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Welcome

suratbasin.com.au Thursday, December 14, 2017

SNAP OF THE MONTH

◗ This photo was snapped earlier in the month during sunset at the Chinchilla Weir.

PHOTO: BROOKE DUNCAN

Contents

From the editor

Region’s resilience proves key to success AS 2017 finally draws to a close, it’s timely to reflect back on the region’s year of enormous growth and change in a plethora of areas. This year, more than ever, Surat Basin stakeholders, councils, governments and communities abandoned short-term economic fixes, in favour of a sustainable long-term vision. An increased collaboration between the research and university sectors and strong co-operation between levels of government have been the keys to success for regional industries. These changing priorities provoked regions to think outside the box, collaborate, and come up with their own strategies. It was an approach that challenged the top down model of regional development, and meant communities’ bottom lines were diversifying. It’s a vision for the Surat Basin that extends beyond resources, agriculture, tourism and construction, and gets right to the heart of the region, focusing on the people themselves. In a word, the Surat Basin has become more resilient. This resilience refers to the capacity of regional communities to handle risks and manage change. Resilient regions deepen and diversify their economies. Put simply, the Surat Basin continues to power ahead and prove it’s place in all sectors, which places the region in good stead for the following years. — Marguerite Cuddihy

Ostwald Bros regain control .........................................................5 QGC’s new Charlie Plant ................................................................6 Housing market hopes ..................................................................8 New QCLNG gas deal ....................................................................9 Nats explore political diversity .....................................................10 QantasLink put under the spotlight ..............................................11 Resources deliver half a trillion dollars .......................................12

Wagners aim for $200m on ASX ..................................................18 Opinion ....................................................................................19–21 Maranoa rubbish causes a stink ................................................24 Big Skies over Western Downs ...................................................25 Dalby Stock Horse Sale ...............................................................26 Warrego Hwy upgrade ................................................................27 Places and Faces ............................................................22–23; 28

The newspaper

The team

The Surat Basin News publishes monthly and will be delivered via the four dominant newspapers of the region: the Chinchilla News, Western Star, Dalby Herald and The Chronicle. It will reach the homes and offices of almost 50,000 people living, working and playing in the Surat Basin, connecting the business and mining communities throughout the booming region. Surat Basin News is a necessity. It was born out of a passion for Australia’s fastest growing communities – a passion for a region of unbridled potential and a future of vast economic growth and opportunities. The newspaper, professionally designed and regionally topical, will be a must read for anyone associated with the exciting Surat Basin. ONLINE: Surat Basin News has gone online to ensure our readers in every corner of the country has the latest news sent directly to them. Go to: www.suratbasin.com.au. PURCHASE FROM: Newsagents in Chinchilla, Roma, Dalby, Gladstone, Moura, Toowoomba, Calliope. VISION: Surat Basin News will allow local businesses to network and communicate with everyone in the 1200 sq km basin, providing unprecedented access to new clients and markets. It will give a revealing insight into major industry while lifting the veil on current and proposed developments. It will be there for each and every announcement shaping the region’s future while profiling the colourful characters.

GENERAL MANAGER

Erika Brayshaw, Chinchilla

Phone 4672 9921, Erika.Brayshaw@chinchillanews.com.au ADVERTISING TEAM Bobbie Gorring, Chinchilla Phone 4672 9930, Bobbie.Gorring@chinchillanews.com.au Greg Latta, Roma Phone 4672 9927, email Greg.latta@romawesternstarnews.com Nicole Boyd-Taylor, Dalby Phone 04672 5500, email Nicole.McDougall@dalbyherald.com.au EDITORIAL

Marguerite Cuddihy, Roma Phone 4578 4119, email Marguerite.Cuddihy@westernstarnews.com SURAT BASIN NEWS 12 Mayne Street, Chinchilla Q 4413 PO Box 138, Chinchilla Q 4413 The Surat Basin News is published by Chinchilla Newspapers Pty Ltd, 12 Mayne Street, Chinchilla Q 4413 The Surat Basin News is printed by News Corp Australia.

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Thursday, December 14, 2017 suratbasin.com.au

Our MP is proud to be an Australian

◗ UNCERTAIN: Workers at Ostwalds Bros waiting outside after leaning the company had gone into voluntary administration earlier this year. PHOTO: MICHAEL DOYLE

Brothers regain control TWO of the three companies under the Ostwald Bros name have gone into liquidation after meetings in Toowoomba and Brisbane last month. Ostwald Bros Pty Ltd and Ostwald Bros Civil were voted by creditors to be liquidated, while Ostwald Construction Materials was regained by Ostwald brothers Brendan, Daniel and Matthew. The decision comes after the three companies had been administrated by PricewaterhouseCoopers since August. In total, as many as 150 people across the Darling Downs and Queensland have lost their jobs due to the liquidation. But the ordeal is not over for the creditors of the fallen company, as many fear they will not receive the full amount to which they are entitled.

Cory Cooper always knew he wasn’t going to see much of the nearly $20,000 he was owed by Ostwald Bros. The Dalby man was one of hundreds of workers to find out administrators would not offer payment yet for outstanding pay or entitlements until the companies officially wind up early next year. Now working for Wagners after sensing the impending chaos of Ostwald Bros months ago, Mr Cooper said several of his former co-workers were in worse situations. “My entitlements are nothing compared to some – the largest I’ve heard is $38,000 and that’s just one employee,” he said. “I’m owed not quite $20,000, which is outstanding pay and entitlements. “I’m not confident of getting it back.”

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CHINCHILLA-born Maranoa MP claims he is as Aussie as you can be as the deadline for parliamentarians to prove their Australian citizenship closed last week. “To put an end to uncertainty, the Prime Minister put forward a proposed citizenship register which calls for parliamentarians to prove their Australian citizenship and submit supporting documentation to the parliament before 9am tomorrow (Tuesday, December 5),” Mr Littleproud said. “Apart from a grandfather from Sydney, which I don’t hold against him during State of Origin clashes, my parents and other grandparents were all born in Southern Queensland – from Chinchilla, Dalby to Goondiwindi and Toowoomba. “The Coalition has been upfront and honest, with MPs and Senators shining a light on citizenship ambiguity and setting the record straight but here’s Labor saying, ‘just trust that we’re telling the truth’. “There’s significant doubt about the eligibility of at least four Labor members of the House. Labor has not been upfront about this so that’s why this citizenship register is needed.”

◗ AUSSIE: Chinchilla-born Maranoa MP David Littleproud and his parents, Brian and Peta, were all born in Southern Queensland.


