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Mining town celebrates 30 years    Page 12

Monday September 16, 2013 170th Edition

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Green shoots Is the worst behind us?    Full report page 4

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CONTENTS NEWS

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6

1600 workers needed for $1.8b gas job

8

Expat Aussies miners ‘pig headed’

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Jobs gone, but confidence returns

10 Legal action delays GVK

14 $100K a month on

8 22

Numbers You 12 Numbers Numbers Can CountYou On** You

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Finally, the worst is behind us

Cockatoo Coal has managed to pull itself up since the 2010 summer deluge that put it underwater.

AFTER more than 12 months of running idle, Queensland’s mining sector has been kick-started into gear. In a year that’s been dominated by mining companies sacking workers and looking for cost savings, the first green shoots of a turnaround have sprung up. Mid-cap miner Cockatoo Coal is flying high this week after being granted two new mining leases for its Baralaba mine

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expansion in the Bowen Basin. The $311 million expansion will increase production at the mine from 750,000 tonnes per annum to 3.5 million. The Baralaba mine currently ships its coal through the RG Tanna terminal at Gladstone port, but the extra tonnage will go through the Wiggins Island terminal (WICET) currently under construction. “The timing of the expansion is

designed to dovetail with the completion of Wiggins Island and our three million tonne allocation,” Cockatoo’s executive director Peter Nightingale told Shift Miner. “Some early works have already begun on site, but this is a brownfields expansion so they have just been a gentle ramp up, and what works for the existing mine or the new project are a bit of a blurred line. “We would look to begin serious

commencement of construction later this year.” But it’s not just Cockatoo Coal looking to put on new workers. In another sign of grassroots improvement in the mining sector, recruitment agencies are busy again. “We’ve been getting slowly busier for the past four months,” said Stellar Recruitment’s division manager mining operations in Qld and NSW Matt Gibbs. “It is by no means a complete recovery but there is certainly a lot more activity and movement. There is a fair bit of work going on in the labour hire side of things too.” Mining companies ramping up productivity in a bid to combat poor prices by churning out extra tonnages is spurring growth in the jobs market. “For the past 12 months there had been a complete recruitment freeze, but that is over now,” Mr Gibbs said. “Companies are looking to bring key staff back on board to help do more with less. The freeze is over and they are looking to plug the gaps again and fill some of the roles that have been vacant.” Mr Gibbs said mid-tier companies, more so than the majors, were recruiting again. “I guess they’re not as exposed as the majors [to the global economy] and mid-cap companies tend to run leaner and haven’t had to make as big an adjustment,” he said. But it’s the performance of the majors on the stock market that has some resource analysts more upbeat about the sector than six months ago. “There is certainly a case to mount for optimism,” MineLife’s specialist resource analyst Gavin Wendt told Shift Miner. Mr Wendt said big companies BHP and Rio Tinto were performing well, and


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that was always a good indicator that sentiment was turning. He said the latest result reports had been good, with no unexpected nasties, and investors were beginning to switch from buying up in the banking sector to putting some of their profits back into resources shares. “Any recovery in the resource sector always takes place in the big companies first, then the smaller companies, so that is a positive.” Mr Wendt also pointed to numerous other factors that were combining to produce a more favourable outlook for the sector including: supply side cutbacks beginning to bite; encouraging growth figures out of China; recovering commodity prices; and a change in government. “Those factors are all important and they suggest we have turned the corner,” he said. “Whether it will be maintained or whether things will ease off again I am not sure, but I certainly think we are off the bottom.” Queensland Resources Council chief executive Michael Roche also made some unusually optimistic comments at the Australian Steel Convention on the Gold Coast last week. Mr Roche has spent 12 months couching the resource sector’s outlook in cautious terms, but now says a new surge is predicted. He said that despite the tough trading conditions, “irresistible forces” were driving the next investment phase. “Those irresistible forces are also known

as the billions of people in the developing world who aspire to the living standards we take for granted,” Mr Roche said. “The challenge now for us as a developed, resources-rich country is how to get the settings right at home to secure our fair share of that next wave of investment,” he said. Mr Roche noted some of the investment in the pipeline including GVK’s Alpha Coal Project in the Galilee Basin and Adani Mining’s intent to bring its Galilee Basin Carmichael project to market. “These Galilee Basin mine, rail and port projects could be the next big thing in Queensland after the completion of the three LNG projects in Gladstone,” said Mr Roche. “And, Arrow Energy is looking to present to its owners in 2014 the business case to move ahead with Queensland’s fourth coalseam gas to LNG project in Gladstone.” Mining’s downturn over the past 12 months has not extended to the energy sector, which has continued to boom. In the past week, Thiess has signed a $1.8 billion contract with QGC to build CSG infrastructure in the Surat Basin and is looking for another 1600 workers. For more details on this, and Arrow Energy’s latest approval, turn to page 6. SMS US - How are you feeling about your job security at the moment? Text us through your thoughts. Comment or SMS 0409 471 014

WHAT THEY SAID: “Yes I am feeling optimistic about the future. Without being lazy, I think we are in a very, very good position.” Peter Nightingale, Cockatoo Coal “It is by no means a complete recovery but there is certainly a lot more activity and movement.” Matt Gibbs, Stellar Recruitment

“There is certainly a case to mount for optimism… I certainly think we are off the bottom.” Gavin Wendt, MineLife resource analyst “Let me assure you that despite the tough trading circumstances that many of my members are facing at present, there are irresistible forces at work driving the next investment phase.” Michael Roche, QRC

Cockatoo Coal set sights on expansion

Cockatoo Coal has managed to pull itself up since the 2010 summer deluge that put it underwater.

