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Brisbane Tastes The Magic
Southbank festival

June 19, 2009 - Tastes from the South Burnett proved popular at the inaugural South Bank Regional Flavours festival, (above), held at South Bank in Brisbane last weekend.

Reports indicate crowds were at times "four deep" as they purchased local produce and collected brochures and samples.

South Burnett Regional Council Director of Governance John Kersnovski said Council had worked with the South Bank organisers for the past few months to ensure the South Burnett was strongly represented at the event.

The success means Council is likely to support the venture again next year.

Southbank festival

Some of the local products on display in Brisbane
Multi-Million Dollar
Boost For Local Schools
June 18, 2009 - Local schools will benefit from millions of dollars of building work under Round 2 of the Federal Government's "Primary Schools for the 21st Century" program (part of the Economic Stimulus Plan) announced this week:

Big winners are St Joseph's Catholic School, Murgon ($2 million to construct a library and multipurpose spaces) and St John's Lutheran Primary School, Kingaroy ($2 million for a multi-purpose hall).

Other schools to receive assistance:
  • Benarkin State School - $250,000 for a resource centre
  • Cherbourg State School - $1,250,000 for a covered outside learning area and $750,000 for a resource centre
  • Cloyna State School - $600,000 for a multipurpose hall and $250,000 for a resource centre
  • Coolabunia State School - $850,000 for a library
  • Cooyar State School - $250,000 for a covered outdoor learning area
  • Durong State School - $250,000 for a resource centre
  • Goombungee State School - $850,000 for a resource centre
  • Gowrie State School - $1.2275 million for a multipurpose hall and $772,500 for a resource centre
  • Meringandan State School - $1.25 million for a multipurpose hall and $750,000 for a resource centre
  • Moffatdale State School - $250,000 for a library
  • Wheatlands State School - $850,000 for a library
  • Widgee State School - $250,000 for a library
  • Woolooga State School - $250,000 for a resource centre
  • Yarraman State School - $300,000 for a covered outside learning area and $550,000 for a multipurpose hall.

This funding is in addition to grants announced recently for many local schools under Round 2 of the Federal Government's National School Pride program.
Budget ... What's In It For The South Burnett?
June 17, 2009 - The State Government Budget released yesterday contains a few sweeteners in it for South Burnett residents despite all the economic doom and gloom:

  • $7.93 million to begin construction of a replacement police station and watchhouse at Murgon (total cost $8.76m)
  • $3.2 million to begin construction of a trade training centre at Kingaroy State High School (total cost $4.2m)
  • $2.9 million to rehabilitate a section of the Wide Bay Highway at Kinbombi Creek (total cost $3.1m)
  • $2.6 million to replace the Boyne River Bridge on the Proston-Boondooma Road (total cost $5.2m)
  • $2 million to complete an Early Childhood Education facility in Nanango (total cost $2.3m)
  • $3.6m to develop the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail and the Boonah to Ipswich Trail
  • Development of a Family Drop-In Clinic for new parents at Kingaroy Hospital; and
  • Replacement of Woolooga electricity substation

The $224.4 million budget for Tarong Energy covers the Kunioon coal project and maintaining operations at Tarong, Tarong North and Wivenhoe power stations. Highlights include:
  • $64.5 million on coal mine development,
  • $56.2 million for upgrades and overhauls including a major overhaul of Unit 4 at Tarong and a mini-overhaul at Tarong North,
  • $9.4 million for the mine void ash disposal project; and
  • $8.1 million for low nitrogen oxide burners at Tarong Power

Forestry plantations in the Kingaroy area may also benefit from the State Government's $6.8 million injection into hardwoods forestry.

SCOOP: Swine flu closes local schools, see South Burnett Online
Prof Rod WalkerDial-A-Cessna
June 16, 2009 - A Queensland University of Technology research team has used Telstra's Next G mobile phone network to control an unmanned aircraft over Kingaroy.

According to the QUT, the flight could be one of the first in the world to use a secure commercial mobile communications network to control a pilotless plane.

