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Nanango VIC Wins Award
April 16, 2010 - The South Burnett Energy Centre / Nanango Visitor Information Centre has won a major tourism award at the Queensland Information Centre Association conference in Townsville.

The centre took out the award for "Best New or Refurbished Visitor Information Centre".

South Burnett Regional Council Director of Lifestyle and Culture Eleanor Sharpe, who oversaw the development of the new centre, said the award was an excellent outcome for not just the Energy Centre, but also the community.

"An incredible number of people and organisations were involved in this project, driving it from the planning stage to a reality, and recognition from the state body is reward for their efforts," she said.
$1.1m Boost For South Burnett Council
April 15, 2010 - Financial sustainability "remains a significant issue" for both the South Burnett and North Burnett Regional Councils, according to an independant Queensland Treasury Corporation report released today.

The QTC was called in to examine 25 submissions from local Councils seeking extra funding to cover the costs of amalgamation.

The report also identifies the Southern Downs Regional Council, Toowoomba Regional Council and Whitsunday Regional Council has having "weak forecast operating positions".

The State Government announced today that based on the QTC findings, six councils would receive top-up funding:
  • South Burnett Regional Council: $1.127 million;
  • North Burnett Regional Council: $348,524;
  • Southern Downs Regional Council: $2.38 million;
  • Scenic Rim Regional Council: $2.79 million;
  • Isaac Regional Council: $4.06 million; and
  • Torres Strait Island Regional Council - $7.58 million.
Toowoomba and Whitsunday Regional Councils were not successful in gaining extra funding as "both of these local governments have already received a considerable financial boost", ie the Toowoomba Pipeline project and airport and sewage upgrades in the Whitsundays.

Download the State Government's press release (14kb PDF)
Solar Bonus Scheme Puts The Sun To Work For You
April 14, 2010 - Local businessman Martin Stern is urging South Burnett residents to take advantage of the State Government's Solar Bonus Scheme and investigate installing a solar electricity system.

Martin recently launched Kingaroy Solar Centre and can arrange installation of Edwards solar hot water systems as well free-standing and grid-connected solar power systems throughout the South Burnett.

Martin told SBBiz that the Solar Bonus Scheme pays customers 44 cents per kilowatt-hour for all surplus electricity generated by their roof-top solar panels.

The State Government said yesterday there were currently more than 22,400 electricity customers being paid by the scheme throughout Queensland.

Kingaroy Solar Centre can be contacted on (07) 4168-0221 or by email
Cougar Appoints Executive Team
April 13, 2010 - Cougar Energy has appointed a new executive team who will report directly to founder and managing director Dr Len Walker on the development of its underground coal gasification (UCG) project near Kingaroy.

The executive team will "lead the company through an increasingly active period of project development and commercialisation of the UCG process", according to a Cougar press release.

The team are John Henderson (General Manager - Projects), Andrew Brown (General Manager - Technology), Brad Glynne (General Manager - Corporate Finance and Investor Relations), Valeri Melik (General Manager - Project Services), Rodney Watson (Company Secretary) and Rajeev Chandra (Financial Controller).

Peter South will take over the role as Site Manager - Kingaroy Project. Mr South has already spent five months in the role of Operations Manager at the Coolabunia site.

Cougar Energy also announced that it was continuing to evaluate the performance of its UCG wells and gas processing plant near Kingaroy and will start publishing periodic updates soon.
A Funky Future in June For Wondai
April 12, 2010 - A funky festival which last occurred in 2008 will be re-launched in the South Burnett in June with a green theme and an emphasis on arts, food, wine and music.

The Funky Futures festival on June 11-12 in Wondai is being organised by the Burnett Inland Economic Development Organisation (BIEDO) with sponsorship from Tarong Energy, the State Government and the South Burnett Regional Council.

Organisers say it will be "seven festivals rolled into one" ... an Ed Fest, EnviroFest, FoodFest, FilmFest, ArtFest, MusicFest and PamperFest!

June 11 is Schools Day and will be hosted at Wondai State School. It's open to students, parents and teachers; June 12 is Community Day at the Wondai Sportsgrounds and is open to everyone.

