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New Kindy To Open In Nanango
December 14, 2011 - A new kindergarten will be opening in Nanango next month.

The Community Kids Kindy, run by South Burnett CTC, will be open five days a week from 10:00am to 6:00pm for children aged 3 to 5 years.

The kindy - a new venture for CTC which is better known for its employment and social welfare programs - is located at 42 Drayton Street, opposite Nanango State School. It will open on Tuesday, January 3.

Co-ordinator Michael Griffiths said the activities would include painting, cooking, craft and sport.

For more information, contact Michael on (07) 4171-0033.
Premier Visits Tarong
Algal Biomass Plant
December 13, 2011 - Queensland Premier Anna Bligh visited the South Burnett today to inspect MBD Energy's trial algal biomass plant at Tarong Power Station (see SBBiz December 7).

Ms Bligh said the State Government has committed $1 million to Phase 1 of the project.

"Here we have an example of Queensland innovation and scientific expertise being put to work in an Australian-first project," Ms Bligh said.

Energy and Water Utilities Minister Stephen Robertson said when fully operational, it was anticipated that per hectare per annum, the project would capture up to 700 tonnes of carbon dioxide, the equivalent of taking 170 cars off the road for a year.

"It is also expected to produce one tonne of algal biomass per day, 120 tonnes per annum of algal oil and 240 tonnes per annum of algal meal," Mr Robertson said.

"The first stage of the one-hectare Tarong Power Station facility is complete, with earthworks finalised, most services connected and vertical growth columns for the algae installed. The project is scheduled to be fully commissioned in 2012.

"MBD Energy expects to use the Tarong Power Station display plant as a blueprint for one or more potentially much larger projects that seek to recycle waste flue gases into algae biomass on a commercial scale. In order to protect local biodiversity, only strains of micro-algae local to Tarong Power Station have been selected for growing."

The project is a joint initiative between MBD Energy and Stanwell Corporation Ltd.

ABOVE RIGHT: MBD Energy Managing Director Andrew Lawson, Premier Anna Bligh and Stanwell CEO Helen Gluer
Three Land Rehabilitation Experts (and a Farmer)
Appointed To Strategic Cropping Land Committee
December 9, 2011 - The State Government has announced the members of the soil science committee which is integral to the implementation of its Strategic Cropping Land policy.

The committee will be made up of four scientists, two put forward by the Australian Society of Soil Science, one by the Queensland Resources Council and one by the Queensland Farmersí Federation.

  • Prof Clive Bell - former Head of the Department of Agriculture and Director of the Centre for Mined Land Rehabilitation at the University of Queensland, a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering, the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, and the Australian Institute of Agricultural Science and Technology. Prof Bell, who will chair the committee, is internationally recognised as an expert on post-mining land rehabilitation.

  • Simon Buchanan - a soil and environmental scientist with a Master of Philosophy in Disturbed Land Rehabilitation and over 11 years practice as an environmental scientist in consulting and research; currently an Environmental Consultant.

  • Terry Short - career has had a focus on soil chemistry in mining rehabilitation; previously worked for the former Department of Mines and Energy (Queensland), BHP, Rio Tinto and Ensham Resources; and is currently General Manager Sustainability Services for Palaris (consultants); Masters Degree in Agricultural Science.

  • David Hamilton - a consultant and farm manager, Director of Cotton Catchments Communities Research Centre, and Director of Australian Institute of Agricultural Science and Technology; Master of Science in Agronomy.
Hutton Fined $2000
For CSG Blockade
December 9, 2011 - Greens Candidate for Nanango Grant Newson travelled to Dalby yesterday to support Lock the Gate protest movement president Drew Hutton when he appeared in Dalby Magistrates' Court charged with obstructing a mining activity.

Hutton was arrested in March this year after joining a blockade against the construction of a coal seam gas pipeline near Chinchilla.

He was found guilty and fined $2000 but no conviction was recorded. The charge had a maximum penalty of $50,000.

