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Not Swickers ... Sunpork!
June 14, 2010 - On June 3 SouthBurnett.Biz asked company officials if Swickers was the secret purchaser of the Pittsworth and Killarney abattoirs and the answer was clear from two sources: definitely not.

What they failed to mention, though, was that a closely related company Sunpork WAS the purchaser.

Sunpork - also owned by the CHM Alliance - confirmed yesterday that the Pittsworth plant was under contract with settlement due on June 28.

Sunpork Processing spokesman Brian McLean told the Warwick Daily News that the Pittsworth abattoir would act "as a backup pork processing site for Swickers when required".
Bendigo Bank Asks Nanango Residents For Feedback
June 11, 2010: Bendigo Bank is asking Nanango residents to complete and return a short, confidential survey by July 9th, 2010 to determine whether a proposal to open a Community Bank in the town is feasible.

Bendigo currently operate Community Banks in 250 communities around Australia, bringing modern banking services to towns deserted by the "Big Four" banks and sharing the profits equally with the communities in which the banks operate.

The short survey form has been distributed to all households in the Nanango area and the bank is urging residents to take a few minutes to complete the confidential forms and return them in a supplied pre-paid envelope before the deadline.

If you live in Nananago and for any reason haven't received a form, you can contact the project's local steering committee on (07) 4163-3333, (07) 4163-2266 or (07) 4163-1370 to arrange another copy to be sent to you.
Barambah Cellar Door
Re-Opens Friday June 11th
June 10, 2010: Barambah Wines' cellar door at Redgate will re-open to the public tomorrow after being closed for three months.

The cellar door will be managed by well-known South Burnett wine identity Nick Pseudovs, whose parents Wally and Cathy manage the nearby Clovely Estate cellar door, Clovely Cottage B&B and very popular Old Dairy Restaurant.

Nick - who until recently worked with Clovely Estate's chief winemaker Luke Fitzpatrick - said he thought the new position was challenging but exciting, and says he has several ideas he wants to try once he's found his feet in the new role (which will also include assisting Barambah Wines' consultant winemaker and Queensland's second Master of Wine Peter Scudamore-Smith).

One of them could include opening the cellar door on Friday and Saturday nights as a tapas wine bar.

"I think my social life will be just about zero from now on," Nick told SouthBurnett.Biz, "so the idea of having the social life come to me is pretty appealing. And nothing like this exists in the South Burnett right now. So I'm hopeful that there'll be people who wouldn't mind seeing a new and completely different entertainment option opening up in the area".

The cellar door is located at 79 Goschnicks Road in Redgate and will be open to the public from 10:00am to 4:00pm Thursdays to Sundays and public holidays.
Small Businesses Urged
To Sign Up For New
Super Clearing House
June 9, 2010: South Burnett small businesses interested in cutting the time and paperwork associated with their employees’ superannuation are being urged to register for the Australian Government’s free Small Business Superannuation Clearing House.

The new clearing house will go live on July 1, 2010 and will be operated by Medicare Australia, which already processes around 500 million transactions and $30 billion in payments annually through multiple delivery channels.

Any business with fewer than 20 staff can register for the clearing house, which will make it easier for small businesses to meet their superannuation obligations.

Through it, small business can pay their employees' super into a single location with just one simple electronic transaction. The clearing house will then send the contributions to the appropriate superannuation fund on behalf of the employer, and employers can also access a record of their contribution history whenever it’s needed.

To take part in the new system, eligible small businesses simply need to sign up online at www.medicareaustralia.gov.au/super
Workshop To Help
Businesses Do It Better
June 8, 2010 - The Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation (DEEDI) is holding a Managing For Profits workshop tomorrow in Kingaroy.

The workshop has been designed to give participants an awareness of the financial elements involved in running a successful business. Other topics to be covered include financial terminology, basic financial ratios and understanding financial statements.

The workshop will be held on from 1:00pm-4:00pm at the Kingaroy RSL Club. Cost is $44 and registrations are essential.

For more information and to book, phone DEEDI's Maryborough Business Assistance office on (07) 4121-1780.
Tarong Energy and Thiess
Help Make Murgon's
Gumnut Place Sustainable
June 7, 2010: The Gumnut Place - an Australian Disability Enterprise in Murgon run by South Burnett CTC that provides meaningful employment for 20 people - has been made more sustainable thanks to a grant from the Tarong Energy Community Partnership Fund and a cleaning contract from Thiess.

The premises already operate a timber workshop (which makes fumigated hardwood pallets for Murgon Leather); a trophy making and engraving service; and a commercial kitchen and catering business. All sections have been operating successfully for many years but fluctuations in demand have left the sustainability of employment for the centre's workers in doubt at times.