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◗ SUPPLY AND DEMAND: WDRC mayor Paul McVeigh, Shell QGC vice president Tony Nunan and WDRC deputy mayor Andrew Smith.

suratbasin.com.au Thursday, December 14, 2017

PHOTO: CONTRIBUTED

Charlie’s gas turned on

QGC opens new natural gas plant west of Wandoan QUEENSLAND Gas Company’s latest natural gas plant project has the capacity to supply almost half of the state’s daily demand. Charlie Plant is located 20 kilometres west of Wandoan and was officially opened on November 30 by Shell QGC Vice President Tony Nunan and Western Downs Regional Council mayor Paul McVeigh. The plant will supply up to an additional 90PJ of natural gas annually to Australian homes, businesses and liquefied natural gas customers. Shell QGC Vice President Tony Nunan said the project would continue to help meet demand for domestic gas. “We have continued to divert gas into the local market from Shell’s Curtis Island LNG plant to supply local customers,” Mr Nunan said. “But it’s not only domestic gas customers who benefit from

continued investment such as ours. “Local communities also benefit through job creation and opportunities for local businesses to share in supply chain contracts.” The construction of Charlie plant started in 2016, and created 1600 jobs in regional Queensland during that time. WDRC mayor, Cr McVeigh, said the opening of Charlie plant guaranteed the economic diversity of the region. “It has given our region tremendous diversity of another income stream in the region and what it has done is really guarantee the long-term economic security of our region,” Cr McVeigh said. “The opening of Charlie Field is delivering gas into the system and will deliver gas for many years to come. “So it is actually cementing one of the four economic pillars in our region in the resource sector.

“With the new release and the agreement with Arrow Energy and the 27 years contract, it has underpinned the security of this region in the resource sector for years to come. WDRC deputy mayor Andrew Smith said it was important to the community the plant supplied long-term economic benefits. “It has supplied a large number of jobs through construction,” Cr Smith said. “I do know it does supply long-term jobs for our region through the maintenance staff that will be needed now to operate and service that facility. Shell’s QGC Vice President Tony Nunan said in Chinchilla alone, the QGC business was adding $1.2 billion to the local economy over the next 25 years. “This contribution to local economies will act as a powerful hedge in a previously agricultural-dependent local economy,” Mr Nunan said.


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◗ HIGH HOPES: A house for sale in Chinchilla last month.

suratbasin.com.au Thursday, December 14, 2017

PHOTO: JESSICA SCHREMMER

Housing market hopes

Rental demand on the rise across south-west MILES and Chinchilla’s rental housing markets have seen slight upward trends within the last month, according to real estate agents. With the lowering of vacancy rates in both towns, hope is rising for the future of the housing market, which was severely affected by the CSG boom and its end, as an ongoing study by the University of Queensland found. Ray White Rural Miles sales consultant, David Sweetapple said the the closure of Origin’s camps and an influx of people from outside the region caused the demand on the rental market – but the Median Sales Price for houses were still dropping. Mr Sweetapple said it was in December 2013 when the housing market fell overnight due to resource companies pulling their staff from the communities into camps. Mr Sweetapple does not blame the companies for their actions but said the decision crippled the town of Miles. “Since then we went up to 45 percent vacancy and property values dropped by 80 per cent,” he said.

“It is a direct result of poor planning and poor government. We should never have been in a situation where 90 percent of equity has been eroded due to a poor government decision. We have been a social experiment.” However, Mr Sweetapple said the future looked promising with the new Strong and Sustainable Resource Communities Bill 2017 being endorsed by both sides of parliament. However it will not be proclaimed until March 30, 2018. “No future projects can have construction camps out in the scrub. They must support a town that is within a radius of 125 km from their project,” he said. First National Real Estate Chinchilla Principal Rebecca Gurski said there has been a gradual change in the housing market, especially since the closure of the Origin camps that really boosted the town. “It’s taken up quite a bit of the oversupply and definitely helped us,” Ms Gurski said. “I think we are down to about 52 properties available in town

at the moment to rent, where at one stage we got up to 300, so it is looking quite promising. “We have had quite a few good months selling houses in Chinchilla as well, probably the last three months have been really good. There is quite a bit of interest, still in a lower bracket though, around that $200,000 mark.” Ms Gurski said the the housing prices during the CSG boom were unsustainable and once the construction had finished, a mass exodus occurred affecting everyone. “It affected investors, home owners plus the pricing going down affecting everybody,” she said. Miles business owner Rachel Kerwick said we needed to see a serious change of attitude and thinking in the way resource companies did business in the future. She said there was room for optimism at the moment but business confidence, profitability and sustainability in regional communities needed to be restored to get back business and investor confidence.

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“This (announcement) underpins the strength and the value of our resources sector, adding to the economic diversity of the Western Downs.”

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◗ BIG DEAL: Well field prevention maintenance supervisor Grant Burney at Arrow Energy's Moranbah Gas Project.

transport and treatment facilities. “Utilising existing upstream infrastructure will reduce impacts to landholders and to communities.” Mr Mingyang said phased development activity would commence from the expansion of Arrow’s Tipton fields, near Dalby, and build to new development areas from around 2021. Arrow Energy stated there would be a flow-on effect for the local communities around the Dalby and Chinchilla region, where their gas fields are. Added employment in the area is predicted to boost the regional economy, as well as add infrastructure contributions and investments in community programs according to the

company. Western Downs Regional Council mayor Paul McVeigh said the benefits of this deal would be felt for years. “We talk about having four pillars to our local economy, agriculture, intensive agriculture, resource sector and renewable energy,” Cr McVeigh said. “With this announcement of a 27-year deal, it underpins the strength and the value of our resource sector, adding to the economic diversity of the Western Downs region. “This puts job security into our resource sector for generations to come. We look forward to this deal which will enhance our think local and buy local message.”

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ONE of the largest gas supply deals on the east coast of Australia was settled at the beginning of this month, and is predicted to bring economic growth to the region. Arrow Energy and the Shell-operated QCLNG have shaken hands on a 27-year deal to commercialise the majority of Arrow Energy’s gas reserves in the Surat Basin near Dalby and Chinchilla. It is estimated the size of the gas reserve which will be commercialised will be roughly five trillion cubic feet. The area has produced gas for more than a decade. In a statement released by Arrow Energy, the project is said to create around 1000 new jobs; 800 during peak construction and around 200 ongoing operational roles. Arrow Energy CEO Qian Mingyang said the new deal would bring together several parties and infrastructure changes. “The deal offers long-awaited infrastructure collaboration in the natural gas industry, creating better cost efficiencies and enabling us to bring this gas to market in a challenging investment climate,” Mr Mingyang said. “Collaboration between the parties will see use of existing QGC-operated infrastructure such as gas compression, processing and transmission infrastructure as well as water

— Paul McVeigh


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suratbasin.com.au Thursday, December 14, 2017

Portal to provide instant access

◗ CHANGING TIMES: Maranoa MP David Littleproud believes the National Party should be better recognised at a federal level for the work they do across regional and rural Australia. PHOTO: FILE