"I am disappointed with the Dalby Magistrate's judgment in this case and believe it will have major ramifications within Queensland. People will now realise they need to stand and support each other against these mining and gas industries," Mr Newson said.

"Mr Hutton had to endure handcuffs, three different watchhouses and a day-and-a-half in jail. It was badly handled by the police and no doubt further investigations will continue into this matter. Mining and gas companies are being allowed to do whatever to whoever they want. Queenslanders need to stand up and Lock the Gate before it is too late. The South Burnett region is not going to be spared from these industries."

Greens leader Bob Brown, Greens Senator Larissa Waters and Federal leader of the Australian Party Bob Katter were also among Hutton supporters who attended the hearing.

ABOVE RIGHT: Grant Newson and Drew Hutton at Dalby

* * *

South Burnett CTC will receive $1.14 million from the State Government to deliver family and domestic violence counselling at Cherbourg over the next three years.

Community Services Minister Karen Struthers announced the funding today which will help expand South Burnett CTC's Wondin-dee Indigenous Family Violence Counselling Service.

"This service works with whole families, teaching them how to form stronger relationships and make positive changes," she said.

Ms Struthers said Wondin-dee provided 155 counselling sessions between January and June this year.

"The safety and well-being of Queenslanders is our primary concern and I am confident this funding will help more families stay together in Cherbourg," she said.
Community Bank Launches Tertiary Scholarship Scheme
December 8, 2011 - The Yarraman & District Community Bank Branch and Blackbutt branch have pledged to support a local student in a new scholarship program.

Branch Chairman Frank Smith said the South Burnett Community Enterprisesí Scholarship would support a disadvantaged local student with tertiary study-related costs.

Successful applicants will initially receive funding for one year and depending on academic performance, the scholarship may be renewed to assist a second year of study.

Mr Smith said the scholarship was part of the Community Bankís commitment to building stronger communities.

"Since our first branch in Yarraman opened its doors in 2005 we have assisted local children and youth to get the most out of living in our community," he said.

This included the recent sponsorship of a Nanango State High School team of 33 students to compete in the Science and Engineering Challenge held in Melbourne.

The bank is also sponsoring the Western Downs Development Tennis Squad which includes several local children.

Mr Smith said family circumstances such as illness, drought and natural disasters can have a significant impact on a young personís ability to further their education. Faced with the huge costs of university education, some local youth may never get the chance to achieve their academic dreams.

"Our Community Bank branches are proud to support local youth to further their education, and maybe one day our local South Burnett community will benefit directly from the skills and knowledge they bring," he said.

* * *

The South Burnett Regional Council has invited local residents to attend the official opening of the new Dr Ellen Kent Hughes Forecourt (formerly known as the Glendon Street Forecourt) in Kingaroy at 9:30am next Wednesday. Mayor David Carter will give a brief history of the upgrade, followed by addresses by Kathy Benstead, President of the Australian Local Government Women's Association Queensland, and Senator Claire Moore, on behalf of the Federal Government.
Vandals Knock Radio Station Off Air
December 7, 2011 - A spree by young vandals in the early hours of Monday morning has forced Cherbourg community radio station Us Mob (4UM) temporarily off the air.

Station spokeswoman Jeanette Brown told SBBiz a group of between 8 and 10 children broke into the station building, trashing offices, smashing computers and scattering files around the floor.

"Thank God, not the studio," she said.

However the children did trash the station's electricity meter box and Ergon Energy was forced to switch off the power for safety reasons.

Jeanette estimated somewhere between $20,000-$30,000 damage has been caused - and she wished she could send this bill to the children's parents.

She said police had spoken to some children thought to have been involved but because of their ages, she believed they would probably "get away with it".

