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Historic Bikes Draw
Crowd Of Admirers
August 24, 2011 - A static display of more than 130 veteran motorcycles, (right), drew a large crowd of admirers at the Senior Citizens Centre in Kingaroy this morning.

The historic pre-1919 vehicles have been touring local roads this week as part of the 8th National Veteran Motorcycle Rally.

Riders have come from throughout Australia. Tomorrow they'll be heading out to Tanduringie State School for lunch; on Friday they'll lunch at Ringsfield House in Nanango and attend a special Rally Dinner at Kingaroy RSL.

Three generations from Raymond Terrace and Wallsend in NSW accompanied a 1916 Harley-Davidson to Kingaroy ... Stephen, Jason and Neville Elliott are members of the Newcastle Vintage Motorcycle Club.

John Pettrigrew, from Shepparton in Victoria, brought his extremely rare unrestored 1912 Kirmer to Kingaroy. The bike, made in Birmingham in the UK, is thought to be the only example left in the world. It was found in a cellar in Ballarat in the 1950s where it had been left forgotten since World War I.
Free Workshops For Farmers, Sports Clubs
August 23, 2011 - The Burnett Mary River Group and the Better Catchments Program will be hosting a Precision Agriculture & Soils Management Workshop next Tuesday (August 30) at Wooroolin Hall.

Guest speaker will be Tim Neale, Director of Precision Agriculture.

The free workshop, which will run from 9:00am-3:00pm, will also include visits to local farms.

Smoko and lunch will be provided but for catering purposes, please RSVP by Friday to (07) 4169-0720.

* * *

The Department of Communities will be hosting a free workshop in Kingaroy in October to assist sporting clubs and community groups with financial management.

The workshop, to be held on October 12, will cover a range of topics. The presenter will be Leisa Donlan, a fellow of the Australian Society of Association Executives, who has 15 years' experience in the not-for-profit sector.

South Burnett Regional Mayor David Carter has encouraged sportspeople, parents, coaches and teachers to attend the workshop.

"This is a great opportunity to get practical advice which will help you deliver strong financial foundations and strategies for your club," he said.

The workshop will be held at the South Burnett Enterprise Centre, 6 Cornish Street, Kingaroy. Registrations can be made online or by phoning the Department of Communities, Cultural Services, Sport and Recreation on  (07) 4125-9399 by October 7.
Sk8 Is A Gr8 Way To Party
August 22, 2011 - The Murgon PCYC has come up with a fun way to help make the South Burnett Skateboarding project self-funding.

Sgt Michael Eadie and his team from the PCYC are offering to host two-hour Skateboard Parties for children at any of the South Burnett's skateboarding bowls (in Blackbutt, Yarraman, Nanango, Kingaroy, Wondai, Goomeri or Kilkivan) for just $20 a head (a minimum of 10 kids).

Skateboards, helmets and pads will be provided and there'll be lessons from Skateboarding Australia accredited coaches.

Party bags are an optional extra at $5 / head.

So if you're looking for a special birthday treat for your children, give Michael a ring on (07) 4168-1889.

RIGHT: A young South Burnett skateboarder at the Taabinga Holiday Program run by the Murgon PCYC earlier this year
Bash Will Hit Kingaroy
On Thursday Afternoon
August 22, 2011 - The XXXX Gold Variety Bash will roll into Kingaroy on Thursday afternoon.

And there's no chance that you'll miss them ... there'll be 102 Bash cars, 36 official vehicles and 12 support vehicles (ie more than 400 people!).

The annual Bash - the biggest fundraiser for Variety Queensland - kicked off on August 18 in Hervey Bay and will finish up 3000km later at the Gympie Muster.

Last year the children's charity raised between $1.2-$1.3 million.

The crews will spend Thursday night in Kingaroy before heading off to the finishing line on Friday.
Goomeri P-10 Says Konnichiwa To Fukui High School Students
August 19, 2011 - Goomeri State School P-10 recently hosted 12 students and a teacher from various high schools in the Fukui prefecture of Japan.