Party changes

Nationals explore political diversity IN AN attempt to shine a light on regional and rural Australia, the federal National Party of Australia is looking to distance itself from the Liberal Party. Eight Queensland federal National members, including Member for Maranoa David Littleproud, said they would explore campaigning as the National Party, rather than under the LNP banner, at the next federal election. “We’re not advocating this at a state level,” Mr Littleproud said. “We’re asking, at a federal level, that a greater emphasis be given to the identification of who the National Party represents because at a federal level, we solely represent regional and rural Australia.” Mr Littleproud said the National and Liberal Parties had differing views and philosophies on some policies and it was important they were recognised. “We are in no way advocating for the LNP to be split up.. “But we have a separate leader and we sit in a different party room, we’re saying we should be able to annunciate our policies and our wins for regional and rural Australia.” Mr Littleproud said the federal election campaign was normally run centrally out of Canberra through the LNP. “Our message is being diluted by the fact that we’re caught up in a broader federal message that’s directed towards metropolitan areas,” he said.

“We believe in coming up with solutions for regional and rural Australia that are focused and unique, rather than part of a broader national policy.” When asked if this announcement had any connection to regional voters opting for minor and independent parties in the recent state election, Mr Littleproud said members of parliament needed to listen to their electorate now more than ever. “That’s what we’re paid for,” he said. “My job as the National Party Member for Maranoa is to articulate what I’ve done and what I plan to do for the electorate. “At a federal level, we’re different to state.” Mr Littleproud said the Nationals didn’t believe in a cookie-cutter approach to government policy. “We quite passionately believe in decentralisation, we have a philosophical view that people in rural and regional Australia should pay less tax than those in metropolitan areas and we are continuing to advocate that,” he said. The change will involve a re-branding of the Nationals, back to its traditional green and gold colours. Nationals will also run a separate election campaign based on different policies to the Liberal Party at federal general elections. “This is about giving us the best tools to be able to communicate with the electorate about what we’ve done and what we plan to do,” Mr Littleproud said.

TOOWOOMBA and Surat Basin Enterprise is launching an innovative new Exchange portal to give members real-time access to major project updates, tender opportunities and industry insights. The TSBE Exchange portal is a desktop or phone application that is already hosting a range of industry scopes for major projects. Looking to find your business match? Our members are waiting online to hear from you. TSBE supply chain general manager Reagan Parle said the app had already been tested, with a soft launch signing up about 50 businesses, and work added. “This has already proved successful, with 12 scopes of work worth about $20 million, currently available to action on the portal, ranging from gas and mining companies to construction companies,” he said. “A key feature is the ability for member to member transactions, promoting supplier and buyer opportunities and actioning the requests directly to the buyer.” Mr Parle said he expected to have the majority of TSBE’s membership of more than 500 on the platform in the coming year. “The exchange is a great tool for business to see exactly what is transacting in the market and where the opportunities are,” Mr Parle said. “As well as the business-to-business feature, there is a range of tools to boost the connections of members in the market.” “This will streamline some processes and we see the Exchange as an easy to use tool for members in real time.” The tool was created through a joint partnership with Toowoomba based IT developer EconomX. Boosting local content is a key outcome of the project. “It’s often about connections, and we are very well connected in our region.” TSBE is constantly looking for ways to make closer connections between our members and Supply Chain opportunity.

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Thursday, December 14, 2017 suratbasin.com.au

◗ TAKING STOCK: Regional air routes and prices will be examined in new inquiry.

PHOTO: CONTRIBUTED

QantasLink put under a spotlight

Making sure SWQ isn’t grounded MP backing senate inquiry to ensure regional Queensland’s flight service is running to the best of its abilities THE Senate has begun its inquiry into rural and regional air routes, sparking various reactions from key community members in the south west. This comes after a local outcry over the reliability of flights in the south west, with Charleville Mayor Annie Liston leading the charge. The inquiry will focus on the social and economic impacts of the flight routes travelled by Qantas and REX. The Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Committee is expected to report back to the Senate in March 2018. State Member for Warrego Ann Leahy said the decision would give people a greater say on the matter. “The Senate inquiry will enable people to forward their issues in terms of the regulatory environment as it is this regulatory framework that is hampering aviation development in regional Queensland,” she said. Ms Leahy stressed the importance of people voicing their concerns via the submission process. “The Senate enquiry needs to receive submissions and they need to be invited to visit the community,” she said. “I’m hoping that we can highlight the problems we are experiencing and what the potential solutions are as well.” St George business owner Tony Griegg questioned whether an

increase in flights would be viable. “It’s all well and good to provide services. But what you’ve got to look at is whether these services are being utilised,” he said. “When you consider the cost of putting a commercial plane in the air and you have a single passenger, there might not be much point in extending the number of flights. QantasLink recently released a statement on their Charleville services, with chief operating officer Jenny Chamberlain saying a number of factors have caused the company issues. “The issues include aircraft maintenance taking longer than expected and many of our reserve flight crew pilots being tied up with training one of the largest intakes of new pilots in our history,” Ms Chamberlain said. “With fewer reserve pilots it means we’re seeing an increased level of cancellations if several call in sick on any given day.” QantasLink is looking to change their schedule and reduce the overall number of flights but instead use larger aircraft to maintain capacity. “The adjustments include consolidating flights during non-peak times to free up aircraft and putting larger aircraft on key routes to maintain capacity,” Ms"Chamberlain said. This will see more Q400 aircraft replacing Q300 aircraft, which currently service Charleville.

In recent months Charleville Airport and residents have been subjected to QantasLink’s unreliable flights and engine problems due to there only being three Q300s available. QantasLink made it clear that airlines cannot operate certain aircraft into airports as the regulation requires passengers to be screened when travelling on an aircraft, which weighs more than 20 tonnes, including Q400 planes. Charleville is currently the last airport in the QantasLink Queensland network that is non-compatible for other aircraft types. In response to the statements from QantasLink, South West Regional Economic Development Association (SWRED) was fearful the Charleville regulated QantasLink service was in jeopardy. “QantasLink representatives earlier this year advised Murweh Shire Council that they would be phasing out the Q300 aircraft which currently services Charleville,” SWRED chair and Murweh Mayor Annie Liston said. “The economic impact of reducing this service would not just affect Charleville but would be detrimental to the whole southwest region.” All submissions to the inquiry can be emailed to rrat.sen@aph.gov.au.

