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Truckies To Get New Rest
Stop On Burnett Highway
December 5, 2008 - A new heavy vehicle rest area will be constructed on the Burnett Highway between Goomeri and Ban Ban Springs.

Main Roads Minister Warren Pitt said yesterday the rest area was part of the government's commitment to combat driver fatigue. He said managing heavy vehicle driver fatigue was one of Main Roads' key priorities and vital to reducing the State's road toll.

The Burnett Highway rest area will be constructed during the 2009-10 financial year from funds collected from speeding camera and red light camera fines.
State Government Lures Primo To Queensland
December 4, 2008 - Just days after Hans, owners of Swickers Kingaroy Bacon, announced it had entered voluntary administration, the State Government has welcomed rival smallgoods manufacturer Primo to Queensland, lured by the government's investment agency Invest Queensland.

Industry Minister Desley Boyle said she welcomed news that Primo would establish a $70m plant at Wacol in Brisbane. The company plans to build an 18,000sq m complex to house its smallgoods manufacturing, warehousing and distribution facilities and create about 425 jobs.

Ironically, Hans - which employs approximately 1400 people in total - also operates manufacturing sites at Colmslie and Wacol in Brisbane.

Download State Government press release (11kb PDF)
A Blast From The Past!
December 3, 2008 - Here's a little bit of South Burnett nostalgia discovered on the Internet.

This Rio Tinto video posted on YouTube features a lot of familiar faces now either retired or departed from the region. And it also highlights the old Tarong Business Program which fostered ...

Nanango Takes A Punt
On Kingaroy Racegoers
December 2, 2008 - The Nanango Racing Club is making a deliberate pitch to attract younger people to its already popular Christmas Race meeting on December 13 by making it even easier to get to the Lee Park track.

Spokeswomen Jenny Morgan said as usual a free courtesy bus would be leaving the Commercial Hotel in Drayton Street, Nanango, about 12:45pm. This will also pick up patrons at the Palace and Fitzroy Hotels and Nanango RSL.

And for the first time, a separate courtesy bus will also be running from the Glendon Street Bus Depot at noon to take Kingaroy patrons to the track.

It will be a five-event program, starting about 1:15pm. Santa Claus will be putting in an appearance and there will also be a craft market for last-minute gift shopping, a Fashions Of The Field competition and the official unveiling of Lee Park's new Champagne Bar.
Comfortable Cabins For Travellers or Workers
December 1, 2008 - Matt and Amy Diesel have unveiled their new Kingaroy business, PepperTree Cabins Kingaroy which is located at the rear of the Kingaroy Tourist Park in Evelyn Street.

The couple have erected 32 new self-contained, air-conditioned cabins suitable for longer-stay travellers, businesspeople or contract workers. The obvious market includes mine and power station workers. Each cabin has a large en suite, fully equipped kitchen, TV/DVD and a double bed.

For more information, phone Matt or Amy on (07) 4162-8008 or contact them by email.
Swickers In Voluntary Administration
November 28, 2008 - Hans, owners of Swickers Kingaroy Bacon and producers of Barkers Creek Pork, has gone into voluntary administration.

Administrator Mark Mentha, from receivers KordaMentha, said today there was no immediate threat to the jobs of production workers and it would be "business as usual" while they tried to sell the company.

Swickers is the second largest pork producer in Australia and employs about 400 people.

Mr Mentha said Hans had been hurt by higher feed costs caused by the drought and increased competition from subsidised imports. He said whatever the outcome of the administration, the entitlements of employees were assured.

Related Kingaroy company Sun Pork Foods has also gone into voluntary administration.

On October 1, Hans Continental Smallgoods announced in a media statement that its parent company, Japan Tobacco Inc, was not proceeding with the sale of Hans and Swickers Kingaroy Bacon to private equity firm Anchorage Capital Partners (see story September 3, 2008). It claimed at the time the decision would not affect the on-going operations of either Hans or Swickers.

  • State Government "To Stand By Workers".
    Media Release (11kb PDF)
Bush Band Unveils Website
November 27, 2008 - Popular local musicians The Barker Creek Bush Band have unveiled their new website.