The students stayed with host families for 12 days and participated in various school activities, including excursions to the Sunshine Coast and Dreamworld.

The Japanese students studied English in the morning as well as being integrated into mainstream lessons.

The school hosted a Japanese cultural day on August 10 for students in Years 4-9. Students made sushi, sumo split pin puppets, origami, (above right), cards and played soccer.

Flood Aid Package Deadline Extended To January
August 19, 2011 - The State Government has extended the deadline for flood assistance for primary producers, small businesses and not-for-profit organisations until January 31, 2012.

The government has recognised that because of a shortage of tradespeople, some people have still not been able to complete the work needed to apply for assistance.

The flood assistance package was due to finish on September 30 and the Cyclone Yasi package on October 31.

"(The extension) is in direct response to requests from producers, local Government and industry groups such as Canegrowers, Cotton Australia and Agforce," Premier Anna Bligh said.

Minister for Agriculture, Food and Regional Economies Tim Mulherin said both Category C and D assistance under Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements would be extended.

"Category C assistance consists of grants up to $25,000 for small business and primary producers in the effected local government areas," Mr Mulherin said.

"Category D assistance includes special concessional loans of up to $650,000 for eligible businesses, primary producers and not-for-profit organisations suffering extreme damage, with a grant component of up to $50,000."

To find out more about recovery grants and concessional loans, contact the QRAA on 1800-623-946.

* * *

Trudi Bartlett from Headache To Heaven will be holding the last of her free business building workshops this month.

The workshops will be held from 6:00pm at Kingaroy RSL (August 22) and Nanango RSL (August 31). To RSVP, contact Trudi on 0488-112-298.

* * *

The D'Aguilar Highway road closure scheduled for August 23 on the Blackbutt Range has been cancelled. The Department of Transport and Main Roads has advised that the road will now be closed for blasting (weather permitting) between Benarkin and Moore from 1:30pm and 2:30pm on Tuesday, August 30, 2011; and at the same times on Tuesday, September 6, 2011.
APN Share Price Hits New Low
August 18, 2011 - Share prices in APN News & Media, publishers of the South Burnett Times, sank to a new low of just over 80c this afternoon - down from $1.58 in May - after the company presented its half-year results to the ASX.

APN reported a net loss of $98.33 million for the first half of calendar 2011 but still paid an interim fully franked dividend of 3.5c.

The sharp turnaround, from a profit of $38.98 million in the corresponding period last year, was linked to its New Zealand metropolitan titles.

In May, APN Chairman Gavin O'Reilly told shareholders at the AGM that APN would implement "a round of restructuring initiatives" in response to an earnings fall.

The Australian newspaper reported today that cost savings in publishing were expected to deliver $7 million in savings for APN this year, with staff numbers being cut 6.5 per cent across its regional titles.

Please Register Your
Dogs .... With Ergon!
August 18, 2011 - You know you should register your dogs with Council ... but Ergon Energy is also urging dog owners to register their pets with them, too (and the good news, it's free!)

On average, one Ergon Energy meter reader is bitten or attacked by a dog every week, (right).

During the past 12 months, in the Wide Bay-Burnett region, there were seven dog bites, two dog attacks and an injury sustained in evading an anticipated dog attack.

Most attacks resulted in only minor injuries requiring first aid but every year a handful require serious medical attention.

The grim statistics have prompted Ergon Energy to reinforce its request for customers to register their dogs with them.

General Manager Service Delivery Southern Paul Jordon said that with the co-operation of the community, dog bites could be eliminated.

"Meter readers deserve to be able to do their jobs safely and return to their families at the end of the working day without being bitten or attacked by dogs," he said.

"Registering dogs means our meter readers are aware before they enter a premises that there are dogs there and they can take extra precautions."

