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Youth Choir Invited To Perform In Brisbane
March 1, 2012 - The South Burnett Youth Choir has been invited to take part in a joint choral workshop, "Next Generation Sings", to be held in Brisbane next month.

Conductor Jane Iszlaub said it was a very exciting opportunity for the choir members and about 15 children were expected to travel down to the Brisbane Grammar School on April 21 to take part.

Other choirs who have received invitations are the Brisbane Girls Grammar School Chamber Singers, the Hillcrest Christian College Bella Voce, the Glennie School Chamber Choir and the Brisbane Birralee Voices & the Birralee Singers.

Jane has also been invited to take part in an interactive forum on the day with other choir conductors.

* * *

ALP Candidate for Nanango Virginia Clarke will be officially launching her campaign for the seat on Sunday.

The launch will be held from 11:00am in the Esk Memorial Park, corner of the Brisbane Valley Highway and Highland Street.

Ms Clarke says she has a passion for social justice and "a fair go for everyone".

She has raised three children, mainly as a sole parent and is currently employed as a cleaner on the new Queensland Children's Hospital site in Brisbane.
Dismantle Cougar's UCG Site Now: KCCG
February 28, 2011 - The Kingaroy Concerned Citizens Group has called for the dismantling of the Cougar Energy trial plant at Coolabunia to start immediately.

Former CSIRO scientist Dr Rock Boothroyd, who lives at Coolabunia and has been advising the KCCG on scientific matters, said Premier Anna Bligh had "announced publicly on two occasions that the site will not be allowed to operate again and the company would no longer be able to operate in Queensland".

"If this is the case why has there been no dismantling of the site?" he said.

On December 21, the Planning and Environment Court dismissed an application by Cougar Energy seeking a stay of the conditions that required it to decommission and rehabilitate its UCG site. However the company announced earlier this month that it would still be proceeding with a Planning and Environment Court appeal.

Speaking to SBBiz this morning, Dr Boothroyd said a lot of people had expressed concerns because there was an election coming up and "people are worried that the Liberal National Party will overturn (the State Government's) decision and let them continue".

"The LNP is seen to have a more laissez-faire attitude to activities by these big companies than even the ALP has," he said.

He said Coolabunia residents were feeling distress "and a lot of angst" about the Cougar site.

"We would like to see some action."

Cougar Energy's appeal to the Planning and Environment Court is scheduled for mention in Brisbane tomorrow.

* * *

LNP Candidate for Nanango Deb Frecklington, (right), said this morning the comments about the LNP and the Cougar Energy site were "ridiculous".

"We have provided them with a clear response. The LNP does not support - and would never have supported - a project at that site," she said.

"Jeff Seeney - the Shadow Minister for Infrastructure and Planning - and I have offered to address a KCCG meeting but they have not responded to our emails. They have not invited us to their group."

The email to the KCCG also spelled out the LNP's position:

"In respect to UCG the LNP have supported the shutdown of the Cougar trial project at Kingaroy and believe any decision on the commercial development of this technology cannot properly be taken until after the completion of the other trials currently being undertaken in other parts of the State," the email said.

"Irrespective of the results of those trials the LNP will ensure that any such development of new unproven technology is located in areas well away from communities and areas of agricultural importance such as the South Burnett."

* * *

On Monday, Cougar Energy notified the ASX that it has entered into a two-year, $97 million funding agreement with The Australian Special Opportunity Fund LP, a New York-based institutional investor managed by The Lind Partners.

The funds will provide working capital for the development of projects and tenement holdings in Asia and Australia.

Cougar also released its half-yearly report on Monday. These show that the company had a net loss of $2.186 million in the half-year ended December 31. During the same period in the previous year, they suffered a $33.059 million loss, impacted by the writedown of the value of the company's Kingaroy assets.

The half-yearly report notes that in the present period, the Kingaroy assets have remained on care and maintenance and the company has launched two sets of legal proceedings (a) in the Queensland Planning and Environment Court to appeal the decision to halt the site UCG operations, and (b) in the Queensland Supreme Court against the Queensland Government and named officials seeking damages, interest and costs. A major portion of the costs incurred in this period, the report notes, relate to these actions.
Consultants To Co-Ordinate Tourism Merger
February 29, 2012 - Consultants EC3 Global and the The Stafford Group have been hired to make the merger of the "Toowoomba Golden West and South Burnett Tourism" and "Southern Downs and Granite Belt Tourism" regional organisations a reality.