"Mobile network technology could allow autonomous (unmanned aircraft) to fly further and to carry higher resolution camera equipment than those currently in use which are limited by line-of-sight communications systems," QUT researcher Dr Luis Mejias said.

The research is being undertaken as part of the Smart Skies Project, a research collaboration between the QUT, the CSIRO ICT Centre and Boeing Research & Technology.

QUT aviation researcher Prof Rodney Walker, (above right), said the Next G network had also been used to send collision avoidance commands to a Cessna plane and an unmanned helicopter flying in Kingaroy.

UPDATE: July 17 - Prof Walker interviewed by the ABC
Field Day On Thursday
June 15, 2009 - The annual BGA AgriServices Field Day will be held in Kingaroy from 9:00am to 3:00pm this Thursday.

The free field day, at BGA AgriServices' Youngman Street property, will feature trade displays, prizes and giveaways and a "guess the weight of the steer" competition. There'll be morning tea and lunch available, the Kingaroy Lions bar will open at 11:30am, and there'll be a charity auction from 1:30pm with proceeds going to BeyondBlue.

Guest speakers will be Dr Scott Dalzell (Growing and Managing Leucaena), Chris Love (Woody and Pasture Weeds) and John Feehan (Dung Beetles).
Vote For Our Great
South Burnett Restaurants!
June 12, 2009 - Do you love our great local South Burnett restaurants? If so, here's your chance to let the world know!

The Lifestyle Food pay TV channel is organising the 2009 I Love Food Awards and is providing the opportunity for Australians to vote for their favourite restaurants (and the opportunity to win prizes for doing so).

Local restaurants that already have voting pages are:
(just click on the links - and don't forget to choose a category!)
Essential Move For Kingaroy Dentist
June 11, 2009 - Kingaroy dentist Jonathan Pye is relocating his renamed and enlarged practice into new premises at 8a Glendon Street.

The former Pye Dentall Care (and yes, Dentall is right) was squeezed into a small area beside Eagle Boys Pizza in the Shoppingworld complex.

It will now be known as Dental Essentials and will be located in the heart of the "medical precinct" which has been developing in recent years in the vicinity of the South Burnett Private Hospital.

The new practice will be open at the end of the month.
Meet'n'Greet at Belltower
June 10, 2009 - The Kingaroy Chamber of Commerce's June Meet'n'Greet will be held next Monday from 5:30pm at the Belltower Restaurant on the corner of Schellbachs and Haydens Roads.

Guest speakers will be Frances Ross (Busy At Work Apprenticeship Services), Karyn Bjelke-Petersen (Relay For Life) and Mayor David Carter, who will provide an update on South Burnett Regional Council issues.

KCCI Project Officer Polly Birchall said there would also be an opportunity for people to voice any business issues they may have.

Cost is $10. Drinks and nibbles will be provided by the Belltower. RSVP to Polly on (07) 4162-8466 or by email for catering purposes.
Interested in
Regional Development?
June 9, 2009 - Are you enthusiastic and committed to the future of the South Burnett? Then the State Government wants you!

The new Regional Development Australia network (created under a memorandum of understanding between the State and Federal governments) will advise and work with both governments to address regional issues and promote regional development.

One RDA committee will be created in the Wide Bay-Burnett region and will replace the current Wide Bay Burnett Area Consultative Committee (WBBACC).

Committee members should have experience in one or more of the following areas:
  • Economic development
  • Business or management
  • Environment
  • Education
  • Community services; or
  • Social inclusion.

The new committee will have 10 members, including a chair and deputy chair. Two of these will be local government representatives to ensure the three levels of government work in partnership to benefit local communities and find local solutions.

More information is available at the Regional Development Australia website or by contacting Felicity Van Der Zwan on (02) 6274-7290 or by email.

The closing date for Expressions of Interest is June 22.
Aussie Flavour At New Gallery
June 8, 2009 - Blackbutt artist Dell Stevenson has opened a gallery on her property between Yarraman and Blackbutt.