However the Tarong Energy grant has paid for the installation of a new commercial laundry at the premises. And with the laundry in place, Thiess have awarded the group a contract to clean the uniforms of staff working at Tarong Mine. Both things have greatly improved future employment prospects for workers at the centre.

The Gumnut Place will be holding a special Open Day on Thursday 17 June at 11:00am to formally launch the new Gumnut Place Laundry and to thank Tarong Energy, Thiess, Murgon Leather and all the centre's other loyal customers and suppliers. And members of the public are invited along too.

The Gumnut Place is located at 22 Gore Street in Murgon. There'll be an oppotunity to see all the centre's different sections in action, meet the employees and enjoy a light lunch prepared in the Gumnut Kitchen afterwards. To assist with catering, though, an RSVP on (07) 4162-9000 would be appreciated prior to June 15th.
Thief Threatens ANZ Staff During Robbery
June 5, 2010 - An unarmed man escaped with an undisclosed sum of money after threatening staff at the ANZ Bank in Alford Street, Kingaroy, yesterday afternoon (Friday).

The robber entered the bank shortly before 3pm and acted in an aggressive manner before fleeing on foot.

Witnesses described the man as being caucasian, about 163cm tall, of average build with brown hair. He was wearing a white T-shirt, 3/4 length beige shorts, a blue and grey hooded jumper and white shoes.

Anyone with information is asked to call CrimeStoppers on 1800-333-000
Pittsworth abattoirSwickers Refutes
Abattoir Purchase
June 3, 2010 - Ken Cameron, from CHM Alliance, has categorically denied reports that Swickers Kingaroy is about to purchase either the Pittsworth, (right), or Killarney abattoirs.

The Darling Downs abattoirs, owned by the Leitch Pastoral Group, closed suddenly in February with the loss of more than 200 jobs.

Yesterday's Warwick Daily News reported rumours that Swickers had purchased the Pittsworth operation.

A contract for the sale has reportedly been signed, due to be settled on June 28.

But Mr Cameron told SBBiz this morning this buyer was definitely not Swickers.
US Corporation Snaps
Up Kingaroy Business
June 2, 2010 - US-based ESCO Corporation has purchased the service/engineering and mining product divisions of the Swift Group, including Swift Engineering in Kingaroy.

ESCO is an international provider of parts and attachments for the mining and construction industry.

In a media release, ESCO’s Asia Pacific Managing Director Jeff Kershaw said the Australian expansion was an exciting step for the company.

ESCO anticipates the purchase will be finalised within weeks. Once this occurs, Swift Group will change its name to ESCOSupply. It will continue to provide site services, as well as fabrication and refurbishment services, via its facilities in Kingaroy and Mackay.

Plans are also underway to establish new ESCOSupply locations and independent distributors in other parts of Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea.

Swift Engineering, in Stolzenberg Road, Kingaroy, was formerly known as Ashcroft & Swift Engineering.
ACICC Funding
Helps Local Projects
June 1, 2010 - Everything from helping a youngster to represent his country in an international rugby union tour to assisting the Nurunderi TAFE to provide a Certificate II in Hairdressing ... these are just some of the projects funded over the past 12 months by Tarong Energy's Aboriginal Community Interest Consultative Committee.

The ACICC has been operating since 2005. Over the past year it has committed $190,510 to a variety of projects and initiatives.

As well as providing funding for one-off events such as health camps, it has also assisted local students by awarding a High School Scholarship and Tertiary Scholarship.

Other applications funded included projects at Kingaroy and Murgon high schools, St Joseph's Murgon, Wondai P-10 and Wooroolin and Tingoora State Schools.
$114,000 Boost For
Local Community Groups
May 31, 2010 - Kingaroy RSPCA, the Wondai Country Club, Kingaroy SES and the Queensland Dairy and Heritage Museum at Murgon will all benefit from the latest round of funding from the Tarong Energy Community Partnership Fund.

Kingaroy RSPCA has been given $20,000 to expand and improve its animal shelter near Kingaroy Airport.

The Dairy Museum will receive $20,000 to re-establish the slab kitchen adjacent to the 1893 slab house.

Wondai Country Club will receive $39,000 to purchase lawn maintenance equipment for the local golf and bowls club and adjacent sporting grounds.

Kingaroy SES will receive $35,000 to replace their training tower in Glendon Street to ensure members are using the safest possible equipment.
Anna Bligh and Paul LucasIt's Up To Medical Board
Says Qld Health Minister
May 28, 2010 - Queensland Deputy Premier and Minister for Health Paul Lucas has commented on last Friday's SBBiz story ("Red Tape Forces Kingaroy GP To Stop Seeing Patients") by emphasising the Medical Board of Queensland, not the State Government, will determine the case of Dr Kamal Banerjee.