COCKATOO Coal is sitting pretty in a sector that has faced serious hardships over the past 12 months. It is one of very few operations in the Bowen Basin that has not retrenched any workers, and production hit record levels last month. “We haven’t published them [August figures] yet, but on an annualised basis it’s well in excess of our production target,” said Cockatoo’s executive director Peter Nightingale.

Small and mid-cap miners have, in many cases, outperformed the big players during the downturn. Mr Nightingale puts that down to good management and keeping a careful eye on costs. “I’d like to emphasise that it’s not just management at the top end, it’s the contribution at the coalface. We have a very good, dedicated workforce,” he said. “The Baralaba mine is a very efficient operation. We think it is one of the lowest cost PCI coal mines in Australia, if not the world. “So even though coal prices are a bit off we are cash-flow positive so we are doing well.” It is a staggering comeback for an operation that was decimated by floods when a levee bank broke during the 2010 summer deluge and the Dawson River literally ran through the mine site. Now, in 2013, it is one of few mines marching ahead with expansion plans. “Yes, I am feeling optimistic about the future,” said Mr Nightingale. “Without being lazy, I think we are in a very, very good position.”

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1600 workers needed for $1.8B gas job Arrow shoots forward

THIESS needs 1600 workers on site in the Surat Basin to build 18 field compression stations and four processing plants for gas giant QGC over the next 15 months. It’s just bagged a $1.8 billion contract to build the infrastructure, and Thiess managing director Bruce Munro couldn’t be happier. “Ah terrific, this is a good day,” he said at the signing of the contract recently. “We’ve been working on this for two years with QGC.” The new work takes over from a $325 million contract signed last year to build six field compression stations and one central processing plant in the Surat Basin. Currently, the company has

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1000 workers on the job, but that will increase to 2,600 by early next year as the contractor takes on all civil, mechanical, piping, instrument and electrical work in constructing and precommissioning the facilities. “This is a huge challenge,” said Mr Munro. “I mean, we can talk about 18 field compression stations and four processing plants [but] a lot of people don’t comprehend what that actually means. When you convert it just to dollars this is $1.8 billion dollars to be spent in 15 months. “That’s over $100,000 million a month of managed expenditure that’s got to be done to finish this plant on site and that is an

enormous challenge so we’re going to have to work closely together.” It’s a massive amount of workers required almost immediately, and a spokesman for Thiess told Shift Miner the company was focussed on using its own people first and foremost. “We’re focussing on people who are coming off Thiess projects that are wrapping up,” he said, pointing to projects like the construction of BMA’s Caval Ridge mine which the company has been involved in. “We are looking for people who have worked on mining construction projects as their skills are very much applicable. Not so much those from a mining operations background, but those who have worked in construction would be very valuable.” He said anyone interested in working on the project should go to the Thiess website and register. The new facilities will be built near Dalby, Chinchilla and Wandoan and will eventually process the gas that will be transported via an underground pipeline to Gladstone, where it will be liquefied. The project should be completed by November next year.

with $15b approval THE sun is shining on Gladstone with Arrow Energy’s $15 billion LNG plant on Curtis Island looking likely to get federal approval within 30 days. The Queensland government gave approval for the plant yesterday and it is welcome news for Gladstone’s business community. “Gladstone has promoted itself to be a 21st century industrial model city of global significance, and because we are, the global industrial giants are interested in what’s going on here,” Gladstone Area Promotion and Development Ltd (GAPDL) chief executive Glenn Churchill said. Mr Churchill said there was $100 billion of projects in planning and delivery in the Central Queensland city and it wasn’t going to slow down. “This is a significant industrial giant who will contribute to our economy, our society - and also contribute to our environment.”

Arrow Energy’s LNG plant will be the fourth of its kind on Curtis Island, alongside the QGC, GLNG and APLNG projects currently being built by Bechtel. The construction of the three LNG plants saw a massive influx of workers putting pressure on the region’s housing, social infrastructure and businesses. “The reason why we got caught short was because there was just meant to be one LNG plant, but then there was another, and another - and now we���ll have four,” Mr Churchill told Shift Miner. “We have been playing catch-up.” “Some people now say we have an over-supply of accommodation, but I say we have developers, council and corporates developing infrastructure. We have 26,000 hectares of industrial land, and it is just sitting there waiting until the next industrial giant comes along.”


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Mining jobs start to pick up

BMA’s new Caval Ridge mine is entering the final stages of construction and is desperately seeking 150 electricians to make sure the project is delivered on time. Bechtel is running the

construction contract, but part of the project has been subcontracted to Downer EDI. Shift Miner understands Downer has been calling local electricians to try and get

tradespeople on site now. “If they need that number of electricians, they must be running behind and they must be keen to deliver on time,” one worker told Shift Miner. In another sign of grassroots improvement in the mining sector, recruitment agencies are busy again. “We’ve been getting slowly busier for the past four months,” Stellar Recruitment’s division manager mining operations in Qld and NSW Matt Gibbs told Shift Miner “It is by no means a complete recovery but there is certainly a lot more activity and movement. There is a fair bit of work going on in the labour hire side of things too.” The key trends spurring the growth in the jobs market is mining companies ramping up productivity and operating their sites more efficiently. “For the past 12 months there had been a complete recruitment freeze, but that is over now,” said Mr Gibbs. “Companies are looking to

bring key staff back on board to help do more with less. “The freeze is over and they are looking to plug the gaps again and fill some of the roles that have been vacant.” Mr Gibbs said mid-tier companies, more so than the majors, were recruiting again. “I guess they’re not as exposed as the majors [to the global economy] and mid-cap companies tend to run leaner and haven’t had to make as big an adjustment,” he said. He said companies were looking for all sorts of skills sets from surveyors to health and safety reps to superintendent roles. Mr Gibbs said there were still new projects ticking ahead, and expansions at some mine sites. “The amount of activity we are seeing doesn’t suggest doom and gloom at all, it is just not what it once was.”