Jeanette said she hoped the station could resume broadcasting tomorrow - or by the end of the week at the latest.
MBD Energy Wins NAB Award


December 7, 2011 - MBD Energy, the company behind an innovative carbon capture algal project at Tarong Power Station, has won the "Innovation in New and Emerging Industries Award" at the 2011 NAB Agribusiness Awards for Excellence.

MBD's Tarong project involves a one hectare algal biomass display plant. Algal synthesisers capture waste greenhouse gases from the power station and use them to promote the growth of oil-rich micro-algae. These algae produce oils which are suitable for plastic, fuel and fertiliser production. All the algae is recycled: 35 per cent as oil and 65 per cent as low-methane stockfeed. The process also produces fresh water and oxygen.

In 2008, MBD Energy built a 5000sq m test plant at James Cook University in Townsville to prove the technology.

NAB noted that MBD's trials in Townsville had confirmed that it could consistently select a strain of algae (local to any given industrial emissions site, therefore posing no threat to local biodiversity) and propagate that strain from a single sell to large-scale production, with the algae typically doubling in mass every 24-48 hours.

In October 2010, the State Government committed $1 million to MBD's project at Tarong. At the time, Premier Anna Bligh said Tarong would be the first coal-fired power station in Australia to try the technology as part of a $5 million trial.

ABOVE: OriginOil's Michael Green in the harvest shed at Tarong with MBD's Laurent Pochat-Pochatoux [Photo: OriginOil]
Today is D-Day For Analogue TV
December 6, 2011 - The analogue TV signal will be switched off forever in the South Burnett region today.

Old TVs will no longer be able to pick up TV signals unless you have installed a digital set-top box.

If you can already see "new" channels such as ABC2, 7mate, Gem and Go! (and you donít have pay TV), it means your TV is capable of receiving digital broadcasts and you won't be affected today's switchover.

The Federal Government's Digital Switchover Taskforce is urging people who may be confused to either:

  • Visit the Digital Ready website
  • Contact a local TV installer or TV retailer for advice
  • Ask family and friends for assistance.

There's also information on the Digital Ready website about the Federal Government's Household Assistance Scheme which will be provide a free digital set-top box to eligible participants. Applications for regional Queensland close on January 25.

UPDATE - The analogue network was switched off at 9:00am exactly this morning.

* * *

APN News & Media, publishers of the South Burnett Times, is expecting a 25 per cent fall in profit this financial year.

Speaking at the company's Investor Day, held at the InterContinental Hotel in Sydney yesterday, chief executive Brett Chenoweth said the second-half result would reflect weakness in advertising markets.

APN downgraded its profit forecast to between $75m-$77m, down from its last year's profit of $103 million.

* * *

Gordonbrook Dam has been closed temporarily again due to high levels of blue-green algae in the water. The South Burnett Regional Council said the water area was closed for recreational use yesterday however residents should not be concerned about the quality of their drinking water as treatment processes remove all toxins before it reaches consumers.

* * *
Kilkivan Historical Society has proposed that an historic site about 12km east of Kilkivan be formally named Byrnes Reserve in honour of Mark Hobson Byrne who bought a nearby property in 1876. The land is a former Cobb & Co coaches changeover point. DERM is inviting public comments on the proposal. Submissions may be lodged with DERM Regional Services Director, PO Box 573, Nambour, 4560 until Feb 3.
Greens Say Loggers
Inside National Park
December 6, 2011 - The Greens candidate for the State seat of Nanango, Grant Newson, says he was shocked to discover recently that areas inside the Bunya Mountains National Park boundary are being logged.

Mr Newson said he had inspected logging areas in the Barkers Creek and Middle Creek areas.

"There is absolutely no way inside any National Park area should be allowed to be harvested," he said.

Mr Newson said the loggers were leaving open areas which allowed weeds such as lantana to thrive.

He was also worried that the park was vulnerable to bushfires because of poor government management.

"We have just witnessed the destruction that can be caused by fire in Western Australia and the Bunya Mountains had a lucky escape from a similar incident not long ago," he said.