Mr Lucas, (pictured at right with Premier Anna Bligh), said there was a need to keep a balance between maintaining the highest professional standards and coping with the "extreme" doctor shortage in rural and regional Australia.

"The specific decisions about (an) individual doctor’s registration is for the independent Medical Board of Queensland," Mr Lucas said.

"The shortage of GPs in rural and regional Australia is a major concern.

"The Howard Government made the decision many years ago to freeze the number of university medical places. To meet this shortfall, the Queensland Government stepped in and committed funding for extra university medical places because we knew that we need to train more doctors if we are going to meet the health care needs of Australia’s growing and ageing population.

"The Rudd Government has recognised the importance of building up our medical workforce, and have committed to training more medical students which will ultimately mean more specialists and in particular GPs for our rural and regional areas.

"The State Government has played an important role in increasing the number of doctors coming through the system. Doctors, when they graduate, proceed with an internship with Queensland Health. Since 2005 we have more than doubled intern positions from 250 interns in Queensland to 556 interns this year, increasing to 644 in 2011."
Learn How To Market
Your Business Online
In Kingaroy Next Week
May 27, 2010: Want to learn more about social marketing and how to open up an online presence for your business? If so, then you may want to attend one of two introductory seminars for the Bush Business Online programme that will be held at Kingaroy RSL next Tuesday and Wednesday, June 1st and 2nd.

The Bush Business Online programme is an Australian Government funded initiative under the Small Business Online program. It's aimed at helping small and home-based South Burnett businesses acquire the skills and knowledge they need to develop an easy and effective marketing strategy through a simple web presence using popular social media such as Facebook and Twitter.

The complete $120 course consists of 12 individual 3 hour workshops delivered over 12 months. The workshops will also be available over the Internet and will be supported by online discussions, Q&A's and regular hints and tips from a panel of specialists in the field of social media.

The free introductory sessions will be held at the Kingaroy RSL from 6:30pm to 8:30pm next Tuesday and Wednesday nights. You can obtain more details and/or register for the full course online at www.cre8you.com.au. There's no need to register for the information session, though.

You can also download a 4-page PDF outline of the full course by clicking here (260K).
$100,000 Grants Program
For Green Projects
May 26, 2010 - South Burnett community groups have been invited to apply for funding from a $100,000 grants program from Ergon Energy.

Ergon spokesman Paul Jordon said the Envirofund program could give a kickstart to innovative projects that benefit the environment. It is open to not-for-profit community groups and organisations to undertake environmental initiatives in their local communities.

Grants from as little as $200 up to $10,000 are available.

Last year, four Wide Bay-Burnett organisations were successful in obtaining grants and Mr Jordon is hopeful more local groups will be successful this year.

Projects that could attract funding include those that reduce energy consumption, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, educate and encourage behavioural change around energy use, use or promote renewable energy alternatives (solar, wind, hydro and biomass), protect, maintain or re-establish natural environments in community spaces, or protect wildlife.
Winter Tourism Campaign Targets Brisbane Listeners
May 25, 2010 - Brisbane Radio Station 4KQ's popular Breakfast Crew, (Laurel, Gary & Mark, right), will be doing an outside broadcast from somewhere in the South Burnett on June 8 as part of a bid to entice Brisbane residents to enjoy a "winter country break".

The South Burnett will feature in Tourism Queensland's Winter Country Breaks advertising campaign which will run in Brisbane from June 6 to July 2.

The campaign, which is being run in conjunction with Fraser Coast South Burnett Tourism, will focus on radio advertising and promotions and will also include Brisbane FM station 97.3.

South Burnett tourism operators who would like to take part in the campaign should contact Adelaide Hadzic at Tourism Queensland on (07) 3535-5470.

PS. A quick reminder to local tourism business ... nominations for the 2010 Fraser Coast South Burnett Tourism Awards close on June 11.
Have Your Say
On Health Issues
May 24, 2010 How sick is our hospital system? With newspaper reports that Nanango Hospital could close and a warning from a local GP, (below), that he may be forced to shut his surgery, it's no wonder that Opposition politicians are taking an interest in the South Burnett's health woes.

Queensland Opposition spokesman on health Mark McArdle will be visiting Ringsfield House in Nanango next Saturday (May 29) to allow residents to voice their concerns to him about local health issues.

Mr McArdle will be the guest speaker at an LNP breakfast from 6:30am. Cost is just $20 but bookings are essential. For more information, contact Margaret on (07) 4163-8623 or Jim on (07) 4163-8947 by Thursday.