How are you feeling about your job at the moment? Comment or SMS 0409 471 014

It’s official - BHP expands production AFTER two years and a construction team of more than 1000 people, Queensland premier Campbell Newman officially opened BMA’s Daunia open-cut coal mine south east of Moranbah on September 5. Using a truck and shovel system and employing around 450 people, the mine will export around 4.5 million tonnes of steel making coal a year through the Hay Point Coal terminal south of Mackay. While this was the official opening, the actual first production from the site began in early March. The Daunia mine is one part of BMA’s major growth projects in Central Queensland. The two other developments are the expansion of the Hay Point Coal terminal due for completion in 2015 and the Caval Ridge coal mine which is scheduled for production at the end of next year. However earlier this month BHP said it had revised its timelines for the Hay Point coal terminal expansion. Chief executive Andrew Mackenzie said the company would no longer demolish the existing trestles. “Marine works have been our greatest challenge, unplanned weather interruptions and regrettable productivity issues have increased our share of the project budget by $255 million to $1.5 billion,” he told media. “The first shipment is now anticipated in the 2015 calendar year, but the rampup profile for Queensland coal will not be affected.”

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CQ port becomes political football

THE developer of a proposed coal terminal in Central Queensland has shrugged off a week of political attention and says the project is moving forward. The Mitchell Group wants to barge coal from the mouth of the Fitzroy River - halfway between Rockhampton and Gladstone - to ships anchored offshore. The project would require little to no dredging of existing waterways. But became caught up in a week of political crossfire leading up to the federal election.

First, Mitchell Group project manager Peter MacTaggart received a letter from the former federal environment minister Tony Burke. The letter stated Mr Burke would have declared the project unacceptable if he had had access to reports that he had received after his initial consideration. “I’m not sure why we received his letter,” Mr MacTaggart told Shift Miner. Then Prime Minister-elect Tony Abbott, opposition leader at the time, weighed into the debate, saying he would prefer existing

coal ports to be expanded rather than allowing new developments along the Queensland coast. His comments came after LNP’s candidate for Capricornia, Michelle Landry, and LNP member for Flynn, Ken O’Dowd, publicly expressed their opposition to the project. Ms Landry told ABC Radio she initially thought the Fitzroy Terminal was a good idea. “They were having the barges that go out there and load the coal onto the ships but what concerns me is the water ... I live at the beach, it’s rough more than it’s calm out there and I just don’t see how they’re going to load the coal from those barges without spillage into the ocean,” she said. Mr MacTaggart was unfazed and said the negative media coverage would not have an impact on the project. “The upswing of it all is we are still making way with our EIS [environmental impact statement],” he said. “We have slowed down a bit, but we’re hoping to have it lodged late in the year with approvals from mid to late next year, and we can commence construction late 2016. “As far as the port is concerned, we know we have a good product compared with other ports. We’re just biding our time.” Mr MacTaggart said the nature of the

project was to prevent a lot of the impacts that are associated with traditional port developments by using barges that are very shallow draughts, so there is no need for enormous dredging campaigns. Under the plans, coal will be transported by train, using existing rail networks, to a new rail spur loop at Raglan - about halfway between Rockhampton and Gladstone. Coal will then be moved by covered conveyors onto onto covered barges which will travel down Raglan Creek, through Port Alma to deep water. Purpose built transshippers will then transfer the coal from the covered barges to conventional coal ships. However, Ginny Gerlach from the Keppel and Fitzroy Delta Alliance told ABC Radio Mr Burke’s letter rang alarm bells about the project. The Coalition would need to look very closely at the development and also at the protection mechanisms for the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area. The election of a Coalition Government could increase the chances of the project being approved, she said. “The indications have been that they intend to hand some of the decisionmaking powers to the state and that would be catastrophic for the Great Barrier Reef,” she said.

Expat Aussies miners ‘pig headed’

AUSTRALIAN miners are pig headed when it comes to working overseas, and can expect laws, culture and workplace practices to mirror life at home. That’s the insight of Confiance people management consultant Josie Clair, who has spent the past year working in Africa. Adventure and opportunity

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have always lured Australians overseas for work, and the downturn in the resources sector has added an even bigger incentive recently. Ms Clair said the main stumbling block she had witnessed for expats was crosscultural awareness. “Forgive me, but we Aussies

have a tendency to go overseas and try to impress our beliefs, ways of life and work habits onto other cultures - with varying degrees of success and acceptable,” she said. “Some of this can be attributed to poor expat integration programs, but a lot is pure pig-headed behaviour by the expats.” Ms Clair, who published her observations in Confiance’s latest client newsletter, said many expats arrived in a new country with no understanding of its history or current industrial issues. “This may sound like a statement of the blatantly obvious, but in my experience some expats do zero research and consequently fail to modify their behaviour to align with the industrial landscape. “For example, some laws can be much more collaborative and consultative and at times drawn out than we are used to in Australia, where a breach in policy can be grounds for immediate termination.” Ms Clair said frustration at the process was not an excuse for

leaders not to take action. “I saw many underperforming employees who continued to perform poorly with no repercussions, all because expats put the issue into the ‘too hard’ basket.” Another major hurdle for Australian managers overseas can be that local workforces often lack adequate operating background knowledge. It’s not just a language barrier - it’s also about differences in terminology and relevant knowledge. “Do they [local workforce] understand what the high wall and the low wall are? Have they had exposure to the same mining methods you are trying to implement?” Ms Clair asked. “Culturally, I found the local employees were unlikely to ask questions if they didn’t understand. They would agree and nod along with whoever was speaking regardless of whether they actually understood the task or not.” Ms Clair said it was critical that managers took the time to educate their workforce and walk them through tasks.

