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Drought Status Lifted
April 23, 2009 - The South and North Burnett regions have been removed from the official drought list following recent rainfall.

Primary Industries Minister Tim Mulherin yesterday announced the revocation of drought status of 12 local government areas across Queensland, effective April 21. Other shires include Gympie, Lockyer Valley, Ipswich City, Somerset and the Southern Downs.

At the height of the drought, in February 2004, 66.5 per cent of Queensland was drought declared. This has now been reduced to 41 per cent.

"Producers who believe they have not received adequate rainfall to alleviate drought conditions can contact Queensland Primary Industries and Fisheries on 13-25-23 for an Individually Droughted Property declaration which gives the same access to drought assistance as having the whole area declaration," Mr Mulherin said.
Kunioon Farms May Be Spared From Coal Development
April 22, 2009 - Queensland Country Life is reporting today that farms not already purchased by Tarong Energy for the proposed Kunioon coal mine may now be "saved" from development.

According to QCL, Tarong Energy is only continuing with "voluntary" land acquisitions at this time.

Tarong Energy announced recently that it had reappraised the geology at the existing Meandu mine near Nanango and had found more coal there than it originally thought. These new reserves would be adequate to continue "well beyond" 2012, the original date set for closure of the mine.

Read the full story on the Queensland Country Life website
Five-Day Heritage Muster At Boondooma Homestead
April 21, 2009 - The five-day "Spirit of the Bush" Heritage Weekend & Balladeers' Muster - one of the South Burnett's most popular annual events - will kick off tomorrow at 1:00pm at the historic Boondooma Homestead.

Some of Australia's top balladeers and bush poets will appear including Brian Young, Gary Fogarty, Dean Perrett, Shaza Leigh and Harry Early as well as walk-up artists. There will also be competitions for Homestead Balladeers, Bush Ballad Song, Australiana Art and Poetry.

For more information contact Buddy Thomson or Lynne Bennett on (07) 4168-0168 or by email.

Camping is available on site.

Boondooma Heritage Muster from air
The Boondooma Heritage Weekend & Balladeers' Muster draws
huge crowds ... this is last year's muster from the air
Mark Your Diaries - September 12!
April 20, 2009 - It's official! The 2009 Kingaroy Peanut Festival will be held on Saturday, September 12.

An application to incorporate a community group to run this year's festival was sent to the Department of Fair Trading today. An association was formed and an executive committee elected at a meeting held in Kingaroy last Wednesday night.

President is Dafyd Martindale, Secretary Anne Miller and Treasurer Ray Wilton. Support for the festival has been confirmed from a number of local community groups and businesses, including Quota, Lions, Scouts, PCA, The Peanut Van, South Burnett CTC and The Artists Cottage.

South Burnett Regional Council Mayor David Carter and Deputy Mayor Keith Campbell have also offered their support.

A formal request has been made to the Kingaroy Chamber of Commerce and Industry for all assets from former Peanut Festivals to be passed on to the new group.
Sharing Indigenous Cultures With Many
April 17, 2009 - Well-known Cherbourg resident Patti Bond has launched a consultancy to provide cross-cultural training for local organisations, especially those involved in policy development, program planning and evaluation.

The Mai'Yandah Consultancy will deliver training packages that increase knowledge and understanding of Australia's traditional, historical and contemporary Indigenous cultures and build positive attitudes and communication.

Patti has 35 years experience working specifically with Indigenous issues and is a Certificate IV Workplace Trainer.

The consultancy, which is sponsored by the Bunya Wakka Wakka Cultural Heritage Aboriginal Corporation, can be contacted on (07) 4168-3044.

NB. Mai'yandah means "many" in Wakka Wakka so Patti will be "sharing her culture with many".
Focus on Promotion
April 16, 2009 - The Country Focus in Nanango has branched out ... into personalised promotional items.

Flexsys Promotions, which will be located behind the Country Focus at 49 Drayton Street, now provides personalised items such as mugs, caps, keytags, mousepads and a variety of other items for individuals, sporting clubs and businesses.