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suratbasin.com.au Thursday, December 14, 2017

Resources deliver half a trillion in eight years QUEENSLAND’S resources sector continues to drive jobs and investment with a $55.1 billion contribution to the state’s economy in 2016-17, which supported the equivalent of 282,633 full-time jobs. Queensland Resources Council (QRC) Chief Executive, Ian Macfarlane said the sector continued to underpin the state’s economy. “It’s a jobs story this year with direct full-time employment in the resources sector growing by more than 12 per cent to 38,150. That’s a lot of truck drivers, diesel fitters and port workers,” Mr Macfarlane said. “Over the past eight years the sector has contributed more than half a trillion dollars ($531 billion) to the state’s economy, including $243 billion in direct spending, and has supported on average more than 360,000 jobs per year. “Despite facing many policy headwinds this year, the sector was directly and indirectly responsible for one in every six dollars in Queensland’s economy and one in every eight jobs. Green shoots are now emerging across the sector, which is good news for the regions of Queensland. “Every Queenslander – regardless of where they call home – shares in the wealth of the sector through royalties paid to the State Government. They have surged 74 per cent to $3.8 billion, which would pay the wages of 56,000 teachers or 54,000 police or 57,000 nurses.” QRC President Rag Udd said continued investment in the

◗ Economic contributions to the state of Queensland.

resources sector was essential to ensure long-term jobs right across our state. “We must compete for every contract, innovate to stay globally competitive, and earn the support of our governments, and the people who elect them,” Mr Udd said. Mr Macfarlane said a big part of the economic contribution story was the sector’s efforts to buy locally. “It’s always good to see regional Queensland businesses winning work from their big city cousins. As a proud

PHOTO: QUEENSLAND RESOURCES COUNCIL

Toowoomba resident, I am particularly pleased to see that QRC uses Reuben Lawrence, an independent economist based in the regional city of Toowoomba,” Mr Macfarlane said. Reuben’s report, an independent analysis prepared by Lawrence Consulting, found a continued transition of the resources sector from an investment phase of record capital expenditure into an operational phase of making sure that new production capacity is delivered as efficiently as possible.

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suratbasin.com.au Thursday, December 14, 2017

to all! Dynamic Drilling wish all their valued clients

a Merry Christmas and Safe and Happy New Year Closed 20th December to 9th January 2018.

Nik, Lisa and the team from

Sun Up Contracting would like to wish everyone a

Merry Christmas. We look forward to working with you in 2018

T&W Earthmoving would like to thank our clients for all the support over the last 12 months. We wish you a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous 2018. T&W Earthmoving ofďŹ ce will be closed over the Christmas Break from 22nd December through to the 8th of January.

T & W Earthmoving 14 Wambo St, Condamine, QLD 4416

Ph: (07) 4627 7115

Wishing everyone a happy Christmas, and New Year.

4662 4448

Integrity - Reliability Expertise - Locally Owned

Thank you to our clients for your support in 2017.

Wishing everyone a safe, happy and pest free Christmas.

From the team at Jeff Hannaford Accountants

Trading hours remain the same over the Christmas period.

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Best Wishes for a Merry Christmas and a Happy & Safe New Year. From the family at 6222253ab


15

Thursday, December 14, 2017 suratbasin.com.au

to all! SIX MILE

Tim, Tamara, Hannah, Jonathan, Chloe & the team from

LASER PLUMBING Send Season's Greetings to all our customers and thank them for their support during 2017.

Closed Wednesday the 20th of December through to Monday 8th of January.

The Team at CMT Haulage wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. We look forward to seeing you all in 2018. Our Office will be closed Friday 22nd December and Reopen Tuesday 2 January 2018

BUILDING

& CONSTRUCTION would like to wish all our customers a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year and we look forward to seeing you in 2018! 8! Closed Thursday 21st December 2017 until Wednesday 10th January 2018 Reopen Thursday 11th January 2018

G SELLS PLUMBING,

GASFITTING & DRAINAGE

All the Team would like to extend a special thank you and Seasons’ Greetings to all who have supported us in 2017. Your continued support is really appreciated. God bless to you all. We look forward to working with you next year when we return, rested and refreshed.

Merry ChristMas to all of our valued CustoMers. We look forWard to seeing you in 2017.

The team at Base Camp would like to

Closed 25th, 26th, deCember & 1st, , January

wish the Chinchilla Community a safe

normal trading hours all other days.

and happy Christmas.

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Wishing everyone

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Sat 23rd - Closed • Sun 24th - Closed Mon 25th - Closed • Tue 26th - Closed Wed 27th - 8am - 4pm • Thur 28th - 8am - 4pm Fri 29th - 8am - 4pm Sat 30th - Closed • Sun 31st - Closed Mon 1st - Closed Tue 2nd - Normal business hours (7:30am - 5:00pm)

Emergency contact (07) 4662 7038 24 hours

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suratbasin.com.au Thursday, December 14, 2017

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18

NEWS

suratbasin.com.au Thursday, December 14, 2017

Investment

Wagners hopes for $200m via ASX float ANALYSTS are predicting massive interest from investors in Wagners Holding Company, as the Toowoomba business hits the Australian Stock Exchange. The company hopes to raise nearly $197 million through the offer of 72 million shares at an initial price of $2.71 as it floats 45 per cent of the concreting arm of its business. Wagners Holding Co, which has an indicative market capitalisation of $437 million, was listed on the ASX on December 8. Dornbusch Partners’ investment advisor Andrew Wielandt said interest in the shares would be strong, considering Wagners’ profit forecast of $23 million for 2018 and the state of Australia’s civil construction industry. “It gives Toowoomba locals a chance to share in the Wagners success story, but only with concreting business,” he said. “If you look at the big picture, Australia is on an infrastructure boom, and we’re seeing that here. “There are billions in infrastructure projects coming along, starting with toll roads in Sydney, knocking down sporting stadiums, and the Toowoomba Second Range Crossing, just to name a few. “When you’ve got this wave, it’s a perfect time to invest.”

◗ FLOATING: Wagners chairman Denis Wagner.

PHOTO: BEV LACEY

In the prospectus made available earlier this month from lead managers Credit Suisse and Morgans, Wagners said it had an advantage over its competitors like Boral and Adelaide Brighton because of its earth-friendly concreting plant in Wacol and composite fibre technology operation at Wellcamp. Chairman Denis Wagner told The Chronicle he was thrilled to see more investors join the business with Wagners Holdings expected to enjoy continued growth. “We’re excited about the opportunity the listing will create for Wagners, the opportunity to bring in a wider range of shareholders and investors into our business,” he said. “It has gone very smoothly so far and Morgans and Credit Suisse have run the process and done a very good job.”

Fox & Rynne Accountants Pty Ltd

HOW INVESTORS CAN GET INVOLVED

ALL potential shareholders can buy shares in Wagners through a stockbroker. Prior to the float, only clients of Credit Suisse and Morgans will be able to purchase shares, along with institutional investors. The dividend yield is set at 3.2 per cent, which Dornbusch Partners’ investment advisor Andrew Wielandt said suggested Wagners would put the majority of profits back into growing the company. “Wagners is a growth company – you’re buying Wagners because you’re backing them to grow, not because of the dividend,” he said.