Slip, slop and slap WITH hot weather now here and the Queensland sun ready with its ferocious bite, you need to be aware of skin cancer risk - particularly if work out in the sun. Australia has the highest number of melanoma incidents in the world; more than 1500 people die each year from it, making it responsible for 75 per cent of skin cancer related deaths. “Queensland has the highest rates of skin cancer in the world - about 300 people die from a melanoma diagnosis every year,” Cancer Council Queensland spokesperson Katie Clift said. Melanoma is the most common cancer found in people aged between 15 and 39. For people aged under 85 there is a 1 in 17 chance of being diagnosed. These rates are higher for men, being a 1 in 14 chance. Research shows that the thicker the melanoma, the slimmer the chance of survival. Between 1990 and 2006 the rates of thick melanoma (in excess of 4 mm) have increased. This is especially worrying as the chances of survival almost half when the patient is diagnosed with thick melanoma. “Queenslanders diagnosed with melanoma under 1mm in thickness have close to a 100 per cent relative survival rate, compared to a 58 percent survival rate for tumours over 4mm,” Ms Clift said. If you have any moles or freckles that you are concerned about or they have changed shape or colour, consult your doctor.


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Moranbah business alive and kicking Jobs gone, but

MORANBAH Traders’s Lyn Busk is in a panic - and not because business confidence has hit a new low in the Bowen Basin town. It is, in fact, the opposite. For the past five years, the business association has held an annual Service in Business Awards night and usually struggles to get enough people to the event. But this year the response has been so overwhelming that more tickets had to be printed. “It’s a good indication that business confidence is up,” a chirpy Ms Busk told Shift Miner. “It’s the first time ever that Coles has nominated. Often

people complain about big businesses setting up in our community, but having a big company like this nominated is a big achievement.” Although the future is looking brighter for Moranbah businesses, some are still struggling as they try to compete with Mackay and internet-based businesses. Ms Busk said it’s about educating new residents to support local business. “I think what it is we have a lot of people who don’t class themselves as locals yet,” she said. “They are beautiful people, but young people who have access to

the internet and are used to the glitz of big shopping centres and don’t stop to think if they stop shopping at a local shop, then it’s gone.” Businesses had struggled up until early last year as the property boom in Moranbah reached its peak, making it almost impossible for businesses to afford to lease premises or find staff. The property boom also saw residents nearing retirement make the most of the housing prices, sell and move on. “We lost three very loyal, long-time [mining] employees and we also lost their hardworking wives who were flexible with their working arrangements,” Ms Busk said. She said although the bust has been tough for the community - there has been some positive outcomes. “A lot of businesses have diversified and are thinking left field.” Moranbah locals are used to the ups and downs, she said. “This is what happens in Moranbah and I’ve been here 40 years. The general run of things is we know it goes up and down and people forget it will go up again.”

confidence returns UNEMPLOYMENT in the Mackay-Whitsunday-Isaac region is at its highest level in five years, but business confidence is slowly starting to return. Unemployment for the region is now sitting at 4.7 per cent, up from 3.5 per cent 12 months ago. While the region at a whole is still sitting under the 5 per cent full employment marker, it’s the Whitsundays that is concerning local business leaders. “Mackay is currently sitting at 4.7 per cent up from 3.9 per cent, Isaac at 1.5 per cent up from 1 per cent and Whitsunday has climbed 36 per cent to 7.9 per cent, up from 5.8 per cent,” said REDC chief executive Narelle Pearse. “You have certainly seen the effects of mining because it [Whitsunday] was a strong DIDO market, but also discretionary spending is down as people tighten their belts and that has hit tourism. “We need to be watchful of

areas like Whitsunday so that we don’t lose the highly skilled workforce that resides there.” In optimistic news for a region battered by the downturn in mining, Ms Pearse believes business confidence is slowly starting to return. “We are starting to hear about companies with a few more jobs on… particularly in maintenance, which is the lifeblood of Paget. “It’s difficult to know but I think we’re probably at the bottom end of the downturn now, and we are seeing a bit more growth. It’s certainly incremental but we are heading in the right direction.” Ms Pearse said a change in government should help the situation, and she hoped projects like the Abbot Point coal port expansion would go ahead. “We have $86 billion in projects on our register at the moment, so even if 10 to 20 per cent of those get across the line it will have an enormous impact.”

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GVK delayed by court challenge

Land for sale near Alpha.

