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Conservation Group Queries UCG Benefits
March 17, 2010 - Underground coal gasification projects "have minimal environmental benefits" and "pose a serious threat to water supplies and air quality in the local area".

This is the view of Mr Toby Hutcheon from the Queensland Conservation Council who will be a guest speaker at the Kingaroy Concerned Residents group meeting tomorrow (see story March 15 below).

"These projects may have small short-term financial benefits but will leave an everlasting legacy of subsiding land and a likelihood of toxic water supplies," Mr Hutcheon was quoted in a Kingaroy Concerned Residents media release.

The action group is calling on the State Government to demonstrate safe environmental procedures and halt the Cougar project at Coolabunia immediately.

The group has demanded a full environmental impact study and hydro-geological survey be completed.
Cougar Energy Ignites Kunioon Coal Seam
March 16, 2010 - Underground Coal Gasification company Cougar Energy Limited today announced that it had successfully produced the first syngas on site from the Kunioon coal seam, igniting the main flare at 11.37pm last night.

In a statement to the ASX, Cougar reported "the successful ignition of the Kunioon coal seam" near Coolabunia.

"Having achieved successful ignition using air injection, Cougar Energy staff and the Company's technology partners ... will ramp the gasification process up over the coming weeks, prior to the undertaking of a series of trials to test both underground and surface operations under a range of conditions," the statement said.

"Extensive data will be collected over a minimum period of six months for inclusion in the pre-feasibility study currently being prepared by Cougar staff, and for the bank feasibility study which will follow.

"The Company is investigating the economics of utilising small scale plant to take gas from the project in this pre-production phase to generate power to run the site. In addition, an assessment is being made of the economic returns of various power production scenarios for the 200 MW Stage 1, with the advantage of generating cash flows earlier than previously planned."
Cougar Group To Meet This Thursday
March 15, 2010 - The Kingaroy Concerned Residents group which has been formed in response to Cougar Energy's proposed underground coal gasification (UCG) project near Kingaroy, will be holding their next meeting this Thursday (March 18) at 7:00pm in the Tobruk room, Kingaroy RSL.

Chairman Gary Tessmann said the group was not convinced that underground water would not be affected in the short or long-term from the project. They were also not convinced that there would be no pollution from the flare plant.

Mr Tessmann said the power line to the site was complete and Cougar aimed to start the test burn in the first week of March.

"There will be no electricity generated from the trial plant contrary to what the South Burnett times has said," he said.

NB. This group is separate to the Cougar Consultative Committee which is chaired by South Burnett mayor David Carter and includes representation from Cougar Energy.
Don't Forget Wine and Food in the Park!
March 12, 2010 - South Burnett residents are thumbing their noses at the recent wet weather and will press ahead regardless to celebrate the annual Wine and Food in the Park Festival tomorrow.

Member of the Festival organising committee Dafyd Martindale said the festival would be going ahead in Kingaroy’s Memorial Park come rain or shine.

"But, fingers crossed, 'shine' seems a lot more likely looking at the weather forecast," he said.

This is the 12th year that the South Burnett Wine and Food in the Park Festival has been held. There will be stands from all the major local wineries hosted in a massive 54m marquee. Award-winning wines will be available for tasting as well as purchase.

Gates open at 10am and the festival will run until 9pm.

The annual PCA Regional Cuisine Cook-Off will feature top Brisbane chef David Pugh from Restaurant Two preparing dishes on stage. Courier-Mail writer David Costello, well-known for his Fossicking column about unique foodstuffs, will also be on hand to provide expert commentary.

This year’s festival will also have a strong focus on local produce with a new Food Producers display and gourmet platters for sale.

Live entertainment will include well-known country rocker 8 Ball Aitken, red hot fiddler Pete Denahy, Blue Room Blues plus much, much more.
Gympie Council Qualifies For Disaster Relief
March 11, 2010 - Queensland Emergency Services Minister Neil Roberts has activated Natural Disaster Relief for Gympie Regional Council.

Mr Roberts said the joint State/ Federal Government funding arrangements would enable the council to access funding to cover the cost of restoring essential public assets damaged in the recent heavy rain and flooding.

"Restoration of Essential Public Assets, Counter Disaster Operations, and Disaster Relief Assistance provisions have been progressively activated in recent weeks, with 60 local government areas now eligible for assistance," Mr Roberts said.
KCCI Meet'n'Greet At LJ Hooker
March 10, 2010 - The Kingaroy Chamber of Commerce & Industry's next Meet'n'Greet will be held next Monday (March 15) from 5:30pm in the LJ Hooker office at 196 Haly Street, Kingaroy.

Guest speakers will be Clem Smith, from LJ Hooker; South Burnett Regional Council Mayor David Carter, who will update members on footpath and parking arrangements; and KCCI President Leanne Stallwood who will provide information on the CBD beautification project.