The path to the merger has been rocky at times with critics speaking out against the "super group" (see SBBiz, August 21, 2011 and South Burnett Wine, July 19, 2011).

However it has always appeared to be a "done deal", particularly after the State Government announced $600,000 funding in August last year for the merger to proceed. This funding was announced prior to all members of the associations having an opportunity to vote on the proposal.

Similar confusion over merger funding arose during Stage 1 of the process when the South Burnett was severed from the Fraser Coast regional tourism area and merged with Toowoomba Golden West. 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).

A Transition Advisory Board, chaired by South Burnett Mayor David Carter, has welcomed the appointment of the two consultancy companies.

"This is an exciting time for tourism as we join forces across the region," Cr Carter said.

"The merger is a great opportunity for both regions and guarantees to give the industry a stronger voice in what is a very competitive and challenging industry.

"No longer will we be perceived as a small, fragmented tourism industry west of the range."

The consultants will meet with tourism stakeholders from March to May.
Ballot Papers For State Poll Released
February 27, 2012 - The Electoral Commission of Queensland has released the final nominations - and Ballot Paper order for candidates - running at the upcoming State election.

The South Burnett is divided between two electorates, Nanango and Callide.

The ballot paper order for Nanango is:
    DALTON, John (Independent)
    THOMSON, David (Independent)
    NEWSON, Grant (The Greens)
    CLARKE, Virginia (Australian Labor Party)
    RACKEMANN, Carl (The Australian Party)
    FRECKLINGTON, Deb (LNP)

For Callide:
    PERCY, Camilla (The Greens)
    SCOTT, Duncan (Independent)
    ENSBY, Steve (The Australian Party)
    SEENEY, Jeff (LNP)
    NEWTON, Melissa (Australian Labor Party)

It was also announced today that Bob Katter's party has received official registration as a political party. It will run under the banner of "The Australian Party" at the Queensland poll however party leader Aidan McLindon told the Brisbane Times this was just a "shorthand name" for the party and it would appear on ballot papers as "Katter's Australian Party".

McLindon originally formed The Queensland Party after he resigned from the LNP in 2010. Last August, he announced that The Queensland Party would merge with Katter's Australian Party, although not all members made the switch.

The QP was de-registered by the Electoral Commission in December when an investigation showed it no longer had enough members to maintain separate registration.

Queensland Party candidates contesting seats at this election - including David Thomson for Nanango - are now running as Independents.
Community Bank Makes Uni A Reality
February 28, 2012: Teenager Patrick Walsh, from Nanango, is studying science / law at university this year thanks to a scholarship from the Bendigo Bank.

The Yarraman & District Community Bank Branch and Blackbutt Branch Scholarship is awarded to first-time tertiary students whose financial circumstances might mean a university degree is out of their reach.

Patrick, who scored an OP1 when he completed Year 12 at Nanango State High School in 2011, said the scholarship would allow him to start his studies in Bachelor of Science/Laws at Queensland University.

"It's great to know that I have financial support to start my degree, which means I don't have to worry about how I will pay to live away from home," Patrick said.

Patrick was one of 11 local applicants for the scholarship. This was the largest number of applications received by any Bendigo Community Bank branch.

Anyone interested in the concept of a Community Bank is invited to attend a Wine and Cheese night from 7:00pm tonight in the old Westpac building on the corner of Fitzroy and Drayton streets, Nanango (92 Drayton Street). This will be the location for the next Bendigo Bank Community Branch in the South Burnett. Wines will be from Moffatdale Ridge and cheese from Cheeseworld.

* * *

The Bloomin' Beautiful Blackbutt Festival Committee has congratulated the team at the Blackbutt Visitor Information Centre for winning a BookEasy Queensland Visitor Information Centre of the Year 2012 award.

The team won Category 1, for centres staffed solely by volunteers.

Team leader Laraine Aniftos brought home the award on the weekend. The awards ceremony was held at Heron Island last week.

Bloomin' Beautiful chairman Jeff Connor said the award was a testament to the volunteers' dedication in promoting the region.

"It is this spirit that will keep Blackbutt alive and growing," he said.