GVK Hancock has delayed construction work at its proposed Alpha mine in the Galilee Basin until next year, and coal won’t be exported until 2017 - thanks to a land court battle. Five different groups have lodged an objection to the mine in Queensland’s Land Court, citing adverse impacts on ground and surface water, economic and social

impacts and contribution to climate change. The groups are made up of three individual landholders, an environmental organisation - Coast and Country Association of Queensland, and a Canberra-based individual. Lock the Gate’s Central Queensland coordinator Ellie Smith told Shift Miner that her organisation was not

involved, although individuals were taking legal action. A local landholder who has signed an agreement with GVK Hancock said it was now a waiting game. “We are being held to ransom by green groups,” he told Shift Miner. The court hearing date is set for September 16, 2013 meaning a significant delay is now likely, with the judgment set to be handed down no sooner than the end of this year or early next year. A 2011 legal challenge to Xstrata’s 30 million tonne per annum Wandoan coal mine, also in Queensland, delayed that project for over 13 months. The landholder, who did not want to be named, dismissed concerns over water and said landholders had signed makegood agreements with the mine. This meant the mine would have to provide any water that was lost. “There is plenty of underground water that has nothing to do with the artesian,” he said. This landholder said he is satisfied with his dealings with GVK Hancock, and that it is thanks to having a good solicitor - and most landholders now have an agreement. “A few might argue with them, but I got on well with them. When the mine does go ahead, people will have to realise the scale

of it. It’s going to be equal in size to the iron ore mines of WA - bloody enormous.” “Once this mine goes ahead, this basin will open up. Some people will suffer - I’d prefer there was no mine - but some people have to suffer for the rest of Queensland.” Coast and Country Association of Queensland were awaiting advice from their legal team before granting an interview with Shift Miner at time of publication. In a media statement, Lock the Gate’s Ellie Smith said the land court was the last recourse for concerned citizens. “GVK have already been in trouble by the member (judge in the land court), for implying the court was just a rubber stamping process. “I’m concerned that [GVK’s managing director Paul Mulder] is implying that these legitimate objections, in a process that has been clear from the day GVK decided to invest in the Alpha mine, should be viewed as the reason for a delay in their project. If they have failed to plan for this eventuality that is entirely their fault. “We will have to wait until the evidence is heard in the case to understand the full extent of the evidence brought against the approval of the mining lease and environmental authority for the Alpha mine.”

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$300m power line Gas new hope for could open up Galilee Bowen Basin business?

OPENING the Galilee Basin up is one step closer with the Adani Group announcing a proposal for a major transmission line to power the development of the $5.9 billion Carmichael coal mine near Clermont. The 250 kilometre transmission line will link Powerlink Queensland’s Strathmore substation near Collinsville to the new Galilee substation to be located on Adani’s Moray Downs 10 kilometres east of the proposed Carmichael mine. The state government has welcomed the proposal as a positive commitment by Adani to get the project up and running and one that won’t cost taxpayers. Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney met Adani executives in India earlier this month. “The proposed development of this transmission line will remove a major barrier to the opening of other resource and commercial activities in the central Galilee Basin,” Mr Seeney said. “What Galilee Transmission Pty Ltd is proposing is the construction of a $300 million open access power line without adding any debt to the state’s balance sheet.” Mr Seeney said the Director-General of the Department of Energy and Water Supply issued Adani’s subsidiary, Galilee Transmission Pty Ltd, with a Transmission Authority under the Electricity Act 1994 for an area in the Galilee Basin. He said Adani had indicated it wants to begin coal production at the Carmichael mine in the Galilee Basin by 2016-17 and a key component of this process will be the

construction of the transmission line. “Adani proposes spending in excess of $7 billion on the coal mine operations and accompanying rail, port, water and power infrastructure,” Mr Seeney said. “Adani has forecast the mining of some 60 million tonnes of thermal coal a year from open-cut and underground mining operations from 2022. “This project, including the rail line, could employ up to 2500 workers during construction and up to 2940 workers when it is operational.” Mr Seeney said the current status of the Carmichael project was that Adani had been asked to provide further information to the Coordinator-General relating to the Environmental Impact Statement. He said the development of the Galilee Basin coal resources had the potential to be a huge part of Queensland’s economic future and the development of these resources is important to every Queenslander. “During these uncertain economic times this Government has made it clear that it will support proponents that have the capacity to be first movers whether that be with pit to port solutions or with meeting their energy requirements,” he said. “While there will be an advantage to first movers this will not stop other projects accessing infrastructure during their developmental stages. “This government’s support for a consolidation of infrastructure remains unchanged.”

THE coal seam gas industry is in its early stages in the Bowen Basin, but local businesses are hoping to leverage their resource sector experience and cash in on opportunities. There are more than 40 coal mines in the region, and the mining sector contributes $3.2 billion or 70 per cent of the Central Highlands’ economy. But with the slowdown in the coal sector, many local businesses are turning their heads towards the gas sector. There are currently three CSG producers operating from the region: Arrow Energy at Moranbah and Westside Corporation and Origin Energy at Moura. Arrow and Westside, together with Blue Energy and QGC, are also exploring in the region. Central Highlands Development Corporation (CHDC) general manager Sandra Hobbs said many of the region’s 3400 local businesses were well-positioned to service the gas industry after providing a range of products and services to coal companies for many years. She said many local businesses have had experience dealing with large resource companies and the challenges of tiered supply chains.

“It is vital that our businesses seek information and upskill to meet the needs of this potential new customer in our region and the CHDC will continue in a facilitation and information role,” Ms Hobbs said. Ms Hobbs said CDCH had recently met with QGC’s procurement team to get a better understanding of their requirements and plans for the region. Speaking in Emerald at the GasFields Community Leaders Council North meeting recently, Arrow Energy vice president community & sustainable development Leisa Elder said: “Our experience of being here (in the Bowen Basin) since 2000 is that it’s a very educated community about resource development. “The community understands both the activities and impacts, and I think that gives us a head-start in being able to talk to the communities. “When we hold our community consultations in the Bowen Basin we find that generally the discussions are around economic benefits, healthcare, childcare, education and how they can find out more about the project and how they can be more involved.”

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Celebration lifts Glenden’s spirits

Annabelle Hawken nestles a chicken at the free petting zoo.