Dellsart at Gilla Gallery is open Thursdays to Sundays from 9:00am-5:00pm at 781 Kooralgin-Gilla Road.

The gallery features more than 100 original art pieces including Australian animals, parrots and kingfishers in gouache and watercolours, landscapes in acrylics and oils, and digital art.

Bus groups are welcome by appointment. For more information, phone Dell on (07) 4163-0179.
Cafe Opens At Coolabunia
June 5, 2009 - The former Whipbird Function Centre at Coolabunia, (right), has been reborn as the Whipbird Cafe under the guidance of Charmaine Schloss and will now offer a full cafe menu seven days a week.

The cafe provides the opportunity for al fresco and indoor dining as well as takeaways. Organic and local produce, including Kingaroy Cheese, will be available as well as Coolabunia Coffee (roasted beans from certified fairtrade and organic coffee producers). Local art will also be displayed on the cafe's walls.

The Whipbird Cafe, at 21 Chaseling Street, Coolabunia (follow the signs from the D'Aguilar Highway) is open Monday-Wednesday from 9:00am-5:00pm and Thursday-Sunday from 8:00am to 5:00pm.
Uncertainty Over Sale Of Local Hardwood Plantations
June 4, 2009 - Queensland Premier Anna Bligh's decision to sell Forestry Plantations Queensland (FPQ) - which manages State-owned timber plantations - will affect the hoop pine plantations at Yarraman, Imbil, Brooyar, Jimna and Gallangowan.

However, the State Government is still taking advice whether to include hardwood plantations in the sale. There are hardwood forests at Kingaroy, Wondai, Gayndah and Mundubbera as well as on the coast between Beerburrum and Gympie.

The sale of FPQ (formerly known as DPI Forestry) is expected to raise about $500 million.

"We will retain ownership of the land to protect access rights for the public," Mrs Bligh said. "A condition of sale will be that recreation in State Plantation Forests will continue, including walking, cycling, horse riding, motorcycling, car rallies, photography, filming and dog-sled racing."
Go Green At Nanango Markets
June 3, 2009 - Kingaroy electrician Greg Taffe, from Go Green Generation, wants to remind South Burnett residents that government rebates for the installation of 1kW solar power systems expire on June 30.

If you want more information about the rebates - or any other aspect of solar power - Greg will have a stall at the Nanango markets this weekend and will also have a display in Kingaroy Shoppingworld on June 13.

In the meantime, you can contact him on the company's new landline phone number (07) 4162-8336 or by email
Spotlight on Local Crafts
June 2, 2009 - Marie and Richard Evans have opened a new art and craft gallery at Wooroolin to highlight the work of talented local residents.

Gallery 4608 is situated at 37 Alexander Street (the Bunya Highway) in the premises left vacant when Foxy Ladies Quilting relocated to Kinleymore.

The new gallery provides another retail outlet for South Burnett craftspeople and features original artworks, handmade pottery and everything from lavender bags to furniture. It's sure to become a popular stopover for tourists!

Gallery 4608 can be contacted on (07) 4164-2098 or by email
Drilling Begins At Booubyjan
June 1, 2009 - Minotaur Exploration has announced to the Australian Stock Exchange that it has started drilling at Booubyjan as part of its 2009 copper-gold exploration program.

The Booubyjan joint venture is owned 51 per cent by Minotaur and 49 per cent by ActivEX.

The Minotaur statement on May 20 said the work program for 2009 would focus principally on drill testing the central Booubyjan systems to significantly greater depths than previously attempted.

Previous drilling at Booubyjan found broad zones of anomalous mineralisation down to 200m. Finds in these holes have prompted Minotaur to look even lower. Up to six holes are planned - a program of four holes in the Bath-White Horse area and two holes in the Kakapo area.

The $650,000 program will be fully funded by Mitsubishi Corporation and Mitsubishi Materials Corporation who have an option to earn 24 per cent in the project.
On A Roll At Goomeri!
May 29, 2009 - Roll up! Roll up! The 13th annual Goomeri Pumpkin Festival will be held this Sunday with all the fun of the fair ... including the traditional pumpkin roll down Policeman's Hill which literally stops the traffic.