For more information, visit the Funky Futures website
Big Weekend of Things To Do!
April 9, 2010 - One of the South Burnett's major tourist drawcards, the annual Kilkivan Great Horse Ride will be held this weekend in Kilkivan.

Although there's plenty to see and do, the highlight will mostly likely be
the grand parade along the main street of Kilkivan from 4:00pm tomorrow.

At the southern end of the region, the 101st annual Nanango Show will be drawing crowds to the Nanango Showgrounds from 7:00am.

There'll be a Grand Parade, bobcat challenge, monster trucks, a ute muster, rodeo, live entertainment and fireworks in the evening!
Meet Stanley the Soil Sample
(and his embarrassing fungal problem)
April 8, 2010 - South Burnett farmers ... if you want to learn more about Stanley (and soil samples like him), South East Burnett Landcare is holding a Biological Farming seminar on May 5 at Booubyjan.

The day, which will begin at Booubyjan Hall at 9:00am, will focus on the practical implementation of improved land management practices.

Learn how Stanley started to feel better when he got his microbes in balance!

Guest speaker will be agronomist Dr Maarten Strapper, a former senior scientist at the CSIRO and international expert on farming systems.

There will also be trade presentations and on-site inspections of biological farming techniques. Cost is $10 which includes morning tea, lunch and transport to the demonstration sites by bus. For more information and to book, contact Penny Kennedy on (07) 4168-6179 or Belinda Pennell on (07) 4168-6064.
Gordonbrook Dam May Re-Open On 12-Month Trial
April 7, 2010 - The South Burnett Regional Council will be considering at today's meeting a proposal to reopen Gordonbrook Dam on a trial basis for some boating activities, including recreational fishing, canoes or kayaks.

The dam is currently open to fishing off the banks but no boating is allowed because of risks associated with the fluctuating levels of blue-green algae in the the dam.

Today's meeting will consider reopening the dam to limited boating for 12 months subject to the levels of Cyanobacteria remaining less than a total cell count of 100,000.

Council has received legal advice that to manage the risk the dam will have to be closed when levels are too high. This would mean it could stay closed for considerable periods, especially during warmer months.

The meeting will also consider setting aside $30,000 in the 2010/11 budget to install signs, barrier fences and buoys and to undertake an education and awareness program with the community.

UPDATE April 8: Yesterday's Council meeting voted to accept the above proposal. The dam will officially re-open on April 19 and the trial will run until 30 June, 2011.
BGA Agri Expands To Toogoolawah
April 6, 2010 - Kingaroy-based BGA AgriServices will be opening a branch in Toogoolawah following the purchase of Rural Merchandising Supplies (RMS) in Toogoolawah.

BGA AgriServices CEO Tim Rees said the changeover would take place on May 4.

"This acquisition will provide BGA with further geographic and market diversification and will be a valuable addition to our South Burnett and Wide Bay businesses," he said.

"We are happy to advise that all key staff presently employed by RMS will transfer to BGA, which will allow ongoing continuity of the strong relationship that RMS has developed with its customer base."

BGA Agriservices also has branches at Kumbia, Murgon, Goomeri, Childers, Bundaberg and Oakwood.
poi danceBelltower Fires up For Easter
April 1, 2010 - The Belltower Restaurant on the Booie Range near Kingaroy will be hosting a special "live entertainment spectacular" this Easter weekend.

The Fire Twirling Nights on Friday and Saturday nights from 6pm will feature amazing fire "poi" twirling, (right), and other fire displays.

The Belltower's Karen Bradwell said it should be a great family night out with kids meals (up to age 12) just $5. There is also a playground and nursery area.

For $50 a head, adults will enjoy a three-course meal including entree, main and dessert and a free cocktail on arrival. There will also be a licensed bar.
Go Green Moves Into CBD
March 31, 2010 - Solar energy installers Go Green Generation (Solar South Burnett) have shifted from King Street closer to the Kingaroy CBD at 27 Alford Street (near Loot Homewares).

