Seek
Funding For Merger
June 25, 2010 - The likelihood of a merger between the South Burnett section of Fraser Coast South Burnett Tourism region and Toowoomba and Golden West Tourism has moved a step closer with both bodies seeking funding to cover the "costs of the implications" of a merger.

Members of the South Burnett Tourism Association (part of FCSBT) were told yesterday that "only if and when" this grant application succeeded, workshops would be held with members to work through the details of such a merger.

TGWT promotes tourism in the Darling Downs and Western Downs regions.

Merger discussions with various groups have taken place for some years (see SBBiz May 26, 2008 and September 22, 2008) and in 2009 TGWT released an "Exploring Future Directions" paper which canvassed the benefits of forming a new enlarged Regional Tourism Organisation or at least a strategic alliance with neighbouring groups.

* * *

The Wondai Timber Museum will be featured on Channel 7's The Great South East on Sunday night at 5:30pm. Don't forget to tune in!
Business Believes Better
Times Are On The Way
June 24, 2010 - Local businesses - at least those who responded to an anonymous survey conducted by Gympie Council - believe they have been hurt by the global recession but seem confident things are about to change for the better.

Consultants Boardroom Business surveyed business owners and managers about how they believed their business would fare in the coming months.

Just 253 businesses took part, including 14 in South Burnett towns.

The final report shows 41.9 per cent of respondents believe their businesses had been weaker over the past six months, while 39.9 per cent thought business had been "about the same".

Thinking about the next six months, 41.5 per cent believed their business would be "somewhat stronger" or "much stronger" while 19.7 per cent feared business would be weaker.

The major constraints on business identified were national and global economic performance (10.4 per cent) plus rising overheads and utility costs (8.1 per cent).

  • The full report can be downloaded here (2MB pdf)
Interested In A
Career In Health?
June 23, 2010 - Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander residents interested in studying a health-related discipline at undergraduate level at uni or TAFE (Cert IV and above) have been invited to apply for a scholarship from the Puggy Hunter Memorial Scholarship Scheme.

Applications for the scholarship, which is funded by the Federal Government and administered by the Royal College of Nursing, open on Saturday June 26 and close on August 20.

The scheme was established in recognition of Dr Arnold "Puggy" Hunter's significant contribution to Aboriginal and Islander health.

It covers study in the areas of health work, nursing, midwifery, mental health, medicine, health promotion, health service management, dentistry, alcohol and other drugs and allied health.

  • For more information, visit the Puggy Hunter Memorial Scholarship website
Better Quality Water
On Tap In Yarraman
June 22, 2010 - Work completed recently on Yarraman's treatment plant should improve the quality of the local water supply but Toowoomba Regional Council admits it "is not going to be perfect".

Cr Paul Antonio said staff had reviewed the operations of the plant and renewed the water filter.

"The new filter media are an improvement in quality and are more effective in removing manganese and iron from the water," he said.

"This has led to much better quality water coming out of the plant. However the water is not going to be perfect. We still have to undertake a program of mains cleaning which will be instigated early in the next financial year.

"This will help remove the residues of manganese and iron in the mains and further improve water quality."

Yarraman draws its water from the Ted Pukallus Weir, (above), which has had a long history of high manganese and iron levels, particularly after runoff from rainfall.

* * *

And a quick reminder from solicitor Paul Laurentiussen about the JA Carroll & Son Charity Golf Day in Kingaroy this Saturday. There will be a shotgun start at 11am and all funds raised will assist with the refurbishment of the birthing suites at Kingaroy Hospital.
Gumnut opening ceremonySupporters Rally to Make Laundry Service a Reality
June 21, 2010 - The Gumnut Place's new industrial laundry service was officially opened last week in Murgon after local companies and funding bodies rallied together to support the project.

The Gumnut Place, which is operated by South Burnett CTC, provides meaningful employment opportunities for people with disabilities together with support, encouragement and an opportunity to socialise. As well as the laundry service, the centre also produces trophies and woodwork, does engraving, and provides catering, gardening and maintenance services.

The Tarong Energy Community Partnership Fund, the Thiess - Tarong Coal Project, Murgon Leather and the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs all assisted CTC in getting the laundry service off the ground.