"It is a ticking time bomb with more and more houses being built and no fuel reduction program being continually maintained."

ABOVE RIGHT: Toowoomba Greens Frida Fosberg (the Greens candidate for Groom) and Michael Kane at a logging site near the Bunya Mountains
Tarong Helps Power Young Trainees

December 5, 2011 - Ashlee Maudsley, 18, of Blackbutt, is set to electrify the business world after a traineeship at Tarong Power Station led to a permanent job at the Burnett Business Centre in Nanango.

Ashlee was one of three trainees at Tarong recognised recently by the MRAEL Scholarship Program for outstanding commitment and drive.

She completed her Certificate III in Business Administration on November 25, two months ahead of schedule, after impressing her supervisors during the past 10 months.

Ashlee, Nigel Daisy (Community Services Trainee) and Justine Miller (Business Administration Ė Health and Safety) were all awarded scholarships in the MRAEL Scholarship Program's Trainee Category, which recognises trainees who display leadership in the workplace and a consistent attitude towards their vocational studies.

Tarong Power Station Human Resource Administrator Sharron Coughlan, who has worked closely with Ashlee, was awarded a scholarship in the Mentor Category, which recognises and rewards the important contribution provided by workplace mentors.

"Iíve assisted with the development of trainees as they rotate through the Human Resources area and itís a part of my role that I really enjoy," Sharron said.

"Itís great to see the trainees develop their skills and to be able to take on more complicated mini projects as the year progresses."

During her traineeship, Ashlee worked in the Human Resources Department at Tarong Power Station and undertook a variety of tasks from general duties to assisting the learning and development team with scheduling training sessions and organising catering.

ABOVE: Sharron Coughlan, Justine Miller, Ashlee Maudsley and Nigel Daisy

* * *

Water supply to businesses and homes in parts of Murgon will be cut tomorrow and Wednesday between 7:00am-4:00pm.

The South Burnett Regional Council says the affected areas include Gore Street, Taylor Street West, Palmer Street West, Black Street, Thompson Street and surrounding areas.

The interruption is to allow council to replace a water main.
Thinking Of Starting A Business?
December 5, 2011 - Tourism, Manufacturing and Small Business Minister Jan Jarratt has urged potential business owners in Kingaroy to take advantage of a free "Considering a Business" seminar being held this week.

The free two-hour session will be offered by the Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation at 12.30pm on Friday in the Taabinga Room at the DEEDI Service Centre (the former DPI Research Station, opposite Kingaroy Airport).

"Small business should be looking to capitalise on the many opportunities being created by Queenslandís spectacular growth rate," Ms Jarratt said.

"Our aim is to provide small business with as much support as possible when they start their ventures. Attendees will receive a take-home research workbook that will assist with making business decisions."

The seminar is free but bookings are required. For more information, or to register, contact DEEDI on (07) 4121-1780, by email or register online
Local Farmers Disappointed By Vote
December 2, 2011 - In a blow to South Burnett farmers, the State Government's new Strategic Cropping Land legislation was passed yesterday but a move to amend the Bill to include much South Burnett land was not successful (see story, below).

Kingaroy Concerned Citizens Group (KCCG) Secretary, and Independent candidate for Nanango, John Dalton said this morning local farmers would feel a lot of disappointment.

"There is not one person in the government - or one person who advises the government - who could deny that what we were asking for was worth doing or necessary," Mr Dalton said.

A letter from Mr Dalton was tabled in State Parliament during the debate.

He said the KCCG would be meeting within the next week to consider their next move.

LNP Parliamentary Leader Jeff Seeney did not oppose the amendment but noted that it would not be necessary if the LNP gained government at the next State election.

"We will protect those areas with a proper regional planning process ... that contains statutory land use maps that defines appropriate land uses, that defines the best land uses for particular areas and maps them accordingly," he said.

However Natural Resources Minister Rachel Nolan said the new Act got "the balance right".