Most festivals aren't a (pumpkin) patch on this one!

The Great Australian Pumpkin Roll will this year feature a $1000 prize for the pumpkin that finishes on the lucky spot. There will also be Giant Pumpkin and Best Decorated Pumpkin competitions and the Pumpkin Pageant street parade. All the fun gets underway at 6:00am with the pumpkin roll at 2:00pm.

Once you've seen this event, you'll know why pumpkins are also called squash!
Just $1 For a Free Newspaper ...
May 28, 2009 - Handing over $1 for a newspaper is a common experience in the South Burnett ... but it's not often that you can take over the WHOLE newspaper for just $1.

That's the proposition being put forward in today's South Burnett Observer, (right), which is likely to be the last of the free weekly newspapers to be distributed (unless someone stumps up with that gold coin before Monday).

The Observer hit the streets on November 6, 2008, and immediately started a mini newspaper "war" in the South Burnett. The APN-owned South Burnett Times pre-empted the launch by altering the format of its low-circulation free Kingaroy Mail to a full-colour gloss "South Burnett Mail" and expanded its size and distribution area.

South Burnett Observer Director and Operations Manager Nick Munro has today invited anyone in the South Burnett to take over his newspaper for $1 debt-free.

But as he notes "this isn't an easy job and if you're looking to make a quick buck you're in the wrong spot".

So if you have the spare change, the right business skills and a knack with newspapers, contact Nick on 0429-625-312 before June 1.
Exhibitors & Council To Swap
Ideas Prior To Brisbane Display
May 27, 2009 - The South Burnett Regional Council has organised a meeting for all food producers, wine growers and tourism operators who plan to take part in the South Bank Regional Flavours event in Brisbane.

The meeting will be held at Moffatdale Ridge on Tuesday June 2 from 9:00am to assist exhibitors to portray the South Burnett region as diverse, vibrant and welcoming.

The information session will also discuss site layout, registration and payments, possible corporate dress, banners and equipment and logistics issues such as unloading etc

Food and wine producers from all over South-East Queensland will be flocking to Brisbane on June 13 for the inaugural South Bank Regional Flavours festival.

UPDATE: This meeting will now be held at Murgon Council Chambers, 42 Stephens Street Murgon on Tuesday June 2 from 9:00am.
Tarong Power Station For Sale?
May 26, 2009 - Today's Courier-Mail newspaper is tipping Tarong Power Station could be one of the government assets sold in a bid to reduce Queensland's debt.

The newspaper says electricity generators such as Stanwell, Swanbank and Tarong would be attractive sales "with a raft of onshore and overseas investors likely to be interested" and raising as much as $5 billion.

Tarong Power Station, near Nanango, came on line in May 1984 and was completed in 1986. According to its own website, this project alone cost $1.2 billion to complete.

The adjoining Tarong North Power Station was completed in July 2003 and is owned by a 50/50 joint venture between Tarong Energy and TM Energy (Australia) Pty Ltd (a consortium consisting of Tokyo Electric Power Company and Mitsui). It was constructed at an estimated cost of $570 million.

Rumours abounded in the South Burnett earlier this year that ownership of Tarong North was about to change with one of the venture partners allegedly negotiating a buy-out.

UPDATE: On May 27, Premier Anna Bligh ruled out selling Queensland's electricity assets but would not speculate on the possible sale of railways, ports and water companies.
Another Estate Agent Opens Doors
May 25, 2009 - Yet another real estate agency has opened its doors in the crowded Kingaroy property market ... bringing the total to at least 10 plus several developers who are maintaining a high profile locally.

Kingaroy Real Estate, operated by Kevin Taylor, is located in a renovated Queenslander at 68 Kingaroy Street (opposite Red Rooster).

Kevin can be contacted on (07) 4163-6888 or by email.