The Surat Basin Publications team wish our readers a very happy Christmas and safe New Year. Please see our office trading hours over the Christmas Break

45 Marian Street Miles Ph 4627 1500 Fax 4627 1878 29 Yaldwyn Street Taroom Ph 4627 3225 Fax 4627 3426

Services Offered Include: ☞ GST Compliance Assistance ☞ Taxation Advice and Planning ☞ Preparation & Electronic Lodgement of Income Tax Returns ☞ Preparation of Annual and Periodical Financial Statements ☞ Estate Planning

Servicing Miles, Taroom, Wandoan, Theodore Areas Fox & Rynne will be closing for Christmas at 5pm December 22nd, and reopening 8:30am January 8th.

We wish you all a very merry Christmas.

Chinchilla News Closing Wednesday 20th December at 5:00pm Opening - Tuesday 2nd January 8:30am

Dalby Herald Closing Thursday December 21st at 4:00pm Reopening - Tuesday January 2nd at 8:30am

Roma Western Star Closing - Thursday 21st December at 5pm Reopening - Tuesday 2nd January at 8:30am 6728094an

6728094am

Email: admin@foxrynne.com.au


Thursday, December 14, 2017 suratbasin.com.au

19

OPINION OPINION

Enjoy a safe festive season PAT WEIR

Member for Condamine

I would like to thank the Surat Basin News for the opportunity to make a monthly contribution since my election in January 2015. It has been a hectic first parliamentary term with a steep learning curve for me personally, changing my career pathway from being a farmer to a member of the Queensland Parliament. It has been a change that I have enjoyed immensely including the many challenges we have faced in the Condamine electorate and the numerous opportunities that have arisen. At the recent state election, I sought re-election and have

been successful in retaining the seat of Condamine, which had some major boundaries changes with Dalby, Bell, Kaimkillenbun and the Darling Heights area of Toowoomba coming out of the electorate. The townships to the north of the Warrego Highway of Quinalow, Crows Nest, Goombungee and Meringandan, to name a few, have now become part of the Condamine electorate. My congratulations to all my neighbouring LNP colleagues who all retained their seats in rural and regional Queensland. We will all continue to support the agricultural industry, small business owners and the families who live in this great part of the world. As Christmas and New Year draws near I would ask you all to

take extra care on the roads when travelling to see loved ones at this special time. The road conditions can be hazardous at the best of times once you add more vehicles, the storm season and fatigued drivers it becomes worse. Please be vigilant when travelling on our roads. Let’s keep the road toll to zero for Queensland this festive season. Finally I wish you all the best for a happy and safe Christmas and hope 2018 is a memorable and prosperous year for everyone, with rain and a bright future ahead.

Queensland Apprentices owed thousands DAN MCGAW

ETU South West Queensland State Organiser

The recent decision by the Federal Court to uphold the Fair Work Commission decision to pay Queensland apprentices the correct award rates will have huge impacts on local apprentices. The Federal Court ruled that thousands of Queensland apprentices were being illegally paid since 2014 under the wrong award. The decision affects apprentices across all disciplines in Queensland including electrical, carpentry plumbing, mechanical and hair dressing and equates to approx. $4 per hour. The Fair Work Commission had twice ruled in the apprentices’

The ruling means that unions can seek wage justice for these young people. If we fail to invest in apprentices and pay the correct rates of pay we will again see a skills shortage in this country. A young person can earn more money working at McDonalds than doing an apprenticeship, so denying them the correct rates of pay does nothing for our future tradespeople. If we do not offer them decent wages they will not take up trade roles. I call on the Chamber of Commerce, TSBE and local Group Training Organisation to support this decision and ensure all employers pass on the pay increase and back pay these apprentices. All apprentices employed after 2014 should contact a union or the Fair Work Commission for advice.

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favour, but the decisions were appealed by The Housing Industry Association, group training outfit All Trades Queensland and Master Builders Queensland to the Federal Court. The industry associations decided to spend tens of thousands of dollars on legal fees rather than advising their members to pay apprentices the correct rates. The decision will open the door to wage claims from thousands of underpaid apprentices who were collectively owed more than $100 million. Employer Associations across Queensland thought that they could exploit loopholes in our broken workplace laws to short-change already low-paid workers. For years, apprentices in Queensland have been paid less than those in every other state because of this kind of underhanded behaviour.


20

OPINION

Region humming along into 2018

Township built on spirit, effort and support MAYOR PAUL MCVEIGH Western Downs Regional Council

SHANE CHARLES TSBE Executive Chairman

2017 is coming to a close and from my perspective, it’s certainly been another interesting year right across the board. From an ag perspective, it has been mixed year. Lack of planting moisture and winter rainfall saw yields well down for grains with this somewhat offset by a jump in commodity prices during the season. Cotton continued to perform well and recent rainfall across the region has most areas in a strong position entering the 2019 season. On a good note the beef industry continued to perform strongly, and prices remained strong during the year, with seasonal conditions generally strong across the regions. When it comes to the resources sector, it’s been a little patchy. We have seen more pain out of the move from Construction to Operations in the gas sector. We have seen some businesses fall with some high-profile casualties coming to mind. Yet, despite that we are now starting to see a “normal” level of activity when it comes to gas. If you had a “workover” rig – it will be in work at the moment. There is also some new fields being developed, and more wells to dig. We have seen some announcements from the Queensland government to open up new tenements for domestic gas, with Senex winning Round 1 of this initiative. Of course, in the development space, Arrow has recently announced that they will proceed with the development of their tenures. Coal has been a little tougher in our part of the world with no real difference in market conditions in this region. Of course, closer to Toowoomba, New Hope Group is still battling to see if it can get the mine extension up. There has been little action on the various coal tenements in the North Surat Basin but the word is that this coal might be needed around 2021 / 2022. Hence the need for rail investment now. And of course this year has seen a huge rise in renewable energy. I think we can ride this wave for another couple of years. Whilst only a few projects have started construction, there have been 10 already approved, with plenty more in the pipeline. What do I make of 2018? Construction will commence on more renewable projects, we’ll see more renewable projects announced, and there will be lots of activity in the “business as usual” phase from the existing gas projects. When it comes to the rural sector, let’s hope with recent rain that we have good subsoil moisture and storage to make sure we have bumper harvests in wheat, cotton and pulses. I do expect that we will also continue to see our region grow with intensive agriculture becoming an increasing focus. From Toowoomba to Roma, I think we still live in the best part of the world. I cannot think of a region that has as much going for it as we do at the moment. The challenge, as always, is to get big companies spending and living locally as much as possible. Merry Christmas and I trust you have been good this year so that Santa will leave something special under the tree.