Photo: Opposition health spokesman Mark McArdle - photographed here with former Opposition Leader Lawrence Springborg - will be visiting the South Burnett on Saturday.
Red Tape Forces Kingaroy GP To Stop Seeing Patients
May 21, 2010 - The Eduardstrete Medical Centre in Kingaroy looks set to close because of red tape, leaving more than 3000 patients in the lurch.

Fijian-born Dr Kamal Banerjee has been at the centre since 2001, most of the time practising as a solo GP.

However in the wake of the Bundaberg Hospital fiasco, the State Government introduced new laws that meant that for him to continue working he must always have a FRACGP-registered doctor at the surgery. Dr Janet Ackinboye, from Cherbourg, filled this role for eight months but had to leave in January.

"We got a phone call late one afternoon from the Medical Board of Queensland saying that he could no longer work. I was stunned," Dr Banerjee's secretary Barbara Wittmann told SBBiz today.

Ironically, the ban made it difficult for Dr Banerjee to complete part of his critical FRACGP exam, which involved videos of him at work.

"Dr Peter Wynn was absolutely wonderful and allowed him to work in his surgery," Barbara said.

A locum doctor from New Zealand allowed Dr Banerjee to briefly re-open his practice this month however this doctor returned home last Friday.

Dr Banerjee has completed his FRACGP exams but the results will not be available until October. In the meantime, unless another doctor becomes available his surgery must remain shut.

Barbara has raised the problem with the Darling Downs West Moreton Health Service District, Queensland Health Minister Paul Lucas and South Burnett Regional Mayor David Carter.

"If there is no solution, the centre will probably have to close," she said.
We Remember The Places
The South Burnett Forgets
May 21, 2010: Hello everyone! A little over a week ago we unveiled SouthBurnett.Biz version 4.0. And today we're very pleased to take the wraps off our first upgrade: SouthBurnett.Biz version 4.1.

In this upgrade we've added 13 new localities to our database: Elgin Vale and Manumbar in the Gympie Regional Council's area; and Barambah, Chelmsford, Cushnie, Gilla, Glan Devon, Kinleymore, Marshlands, Moondooner, Runnymede, Taabinga Village and Wattlecamp in the South Burnett Regional Council's area.

These localities are often overlooked in business directories because they're largely populated by farmers. But farms are businesses too. So we list them just the same as we list town businesses.

We've also made some small refinements to our search engine which will improve searching when you look for towns or localities with two-word names (such as "Bunya Mountains" or "Lower Wonga").

Thank you to all the people who took time out to email us or phone us over the last week to share your thoughts about our new look. Your reaction has been almost universally positive. And we'll have more upgrades to come for you in the near future.
Unmanned Aircraft
Trials A Great Success
May 20, 2010 - Trials using a private airstrip near Burrandowan have proved so successful that researchers hope to demonstrate by the end of this year that up to 50 aircraft - both real and simulated - can safely, and automatically, share a confined airspace.

The Smart Skies project - involving Boeing, the Australian Research Centre for Aerospace Automation (ARCAA), CSIRO and the Queensland University of Technology - is developing an automated separation management system for aircraft.

Tests conducted locally have included unmanned aircraft avoiding obstacles such as trees, buildings, powerlines and other aircraft.

The $10 million project is due to be completed by March next year.

Salvos Get Ready To
Hit The Streets (and Park)
May 19, 2010 - It's going to be a busy couple of weeks for the Salvation Army corps in Kingaroy - with a winter sleepout, a visiting band and the Red Shield Appeal all ready to go.

  • This Saturday night, the Salvos will be hosting a Winter Sleepout for teenagers in Kingaroy's Memorial Park to help raise awareness of homelessness in the local region. There will be a Soup Kitchen (with soup prepared by local chef Jason Ford), games and guest speakers. Cardboard will be provided but participants should bring their own sleeping bags as it's guaranteed to be COLD!

  • One of the largest Salvation Army bands in Queensland - the Carina Brass Band - will also be performing free concerts on Saturday at 4pm and 7pm and then will back up on Sunday at the Salvos' hall in Mary Street to conduct workshops with local town and school bands.

  • Then on Thursday May 27, local businesspeople are invited to attend the Kingaroy RSL for the official launch of the 2010 Red Shield Appeal annual doorknock. Guest speaker will be Bill Hunter, chaplain to the Brisbane Broncos, and there will also be an auction on the night.

For more information about any of the above events - and to RSVP for the Red Shield appeal launch - contact Lt Craig Harlum on 0408-623-701.