Cost is $10 and RSVPs must be received at the KCCI Office by email by Friday.
A Whopper Protest on Facebook
March 9, 2010 - Kingaroy already has a Red Rooster, Maccas, KFC, Subway and Dominos ... so why not a Hungry Jacks?

Well, the 1010 members of the Facebook group Kingaroy Needs A Hungry Jacks obviously think so:

    "We don't want to travel +100k just to buy a Whopper with cheese, or onion rings. We're sick of having the Toowoomba & Brisbane targeted ads tease us about the new "Angry Angus" burger, which many Kingaroyans still haven't had the pleasure of trying. There's been rumors flying around for long enough, now let's see some action. C'mon Hungry Jacks... please open a store in Kingaroy"

And proving that big companies are monitoring social media, a spokesperson for Hungry Jacks has responded:

    "I have passed on your above idea and link to your group directly to the Boss - I promise I will keep you updated on any developments in Kingaroy :) Great to hear from fans like yourselves and I hope we can deliver a store which means you can easily get your HJ's fix!"

Who knows if Kingaroy will ever get a Hungry Jacks ... but when was the last time any protest group in Kingaroy had 1010 members???
New Chocolate Peanut Range To Be
Unveiled at Wine & Food in the Park
March 5, 2010 - The Peanut Van will be unveiling some special new varieties of chocolate-coated peanuts at this year's South Burnett Wine and Food in The Park festival on March 13.

The Peanut Van owner Rob Patch said the new range had been tentatively dubbed "Chocolate Delights" but he was hoping someone in the local community might be able to come up with a better name.

The new flavours are "chilli hot chocolate", "ginger chocolate", "cinnamon chocolate" and "caramel chocolate". They will be available for tasting in the new Food Producers' tent which will be located at the end of the giant wine marquee.

Anyone who has any name ideas are invited to contact Rob by email.

Kingaroy Caterers Sheree Strauss, well-known local chef Mike Giles and Bronwyn Bisley from Taste South Burnett are organising the Food Producers display and will be preparing tasty platters for sale.

Sheree told SBBiz she was very impressed with the new chocolate peanut range, and suggested they would go well with a nice South Burnett red!
Crane Wines Opens B&B
March 4, 2010 - Crane Wines owners Bernie and Judy Cooper have unveiled their new B&B located at their winery and cellardoor on the Booie Range.

The B&B accommodation is located in a private wing of the old homestead and guests have use of their own section of the verandah overlooking the valley. The bedrooms also have their own bathroom, self-catering kitchenette and lounge.

For more information, contact Bernie and Judy on (07) 4162-7647.

Read more on the South Burnett Wine website
Nanango Country Cars In Kingaroy
March 3, 2010 - So you'd be excused for thinking Nanango Country Cars could be found in Nanango, right?

But no, Nanango Country Cars is now located at 104 Kingaroy Street, Kingaroy.

The former Nanango used car business has relocated to Doug Irving's former premises.

Owner Jim Simmonds explained to SBBiz that the hassle of changing the official name of the business was just not worth it. So "Nanango Country Cars" it is (and they're in good company, after all ... Clifton Motors is not in Clifton, Qantas services more than Queensland and the Northern Territory and the "C" in BBC Hardware actually stands for Chatswood!)

Jim can be contacted on (07) 4162-3566 or by email
White Night At Nanango
March 2, 2010 - The South Burnett's first ever White Party will be held in Nanango on March 20.

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 pre-paid and are available at Coppards and Sasswear in Kingaroy and at the Commercial Hotel in Nanango.

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.
Professional Nails For Ozzie Girls
March 1, 2010 - Ozzie Professional Nails have opened in the old Chaps Menswear store location at Shop 20, Kingaroy Shoppingworld.

The beauty salon specialises in manicures and pedicures as well as acrylic, colour and glitter nails and nail art.

There is also a spa pedicure and massage chair.

Bookings can be made of (07) 4162-8162 although "walk in" customers are also welcome.
Women To Celebrate At Belltower
February 26, 2010 - South Burnett women have been invited to celebrate International Women's Day (March 8) in style at the Belltower Restaurant on the Booie Range.

The South Burnett Women's Breakfast, organised by Centacare South Burnett, will feature local women and their "Leading the Way" stories. It has been sponsored by the Department of Communities and the State Government.

The breakfast will start at 6:45am. Entry is by gold coin donation but bookings are essential.

For more information, and to book, contact Louise Judge at Centacare South Burnett on (07) 4162-5439.
Ryder Report Targets Kingaroy For Growth
February 25, 2010 - Property analyst Terry Ryder has told the Fairfax media that median house prices in Kingaroy could rise by up to 47 per cent during the next five years.