Owner Ross Towell said he and his wife Sandy had been involved in a similar business in Brisbane and realised there was a gap in the market after they came to the South Burnett.

Rather than continuing to send away to Brisbane or Toowoomba for promotional items, which was proving costly, they decided to solve the problem by starting their own business here. Flexsys can be contacted on (07) 4163-2266.
Kingaroy To Host ABARE Conference
April 15, 2009 - The Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics (ABARE) will be holding a Regional Outlook Conference in Kingaroy later this month.

The conference, at Kingaroy RSL Club on April 29, will feature discussions by a number of well-known local residents including Barb Madden (Smithfield Fieldlot), Dr Graeme Wright (PCA) and Rob Patch (The Peanut Van) as well as ABARE economists and analysts.

Sessions will be chaired by Scott Lamond (ABC Rural), John Day (DPI&F), Cr David Carter (South Burnett Regional Council) and Linda Silburn (BIEDO).

Regional Outlook Conferences allow ABARE to deliver commodity forecasts, economic analysis and research results directly to rural and regional communities.

For more information contact Angela Ellerman at ABARE on (02) 6272-2303, by email or download a conference program (274kb PDF).

* * *

Today marks the 100th anniversary of the opening of St Mary's Catholic Church in Kingaroy. The sometimes controversial Archbishop Duhig travelled from Brisbane to officially open and bless the building on this day in 1909.
NA Meeting Opens Tonight
April 14, 2009 - Narcotics Anonymous, a self-help 12 Step program for people who feel they may have a problem with drugs - legal or illegal - will be opening a new weekly meeting in Kingaroy tonight.

According to the NA website, recovery in NA focuses on the problem of addiction, not on any particular drug. The basic premise of anonymity at meetings allows addicts to attend without fear of legal or social repercussions.

The new Kingaroy NA meeting will be held on Tuesday nights from 7:30pm at the Biscuit Tin (the small meeting room behind the Catholic Church Hall) at 15 Albert Street. For more information, contact NA Kingaroy by email or phone the Brisbane Helpline on (07) 3391-5045.
TAFE Staff Thanked For Loyal Service
April 9, 2009 - Southern Queensland Institute of TAFE staff have been rewarded for their long years of service to the South Burnett community.

Institute Director Paul Murphy presented seven staff with service certificates and badges at an informal ceremony recently.

Gold Awards for 20 years’ service were presented to June Robson (counsellor) and Peter McFarlane (teacher), Silver Awards for 15 years’ service to Catherine Richards (planning and performance officer), Janice Nielsen (workplace training officer/teacher), Sharon McFarlane (teacher) and Fay Groom (librarian) and Bronze Award for 10 years’ service to Tamara Geritz (workplace training officer).

TAFE staff

SQIT Director Paul Murphy (back row, third from left) presented SQIT
Kingaroy campus staff with their service certificates and badges.
From left, Fay Groom, Peter McFarlane, Tamara Geritz, Cathy Richards,
June Robson, Janice Nielsen and Sharon McFarlane
Foxy Ladies Move To Kinleymore
April 8, 2009 - Foxy Ladies Quilting - which has always been a popular stopover for tourists at Wooroolin - has relocated to larger premises at 109 Dionysius Road, Kinleymore (between Hivesville and Proston).

Owner Jenny Watson said the new studio and gallery features displays of quilts as well as the huge quilting machine in action. There would also be craft classes. It will be open 8:30am to 4:00pm daily.

She said another plus for the new location was that there was plenty of room for caravans and coaches to park. Signs are being erected on the highway and at Hivesville to help people find the new location.