ABOVE RIGHT: Laraine Aniftos with Scott Hampson from BookEasy

* * *

The Department of Communities will be holding a free Succession Planning Workshop at the Nanango Cultural Centre on Wednesday, March 14, from 6:00pm.

The workshop will demonstrate how to develop and deliver on operational plans, strategic plans and succession plans - all integral tools for planning the ongoing success of clubs and organisations and ensuring their future viability.

The workshop will be facilitated by Leisa Donlon, who has extensive experience in the not-for-profit sector.

For more information contact the Department of Communities, Sport and Recreation on  (07) 4125-9399 or you can register online. Bookings close on March 9.
Senator Not Amused By Rackemann Media Release
February 27, 2012 - A media release from KAP candidate for Nanango Carl Rackemann (SBBiz, February 20) has sparked an angry rebuttal from National Party Senate Leader Barnaby Joyce.

The release "thanked" Senator Joyce for "endorsing" the former cricketer in his bid to win the State seat.

"Carl, I will give you a tip, don’t let your media adviser write your media releases," the Senator retorted today. "They say smarmy things that turn people off.

"Carl, quite obviously I am not going to be endorsing you because you are not in the LNP and I genuinely don’t believe that you will have the capacity to have any power in the government that will be running Queensland in a matter of weeks."

Senator Joyce said that if Rackemann was elected "the people of the South Burnett are going to be even further away from having a fair chance of getting a fair outcome".

"Carl, I have no doubt that you are a good farmer, and that you have a great family connection in the district, and I respect your sporting prowess," Senator Joyce said. "But Carl, that is not an endorsement of your political capacity.

"Most people would understand that the realities of politics ... requires an ability to gather the numbers and influence the decision. Carl, the sad reality is you are not going to be part of the numbers. You are going to be a good bloke in the grandstand not a player on the field.

"Deb Frecklington will be a senior member of an LNP government. To deliver for Nanango you need someone at the table, someone close to the Treasurer with the cheque book. A vote for Carl Rackemann will not remove the Labor party. Only a vote for the LNP and Deb Frecklington can bring a change for Queensland."
The End Of A Food Era
February 27, 2012 - It was the end of an era for good food lovers in the South Burnett on Saturday night when Kingaroy cafe Burning Beats closed its doors for the last time.

Owners Paul Stoddart, (right), and Kerry Cotter established the small "hole-in-the-wall" restaurant almost 11 years ago in Kingaroy Street.

Along the way, they picked up many fans, including celebrity chefs such as Alastair McLeod who would drop in on visits to the region.

The restaurant was also featured in the 2004, 2005 and 2006 Good Life Restaurant Guides.

At the 2004 South Burnett Wine and Food in the Park regional cook-off, Paul won the award for the "most innovative use of peanuts or peanut products" with his deep-fried silver perch with chilli and holy basil.

At the 2006 competition, his pork with peanuts and Asian herbs in a Vietnamese claypot won the coveted "Best Overall Dish" title.

* * *

LNP candidate for Nanango Deb Frecklington says the party has pledged $4 million to support Queensland community groups with grants up to $5000 and volunteer groups with grants up to $15,000 if it wins power at the State election.

She said the "Caring for our Community" program would provide community and volunteer groups with small grants over three years to help them buy equipment to support Queenslanders in need.

"The LNP understands that many of our generous volunteers reach into their own pockets to fund equipment, a cost they can hardly afford as the cost of living spirals," she said.

* * *

Home and Community Care (HACC) program providers in the South Burnett have received $64,000 in one-off Federal Government funding to help them deliver services.

Funds will go to Graham House ($35,000), Murgon Meals on Wheels ($13,000) and Blue Care Murgon ($16,000).

* * *

The co-founder of Centacare South Burnett, Margaret Potter (Todd), died in Toowoomba on February 18 after a long illness. 
 
During the 1990s, Margaret and the late Fr Kevin Ryan worked together to identify areas of need in the local area, particularly for women.
 
Their first venture was a playgroup, then a craft group and the Bread Run. The pair began to successfully access grants, and more projects began, including the conversion of an old classroom into a meeting area now known as "the Biscuit Tin". 

More and more social functions were held and groups formed, including the South Burnett Filipino-Australian Caring Group and the South Burnett Women's Service.