Tarong Energy Community Relations Manager Mr Tim Loth said he was proud of the support Tarong Energy was giving to community projects such as The Gumnut Place.

"We know that the Community Partnership Fund is making a difference, and we take pride in seeing each project come to fruition," he said.

"Established less than two years ago, it has already supported projects like re-establishing the Palliative Care Unit in Murgon, equipping CareFlight chopper pilots with night vision goggles, and building new play forts at Nanango State School."

ABOVE RIGHT: Warren Issac (Murgon Leather), Dave Barram (Tarong Energy) and South Burnett Mayor David Carter at The Gumnut Place opening ceremony

* * *

Barbara Wittmann, from the Eduardstrete Medical Centre in Kingaroy, has launched a petition in a bid to get the doctor's surgery re-opened, (see stories May 21 and May 28).

She told SBBiz today she would be sending the petition to both the State and Federal Health Ministers next Friday. Copies are available at the surgery, in Edward Street.
Hi-Tech Chair Donated
To Nanango Hospital
June 18, 2010 - A golf day and fundraising raffle organised by the Burnett Business Centre and the Nanango Hospital Auxiliary has raised almost $8000 for equipment at Nanango Hospital.

Nanango Hospital Director of Nursing Nyrie Roos said a Carendo chair, (similar to the one pictured, at right), had been purchased which would help with the showering of frail, elderly and disabled patients.

The choice of the high-tech chair was based on consultation with staff.

"The Nanango Hospital Auxiliary and hospital staff rolled up their sleeves to raise the remainder of funds with a monster Christmas raffle and sale of jam and mango chutney," Ms Roos said.

"We greatly appreciate these funds have been raised as it involves hard work and a committed effort. This chair will make a real difference to the patients."
New Faces At The Tinny Hotel
June 17, 2010 - New owners took over the Tingoora Hotel last Friday ... and they have some exciting plans in store for this iconic South Burnett pub, (pictured at right during the 1950s).

Bruce and Jenny Jones formerly owned "the highest pub in Australia", the Hotel Tully Falls in North Queensland, while Barbara Camp was manager.

The trio has now gone into partnership together at the Tinny.

"I've been in the hospitality industry for 32 years and now I actually own something!" Barb told SBBiz.

All the regular pub events will remain the same including live entertainment on Friday nights, but the new owners hope to also slowly add some new features.

"One thing we will be looking into is providing some accommodation, maybe putting in some motel units. A lot of people have made enquiries about it," Barb said.

The partners have also taken over the adjoining Liquor Barn, the Wondai Bottleshop and are planning on re-opening the old Ham & Coy General Store, (pictured left in 1928), to cater for Tingoora residents.
Livestock Transport
Rules Are Changing
June 16, 2010 - The Queensland Government is warning livestock transporters that they will soon need to comply with nationally endorsed standards and guidelines.

Current "model codes of practice" will be replaced by Australian standards (ie requirements that must be met) and guidelines (recommended practices to achieve desirable animal welfare outcomes).

Queensland's Animal Care and Protection Regulation 2002 is being amended this year to implement the national standards for transport of livestock by road, rail and sea. It will cover alpacas, buffalo, cattle, camels, deer, emus and ostriches, goats, horses, pigs, poultry and sheep.

The standards impose a duty of care which is shared and transferred down the line, including transport company managers (including Queensland Rail managers), owners, livestock handlers, saleyards, livestock processing plants, drivers, agents, depots and feedlots.

For more information, visit the Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation's website
Golf Day To Help
Kingaroy Hospital
Raise $8000
June 15, 2010 - Kingaroy solicitors J.A. Carroll & Son are hosting a golf day at Kingaroy Golf Club on Saturday, June 26 with the aim of raising $8000 to help upgrade the maternity ward at Kingaroy Hospital.

Solicitor Paul Laurentiussen said the money raised would cover the refurbishment of the birthing suites and allow the hospital to refresh paintwork and install new curtains.

He is seeking support from local businesses to help sponsor the event, either in the form of cash donations or suitable goods / gift vouchers to use as prizes for raffles and to present to winning players.

All funds raised will go directly to Kingaroy Hospital.

For more information about taking part in the Golf Day - or if you can help with sponsorship - please contact Paul on (07) 4162-1533 or by email