Dog owners can register their pets with Ergon Energy by calling the National Contact Centre on 13-10-46.
Blackbutt Counts Down
To Showground Concert
August 18, 2011 - The 2011 Bloomin' Beautiful Blackbutt Festival has a special treat in store for fans of 1970s rock megastars The Eagles.

A stunning tribute band, The Eagels, (below), will be re-creating a live Eagles performance at the Blackbutt Showground on Saturday, September 3, from 5:30pm to 11:30pm. Support band will be Toowoomba bush band, The Band-O'-Coots.

Tickets are $20 (18 and over) and $15.00 (pensioner/ 13-18 years), with under 13s free. Tickets are available at Butt Art (Blackbutt), Coppards (Kingaroy), Blackbutt News, and Talk Realty (Yarraman).

The concert will kick off a week-long celebration of music, food, theatre, art, fashion, family and community in Blackbutt.

A highlight is on September 10-11 when a Market Fair will take over the town. There will be market and plant stalls, cooking demonstrations, equestrian displays and a sculpture competition.

For more information, visit the Bloomin' Beautiful Blackbutt website

Council Unveils New Assistance
Policies For Community Groups
August 17, 2011 - The South Burnett Regional Council has adopted new policies and application forms for not-for-profit groups aiming to get assistance from council.

Round 1 of Council's new Community Assistance Program opens today (August 17) and will close on September 7.

Council has also decided to provide annual grants to some not-for-profit organisations on an ongoing basis without the need for them re-applying annually. This will be at the discretion of the Community Assistance Panel and will be reviewed annually.

The new application forms are available on Council's website

The program has three strands of funding:

  • Community Assistance;

  • Community In-kind Assistance; and

  • Community Elite Performance Assistance.

Loans to community organisations can also be applied for on a separate form.

There are also forms available to hire garbage bins and a photographic consent form.

Council has advised potential applicants to check their eligibility before submitting applications and has emphasised no applications will be accepted on old application forms.

Also, no applications will be accepted outside of the round.

Round 2 applications will open on February 1, 2012 and close on February 22.

NB. This is separate to Council's RADF funding program.

* * *

The Kingaroy Town Hall Forecourt project is now expected to be completed mid-September.

The August Council meeting was told the project had been delayed due to delays in obtaining materials due to the high demand caused by the amount of reconstruction work being undertaken across Queensland.

Defective steel also had to be removed and reinstated.

The project was begun on February 14 and had been scheduled for completion by June 30. At the moment, the project is under budget by about $35,000.
Workshops To Help You Simplify IT
August 17, 2011 - Businesspeople ... is your PC your friend or your enemy?

If it's the latter, then you'll probably benefit from hands-on Simplifying IT computer clinics being held soon in Murgon (August 31) and Kingaroy (September 1).

The four-hour sessions, organised by consultant Val Sapin, are limited to a maximum of 10 people each.

They are designed for small business staff who want to develop quick budgets, draw charts, input data into financial computing programs and design professional-looking documents in Word. They will also cover using Skype, cloud computing and how to prepare a data disaster management plan.

Each session costs $200 (inc GST).

In-house business training and troubleshooting can also be arranged for $165/hour (no travel charges within the Burnett region).

For more information, contact Val Sapin by email or on mobile 0417-767-339.

* * *

The South Burnett Regional Council is calling for entries from the region's young artists for the 2011 Community Art Competition and Exhibition.

The theme for the competition is "Our Community" and there are cash prizes for the winners in two categories: $300 for 1st, $150 for 2nd, and $50 for 3rd.

Category 1 is for artists aged 5-12 years; Category 2 is 13-18 years.

All artworks, along with the winning entries, will be displayed at the Kingaroy Art Gallery from September 17.

Entries close on Wednesday, September 7.

For more information, contact Cr Cheryl Dalton on 0488-798-275.
United Petroleum Buys Dalby Bio-Refinery
August 16, 2011 - Local sorghum growers should be pleased with the announcement that United Petroleum has purchased the troubled Dalby Bio-Refinery, one of only three major ethanol plants in Australia.