THE small mining town of Glenden celebrated its 30th birthday last weekend with market stalls, amusements, food, entertainment and The Black Sorrows. Isaac Regional Council Deputy Mayor Dale Appleton said the celebrations were a real spirit lifter for the Central

Rocking the night – The Black Sorrows headline the celebrations.

Queensland town that lies about 110km west of Mackay. “It is a great to see the community coming together to celebrate their town, and supporting each other,” said Cr Appleton. The Glenden Progress Association raised funds for the CQ rescue helicopter by selling

raffle tickets, a CD comprising historic photos and a stubby cooler, which are now available for purchase at the Glenden library. A team of emergency services staff out-muscled mining teams to win the anticipated tug-of-war competition, raising funds for the Glenden Gecko’s playgroup.

Seagrass may be carbona future AUSTRALIA could be sitting on a goldmine of carbon dioxide stored in seagrass meadows worth more than $5.2 billion, according to Australian research published the prestigious scientific journal PLOS ONE. The Edith Cowan University’s Centre for Marine Ecosystems Research found there could be more than 150 million tonnes of carbon stored in more than 92,500 sqkm of seagrass ecosystems fringing Australia’s coastline. Based on a carbon trading price of $35 per tonne in 2020, as predicted by the Federal Government, Australia’s Blue Carbon reserves could be worth billions of dollars on the international carbon market. Centre for Marine Ecosystems research director and lead researcher of the project, Professor Paul Lavery, said the research showed it was vital Australia’s fragile seagrass meadows are preserved. “It’s essentially a win, win, win scenario. A win for the economy, a win for conservation and a win for society through the services the ecosystem provides,” he said. But Professor Lavery said it wasn’t as simple as going out and planting new

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meadows of the notoriously hard to propagate seagrass. “What is imperative at the moment is to preserve what we have,” he said. Professor Marnie Campbell from CQUniversity is leading the ‘Restoring Queensland’s seagrass meadows’ project, which is using scientific methods to determine how best to restore seagrass. “It is not just dredging, but flood events have also had an impact on seagrass beds,” she told Shift Miner. “It is a juggling act, but there are places where you can manage it.” Seagrass needs light to grow, so how dredging affects the light will determine the impact on the seagrass. “You may not kill it. In Gladstone, they have looked at the different light effects so if it gets too bad, they will stop dredging until the light improves.” Gladstone Harbour is naturally turbid, so seagrass does not need a lot of light and as a result, the seagrass beds have remained relatively intact. “If you are dredging a pristine area where there is lots of light, then there will be an imbalance.”

Licking good – Caleb and Tiffany Moss were served up a treat.

But the local kids were the real winners of the day enjoying a petting zoo, free face painting, a photobooth, rides, activities, ice-cream and an excellent fireworks display. “The kids flocked around the official cake which disappeared almost instantly, while the adults congregated around the

beer tent,” said Hazel Burgess, Glenden Progress Association. “The town really needed a lift and this gave people a great excuse to relax and take a break.” The Glenden 30 Year Anniversary Celebrations was presented by Isaac Regional Council, Newlands Glencore and Morris Corp.

Mac asks, are you okay?

LAST Thursday was the day to ask your workmates ‘are you okay?’, and the MAC Services Group got in behind the action to support people in rural and regional Australia. The MAC supported the R U OK? Foundation and sponsor Bristow to develop the R U OK? Afield campaign aimed at inspiring anyone working long periods from home to ask fellow workmates ‘are you ok?’ regularly and meaningfully. To raise awareness of the Afield campaign, The MAC’s 10 accommodation villages throughout regional Queensland, New South Wales and Western Australia started the conversation with guests and

employees by giving away barbeque packs to encourage friends and colleagues to ‘catch up with a mate over a barbeque’. “Many of our employees and guests are working away from home for periods of time and isolation and loneliness can impact them,” said Peter McCann, managing director of The MAC Services Group. “We want to support our guests and our employees by encouraging a sense of community, where they know they have someone they can turn to. “It’s not always obvious when someone’s struggling, so if everyone can ask ‘are you ok?’ then we can help make a difference. The MAC raised awareness on the day by displaying R U OK?Day posters and balloons across all of its locations and employees working at the accommodation villages wore promotional t-shirts to encourage guests to get the conversation started. R U OK? Foundation chief executive Janina Nearn said the national day of action is aimed at inspiring a national movement, so all people have the skills and capacity to ask ‘are you ok?’ of anyone doing it tough. “It’s important that we engage regional and remote communities because of the high rate of suicide in these areas. Thanks to support from The MAC, we’re reaching out to Australians working away from home for long periods and inspiring them to help each other,” Ms Nearn said.


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Gladstone turtles get rehab

Bob McCosker releases Flipper and Andie into Gladstone Harbour.

THE Central Queensland Coast now has its first turtle rehabilitation centre, thanks to support from Australia Pacific LNG.