When the need for an accredited counselling service was identified, Centacare was invited to establish in the parish. Margaret also helped to bring the St Marys CACPs aged care program to Kingaroy.
 
She is survived by her husband Brian, children Liam, Megan, Brendan, Katie, Jane and Michael, and nine grandchildren.
APN Announces $45m Loss
February 24, 2012 - APN News & Media, publishers of the South Burnett Times newspaper, yesterday announced a $45.1 million loss after tax.

Total revenue overall was up 1 per cent but profit was down 148 per cent.

The company's Australian regional media arm suffered a 5 per cent drop in revenue and a 27 drop drop in earnings before interest and taxes.

APN reduced publishing costs by $25 million over the period and closed three printing sites.

* * *

Three charges against Cougar Energy, alleging breaches of the Environmental Protection Act at the company's Underground Coal Gasification project at Kingaroy, were adjourned again yesterday in Kingaroy Magistrates' Court to May 24 for further mention.

* * *

The 12,868ha cattle property 'Melrose', located north-west of Kingaroy, has been passed in at auction today after a $5.1m bid. Read more on the Queensland Country Life website

* * *

The Department of Transport and Main Roads has advised motorists that the D’Aguilar Highway through the Blackbutt Range will be closed from 1:30pm-2:30pm on Monday, March 5, to allow blasting as part of reconstruction works. Up-to-date information on traffic disruptions is available by phoning 13-19-40.

UPDATE March 1: This closure has now be cancelled.
Stanwell's On The
Ball At Chelmsford
February 23, 2012 - Chelmsford tennis players will have to find a new excuse for missing the ball now that the local tennis club has new court lights thanks to sponsorship from Stanwell (Tarong Power Station).

Players and local residents gathered at the Chelmsford Tennis Club recently to celebrate the switching on of the new lights, which were also made possible through assistance from the South Burnett Regional Council.

Club project co-ordinator Ron Mason said it had been "like a breath of fresh Chelmsford morning air" to deal with Stanwell - and Tarong Power Community relations coordinator Nicole Connolly, in particular - after having funding applications through Queensland Sport and Recreation fail.

Ron thanked Stanwell for their professional and positive attitude throughout the funding application process.

The original lights had deteriorated to a state where it was almost impossible to play night tennis.

South Burnett Regional Councillor Kathy Duff said district tennis clubs were vital for the social well-being of small communities such as Chelmsford. She said she also appreciated the assistance Stanwell was providing for community projects throughout the South Burnett.

Tarong Power Station Site Manager Dennis Franklin said the court lighting project fitted perfectly into the guidelines for Stanwell's community sponsorship program.

He said the project also demonstrated the pride Chelmsford people had in their local community. The court is located on the site of the original Chelmsford School which had an ant bed tennis court. Local families have been playing on the court for generations and then worked to have it upgraded to artificial grass.

Dennis said it was important that new lights be installed so the court and the beautifully maintained facilities could be used by the district families and surrounding tennis clubs.

The celebration continued into the evening with games under the new lights and a barbecue.

ABOVE RIGHT: Cr Kathy Duff, Chelmsford Tennis Club President Judy Guse, Project Co-ordinator Ron Mason and Tarong Power Station Manager Dennis Franklin
Local Groups Plan How To Spend Grant Money
February 22, 2012 - Two local projects which received $15,000 in funding from the Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation’s Blueprint in the Bush "Building Rural Communities Fund" are now planning to maximise the benefits of the funding for the local area.

Hand Made In Country, an initiative of Toowoomba Golden West and South Burnett Tourism and Southern Downs Tourism, will be holding a workshop in Kingaroy on Saturday, March 3, so that local artisans can have their say on what projects should go ahead.

"We want to hear about the priorities that South Burnett artisans have and what they are hoping to get out of the Hand Made in Country project," Regional Tourism Development Officer Julie McMurtrie said.

"Whether they are looking for more master classes, social media workshops or product presentation and marketing workshops, we want to hear what they think will benefit them most.

"It’s up to them what the future of the Hand Made in Country will look like in the South Burnett region.

"After receiving $15,000 in funding last week from the Department of Employment Economic Development , we are now calling for artisans to help us spend it."

The workshop will begin at 9:30am at Taste South Burnett in William Street, Kingaroy. To RSVP, contact Julie on 0437-008-712.