In a report published in the Queensland Country Life, Sydney Morning Herald, Domain.com.au and reproduced online on numerous blog sites, Mr Ryder said "first home buyers and investors alike should turn their attention to Kingaroy where the median house price of $210,000 is half the median house price in Brisbane".

He pointed to "three key industrial projects", ie the Kunioon mine, Coopers Gap windfarm and the Cougar UCG plant, as going to create jobs and increase demand for accommodation.

However, what the newspapers failed to mention is that the development of the Kunioon mine has been officially postponed, federal legislation has delayed the Coopers Gap development and the Cougar project is still awaiting final approval.
Help For Businesses To Maintain Jobs
February 24, 2010 - The State Government has made grants available for a consultant to work with local businesses in the South Burnett to help them weather the economic downturn and maintain jobs.

The Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation's Jobs Assist program is designed to assist businesses - and not-for-profit organisations - who have at least 10 full-time employees.

The businesses must be located within "Local Priority Employment Areas" identified by the Federal Government which includes the Southern Wide Bay Burnett.

The consultant will conduct an assessment of the business and develop an Action Plan to address the business's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats and develop a reporting process to support and improve the business. In Stage Two, the consultant will assist the business to implement a reporting process and activities as priority tasks.

There is no cost to the business and the work to be undertaken can be quite
flexible within this framework so long as it preserves and grows jobs.

More information on the program is available from Adam Vieglais, DEEDI. on (07) 4121-1780 or by email
Paw Pals Invited To Register Online
February 23, 2010 - You can register online now to take part in the RSPCA's 2010 Million Paws Walk in Kingaroy.

The annual fundraiser, which will be held on May 16, includes a 3km walk from the RSPCA's Kingaroy shelter on Warren Truss Drive (near the airport), starting at 8:00am. There'll be competitions and great prizes to win as well as the opportunity to meet lots of other animal lovers and their furry friends.

To register for this year's walk, visit the Million Paws website.
TAFE Enrolments
To Top 2300
February 22, 2010 - Annual enrolments at Kingaroy's TAFE College are expected to top 2300 this year.

The campus, part of the Southern Queensland Institute of TAFE, is the largest training provider in the South Burnett and offers full-time, part-time and flexible courses, including Videolinq classes from other campuses.

Support Services Manager Simon Neal, (pictured, above right, with TAFE staff member Lis Buzzo), said there was still time to enrol in programs such business, information technology, hospitality, aged care, child studies, disability studies, welding, machining, electrical and automotive.

Campus Business Coordinator Rhonda McDade said now was also an excellent time for employers to consider their 2010 calendar of staff training.

"We can tailor training to suit your business requirements. Recognition of Prior Learning is also a cost and time effective method of recognising the skills of employees. We can assist you with this process and any necessary gap training," Mrs McDade said.
Tickets On Sale For KCCI Business Awards!
February 19, 2010 - The Kingaroy Chamber of Commerce and Industry has a limited number of tickets on sale now for its 2010 Kingaroy Heritage Business Excellence Awards gala dinner on March 27.

This always popular annual event will feature entertainment by internationally renown impressionist Danny McMaster who has headlined in Hollywood and Las Vegas.

Tickets are $75 and also include a three-course meal, made from local produce, and a complimentary drink on arrival.

For more information. contact KCCI Project Officer Kylie Schulte on (07) 4162-8466 or visit the KCCI website
Neil Elected SBTA President
February 18, 2010 - Neil Archer, from Kingaroy B&B Red Rock on Booie was elected president of the South Burnett Tourism Association's recent AGM.

Retiring president was John Bjelke-Petersen from Bethany Cottages.

Other positions have been filled by:
  • Vice-President - Jason Kinsella (Moffatdale Ridge Winery).
  • Secretary - Cynthia Hatchett
  • Treasurer - Judy Cooper (Crane Wines).
  • Executive Members - Bruce Hurley (The Left Bank) and Eleanor Sharpe (South Burnett Regional Council)
Wine & Food Festival Menus Online
February 17, 2010 - The menus for the VIP Marquee Restaurant - which will be erected in Kingaroy's Memorial Park as part of the 2010 South Burnett Wine and Food in the Park Festival on March 13 - are now available on the Festival's website

The restaurant will be located inside the giant wine marquee and will feature gourmet offerings from local chefs Jennifer Mills and Brent Shorter from the Kingaroy Hotel-Motel.

This year the restaurant will be offering two sittings:
  • A lunch-time menu (between noon and 2:00pm) where patrons can enjoy a choice of three a-la-carte meals for between $22 and $25; or
  • A four-course Dinner Showcase from 6:30pm where for $59 guests can work way through four great courses.

Seating is very limited, so patrons should book in advance by phoning Kelly on (07) 4162-1677.