United Petroleum is an Australian-owned independent fuel retailer and wholesaler and sells its PLUS ULP brand of e10 ethanol fuel in all States except Western Australia.

A company spokesman said the purchase of the Dalby plant was a strategic move as a great deal of its output would be used to supply the United Petroleum network.

"We are very excited about the Dalby Bio-Refinery purchase as it will continue to support our continued growth in retail and wholesale distribution in Australia," UP spokesman David Szymczak said.

The Dalby Bio-Refinery was opened in January 2009 and uses sorghum as its feedstock. It went into voluntary liquidation in June last year which sent shockwaves through the local Dalby community.

Mr Szymczak told the ABC that UP is looking at doubling the output of the refinery, which is currently producing about 80 million litres of ethanol.

* * *

The State Government's policy to protect urban areas from mining, announced yesterday, would not have saved Acland and will not protect Wandoan or the rural residential sub-divisions around Tara, according to Queensland Greens spokeswoman Libby Connors.

However it should lead to the immediate protection of Kingaroy, Oakey, Pittsworth, Warwick, Gowrie Junction and Kingsthorpe.

Roderick's Vineyard To Close
August 15, 2011 - Roderick's Vineyard at Redgate has announced it will be closing its doors after 13 years.

Veronica and Robert Roderick said the recent floods, low tourism numbers and the world economy had made it difficult for all local businesses.

The vineyard, cellar door and B&B was located on Goschnicks Road and was one of the first wineries in the Redgate / Moffatdale region.

The couple said they were leaving the business "with a heavy heart" but would be staying in the area.
Search On For Sponsors
August 12, 2011 - Nanango businessman Neil Rose - better known as the "Dancing Barman" - is looking for sponsors to help make this year's Small Farms and Country Lifestyle Expo a reality.

The Small Farms day will be held on September 24-25 at the Nanango Showground, a date selected to coincide with the 20th anniversary of the South Burnett Dog Show and the 50th anniversary of the Nanango Pony Club.

Neil is asking local businesses to donate cash so advertising for the event can be organised; 3m x 3m stall sites are also available to be booked for $20 each.

For more information, contact Neil on (07) 4163-3221.
Council Seeks Feedback On Town Plan Drafting Process
August 11, 2011 - The South Burnett Regional Council is asking local businesses for feedback on a proposed new Town Plan for the region.

Council is in the early stages of preparing a new Town Plan and is seeking feedback from the business community on how best to seek their feedback.

The new Town Plan will replace the four schemes currently operating in the region which have different guidelines and standards for managing new development. The new plan will create a consistent standard across the South Burnett.

The Town Plan covers sub-divisions, changes/expansions to existing businesses and new businesses.

To help with the development of the new Town Plan, Council would like businesses and business organisations to comment on what they want, expect and don't want from a new Town Plan and how consultation should occur.

A planning scheme's normal lifespan is about 7-20 years so it is important that local businesses and individuals have a say.

For more information, contact Lucia Johnson on (07) 4189-9508 at Council before next Tuesday (August 16).

* * *

Wondai-based HSR Seeds - formed from an amalgamation of Hylan Seeds and Snowy River Seeds - has opened a new warehouse in Toowoomba.

HSR Seeds supplies grain and forage sorghum, field maize, sunflower, popcorn and sweetcorn seed to growers throughout eastern Australia.

The new centre at Toowoomba will act as a distribution hub for the business.

* * *

Charges laid against Cougar Energy for allegedly breaching the Environmental Protection Act in regards to its failed UCG trial were briefly mentioned in Kingaroy Magistrates' Court today. The matter has been adjourned to September 29.
RSL Helps Jordana
Reach For The Sky
August 11, 2011- Kingaroy dancer Jordana Back, (right), feels like she's ready to take on the world after being awarded an RSL Youth Development Program grant at the start of this year.