* * *

South Burnett Arts also received $15,000 from DEEDI to assist the South Burnett Youth Choir with its "Many Towns, One Voice" project.

The project will help to grow a regional youth choir for the South Burnett by establishing junior feeder choirs and senior ensembles in both Wondai and Kingaroy and establishing a music library so a uniform performance repertoire can be established.

South Burnett Youth Choir founder Jane Iszlaub witnessed the signing of the grant documents in Kingaroy yesterday.

ABOVE RIGHT: DEEDI Senior Regional Development Officer Wendy Bennett with Jane Iszlaub from the South Burnett Youth Choir
Kingaroy Has A Very Polite Night With The Candidates

ABOVE: Australian Christian Lobby Queensland State Director Wendy Francis, John Dalton (Independent), Deb Frecklington (LNP), Carl Rackemann (KAP) and David Thomson (Independent / Queensland Party)

February 21, 2012 - On polling night, election pundits are expected to keep a close eye on the State seat of Nanango to see how Katter's Australian Party will perform.

The interest, though, doesn't seem to be shared by local residents.

At a forum staged in Kingaroy last night - organised by the Australian Christian Lobby - just 38 people showed up, and it was clear from the T-shirts that at least a few came along with the candidates.

Four would-be MPs were there: Deb Frecklington (LNP), John Dalton (Independent), Carl Rackemann (Katter's Australian Party) and David Thomson (Independent / Queensland Party).

Retiring Nanango MP Dorothy Pratt was also there, greeting all the candidates very warmly (including Rackemann, whom she greeted with a quick kiss despite her alleged blow-up with Bob Katter late last year).

Apologies were received from The Greens candidate Grant Newson (who was at the Jondaryan protest, see below) and the ALP's Virginia Clarke, who was ill and had suffered a recent family tragedy.

The forum was moderated by the ACL's Queensland Director Wendy Francis. All candidates were given five minutes to introduce themselves and discuss their background and philosophies. Wendy then asked for questions, which were submitted in writing from the floor.

Predictably for a conservative rural seat, all candidates supported religious instruction in schools and the school chaplaincy program. All were opposed to gay marriage and were pro-life.

All believed in a balance between farming and mining and all thought suicide was a serious problem in rural areas. Equally, none are going to recommend preferences.

The only differences emerged when the candidates were asked "If the Parliament was equally split, which side would you support?" (this was put to the minor parties / Independents only).

Rackemann refused to rule out that KAP could support the ALP. He said the party would return to each electorate to gauge voters' views and then act accordingly to guarantee stable government. Thomson said his position was essentially the same.

Dalton said he would consider what was best for the electorate and would approach each party with "a bucket list" of demands which would have to be met before he would enter into negotiations.

That was about as controversial as it got.

After a few obvious "Dorothy Dixers" from the audience, the Forum wound up as sociably as it began, with a cup of tea.


The Greens candidate Grant Newson at yesterday's "Day of Action" at Jondaryan, protesting against the Stage 3 expansion of the Acland New Hope Coal Mine


* * *

KAP candidate Carl Rackemann said today it was "bull" that a vote for him was a vote for the LNP or ALP.

"Let me be clear, a vote for Carl Rackemann is a vote for Katter’s Australian Party, not the LNP or the Labor Party," he said.

"Bob Katter will be here in the Nanango electorate on March 15. If people are concerned that a vote for Katter’s Australian Party is a vote for the Labor Party or the LNP, come ask him yourself."
Ergon Empowers Local Women
February 21, 2012 - Two new apprentices from the South Burnett are among four women from across regional Queensland to become the first to break into the traditionally male role of working on powerlines.

Kingaroy's Rachel Gregory and Murgon's Michelle Howson, (right), are among 72 new recruits starting work with Ergon Energy after one of its largest intakes on record.

Rachel and Michelle, who have been employed as apprentice distribution linespersons, attended a week-long induction in Brisbane recently which included health, safety and environmental awareness training.

They are now undertaking their first block of technical training before starting work at the Kingaroy and Murgon depots.

"The apprentices were chosen from more 2000 applicants for the sought-after positions," Ergon Chief Executive Mr Ian McLeod said.

* * *

Meet Wondai's famous - or infamous - emu which starred in the recent media frenzy, (see SBBiz, January 29).