The Nanango-based band plays Australian folk songs as well as Irish music, country rock, bluegrass and 1960s-70s rock'n'roll.

Earlier this year the band produced its own CD "Australiana Favourites" which features 12 popular folk songs including "Bound for Botany Bay" and "Click Go The Shears". They are now working on Vol 2 which will be released next year.
Myrlene Offers Personal Service
November 26, 2008 - Myrlene Roddick has opened Tag Art Branding Services at 180 Kingaroy Street, Kingaroy (the former Sasswear shop which became vacant earlier this year when Sasswear relocated to Shoppingworld).

Myrlene offers a "personalising service" with customised embroidery and heat press printing. She also has business or craft stamps, a selection of craft and haberdashery supplies and does basic mending and key cutting.

She can be contacted on (07) 4162-4830 or by email.
Pam Appointed To
Top Health Job
November 25, 2008 - Former nurse and mid-wife Pam Lane has started work as the new CEO for the recently merged Darling Downs West Moreton Health Service District, which covers all South Burnett hospitals.

She was formerly district manager for the West Moreton South Burnett Health Service district.

Ms Lane began work in her Toowoomba office this week and plans to visit all the regional services and facilities in her district as soon as possible.
LJ Hooker Opens In Kingaroy
November 24, 2008 - Another real estate agency has opened in Kingaroy ... local businessman Clem Smith has added an LJ Hooker franchise to his businesses co-located at 196 Haly Street.

Clem also operates Access Broker Services, which handles loans and mortgages, and SunServices Insurance and Financial Solutions which offers a full range of insurance products.

A bit of history: Sir Leslie Joseph Hooker (1903-1976) opened his first real estate agency in Maroubra in Sydney in 1928. LJ Hooker now has strings of agencies overseas including New Zealand, Indonesia, China, the United Arab Emirates and India. We will never know what would have happened if Sir Leslie had not changed his name by deed poll in 1925. "Thank you Mr Tingyou" just doesn't have the same ring ...
Visitor Information Centre
Has Christmas Wrapped Up
November 21, 2008 - The Kingaroy Visitor Information Centre - part of the South Burnett Regional Council's Information, Art and Heritage Precinct - is gearing up for the Christmas rush from local residents looking for special gifts.

The centre has a large range of local products on sale - everything from peanuts to fudge - and offers a gift wrapping service for just $2.

They can also prepare elaborate gift hampers which can be wrapped for $5.

There are also Lions Christmas Cakes available and a huge sale on the last remaining stock of the famous "Kingaroy Mud Shirts", (left).

This is the only stock left of this iconic Kingaroy product as no more are being made.

PS. The Centre also has copies of the latest South Burnett map, above, which has just been released in time for the Christmas holidays!
Michael and Mandy MonkNew Owners At Radio KFM
November 20, 2008 - Michael and Mandy Monk, (right), have taken over the reins at Radio KFM (96.3FM Kingaroy and 87.6FM Nanango) from founders Barry and Bernadette Dixon.

They have also purchased the Dixon's Gatton and Laidley stations, Radio GFM.

Radio is what brought newlyweds Michael and Mandy together. Mandy was working as an admin assistant at CROW-FM's Murgon office while Michael was a CROW-FM announcer. Mandy's father Brendon Smith also worked at CROW-FM until recently.

The couple are working on plans to upgrade the image and sound of KFM with a playlist aimed at the 40s demographic with easy listening and country music.
Clovely Estate Scoops Courier-Mail Medals
November 19, 2008 - Clovely Estate collected a swag of medals at the 2008 Courier-Mail Wine Awards which were announced at a gala dinner at the Mercure Hotel in Brisbane last Saturday night.

  • Clovely Estate 2006 Left Field Semillon

  • Clovely Estate 2003 Left Field Semillon
  • Clovely Estate 2007 Left Field Shiraz Mouvedre

  • Barambah 2008 First Grid Verdelho
  • Bridgeman Downs 2005 Cellars Shiraz
  • Clovelly Estate 2006 Double-Pruned Shiraz
  • Clovelly Estate 2005 First Picked Red Shiraz
  • Clovelly Estate 2007 Reserve Chardonnay
  • Clovelly Estate 2006 Reserve Shiraz
  • Clovelly Estate 2003 White Lable Shiraz
  • Crane Wines Late Harvest Frontignac
  • Kingsley Grove Estate 2005 Hilltop Shiraz
  • Moffatdale Ridge 2008 Verdelho
  • Rimfire Winery 2006 Graciano
  • Rimfire Winery 2005 Shiraz
  • Tipperary Estate 2006 Shiraz
  • Tipperary Estate 2008 Verdelho

"I am ecstatic with the results of the show," South Burnett Wine Industry Association president Jason Kinsella said.