Foxy Ladies Quilting can be contacted on (07) 4164-2224 or by email

Don't forget the second meeting of the newly formed Peanut Festival group will meet tonight from 5:30pm at the South Burnett Enterprise Centre (in the IT Centre - Shed 1). Everyone welcome, especially representatives from service clubs!
Three Useful Workshops Scheduled
April 7, 2009 - There are three workshops being held in Kingaroy soon which may be of interest to South Burnett residents:

  • 1. Planning for Success at the Kingaroy RSL, 1:00pm-4:00pm, Wednesday April 29. Cost $44.00. This State Government workshop is designed to give participants the knowledge and skills needed to plan for improvement in their business and to determine what is needed in a business plan. Registration phone (07) 4121-1780

  • 2. Charitable & Non-Profit Gaming - Rules & Regulations Training. The Queensland Office of Liquor, Gaming & Racing is offering training courses for not-for-profit groups at Kingaroy RSL on May 13 from 6:00pm-7:00pm. Cost $22. Registration phone (07) 3872-0910.

  • 3. Smart Marketing at the Kingaroy RSL, 1:00pm-4:00pm , Wednesday May 27. Cost $44.00. This State Government workshop covers the one area of business that can dramatically increase sales. Develop marketing strategies to grow your business and discover how to implement these strategies with a minimum of fuss. Registration phone (07) 4121-1780.
Cougar Energy Raises $4.2m
April 6, 2009 - The underground coal gasification (UCG) project at Kingaroy has moved a step closer with the announcement by Cougar Energy on Friday that it had received commitments for a $4.2 million capital injection.

Melbourne Capital has arranged the placement of 70 million Cougar shares at 6 cents each (less the costs of the placement).

Cougar has previously announced that it plans to construct a pilot UCG plant near Kingaroy later this year and has plans for a second UCG project in the Surat Basin. It hopes to eventually construct a 400MW power station near Kingaroy.

NB. In another fightback against the recession, the new Harvey Norman store is opening in Kingaroy today and a new Target store will be opening in the Kingaroy Town Centre (the SupaIGA precinct) on April 30!
CTC Scoops 65% Of Job Placements
April 3, 2009 - South Burnett-based CTC Employment Services is celebrating after being awarded an amazing 65 per cent of available regional positions in the Federal Government's new Jobs Services Australia contract announced yesterday.

The remainder of positions in the Gympie Employment Service Area (ESA) have been awarded to a recently formed consortium, Employment Services Queensland (trading as One-Stop Employment), which consists of Career Employment Australia, Challenge Employment and Training, Skill Centred Queensland and the Cairns Regional Community Development & Employment ATSI Corporation.

The controversial $4 billion Federal Government reform of employment services, which officially begins on July 1, has left other local employment service providers equally stunned.

CHR Employment Services, JobFind Centres Australia and Mission Australia received no local placements under the new contract.

The independent competitive tender was run by the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations.
Community Group Steps In To Save Peanut Festival!
April 2, 2009 - There WILL be a Peanut Festival in 2009!

A meeting of concerned South Burnett residents and industry representatives who met last night in Kingaroy has determined there is sufficient public interest for a Peanut Festival to go ahead this year.

Key sponsorship was confirmed and a discussion held about what date would be most suitable. At this early stage, it appears the Festival will be reverting to a September date. Ideas discussed included a parade, the traditional Peanut Thresher pull and a Peanut Ball.

All present agreed that it was important that a festival be held this year as it's 50 years since the first Kingaroy Peanut Festival was held in 1959 and it's also Queensland's 150th birthday. Other significant local peanut milestones in 2009 include the 85th birthday of PCA and the 40th birthday of The Peanut Van.

A second meeting will be held next Wednesday (April 8) from 5:30pm at the South Burnett Enterprise Centre (in the IT Centre - Shed 1).

All interested members of the public are invited to attend, especially representatives from service clubs.
Meeting Tonight To Gauge Interest
In Staging a 2009 Peanut Festival
April 1, 2009 - The decision announced by the Kingaroy Chamber of Commerce & Industry last week that it could no longer afford to organise the Kingaroy Peanut Festival stunned many local residents who had been gearing up to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the event this year.

Rob Patch, from The Peanut Van, said he had been contacted by many people who were keen to see something occur this year.

To gauge public interest in the possibility of holding a 2009 Peanut Festival, Rob has called a meeting which will be held at the Kingaroy Hotel-Motel from 5:30pm this evening (Wednesday).