Jordana was one of 180 outstanding Queensland students to share in $500,000 in youth grants awarded by the RSL Queensland.

The program was developed in 2007 with the intention to offer remote and disadvantaged Queensland students a chance to gain financial assistance to achieve their personal goals.

Jordana, a former Kingaroy State High School student, used her grant to move to Brisbane to attend the Queensland Dance School of Excellence.

"Moving from the country to the city involved a lot of changes and one of them being the change in dance standard," she said.

"When I first came to the Queensland Dance School of Excellence I was overwhelmed by the standards of my fellow classmates. They were all amazing with so much experience and talent. At the start this was very hard for me, but I put in the effort and have worked as hard as I possibly can and it has all paid off.

"I still have a long way to come but my personal goal was to make a dramatic improvement and I can definitely say I have achieved it."

Since achieving her goal of attending the prestigious dance school, Jordana feels proud, happy and motivated to keep on trying and improving. And she's now encouraging other South Burnett students to apply for an RSL Youth Development Program grant.

"I have encouraged a lot of other students to apply. Basically, I just told them that there is nothing to lose by applying! It was a fairly straight forward process but also very educational," she said.

Applications can be made online at until November 11, 2011.
Dorothy Pratt Gives Blessing To
Independent Candidate John Dalton
August 10, 2011 - Retiring State MP Dorothy Pratt plans to endorse local school teacher John Dalton this morning as "the best candidate to continue her work" as the Independent candidate for Nanango.

She will introduce him to the media at 11:00am at her office in Alford Street, Kingaroy.

Mr Dalton is well-known as the spokesman and secretary for the Kingaroy Concerned Citizens Group (KCCG) and is Assistant School Principal at the St Mary's Catholic College in Kingaroy, where he has worked for 22 years.

The KCCG has campaigned passionately against the Cougar Energy UCG trial near Kingaroy and possible bauxite mining on local farmland.

The announcement that he will contest the State seat follows the decision several months ago by Mrs Pratt not to re-contest Nanango. Mrs Pratt has held the seat as an Independent for the past 14 years.

"This is probably a direct response to my recent involvement in local issues," Mr Dalton said. "I can thank Cougar Energy for that."

He said that being an Independent was the only form of political representation he was interested in.

"I don't think a local Member can serve both a political party and the people on every issue because on many occasions, the best responses have to be formulated locally and will fall outside the party line," he said.

"On that point, I would probably be asked to leave a Party if I joined one. I couldn't advocate something that either I or the local people knew was second best."

Mrs Pratt said Mr Dalton was "a passionate, community-orientated Independent candidate".

"His experience on the land and battling against mining companies has given him a firsthand understanding of what most landholders and communities are currently fighting and will fight in the future," she said.

"John is a teacher and has impressed me with his a broad knowledge, his ability to quickly absorb issues and act in a decisive manner as well as his people skills. The final decision, however, is up to the people."
Local Pub, Club Liquor Licences Listed As 'Suspended'
August 9, 2011 - At least nine South Burnett venues - including two pubs, three bowling clubs and a cafe - have been listed on an official government website which lists "suspended" liquor licences.

The Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation website is currently listing hundreds of Queensland venues with "suspended" licence status, including many well-known city venues.

The Brisbane Times website drew readers' attention to the list this afternoon and suggested the venues could be fined for selling alcohol illegally.

However it is uncertain whether the "suspended" status means the annual fees were not paid by August 1 or that there has been a delay in processing payments by Liquor Licensing.

Businesses contacted by the Brisbane Times were adamant the list was wrong.

UPDATE: Deputy Premier Paul Lucas confirmed this evening that as of 3.15pm today about 500 Queensland licensees had "outstanding payment issues".

Mr Lucas said licencees had been reminded of their obligations via letter in May and provided with a fee notice in June, well in advance of the August 1 due date.

"Advice was also distributed through peak bodies such as Clubs Queensland and the Queensland Hotels Association," he said.