"We have worked closely with, and will continue to work with, our Strategic Cropping Land Advisory Committee, which includes representatives from the agriculture, resource and urban development sectors, as well as local government and natural resource management groups," she said.

"Queensland's top soil scientists assessed 128 samples from across five land zones to develop the legislation's criteria to ensure the State's best cropping land was conserved and managed.

"All new developments within the protection and management zones will be assessed under the new legislation."

The new legislation is expected to come into effect from January 30.
Breakfast To Mark IDPwD
December 2, 2011 - To help celebrate International Day of People With a Disability (IDPwD), a free breakfast will be held this morning from 7:30am-10:00am at the new Town Hall forecourt in Kingaroy.

The breakfast, organised by CTC Disability Support Services in conjunction with the Department of Human Services, will feature a "report back" from local councillors who have been spending time with people with a disability.

In the lead-up to the breakfast, councillors were asked to met, spend time with and experience the communities of local people with a disability and/or their families.

Hear the councillors report:
  • What have they learned?
  • How inclusive are our communities?
  • How can we all act the improve the participation of people with a disability in community life?
  • What can Council do?
Wayne Kratzmann will be broadcasting live from the breakfast for CROW-FM.

All people with a disability and other community members are invited to attend.

Let's make the South Burnett the most accessible in the community!
ALP Refuses To Back Change
To Protect South Burnett Farms
December 1, 2011 - Bob Katter's Australia Party has moved an amendment to the State Government's Strategic Cropping Land Bill 2011, proposing to increase the slope criteria from 5 to 8 per cent for the coastal cropping zone.

However the State Government is not budging so South Burnett farmers who believe this increase would protect their land, (see SBBiz, November 2), will more than likely still miss out.

Minister for Natural Resources Rachel Nolan today called the motion a "technical amendment" but admitted preliminary estimates were that it would capture anywhere between 15 and 20 per cent more land in the region.

She said the amendment was in response to strong representation from South Burnett farmers who have argued for the bill to capture more undulating land.

"The Queensland Government does not support this amendment and remains confident in its criteria, developed by soil scientists and subject to an independent peer review," Ms Nolan said.

UPDATE December 2: The amendment was defeated 46 votes to 37.
Pratt Votes No To 'Divisive' Civil Unions Bill
December 1, 2011 - Member for Nanango Dorothy Pratt believes that "strings were pulled" to rush last night's historic Civil Partnerships Bill before Parliament.

Speaking against the Motion, Mrs Pratt told Parliament she believed the Bill was "divisive" and said the rules of the House had been changed "to rush it through".

"I will walk from here to Kingaroy if another Private Member's Bill comes up this fast in my lifetime. I will even go in my wheelchair if I cannot walk," Mrs Pratt said.

She also said it was "sad" that a young person who had written to her had described themself as "queer".

"None of us are queer, we are all just human beings," she said.

Mrs Pratt equated her experience as a politician to the experiences of the letter writer.

She said she was sorry the writer had been "threatened in the street multiple times" but she said that she had also been threatened "because of my role as a politician". She said she had also been called derogatory names including "ignorant", "redneck", "bigot" and "stupid".

"In one email I have been called 'old and ugly'. Unfortunately I was born this way and so be it. I deal with what I deal with every single day. Where is the tolerance in that?," Mrs Pratt said.

"Have I been denied access to services and venues? Well, yes, I have, because I am a politician. I find that a little bit distressing so I can understand how this person feels."

The Bill, introduced by Deputy Premier Andrew Fraser, was passed in State Parliament at 11.10pm last night, with 47 MPs voting "yes" and 40 "no". LNP MPs voted against the bill; Labor MPs were allowed a conscience vote and four voted "no".
Mayor Denies Nanango Funds Spent In Kingaroy
November 30, 2011: South Burnett Mayor David Carter has moved to dispel "myths" surrounding the $2.5 million Kingaroy Forecourt project, including rumours that money set aside for improvements in Nanango were spent in Kingaroy.