Thank you, Arthur, for sending it to us!

PS. Comedian Mandy Nolan, who sparked the controversy by calling Wondai a "sh*thole", seems to have done well out of the furore.

Her regular column normally draws only a couple of hundred readers. Her column about Wondai, in comparison, attracted more than 1400 hits, mostly from outraged South Burnett residents, we presume.


* * *

Regional Development Australia Wide Bay Burnett will hold two workshops in the South Burnett next month so that local residents can provide input on RDA WBB activities.

The workshops will be held in Kingaroy on March 22 from 2:00pm-5:00pm at the Kingaroy RSL; and on March 23 from 9:00am-11:00am at the TAFE Nurunderi campus at Cherbourg.

For more information, contact RDA WBB on (07) 4125-9272.
Blackout Caused By High Voltage Powerline
February 20, 2012 - Ergon Energy crews had to restring high and low voltage powerlines to restore the power supply to Kingaroy customers on Saturday night.

The power supply to about 900 customers in the town area was interrupted about 7:30pm when high voltage powerlines came down in William Street.

Although the powerlines were not live, police officers remained at the scene to ensure public safety until Ergon Energy crews arrived.

The crews initially isolated the damaged section of line so power could be restored to all apart from about 150 customers in the immediate area by 9:30pm.

They then completed the repairs to the high-voltage powerlines and also the low-voltage powerlines supplying a street light so power could be fully restored about 10:20pm.
LNP Says 'No'
To Acland
Mine Expansion
February 20, 2012 - LNP Candidate for Nanango Deb Frecklington says she has had a win within the party over the proposed expansion of the Acland coal mine.

"After months of lobbying by myself, Ray Hopper and Jeff Seeney, the LNP has made it clear that it will not support the proposal for Acland Stage 3 that would see the expansion of the open cut coal mine digging up strategic cropping land," she said today.

If elected, the LNP would introduce Statutory Regional Planning Schemes to protect strategic cropping land.

"The fact this regional planning didn't happen a long time ago is just another sign that this 20-year-old Labor government simply doesn’t care about regional Queensland," Mrs Frecklington said.

She also warned against voting for minor parties or Independents.

"Katter’s Australia Party has refused to rule out supporting Labor after the election, meaning a vote for Carl Rackemann this election risks three more years of Anna Bligh and Labor," she said.

"Anna Bligh is hoping locals will vote for a minor party or an independent this election, meaning we could end up in the same mess we see in Canberra."

ABOVE RIGHT: LNP Member for Southern Downs Lawrence Springborg, Federal Parliamentary Leader of The Nationals Warren Truss, Federal LNP Member for Maranoa Bruce Scott and LNP Candidate for Nanango Deb Frecklington in Kumbia at the weekend

* * *

KAP Candidate for Nanango Carl Rackemann, (right), has "thanked" Senator Barnaby Joyce, claiming the Senator "endorsed" him during his recent visit to Kingaroy (see SBBiz, February 17)

He said he was amused to hear about Senator Joyce’s comments.

"Senator Joyce made a special point of highlighting the boxes that needed that to be ticked by a prospective representative of the people. He said how important it was to know about the land and know the South Burnett," Mr Rackemann said.

"I appreciate his endorsement of myself as he may be unaware that my family has been in this district for 114 years, so I might know a bit about it. I live and work on our family farm, so I might know a thing or two about the land as well.

"The really disappointing thing is that Senator Joyce made a big point of the importance of having small business experience. Is the LNP position that farms are not recognised as small businesses?"

"Senator Joyce also highlighted the need to be a part of the team making decisions.

"Should we thank his team for the decisions to deregulate the dairy and sugar industries, introduce gun and tree-clearing laws and most recently support the State Labor Government in making many pocket knives illegal?"

* * *

Retiring Nanango MP Dorothy Pratt says the State Parliament has too much power. She has told the ABC that an Upper House is needed to stop Ministers dictating "basically what the whole of the state" does.
It Was Better Than All Right!
February 17, 2012 - Ex-Redgum members John Schumann and Hugh McDonald, with their band The Vagabond Crew, rocked the Kingaroy Town Hall forecourt last night to help spread the word about health and well-being.

A crowd of more than 500 sang and clapped along as the band performed on the Town Hall steps.