Quoin Island Turtle Rehabilitation Centre, located in Gladstone Harbour, is the only one of its kind in the region, with the closest facilities of care

being in Townsville and the Sunshine Coast. Australia Pacific LNG will assist in funding food, medical and veterinary expenses, and

All quiet on Wandoan front

DESPITE its ideal location at a junction between the CSG and coal mining worlds, the village of Wandoan remains without a major mining camp. That’s despite ongoing speculation in the town that a number of new facilities are on the cusp of development. The rumour mill is being fuelled in part because there is so much interest from external property investors keen to capitalise on the region’s growing CSG and possibly coal workforce. One local businessman, who preferred not to be named, told Shift Miner while there was a lot of talk,

there was not much action. “If someone is going to build a camp in town, I wish they would make contact with me,” he said. “Just north of Wandoan I know Shadforths have put a large camp in there. I think they actually bought the APLNG camp 2 and just relocated it. “My understanding is it is a semipermanent camp that they will use for as long as they have a need for it. “There has also been talk that a new camp could be going in at Condamine, and I did hear Origin were toying with building a camp at Reedy Creek, but nothing has been confirmed.” Currently a room with meals can be cost as much as $170 a night in Wandoan. While most of the business in town is being driven by the CSG industry, a lot of speculation is based on the development of the massive Wandoan coal project. According to who you believe, the Glencore Xstrata-owned project is at best slightly delayed - and at worst, never going to happen. Another local commented to Shift Miner it wasn’t the first time the Wandoan project was “going to happen”. “In 1974 there was talk that a coal mine would be built the following year employing hundreds of men,” he said. “I am still waiting for it.”

a rescue boat for the next two years, as well as volunteer transport from the mainland to Quoin Island. Bob McCosker established the facility, which is licensed by the Queensland Government and has the on-call support of Australia Zoo and Seaworld specialists. “Quoin Island Turtle Rehabilitation Centre was started as an overwhelming passion for the preservation of wildlife, and as a necessity to provide a resource to our region which was previously not available,” Mr McCosker said. The facility is turtle paradise, having an in-ground heated rehabilitation pool, four standalone tanks, an air conditioned treatment room and dry dock room, a necropsy facility, and water filtration systems. “To see the project become a success has been a major undertaking, and one we probably underestimated, but we’ve had good support from the community with volunteers and businesses to help achieve our

goals, with Australia Pacific LNG being, by far, our biggest, and most appreciated supporter,” Mr McCosker said. According to Kent Anderson, Australia Pacific LNG downstream project manager, the gas company has been seeking opportunities where it could support the care of wildlife in the region. “The Quoin Island Turtle Rehabilitation Centre is one that we feel is important to support, to provide care for the turtle population and marine animals of the Harbour,” Mr Anderson said. “It is also important to recognise the work that Bob McCosker and all of the volunteers have done in setting up this facility and managing it with very successful results,” he said. Mr McCosker said the support was well received. “At the end of the day, seeing the turtles being released back into the ocean in a healthy state is what it is all about,” he said.

Landholders host Greenpeace for smoko ENVIRONMENTAL groups are doorknocking landholders in the Galilee Basin in an attempt to put a stop to GVK’s Alpha Coal Project - but with limited success. Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth have travelled to outback Queensland, and one Galilee landholder has sent them away with a flea in their ear. “They came and saw us six months ago, and they wouldn’t know sh*t from clay,” the landholder, who doesn’t want to be named, told Shift Miner. “They were lovely, but they didn’t know what they were talking about. They just knew that they were going to stop the coal and be as loud as they can be.” Greenpeace has ramped up its campaign to protect the Great Barrier Reef from coal mining and has taken credit for slowing its development. On its website, it claimed responsibility for federal environment minister Mark Butler delaying his decision on dredging at Abbott Point and delaying the decision on GVKHancock’s Kevin’s Corner mine in Alpha; and making coal port investors wary about GVK. The landholder told Shift Miner that the Greenpeace representatives had little knowledge about the national parks already established in the region. They were also concerned about a rare bird, but he didn’t think it existed. “Warratah Coal spent over $600,000 on independent people and green groups to look for this bird, and they never found

sight of it,” he said. “[Green groups] just picked out a species. The Greanpeace girls even said that.” Greenpeace campaigner Louise Matthiesson told Shift Miner that Greenpeace was opposing opening up the Galilee Basin because of its enormous global carbon impact. “We were mainly talking to graziers,” she said. “Obviously there are mixed opinions about the mines. Some want the economic benefits that will come with it and others concerned about impacts on groundwater and whether these massive coal mines can be compatible with grazing.” The other issue was the rail corridor from the Galilee Basin to Port Abbot, near Bowen, which impact on numerous grazing properties. “To us it isn’t just a local issue, it is a nation and global issue. We are also focussing on Abbot Point terminal and we’re concerned about the local impact on that near Bowen.” Shift Miner asked Ms Matthiesson about her opinion on federal government and coal industry have funded pilot studies into carbon capture technology, where power plants would produce zero carbon emissions. “There is a lot of talk about it but none are operating and it’s not a proven technology,” she said. “Certainly the buyers of the Galilee coal won’t be using it, so it’s pretty irrelevant. It would be fantastic if did work, but I am sceptical.” 16th September 2013

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Jobs Ladder

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$100K a month on gloves? No wonder there are job cuts. By Charlie Cameron

AT the mine I currently work at, BMA have installed PPE [personal protection equipment] vending machines. They’ve done this to record how much PPE each worker uses over a given time period. To get a new pair of gloves or safety glasses, you first swipe your TAMS card and then make a selection. What you take is then recorded. BMA have implemented this system because of the excessive usage of PPE in recent times. It’s costing the mine a fortune apparently. You see, there used to be big bins full of gloves and glasses and each worker could simply help themselves. Given the current financial

situation for mines, this seemingly trivial topic suddenly becomes very important with regards to cost-savings and gives a valuable insight into the behaviour and psychology, which add to the culture on mine sites. An operator I worked with in the past once told me he would easily use three pairs of gloves a day. I was a bit shocked to hear this – that number seemed to me a bit excessive. No wonder the mine was spending over a hundred grand a month on gloves alone. During my shift I started noticing old gloves lying around nearly everywhere I looked – car parks, around the workshop, inpit around conveyors, fuel bowsers,

wash pads, etc... Each pair probably used only once, then tossed aside. So what’s going on here? Why do we waste valuable items like this? Why aren’t we acting responsibly? There are a several factors to consider. Firstly, I recall a very interesting and relevant theme from my psychology studies known as A Sense of Entitlement - not to be confused with being rewarded for hard work, that’s fine. But feeling you are owed something for nothing, is different. Here’s what I see: as coal mine workers, we feel a bit special. We have a sense of pride because we finally landed that job with the big pay cheques.