"Almost every winery has come home with a medal and I really think the faith we have placed in the South Burnett region is being rewarded. And with the 2009 season shaping up as the best on record with bumper yields and unbelievable fruit quality, the gods are certainly smiling on South Burnett vineyards."
Practical Gifts Help
Local Paramedics
November 18, 2008 - Kingaroy paramedics have taken possession of portable UHF radios thanks to a donation by BGA AgriServices.

Mark Beil from BGA, (pictured, far right), presented Local Ambulance Committee (LAC) president John Box with the radios this week.

Mr Box said contrary to popular belief, the ambulance levy included in electricity accounts did not provide the most current and up-to-date equipment for first response ambulance paramedics.

Gifts to the service via the LAC are recorded on their local inventory and cannot be withdrawn from the area. Practical gifts such as the radios allow the LAC to focus their funding toward the more important medical needs of the service.
The Old DistilleryMeet'n'Greet On Tonight
November 17, 2008 - The Kingaroy Chamber of Commerce's November Meet'n'Greet will be held from 5:30pm this evening at the award-winning The Old Distillery on the corner of Schellbachs and Haydens Roads, Booie Range.

The Old Distillery, run by Bronwyn Bisley, was the winner of the Outstanding New Business award at the 2008 Heritage Kingaroy Business Excellence Awards.

There will be presentations by local businesses including The Old Distillery, Promoscope (Keith Gray) and the South Burnett Observer and drinks and nibbles will be served. Cost is $10.

For more information, please phone Polly Birchall on (07) 4162-8466.

[Photo courtesy: Where's The Beef?]
Cockatoo Coal To Sell Stake in Kingaroy Gas Project
November 14, 2008 - Cockatoo Coal Limited is in the process of negotiating the sale of its 20 per cent stake in the Underground Coal Gasification joint venture with Cougar Energy at Kingaroy.

In its 2008 Annual Report, Cockatoo Coal said the project does not fit with its core business objectives of coal exploration, development and mining.

Cockatoo Coal has other interests in the South Burnett region. In July 2007 it acquired Metallica Minerals and now controls, through its subsidiary SE Queensland Energy Ltd, a 100 percent interest in Metallica's Kingaroy project (EPC 882). This Taabinga coal deposit has a measured and indicated resource totalling 163.8 tonnes and is adjacent to Tarong Energy's Kunioon deposit. "Potential synergies with Tarong Energy" are being evaluated.

Cockatoo Coal's AGM will be held in Sydney on November 27.
Leanne StallwoodLeanne Takes Reins At KCCI
November 13, 2008 - Leanne Stallwood, (right), from RealWay Property Consultants was elected 2008-09 President at the Kingaroy Chamber of Commerce and Industry's AGM last night. Others elected for 2008-2009 were:

  • Vice-President - Karyn Bjelke-Petersen (Bethany Cottages) - re-elected

  • Treasurer - John Carey (Tarong Energy) - re-elected

  • Secretary - Anne Miller (South Burnett Media Centre) - re-elected

  • Executive Members - John Box (Ergon Energy), Keith Zgrajewski (Promoscope), Steve Van Den Bergh (Andersens Carpets - re-elected), Tim Rees (BGA Agriservices), Bill Jackson (South Burnett Counselling re-elected), Nick Munro (South Burnett Observer), Chris Arnold (Freeman Estates) and Gary Collins (SupaIGA)

The Management Committee has a lot of new blood, with six new faces coming on board.

Deputy Mayor Keith Campbell remains as the Council representative.