Glendon Street was closed to allow displays from a range of health providers.

Local award-winning country music performer Amber Goldsmith,(right), won over the crowd at the start of the night with her performance of her self-penned pieces as well as popular covers.

The evening was presented by the Centre For Rural and Remote Mental Health in association with Centacare South Burnett, the Qld Alliance For Mental Health, RHealth and Stanwell - Tarong Power Station.
Senator Bowls Over LNP Candidate
February 17, 2012 - National Party Senate Leader Barnaby Joyce visited Kingaroy this week to meet local residents and provide moral support for LNP candidate for Nanango Deb Frecklington in the upcoming State election.

More than 115 people heard Senator Joyce speak at the Booie Bella Vista on Wednesday night. He then did the rounds of local radio stations yesterday.

He was particularly scathing about how the Federal Government's Regional Development Australia Fund has ignored projects in rural areas in favour of projects in city areas - including an art gallery in Newcastle, $10m to the Geelong Football Club and the construction of a ring-road in Perth - while genuine projects in rural areas, including extensions to a Kingaroy kindergarten, missed out.

Speaking to SBBiz, Senator Joyce said the LNP would win the 2012 Queensland election.

"Let's be completely ruthless. Who do you want to represent you? Do you want someone who is part of the government or someone who is sitting in the stands?" he said.

"It's not a personality contest. It's about who can deliver the best outcome."

Using a cricket analogy, Senator Joyce said to achieve anything, a player needed to be on the field.

"You need to be on the field with the team, probably in slips standing close to the captain. Carl Rackemann was a brilliant cricketer and I'm sure he's a decent bloke, but the reality in the political game is that you've got to be standing next to the person who's making the decisions.

"You can scream and yell from the stands all you like but the people in the middle won't hear you."

He sang Deb Frecklington's praises: "She has the core characteristics, the core traits ... she knows about the land, she knows about the South Burnett, she's clever and strong enough to get stuck into study to get a law degree. She ticks a lot of the boxes that we need."

She was also running a successful small business.

"If you can't run a small business, you can't run an economy and you can't run a state," Senator Joyce said.

He said voters should always ask "How much is it going to cost?", "Where is the money coming from?" and "Is that the best project to spend the money on?" whenever they heard "random" promises from would-be MPs.

"You can't promise them golf courses on the moon because you can't deliver it," he said.

The reality in Queensland was that there was no money in the bank.

"The credit card is maxxed out," he said.

Senator Joyce will be visiting Kumbia at the weekend.

ABOVE RIGHT: Deb Frecklington and Barnaby Joyce meet some Kingaroy locals, Maggie, D’Arcy and Zac Hay who were on their way to school
Delegates Inspect Plans For New Ambulance Station


February 16, 2012 - Local Ambulance Committee delegates inspected plans for the new Kingaroy Ambulance Station, (above and below), at their Area meeting held in Kingaroy last weekend.

The delegates - from Buderim, Caloundra, Cooroy, Gympie, Kingaroy, Murgon, Nanango and Yarraman - also discussed the increase of paramedic staffing levels at Nanango ambulance station and the associated building works which would have to be completed to accommodate them.

Suzette Dakin and Linley Macleod, (above right), from the Cooroy LAC, presented information about the LAC's Community Safety Program and answered questions about the "Rescue Roos" project which is a volunteer program to teach school students from prep to Year 7 the basics of first aid.



The new Kingaroy Ambulance Station will feature a plant room that can house six vehicles, a multi-purpose training area with kitchen and rest/study areas, locker room, storage areas, shower and offices.
Nanango Candidates Invited To Forum
February 15, 2012 - The Australian Christian Lobby will be holding a Candidate Forum in Kingaroy next Monday night (February 20) so that voters in the State seat of Nanango can compare candidates and party policies.

The forum will be held from 7:00pm at the Church of Christ Hall, 254 Haly Street, Kingaroy.

All candidates who have put up their hands so far for Nanango have been invited to attend.

The ACL is a Christian lobby group which is not aligned with any denomination or political party.

A spokesman for the group told SBBiz today the the purpose of the forum was for Christian voters to meet the candidates, discuss the issues and make up their own minds.

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Hand Made In Country will be holding a workshop in Kingaroy next month for local artists and craftspeople to have a say about the future direction of the project.