It's hard to believe 2017 is drawing to a close, and what a year it's been! This past twelve months has been full of moments of pride for the Western Downs, and we'd like to be the first to toast this community for their spirit, their community efforts and their support that helps build up a strong economy and great townships. Western Downs Regional Council was especially honoured to open the Charlie field compression station, which is a significant investment from QGC into our resources sector, and a solid show of faith in what our region has to offer to investors. This facility underpins the northern Western Downs and Wandoan areas as highly valuable parts of the resource industry and really hammers home the importance that energy plays as one of the four pillars of our economy. Further adding to the show of faith in our region's resources capacity is this month's announcement of the joint venture by Arrow Energy and the Shell-operated QCLNG to commercialise the majority of Arrow's gas reserves in our region. For the Western Downs this mean jobs, jobs and more jobs — with around 1000 to be created. This is a 27 year commitment — that's generational, and that's great news for our economy and for employment opportunities for our families. It's been great to recently see another pillar of our economy — agriculture — receiving good rain on some operations. We hope this leads into a good season for the New Year. Perhaps the most exciting thing to come out of 2017 is the announcement of our major event Big Skies, which is set to hit the region with a bang in April/May of 2018. The line-up of artists we have coming to the Jimbour Plains for Day on the Plain rock concert already has a lot of residents excited, and we are happy to announce that ticket sales are open just in time for Christmas for this event. The feedback myself and Councillors have received on this event already has been incredibly positive, and I am looking forward to watching musical greats such as the Eurogliders and Richard Clapton under our trademark big skies with thousands of our visitors and residents. From everyone at Western Downs Regional Council, we wish you a lovely Christmas season with your loved ones, safe travels for those hitting the road, and we look forward to a prosperous 2018.

• • •

• •

fabianpestcontrol@outlook.com

suratbasin.com.au Thursday, December 14, 2017

STEM scholarships open doors DAVID LITTLEPROUD Federal Member for Maranoa

WITH Schoolies now a memory and as our freshly graduated Year 12s look towards the future, why not consider a career in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) while accessing a scholarship from the Federal Government? Applications are now a new program to make STEM access easier for 1200 students living in rural communities. STEM subjects are integral to many Surat Basin operations so that’s why I’m encouraging local students to apply for the scholarships of up to $18,000, made possible by a $24 million commitment from the Coalition Federal Government. This is a fantastic opportunity for students to gain the support they need to study in fields with strong employment outcomes, including right on our doorstep in the Surat Basin. These scholarships are about making student life easier for rural students and making STEM courses more attractive study options. In 2015, 25.8% of those aged between 15 - 64 lived in regional and remote areas but only represented 19.3% of STEM enrolments. We’re tackling some of the hurdles regional and rural students face, these scholarships will help boost their numbers in STEM courses where they’ve been underrepresented while also supporting the participation of rural women and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Our kids deserve quality education and training opportunities, no matter where they live and this program’s been designed to suit the needs of rural and regional students including flexible arrangements like part-time and online study. The scholarships will operate from 2017-18 to 2020-21, with the first round of 600 scholarships being awarded for the 2018 academic year, and a second round of 600 for 2019. The first round of applications is now open and will close on January 8, 2018. Scholarship applications for the 2019 academic year will open in the second-half of 2018. Prospective vocational education, undergraduate and postgraduate students (Certificate IV to PhD) are eligible to apply for a Rural and Regional Enterprise Scholarship to support them in their studies in the year ahead. For more information, check out:

www.education.gov.au/rural-and-regional-enterprise-scholarships


Thursday, December 14, 2017 suratbasin.com.au

21

OPINION

Knowledge is power CAROLYN COLLINS CEO GasFields Commission

There’s no denying that the rapid growth of Queensland’s coal seam gas industry has opened up an abundance of economic opportunities. The stories that often go untold are the amazing scientific advances that have come about as a direct result of Queensland’s gas boom. New technology, engineering breakthroughs, groundwater systems and social trends ¬– Central Queensland has become one of the most researched regions in Australia.

One exciting development is the University of Queensland’s Centre for Coal Seam Gas trial of locally-sourced bentonite clay as a natural alternative to cement for plugging old wells. The research may lead to a more effective and sustainable process for decommissioning wells and create more local business opportunities. Then there’s the UQ’s Boomtown Toolkit that has given us an interactive display of long term data showing the economic and social impacts of CSG development across regional towns. Combining data related to population, housing costs, incomes, unemployment and crime rates, the toolkit provides an essential knowledge data base to help regional communities make informed decisions. Just as useful is the Water Atlas which provides an intuitive

3D map of the Surat Basin, showing us the groundwater chemistry data, hydrogeological layers and analysis tools. It’s an easy way to visualise the data from a range of sources such as the extensive information collected from the Queensland Government’s Groundwater Net community program. The enormous amount of data being collected in the region is continuously building an unprecedented holistic understanding of our gas fields. And to think, we never would have known this much about Central Queensland, had it not been for the CSG industry. The GasFields Commission has a strong focus on communicating the facts and staying up-to-date with the latest research.

polling booths in the lead up to and on State Election day on November 25th. I am personally very humbled by the support and your dedication is an inspiration. I extend the warmest of welcome to those residents of Dalby and Quilpie who have now joined the Warrego Electorate. I look forward to meeting and getting to know many more individuals and community groups. To the communities of Jandowae, Miles and Chinchilla who have been moved to the Callide Electorate, I extend my heartfelt thanks to you for your support over the last term. I wish to thank the staff in my Electorate Offices who

diligently helped so many Warrego constituents on daily basis throughout the previous term. It certainly has been a busy and productive year across the Electorate. I would like to thank everyone for their support during 2017 and pass on my best wishes for the forthcoming festive season. Here’s hoping it is filled with laughter, relaxation, and rain especially for those areas who have not received their fair share. If you are travelling over the holidays, please take care on the roads. I look forward to working with you all again in the New Year. Best Wishes until next edition in 2018

An enriching 2017 term ANN LEAHY

Member for Warrego

Welcome to the December Edition of the Surat Basin News. As the last Edition of the Surat Basin News for 2017, and the edition that has followed quickly on the heels of the State Election, I would like to take the opportunity to thank a number of people. My heartfelt thanks is extended to all the amazing LNP members, volunteers, family and friends who stood at the

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PLACES AND FACES

suratbasin.com.au Thursday, December 14, 2017

Hundreds gather for annual TSBE race meeting THE Toowoomba and Surat Basin Enterprise annual Race Day was held in Toowoomba on Saturday November 18, with more than 250 people filling up a marquee trackside despite the miserable conditions. “We find through both our enterprise evenings and social events that members get to know other businesses and work out where deals can be struck up,” TSBE executive chairman Shane Charles said.