Anyone interested in holding a Peanut Festival this year is invited to attend.
$100,000 Grant To BIEDO
March 31, 2009 - The Burnett Inland Economic Development Organisation (BIEDO) has received a $100,000 grant under Round 2 of the Federal Government's Small Business Advisory Services Program.

The objective of the SBAS Program is to "maximise the growth potential, prosperity and sustainability of small businesses through enhanced access to information and advice on issues important to sustaining and/or growing small business in response to the current global financial crisis".

BIEDO will use the grant to:
  • Extend its current business services to new locations and business sectors
  • Deliver its current programs and add new business services in detailed business diagnostic health checks, one-on-one higher level specialist advisory support; and
  • Programs for indigenous entrepreneurs, greening of businesses, and developing marketing capacity and profile in the local-to-global marketplace.
Community Stage Has 'Serious Safety Issues'
March 30, 2009 - The South Burnett Regional Council has admitted that the community stage, handed over to the local community at the 2008 Kingaroy Christmas Carnival, is unfit to use.

"When Rio Tinto left the region in early 2008, the company was keen to leave the community with a legacy of their time in the South Burnett. After consulting with various groups the decision was made to purchase a mobile stage for use in community events," a media release from Council states.

"Arrangements were made to purchase a second-hand stage in conjunction with South Burnett Events Corporation (SBEC)."

Council had agreed to managed the hire, set up and maintenance of
the much-needed stage. SBEC had planned to use it at the annual Wine and Food in the Park Festival in Kingaroy.

However after the stage was handed over, Council was "disappointed to discover that the stage has some serious safety issues which need to be addressed before the stage can be made available for public use".

SBBiz understands engineers who have inspected the stage believe it may not be able to be repaired. SBEC was forced to hire an external stage for the recent Wine and Food in the Park Festival at extra cost.
Hope Flowing From Kingaroy
To Afghanistan's Orphans
March 27, 2009 - The Artists Cottage, opposite Kingaroy Airport has adopted a special project to assist some of the world's poorest children living in Afghanistan.

Originally owners Karla and Garry Eyre had planned to collect educational equipment for the Hope House Kindy which has been set up in the Afghan orphanage but they quickly discovered the cost of freight is prohibitive ($375 for 2kg!).

So now they're sending donations to a not-for-profit Australian charity, Mahboba's Promise, to be passed on to the kindy. Karla said she had also decided to give all profits from her doll studio sales to the project and hoped to also set up an EBay store.

"I will sell dolls and bears on there and give the profits to the kindy project. This will keep an ongoing flow of funds for the children," she said. "I have managed to raise over $1000 just from my shop sales to get the project started so I am very pleased."

Keep up the good work, Karla!
Become ALERT About Food & Fire Safety
March 26, 2009 - We all know we should be "alert" (and not alarmed!) but there's now a new website from Environmental Health Australia that can help readers become ALERT about food and fire safety.

The South Burnett Regional Council has subscribed to the Awareness Learning and Educational Resource Tool (ALERT) for food safety.

This provides on-screen quizzes to assist food handlers to develop the necessary skills to handle food in a hygienic way. At the end of the program participants can print out a completion form for their records.

A free fire safety awareness training program is also available on the website.

Click to visit:
Fudgery To Close ... and Re-Open
March 25, 2009 - The Old Distillery on the Booie Range will close on April 5 ... but don't despair, the range of fudge and pantry items will be still be available in the South Burnett.

The fudgery will reopen on April 8 at the Kingaroy Cheese Cellar Door in William Street, Kingaroy. The cellardoor will continue to operate as usual but will have an expanded range of South Burnett products.

The Old Distillery's Bronwyn Bisley said she hoped to also incorporate a coffee machine at the new site and open on Friday nights for wine and cheese nights. As there is no room at the new premises for The Old Distillery's giftware, Bronwyn is currently selling her range at discounted prices.

UPDATE March 30: Bronwyn has unveiled the new name for her business ... Taste South Burnett. The Old Distillery's conference facilities are also moving and will be installed in The Old Butter Factory, also at 67 William Street.