The KCCI also expressed its thanks all its retiring members for their hard work, especially Rob Patch (The Peanut Van), Jenny Walters (Argue & Co) and Dave Chadwick (CQ Tec Service) who served in executive roles for many years. Also retiring were Bernadette Upton (Kingaroy Veterinary Surgery), James Bredhauer (Aussie Land & Livestock), Jacqui Irwin (South Burnett Hire & Sales) and Chris Tuffield (National Australia Bank).
Special Night For Wine Lovers
November 12, 2008 - A recent addition to SBBiz is the South Burnett Wine Appreciation Society which meets at 6:30pm on the last Friday of every month at the old 1913 Kingaroy Council Chambers in Edward Street, Kingaroy.

This keen bunch of wine connoisseurs enjoys wine tasting and wine discussions. The cost varies with the type of wine being sampled but all members are also asked to bring along a plate of food to share.

For more information, contact Tony Harrington on (07) 4162-7060 or by email.
Industry Invited To Vineyard Workshop
November 11, 2008 - DPI&F Industry Development Officer Mark Harris, from the Applethorpe Research Station, will be holding a wine industry workshop at Moffatdale Ridge Winery from 2pm next Wednesday.

The workshop will include the final report on the Managing Salinity in South Burnett Vineyards project, including a demonstration of pH/electrical conductivity meters. There will also be a demonstration of soil moisture monitoring equipment and Tony Hassall from the DPI&F will give a presentation on the South Burnett wine industry.

For more information, contact Mark on (07) 4681-6148 or by email
Mulanah Gardens Is Our Top Business!
Lindsay and Rhonda Kath and Craig JonesNovember 10, 2008 - Mulanah Gardens Bed & Breakfast Cottages (pictured right, owners Lindsay and Rhonda Kath with Heritage Building Society manager Craig Jones), was named the Business of the Year at the 2008 Heritage KCCI Kingaroy Business Awards for Excellence held at the Kingaroy Town Hall on Saturday night.

Other winners were:

  • Customer Service of the Year (sponsored by Barry and Leanne Krosch) - Rob Masters (BGA Agriservices, Kingaroy)

  • Outstanding Apprentice (sponsored by Wide Bay Group Training) - David Torry (PCA); highly commended Chris Lindsay (Ergon Energy)

  • Outstanding Trainee (sponsored by Wide Bay Group Training) - Shannon Heiner (Kingaroy Visitor Information Centre)

  • Community Award (sponsored by Dorothy Pratt, MP) - overall winner Kingaroy Hospital Auxiliary
    1. Not-For-Profit Organisation - Kingaroy Hospital Auxiliary
    2. Corporate Citizen - Peanut Company of Australia

  • Agribusiness & Rural Services (sponsored by The Peanut Van) - Peanut Company of Australia

  • Outstanding New, Improved or Expanded Business (sponsored by RealWay Property Consultants) - The Old Distillery

  • Tourism & Hospitality (sponsored by South Burnett Regional Council) - Mulanah Gardens Bed & Breakfast Cottages

  • Automotive & Transport (sponsored by Ergon Energy) - R & J Car Detailing Service

  • Building & Construction & Trades (sponsored by Summit View Premier Acreage Estate) - Overall winner GJ Gardner Homes
    1. Building & Construction - GJ Gardner Homes
    2. Trades - Kingaroy Plumbing Works

  • Manufacturing & Engineering (sponsored by Tarong Energy) - Dean-Wilson Aviation

  • Retail (sponsored by South Burnett Times) - overall winner Turners Mitre 10 Home & Trade, Kingaroy
    1. Retail (less than eight employees) - South Burnett Garage Doors
    2. Retail (more than eight employees) - Turners Mitre 10 Home & Trade, Kingaroy

  • Business & Professional (sponsored by Tarong Energy - Tarong Coal Project Meandu Mine) - overall winner Markwell Medical
    1. Education & Training - Southern Queensland Institute of TAFE
      Karyn Bjelke-Petersen and Wendy Elford
    2. Health & Well-Being - Christene Nissen Beauty Therapy & Day Spa Centre
    3. Professional Services - Markwell Medical

  • Employee of the Year Award (sponsored by the KCCI) - Wendy Elford (The Peanut Van), (pictured right with Acting KCCI President Karyn Bjelke-Petersen)