◗ FASHION FUN: The ladies having a laugh during the women’s Fashions on the Field at the Toowoomba and Surat Basin Race Day. PHOTOS: SALT STUDIOS

◗ Cherie Romero and Dione Detsikas.

◗ Elouise Quinlivan and Chelsea Miller.

◗ Welma Joubert and Clare Mildren.

◗ Tim and Sara Smith.


Thursday, December 14, 2017 suratbasin.com.au

◗ Morgan Wilson, Noah Hodgson and Andrew Holmes.

23

PLACES AND FACES

◗ Reagan Pearle, Adam Bennett, Hugh Bradshaw and Jeff Schultheiss.

◗ TSBE executive chairman Shane Charles.

◗ Sharyn Garrett.

◗ ALL DRESSED UP: Mel Johnston and Kathryn Frame at the Toowoomba and Surat Basin Enterprise Race Day.

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◗ Toowoomba Hospital Foundation CEO Alison Kennedy addresses the audience.


24

NEWS

suratbasin.com.au Thursday, December 14, 2017

Maranoa rubbish causes a stink Community seeks change Frustrated residents appeal for council to change the region’s waste management strategy plans “IF WESTERN Downs can do it and if the Central Highlands can do it, then I ask the question, why can’t Maranoa Regional?” This was one of the questions posed to the Maranoa Regional Council by frustrated resident Ray Howson on the topic of recycling in the Maranoa. Mr Howson is one of many concerned on the state of the local waste management strategy in the region. More than 100 residents attended the economic draft plan meetings, held across the Maranoa in November, which provided a platform to raise the issue of rubbish collection and recycling with the councillors. “The former town council, previous to amalgamation, used to have kerbside collection for glass and aluminium and also business collection for cardboard. But that has been cancelled, as they said it was too expensive,” Mr Howson said, following the meeting. “I’m not calling for an increase in rates but council should be able to apply an extra $5 or 6 a week to waste recovery and reduce the rates an equivalent amount in other areas.” Members of the public have also expressed the need for improvements to rubbish truck pick-up systems, implementation of recycling and the issues of flyaway and mounding rubbish at dump sites. “We should be taking a leaf out of the Western Downs Regional Waste Management Systems. Dalby and Chinchilla and even Miles have an exceptional waste facility with recycling a key component,” resident Cherilyn Bickers said. “If you have a look at how much other councils, such as the Highlands and Western Downs, we don’t charge enough for waste recovery.” Maranoa councillor for environment and waste Geoff McMullen said the council had listened to the residents’ concerns and was working towards a more sustainable solution. “The reason there hasn’t been any recycling for some time is due to the cost, the cost to freight it away to a market outweighs

◗ CHANGE NEEDED: Roma dump 2017.

the income received at the destination,” he said. “A decision to change the current budget to allow for recycling would be a decision for council, however for this to happen some other community projects would lose out. “The council are looking into transfer stations in all the regional towns, Muckadilla has been operating a transfer station

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for some time and, after covering the Jackson tip, council have just placed two skip bins at the site for a trial period.” Cr McMullen said plans for the Roma dump were currently under discussion and suggestions from the economic development meetings would be available on the website shortly.

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Thursday, December 14, 2017 suratbasin.com.au

Agrifoods celebrates their half century

◗ CORNERSTONE: The much loved Dalby Picnic Races are going to be a feature event of the Big Skies initiative.

PHOTO: FILE

Big Skies on the horizon A BRAND new seven-day event is set to delight the residents of the Western Downs and drive tourism next year as Big Skies dawns on the area. Big Skies, approved by the Western Downs Regional Council, will raise the bar for destination-driven experience and anchor the regions tourism push. The event will be bookended by the Dalby Picnic Races on Saturday, April 28, and the May Day long weekend, and will feature a line-up of ticketed and free events designed to showcase the region. Western Downs Regional Council Mayor Paul McVeigh said he was thrilled the area would be hosting an event of this size and calibre.

“We’ve already established a reputation for delivering fantastic signature events such as Opera at Jimbour, and I believe Big Skies will be an unforgettable series of events that will put our region on the map and really set a new precedent for the Western Downs,” Mayor McVeigh said. “Whether you want to recline on a guided tour of the galaxy, enjoy a champagne breakfast as you watch hot air balloons fill the sky over the Jimbour Plains or relax with friends as you enjoy a rock concert in the impressive amphitheatre of Jimbour Station, this event has something for everyone.” Camping and glamping options will be available at Jimbour Station for the duration of the stellar line-up of events, along with accommodation options from moteliers.

MORE than 140 guests joined the team at Agrifoods Australia on Friday, November 24 to celebrate the seed, grain and pulse marketing company’s 50 years of operation. Originally established by Wright Stephenson in 1967, the business was then operated by Bernie Hartmann and Lyle Wenham (from the mid 80’s) and owned by Murray and Jenny Wilkins (from the mid 90’s). It was purchased by current owners Rob and Megan Anderson in 2009 who have embarked on an ambitious strategy to rebrand the business, reach out to new export markets and undertake a capital expansion program aimed at gaining efficiency and quality. Mr Anderson said he was incredibly grateful to look around and see growers who have worked with the business since the 60s, who still today remain valuable suppliers. “We continue to offer planting seed, flexible marketing options and facilitate storage, processing and packing of these products before shipping to end users,” Mr Anderson said. “We’re proud to carry on the heritage of this great Dalby business, and continue to grow and adapt to provide a vital link between local growers and global markets.”

◗ MILESTONE: Megan and Rob Anderson. PHOTO: MEGAN JAMES

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suratbasin.com.au Thursday, December 14, 2017

Broncos fever hits the Western Downs

◗ LOCAL CHAMPION: Dalby boy Andrew McCullough was happy to be home during the Brisbane Broncos Fan Day. PHOTO: CONTRIBUTED

HUNDREDS of children with a glisten in their eye floated around the Dalby Leagues Club field recently as they got to mingle and meet with their footballing heroes. The annual Brisbane Broncos’ Fan Day was a great success, with the community uniting to try and grab a signature and photo with the players. One of the Broncos in town was Dalby’s own Andrew McCullough, with the hooker happy to be back where it all began.

‘‘

It’s great for the boys to come out to somewhere they wouldn’t be able to get to very often. It shows how strong the stronghold of rugby league is, especially in the Downs.

◗ HIGHEST SOLD: Oneofakind Dixie Chic sold for $54,000 at the Dalby Australian Stock Horse Sale.