All contact details for owners Greg and Kelly Taffe remain the same. They can be contacted on (07) 4162-8336 or by email

Go Green Generation offers solar electric system installations as well as energy-efficient home rewiring and conduct home and business energy audits.
Ergon Donates Safety Gear To Silver Lining
Bahun Jal Mono

ABOVE: From left, Silver Lining General Manager Danny Hoogstraten,
Troy Fisher, Liam Cameron, Corey Williams and Ergon Energy Acting
Area Operations Manager for Wide Bay South Al Slater

March 30, 2010 - Ergon Energy has donated safety gloves and eyewear to Murgon's Silver Lining Bahun Jal Mono centre for use in its training programs for indigenous youth.

Silver Lining General Manager Danny Hoogstraten said the equipment would be invaluable.

"Unfortunately, we have been in a situation where the indigenous people we employ were asking us for more work but we couldn't always provide it because we did not have the necessary equipment," he said.

"The eye protection and gloves supplied by Ergon Energy are particularly important because we need to ensure our workers' safety in any work or training situation."
KCCICongratulations to
Kingaroy Plumbing Works!
March 29, 2010 - Congratulations to Kingaroy Plumbing Works who has been named the Kingaroy Chamber of Commerce and Industry's 2009-10 Business of the Year.

The annual KCCI Heritage Kingaroy Business Excellence Awards were announced at a gala dinner at Kingaroy Town Hall on on Saturday night.

The Business of the Year is selected from the various category winners:
  • Tourism and Hospitality - Bethany Cottages; highly commended Mulanah Gardens (sponsored by South Burnett Regional Council)

  • Education and Training - Southern Queensland Institute of TAFE (sponsored by Summit View Premier Acreage Estate)

  • Health and Well-Being - Pharmacy Essentials (sponsored by SupaIGA)

  • Professional Services - South Burnett Job Match (sponsored by Tarong Energy)

  • Business Retail Service Award - Kingaroy Plumbing Works; highly commended Pharmacy Essentials (sponsored by South Burnett Times)

  • Small Business Award (less than four employees) - Earthtones Beauty Therapy (sponsored by CFM)

  • Outstanding New / Improved or Expanded Business - Peppertree Cabins; highly commended Kingaroy Car and Dog Wash (sponsored by PRD Nationwide)

  • Outstanding Apprentice - Rebecca Moss from Linard Floral and Bridal Centre (sponsored by MRAEL Group)

  • Outstanding Trainee - Bonnie Sandbach from SBRC Art and Heritage Precinct; highly commended Mia Forsyte from Kingaroy Xray (sponsored by MRAEL Group)

  • Employee of the Year - Penny Tones-Allery from Sunny Ridge Gardens (sponsored by Kingaroy Chamber of Commerce and Industry)

  • Customer Service of the Year - Sonya Champney from Markwell Medical; highly commended Tyrone Saul from You First Personal Training (sponsored by Barry and Leanne Krosch)

  • Building and Construction - K&P Homes (sponsored by South Burnett Building Approvals)

  • Manufacturing and Engineering - RBM Industrial Bags (sponsored by Tarong Energy)

  • Tradesperson of the Year - Russell Rogerson (sponsored by Freeman Estates)
Growers Invited To Peanut Update
March 26, 2010 - South Burnett peanut growers are invited to attend the annual two-day Peanut Update which will be held on Monday and Tuesday (March 29-30) in Bundaberg.

The program on Day 1 will include presentations by speakers from the Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation (formerly the QDPI&F), PCA and consulting agronomist Peter Hatfield at the Old Bundy Tavern (20 Quay Street).

Peanut growers and their partners and peanut industry personnel are also invited to attend dinner at the Old Bundy Tavern. Guest speaker will be PCA Managing Director Craig Mills.

Day 2 will include inspections of trials at the Kalkie Research Station and in the Farnsfield region.

For more information, visit the PCA website
PCA To Sell Katherine Farms
March 25, 2010 - The Peanut Company of Australia has announced it will sell its peanut farms near Katherine in the Northern Territory as part of a strategy to refocus on its core business of processing and marketing peanuts.

"During the past nine months, PCA has been reviewing its strategy with a view to strengthening its future financial performance and increasing its financial security through reduction of debt," PCA Managing Director Craig Mills said in a statement.

"PCA believes the decision to sell the NT properties is in the best interests of the company, its shareholders and growers."