Announcing that the forecourt is now open for business, Cr Carter said yesterday some of the facts surrounding the project should be placed on the record "to ensure that the community has confidence in how the project came about and was funded".

"The project started with the calling for Expressions of Interest which resulted in architects, Thompson Adsett being engaged to prepare a draft concept plan," he said.

"Community feedback on this paper was invited before the final plan was adopted by Council. As part of the Stimulus Package, the Federal Government made some of the funds available for this project. The project had no impact on the general rates.

"The total project cost was $2.552 million of which $1.6 million was received from the Federal Government; $400,000 was funded from Councilís asset replacement reserve and did not have an impact on the general rate. The balance of funds came from funds raised by the former Kingaroy Shire Council and some coming from funded depreciation.

"A myth is that the former Nanango Shire Council monies paid for this project.

"This is incorrect. Nanango had $500,000 in reserve for the streetscape of Nanango CBD of which $300,000 was spent on electricity upgrade (powerlines) and $200,000 is set aside for the actual streetscape."

Cr Carter said the project had no impact on Councilís bottom line.

The Forecourt and Library Precinct will be officially opened on December 14.
Festival Profits To Help New Museum Blossom
November 30, 2011 - The organisers behind this year's successful Bloomin' Beautiful Blackbutt Festival will be handing over the profits from the event to the Blackbutt and District Tourism and Heritage Association.

The cheque will be presented at an end-of-year celebration this Friday at the new Nukku School Museum and will go towards the costs incurred to shift the old school building from Nanango to Blackbutt.

The Nukku Primary School was established in 1928 a few kilometres outside of Blackbutt and served the families of Nukku and Gilla. It opened with 20 students and continued until its closure in 1967. The school building was then moved to Nanango where it became the home of the local Girl Guides troop.

When the troop closed - and the Wondai Regional Art Gallery declined to proceed with the old school's acquisition and relocation - the Blackbutt Tourism and Heritage Committee accepted an offer to take the building. It was shifted to a site adjacent to the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail in Blackbutt and was officially opened during this year's Bloomin' Beautiful Blackbutt Festival.

The old school will be used as a museum to store and display photos and memorabilia that highlight the history of Taromeo, Benarkin and Blackbutt.

The aim is for this museum to be opened in time for the 2012 Bloomin' Beautiful Blackbutt Festival which will be held from 1-9 September, 2012.

"The Bloomin' Beautiful Blackbutt Festival Committee is extremely pleased to be playing their bit in obtaining a building of significant history to display this important information," committee chairman Jeff Connor said.

"We are confident that the local population is keen to support this latest venture and we know with their support we will be able to have our Nukku Museum up and running in time for the next festival."
No Violence, My Oath!


November 29, 2011 - Last Friday's White Ribbon Day - to support the campaign to stop the violence against women - was an opportunity for South Burnett men to swear.

At Cherbourg, men gathered at the Ration Shed for a White Ribbon barbecue organised by South Burnett CTC Ė Safe Haven and Wondin-Dee.

They participated in the "My Oath" campaign, swearing to stop violence, (above).

"We acknowledge and encourage our community to be aware of violence which can impact our families throughout our communities," said Val Cullen, from the Wondin-Dee program.

Wondin-Dee provides counselling and support to victims and child witnesses of domestic and family violence.
New Board For GRDC Appointed
November 28, 2011 - Five new directors have been appointed to the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC).

Federal Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Senator Joe Ludwig said the new appointees are Mr Richard Brimblecombe, Dr Jeremy Burdon, Mr Kim Halbert, Professor Rob Lewis and Ms Sharon Starick. Ms Jenny Goddard was re-appointed to the board for a second term. They will serve until September 30, 2014.

The GRDC is responsible for planning, investing and overseeing research and development in the Australian grains industry.