"While we can see that the vast majority of people are paying on time, operators who take the risk and operate without a licence will have action taken against them which may include prosecution."

UPDATE August 10: At midday today, seven South Burnett venues were still listed as "suspended"
Veteran Bikes Will Be Cruising Our Roads

August 9, 2011 - South Burnett residents will have the opportunity to be transported back in time when pre-1919 motorcycles descend on our roads in a fortnight.

About 100 veteran machines will be touring local roads from August 21-26 as part of the 8th National Veteran Motorcycle Rally so drivers are asked to keep an eye out for the unique vehicles. The bikes will be touring to Kumbia, Tingoora, Tanduringie and Nanango.

There will also be a static public display at 9:30am on Wednesday, August 24, at the Senior Citizens Centre in Kingaroy which may be easier for fans to grab a few photos of their favourite machines.

ABOVE: Local veteran motorcycle enthusiast Col Rogerson travels back in time ...

* * *

The Queensland Government's Draft State Planning Policy for Strategic Cropping Land is now open for public consultation.

Natural Resources Minister Rachel Nolan said a Regulatory Assessment Statement was put out for public consultation on May 31.

"After a 62-day consultation period, more than double the required period, this has now drawn to a close," she said.

"A range of stakeholders made submissions and these will all be considered as we work towards entrenching this policy in legislation."

Ms Nolan said the next step towards implementing the policy statement was the release of the draft policy for public consultation.

"I encourage all interested parties to once again take part in this important consultation process," she said.

The draft policy can be downloaded from Department of Environment and Resource Management's website.

Submissions and comments can be provided by submitting a response form to DERM online, by email, post to: Strategic Cropping Land Draft SPP, Land Planning, Land and Indigenous Services, Department of Environment and Resource Management, GPO Box 2454, Brisbane, Qld, 4001; or fax to (07) 3330-6236.

Submissions must be received by 5:00pm on September 30, 2011.
$600,000 Grant Forges Tourism Super Group
August 8, 2011 - The proposed merger between the Toowoomba, Golden West & South Burnett Tourism (TGWSB) regional tourism organisation and the Southern Downs and Granite Belt (SDGB) body (SBBiz July 15, 2011) appears to be a done deal.

In a media statement released late on Friday evening, Queensland Tourism Minister Jan Jarratt announced $600,000 funding to allow the merger to proceed and congratulated the organisations for "putting aside the things that divide them to move forward as a single, strong region".

"As well as helping them seamlessly merge, this funding will create a best-practice model that other organisations will no doubt be watching closely," she said.

"The grant will be used to establish a new tourism advisory board to oversee the merger and consult local industry, as well as assist in driving the new brand forward."

TGWSB has been allocated $150,000 to work with the Southern Downs Granite Belt body to "grow cross-regional tourism and stimulate greater stakeholder partnerships and co-operation"; $185,000 has been given to Toowoomba City Council to promote regional drive holidays.

The South Burnett Wine Industry Association, many of whose members are also members of the South Burnett Tourism Association, has publicly condemned a merger with its major wine tourism competitor, the Granite Belt (see South Burnett Wine, July 19, 2011).

Last month, TGWSB general manager Stuart Perry - who is also general manager of SDGB - said the merger was still up to members.

"The two RTOs will hold Special General Meetings to discuss the decisions with the members and seek membership approval of the merger," he said.

Similar confusion over merger funding arose when the South Burnett was severed from the Fraser Coast regional tourism area and merged with Toowoomba Golden West last year.

It was first thought that funding was being sought to "investigate" a possible merger, but it was later revealed the funding was to "implement" a merger (SBBIZ, August 9, 2010).

Whatever the fate of the latest merger, Mr Perry won't be around to see its outcome. It's been reported that he's moving to New Zealand next month to run the Whanganui Riverboat Centre.

UPDATE: A Special General Meeting to vote on the merger will be held on August 25 at the Empire Theatre, Toowoomba