Handmade in Country is an initiative of Toowoomba Golden West and South Burnett Tourism and Southern Downs Tourism.

The workshop will be held on March 3 at Taste South Burnett, 67 William Street, from 9:30am-11:30am. RSVP to organiser Julie McMurtrie by email
Community Bank Has $30,000 To Share
February 15, 2012 - South Burnett Community Enterprises Limited, the company that operates the Yarraman & District Community Bank Branch and Blackbutt branch, will launch the bank's annual Community Grants Program at a information evening in Yarraman tonight.

Chairman Frank Smith said he was pleased to announce that the Board had increased the total for grants amount from $25,000 to $30,000 for 2012.

"Since opening our doors in 2005, we have seen our business grow, and this brings huge rewards for local people who may not have the financial support they seek without the support of their local Community Bank Branch," Mr Smith said.

"Our community continues to tell us about the many worthy projects in the South Burnett community, and thanks to our customers, our local Community Bank can contribute to these important initiatives and organisations. The more a community gets behind its local Community Bank branch, the more it can return funds to support local projects and future sustainability."

Community groups to receive grants in 2011 included:
  • Tanduringie State School P&C - $6600 for shade covers for the school sandpits.
  • Yarraman & District Community Kindergarten - $4000 for a patio
  • Blackbutt Singers - $3000 for uniforms
  • Bloomin’ Beautiful Blackbutt Festival - $2870 towards promotion.
  • Yarraman & District Historical Society Community Radio - $2320 to fund outside broadcasting equipment
  • Blackbutt Golf Club - $2000 for chairs
  • Yarraman Memorial Society - $1960 for Queensland’s Flood Relief Appeal
  • Blackbutt District Tourism and Heritage - $1918.20 for office equipment
  • Timbertowns Woodworking Group Inc - $798 to fund health and safety equipment
  • Yarraman & District Historical Society Inc - $750 to purchase new fridge
  • Students’ Christmas project - $750 to fund craft
Tonight's function will be held from 7:00pm at the Yarraman Memorial Hall in Browne Street.

For more information, contact Anne Woodrow at Yarraman & District Community Bank Branch on (07) 4163-8162 or visit the website.

Applications close on March 14, 2012.

The Yarraman & Blackbutt Community Grants Program will offer grants to charitable and not-for-profit organisations for the benefit of the Yarraman, Blackbutt and surrounding communities.

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Lynnelle Richardson's popular Network 5 for local businesswomen will be holding "Drinks on the Ridge" from 5:30pm on February 22 at Sunny Ridge Gardens.

Cost is $19 which includes a cold drink on arrival (alcoholic or non) plus High Tea sweet and savoury treats.

Bookings can be made online or by contacting Lynnelle on 0419-719-120.
Fishing Bonanza At Boondooma Dam
February 14, 2012 - More than 640 competitors - just short of the all-time record - weighed in 471 fish at the 22nd Boondooma Dam Yellowbelly Fishing Competition held at the dam at the weekend.

Adult angler Graham Scanlan, Proston, had the heaviest Yellowbelly at 2.095kg. Graham won a Lowrance Fish Finder sponsored by the Lake Boondooma Kiosk.

Adult angler Kathleen Elliott, Proston, had the heaviest Australian Bass at 1.720kg. Kathleen won a trophy and prize money sponsored by Wondai Accounting and Tax Services.

There were an impressive 132 junior anglers. Hanwood Fish Hatchery champion juniors were Maitland Collins, Nanango, who weighed-in a 1.805kg Yellowbelly and Blake Manthey, Nanango, with a 1.2kg Australian Bass.

Major prize winning draws for Yellowbelly, Australian Bass, Silver Perch, Jew and Spangled Perch were won by Amanda Boyce, Toowoomba; Ashley Davies, Meringandan; Louise McHugh, Bell, Keith Eastment, Moores Pocket, and Kathy Dennis, Proston.

The event provided an enormous boost to the local economy with more than 1400 campers enjoying the dam facilities.

Mark your calendars ... the 2013 competition will be held on February 9-10, 2013.


ABOVE RIGHT: Boondooma Dam Fish Stocking Group president Glenn Munro with Graham Scanlan, the winner of the heaviest Australian Bass

LEFT: Kathleen Elliott who caught the heaviest Australian Bass