Brief biographical information:
  • Ms Jenny Goddard (ACT) is the inaugural chair of the Australian Solar Institute and has had a 23Ėyear career in the Commonwealth Treasury and the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.

  • Mr Richard Brimblecombe (QLD) has spent the past three years as head of Agribusiness Banking in Queensland and the Northern Territory for the Commonwealth Bank. He is also CEO and managing director of Quantum Power Ltd.

  • Dr Jeremy Burdon (ACT) has led the Plant Industry Division of CSIRO for the past eight years.

  • Mr Kim Halbert (WA) has been a grain and pulse producer in WA for 32 years. He is a member of the Wheat Exports Australia board and a director of the Geraldton Port Authority.

  • Prof Rob Lewis (SA) was CEO/Executive Director of the South Australian Research and Development Institute for 18 years.

  • Ms Sharon Starick (SA) has been a grain and pig producer for 18 years in the Mallee region of South Australia. She is also a director of Land and Water Australia and a member of the Natural Resource Management Council (SA), the Australian Landcare Council and the Community Advisory Committee for the Murray Darling Basin Ministerial Council.
Senator Ludwig had been criticised in the media for the delay in appointing the new GRDC Board after he failed to meet a September 30 deadline to announce the new appointees.

* * *

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is expected to rule this week whether the $1.9 billion proposed takeover of regional pay TV provider Austar by Foxtel will get the green light. If approved, the merged group would have 2.4 million subscribers.

UPDATE Nov 29: The ACCC yesterday afternoon agreed to extend the deadline after a request from Foxtel. A new date will be announced.

* * *

Cougar Energy has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Indonesian mining company PT Medco Energi Mining Internasional to assess and identify coal deposits in Indonesia suitable for UCG technology.

The MOU also provides for the potential formation of a joint venture for development of these projects. Cougar says both companies share the goal of bringing the UCG industry into the mainstream of energy supply in Indonesia.
LNP Promises Better Partnership With Local Councils


November 26, 2011 - An LNP government would "restore the partnership" between the State Government and local councils, ending the current "master/slave" relationship.

Opposition spokesman for local government David Gibson said this after meeting with representatives of the South Burnett Regional Council in Kingaroy on Friday.

Mr Gibson said the LNP would re-empower mayors and councillors, giving them more responsibility but also making them more accountable.

However Mr Gibson had bad news for anyone hoping the LNP would be able to roll back all council amalgamations.

The LNP does have a policy for boundary re-alignment and possible de-amalgamation, he said, but he warned this latter outcome would "not be for the fainthearted".

"There are places where boundaries can be tweaked for better communities of interest ... but the reality is the damage has been done by Labor, the omelette has been made," he said.

"It would be very difficult to go back to the old boundaries. I don't want to create the illusion that we can change everything back. The cost of de-amalgamation would exceed the costs of amalgamation, and no one wants to see rates increase again for no real outcome."

Mr Gibson accused the Labor Government of ripping out a lot of council subsidies - for example waste and sewage, and street lighting - under the guise of amalgamation.

"The increase in rates (after amalgamation) in a lot of ways is because of Labor deviousness. It's the classic magician's trick of making everyone look at the back of one hand while they do something with the other hand."

Mr Gibson said the biggest challenge an LNP government would face is the State's $85 billion debt, but he said he was not confident this was the actual figure and they could find a much tougher financial position.

He said the LNP had a "Just Vote 1" strategy, ie the party would not be allocating preferences.

"People tell me they want to get rid of Labor; I get a real sense from them that after 20 years Labor has stuffed the State.

"Voting for Independents - however nice as people they are - can't fix the State. We want to fix Queensland and the only way we can do that is by governing in our own right."

ABOVE: LNP Candidate for Nanango Deb Frecklington with Member for Gympie David Gibson in Kingaroy on Friday. Mr Gibson said the party had a high level of confidence in Mrs Frecklington as a candidate; in fact, she was seen as "one of the bright young stars" and "future ministerial material".