PHOTO: MICHAEL DOYLE

Cowboys and cowgirls come from everywhere

$1.7m sold in massive Dalby stock horse sale IT HAS become one of the major events in the calendar for those involved with horses, with thousands of people once again attending the Dalby Showgrounds for the 43rd annual Dalby Australian Stock Horse Sale from December 1-3. Organisers claimed you would struggle to find a seat on the Saturday evening as the sale took place, as potential buyers swarmed from all over the country. In total $1.7 million was spent across the 231 horses, averaging $10,300 a horse. The highest sold for the sale was horse number seven, Oneofakind Dixie Chic, who was bought by Andy Mulchay for $54,000. Stock Horse Society Dalby Downs branch president Jim Ryan hailed the weekend as a success. “The event went really well, we are very happy how it has turned out,” Mr Ryan said. “There was that much going on it wasn’t even funny. “You could not get a seat in the grandstands on Saturday night, which is just fantastic. “There was definitely more than 1000 people here on Saturday night.” The event has grown to a point where Western Downs Regional Council has declared the sale a “major event” in the region. There was also $3000 handed out to charities in a ceremony on the Saturday afternoon, with Helping Hands Dalby, The

Salvation Army and St Vincent De Paul’s all receiving $1000 each. Live entertainment kept the large Saturday night crowd at the showgrounds until late, with live music and a performance from world-renowned entertainer Guy McLean. Mr Ryan said the success of the event was due to not only the support of Dalby, but wider Queensland and beyond. One of those people that travelled from afar was Phillip Kirkby, who could hardly believe how far the Dalby sale had come. Mr Kirkby was in a meeting in Tamworth in July 1971, when the decision was made to create the Australian Stock Horse Society, and he sold horses in Dalby for the first 35 years. Now coming to the sale as a spectator, Mr Kirkby remembers fondly the early years of the sale, particularly the layout of the showgrounds. “In the first year I think they sold only 30 horses, the old clubhouse was falling down, we sat on hay and the ground was rock hard,” Mr Kirkby said. The man from Narrabri in New South Wales believes the quality of the horses at the sale are the greatest improvement. “They are 200 per cent better than the horses which were first sold here,” Mr Kirkby said. “It is very good the quality of the horses. “The training and the presentation these days is unbelievable.. we now have a lot of younger people learning.”

“It’s great for the boys to come out to somewhere they wouldn’t be able to get to very often. It shows how strong the stronghold of rugby league is, especially in the Downs,” McCullough said. “The area has generated a lot of great players over the years and it’s good for the kids to come out and meet players they wouldn’t be able to get to meet otherwise. “It’s always good to come home and it certainly changes every time I’m back. I still have family here so it’s great to come back to a ground I played a lot of football at and enjoy it.” The man tipped to take over from Cameron Smith as Queensland’s number nine in the future said he hoped the children took one key message from the day. “Just to enjoy football, never make it something you don’t want to do. Fun is a big factor for kids coming through; if you go out there and have fun it makes it easier to go to training, enjoy it and want to get better.” Aside from the footballers, the day also featured live music, laser skirmish, snow cones, cheerleaders and Buck the mascot. Touch football games were also played, though McCullough was unable to join in as he recovers from a serious knee injury. “The knee is going good, the plan is round one,” he said. “I’m on target at the moment, I’m probably about a quarter of the way through rehab so I just have to stay with the process now.” McCullough said he hadn’t taken former teammate Adam Blair off the Christmas card list for inflicting the injury. “Nah, he’s fine, it was one of those freak accidents in football so it’s all good. Most players will go through injuries at some stage.” The Broncos’ Fan Day was made possible by Arrow Energy, and vice-president of external affairs Leisa Elder said it’s great to be able to bring the program to the Western Downs. “Our partnership with the Broncos has always had a strong community focus,” Ms Elder said. “This is the sixth year that we’ve hosted the event and this year was the biggest – it’s great to see so many families turn out to spend the morning with the team.” Arrow community partners Dalby PCYC, Endeavour Foundation and Lifeflight also attended.


Thursday, December 14, 2017 suratbasin.com.au

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Warrego Highway upgrade takes off TOOWOOMBA-based construction company FK Gardner and Sons has secured the contract to build the second phase of the $40 million Oakey–Miles safety project, which takes in several roads in the Dalby district. Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester said the project was part of the Australian Government’s ongoing commitment to improve Queensland’s road network and reduce road trauma. “The Australian Government is investing $32 million – and the Queensland Government $8 million – in the upgrades being done between Oakey and Miles, as part of our broader commitment to improving the state’s road network and reducing road trauma,” Mr Chester said. “The works are a critical part of the $635 million Warrego Highway Upgrade Program, which is gaining momentum and helping improve driver safety by building wider roads, new turning lanes and better signage.” Federal Member for Maranoa David Littleproud said the upgrades came after careful consideration and assessment of road crash history, crash likelihood and severity, as well as motorist feedback. “To ensure all drivers have a safer trip, we will be upgrading

◗ UPGRADING: David Littleproud is ecstatic that the main road in his electorate is getting a facelift.

five intersections in high-speed rural areas to the west of Toowoomba, including Devon Park Rd, Bowenville–Norwin Rd, Newton–Stephens Rd, Macalister–Bell Rd and Brownlies Rd,” Mr Littleproud said. “The Station St intersection in the town of Jondaryan will also be upgraded and there will be some widening of sections of

PHOTO: CONTRIBUTED

road near Brigalow. “Minor safety works will also be undertaken, including removing or trimming trees within the clear zone, installing signs, repairing edge drops and flattening steep road slopes.” The $635 million WHUP is a package of 15 projects on the Warrego Highway.

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Surat Basin News Published by Chinchilla Newspapers Pty Ltd 12 Mayne Street, Chinchilla, Q 4413 Printed by APN Print Warwick General manager: Erika Brayshaw

Dalby boy eyes off Reds first XV

Hoopert ready for super challenge RUGBY UNION: Former Dalby Wheatmen player Harry Hoopert is another step closer to making his Super Rugby debut next year, after being named in the Queensland Reds squad. The squad will start their pre-season training in the coming weeks, with Hoopert hoping to make an impression with the team. Hoopert participated in roughly a month of pre-season training last season, before spending the year with the under-20 squad. He said the call-up to the main squad would give him the drive to push forward with his career. “I will be doing the whole pre-season this time and I am looking forward to it,” Hoopert said. “I just want to learn as much as possible off guys like (player) James Slipper.” The prop-forward said his goal was to break into the first-grade team at some stage in the new season. “My personal goal is to make my debut in Super Rugby,” he said. The Queensland Reds hope to improve on their 2017 season, which was a struggle at best. New coach Brad Thorn has inherited a team that finished third in the Australian Conference, well outside the finals race. The team only managed four wins from their 15 matches.

◗ LEGEND: Harry Hoopert will be able to learn off Brad Thorn. PHOTO: CONTRIBUTED

◗ FIELD READY: Former Dalby man Harry Hoopert training with the Queensland Reds senior squad.

PHOTO: QUEENSLAND REDS

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Surat Basin News December 2017  
Surat Basin News December 2017