As part of the sale, PCA is hoping to maintain peanut production on the properties and will offer a peanut contract to the new owner.

The properties, which total 12,206ha, will be auctioned on May 7.

PCA's first NT peanut crop was harvested in 2003. In 2007, PCA added to its NT holdings by buying the 11,700ha Taylors Park property. The first crop from this property was harvested in April 2008.
Pharmacy Warehouse Opens In Kingaroy
March 24, 2010 - Kingaroy will have a new chemist shop with the opening tomorrow of the Good Price Pharmacy Warehouse next door to Harvey Norman in Rogers Drive.

The shop is open seven days Monday to Friday from 8:30am to 6:00pm, Saturdays 8:30am to 4:00pm and Sundays 9:00am to 4:00pm.

As well as prescriptions, there is a large ranges of vitamins, beauty products, baby products and perfumes for sale. A naturopath will also be available four days a week.

* * *

SBBiz would like to congratulate our sister website South Burnett Online on its 10th birthday today. SBBiz, in comparison, is just a baby ... we will celebrate our 9th birthday in May!
Commercial Property Values Rise 75%
March 23, 2010 - Property owners across the South Burnett should receive their new land valuations in the mail following the release yesterday of almost one million new valuations across Queensland.

Minister for Natural Resources, Mines and Energy Mr Stephen Robertson said the valuations provided a snapshot of unimproved land values as at October 1, 2009, and were based on changes in the local property market.

The last valuations for the South Burnett were issued in 2005.

The new valuations show residential property values have increased 44 per cent and commercial property values have risen 75 per cent.

Landowners who believe their valuation is wrong must provide information to support their claim. Objections must be lodged with the Department of Environment and Resource Management within 45 days of the valuation being issued.

This is the last time that valuations will be calculated using an "unimproved value" of the land. From next, year, all non-rural properties will be assessed on "site valuation" which will bring Queensland into line with other States. Site value represents the land's current market value and reflects what could actually be "seen from the street", Mr Robertson said.

NB. Properties in the Gympie region have not been revalued as they were last valued in October 2007.
Truss Officially Opens New Crematorium
Warren Truss and Coman Reynolds

March 22, 2010 - Federal National Party Leader, Member for Wide Bay - and former Kingaroy Mayor - Warren Truss officially opened the new South Burnett Crematorium at Virgo Funerals' complex adjacent to the Taabinga Cemetery today.

Mr Truss said it was a long overdue facility for the region and he congratulated owner Coman Reynolds, (pictured above with Mr Truss), on his vision.

Also in attendance was Member for Nanango Dorothy Pratt.
White Night First
For South Burnett!!
March 19, 2010 - The South Burnett's first ever White Party will be held in Nanango tomorrow night (Saturday).

What's a White Party? The idea is that partygoers turn up wearing their best and sexiest white (or fluoro-coloured) clothes. Ultraviolet lighting will then make the dance party - which is being billed as the South Burnett's biggest ever music event - truly spectacular.

White Parties have been popular around the world for years, so it's about time they came to the South Burnett!

Tickets are $25 and will be available at the door.

Music will be provided by the Brizvegas Allstars (DJDannyB and DJMatty-O) as well as the South Burnett's own DJdirex (MichaelM).

This city-style event, which will be held at the Nanango Showgrounds Pavilion, even has its own Facebook page!

NB. It's an 18+ only event.
Test Your Hearing By Telephone
March 18, 2010 - A new version of a telephone hearing test developed by Australian Hearing and its research arm, the National Acoustic Laboratories, is now available in 11 languages, including English.

Michael Luttrell, from Australian Hearing (which is a Commonwealth Government Statutory Authority) said the Telscreen free test is a great first step for someone to do something about their hearing health.

To determine whether you may have a hearing loss, simply call 1800-826-500 (toll-free) and respond to the sounds played over the telephone.

The test should provide a good indication of whether you need to get your hearing checked by a clinician.

Telscreen is the most advanced telephone hearing test in the world. It was developed by Australian researchers at the National Acoustic Laboratories.

Australian Hearing's clinicians regularly visit Kingaroy from Toowoomba.