We’re doing long hours and making the big companies lots of money... So they should owe us a bit back. They’ve got bucketloads of money, so it won’t hurt if I take new PPE gloves everyday. We inappropriately think we ‘need’ new gloves each day, when in fact this is our own ‘want’. Confusing ‘needs’ and ‘wants’ is a classic sign of having a misguided sense of entitlement. The same factor can be seen with people who take much more crib from camp than they can possibly eat, for instance. Also, I think BMA slipped up here by having those big open bins of PPE, letting workers take whatever they wanted. If you leave a big jar of lollies out of course the kiddies are gonna indulge! But hindsight is a wonderful thing, and so it will be interesting to see if the vending machine PPE system yields any substantial savings. My colleagues and I agree BMA has fallen slightly short on this one as well, however, because something vital to behaviour modification is still needed: incentive. An incentive – to provide motivation – is perhaps one of the most fundamental principles in behavioural psychology. So how about proper incentives for the workers to reduce wasting so many PPE gloves? An incentive is a simple way to get people to behave appropriately: reward good behaviour. So with regard to the gloves, maybe workers should have a

PPE allowance per month, and could perhaps be paid out some kind of savings bonus. But as it stands, there is no incentive to use fewer gloves, and workers that have a misguided sense of entitlement have been confusing their ‘wants’ and ‘needs’. How about we each take some personal responsibility and don’t lose them, maybe clean them once in awhile as well so they can be reused? I wonder if each worker used only one pair of PPE gloves per week instead of 10 or 15, would there be fewer job cuts? The cost of those wasted pairs of gloves might add up to a worker’s wage. It would be interesting to see the cost figures. The overall culture of mining rests firmly with every individual’s actions, and when we can cooperate with the big guys up top, we might all have a better future. So if culture is to change, individuals must first change. We need to shift our thinking from feeling separate to our employer to realising we are an integral part in the wider scheme of things. By saving the company money, we might in fact save our own job. Charlie Cameron* (not his real name) has a Bachelor’s Degree in psychology, completed in 2005. He has been working as an operator throughout the Bowen Basin for both small and large contractors since 2008 on various mine sites. Comment or SMS 0409 471 014

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Shift Miner’s Most Eligible

Bachelor & Bachelorette Here’s round two of our Bachelors and Bachelorettes. It’s not too late to enter, see details below.

Sian Dann, 24

Bronte Webb, 21

Shane Martyn, 27

Spotless, Woeleebee Creek

APLNG, Curtis Island

Moranbah airport

When I’m not at work you’ll find me: At the beach or hanging with friends

When I’m not at work you’ll find me: At the beach or gym

When I’m not at work you’ll find me: Camping and searching for good 4WD tracks

The best advice I’ve ever been given is: ‘Always wear good underwear because you never know who’s going to see it’

My worst habit is: Always on the phone

The best advice I’ve ever been given is: Reputation is everything

My best attribute is: My personality

My perfect date would be: A relaxed, spontaneous day trip

If I could invite three people to dinner they would be (and why): Channing Tatum – A babe Gabriel Iglesias – comedian Marilyn Monroe – beautiful

My best attribute is: When you make me smile

My friends say I am: Fun, loyal, cheeky and a little crazy My signature dish is: Anything Mexican If I didn’t work in mining or industry I would be a: School teacher If I could have any animal as a pet I would choose (and why): A Frenchie, I love their little smooched-up faces.

If I didn’t work in mining or industry I would be a: Bar manager What are two topics that should be off limits on a first date: Money, religion

My friends say I am a: Gentleman, caring and cheeky!


Shift Miner Magazine

Around Town

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LUXE LADIES Moranbah ladies were looking luxe for the 2013 Moranbah East State School P&C Sex in the City Garden Party. The event was a huge success, supported by many of the local businesses. [Photo credit: Pippa Peach]

Aleesha Fahey and Carrie Schuler

Amanda Jamieson and Megan Goldman

Maureen Clavell and Rachel De Vries

(L-R) Angela Jackson, Rachael Luczynski and Rhiannon Baudino

Sarah Carraffa and Melanie Calkin

Pippa Peach and Tara Walker

Sharon Hickey and Tayla Mclean

(L-R) Lacee Marquis, Tara Walker And Dina Whelan

(L-R) Marita Turra, Sophie Phyllis and Kara Drury

Rachael Luczynski and Morgan Murphy

Holding a social event you want photographed?  Call the Shift Miner office on 4921 4333 to let us know.  You can also give our office a bell if you’d like a copy of any of the photos in this edition.

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16th September 2013


Shift Miner Magazine

Around Town

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CRACKERJACK! The Middlemount Bowls Club Community Classic hosted 32 players from Middlemount, New South Wales and Zimbabwe! The event, sponsored by Anglo American, included barefoot bowls, novelty events and $700 in local business prizes - not to mention a tasty barbeque dinner! [Photo credit: Nicky Way]

John and Jack Doolan

Scott and Poss Boyd with Peter Matthews

Nicolle and Lesley Ranie Kieran Hansen and Nathan Moffat

Amy Young and Sophie Jarvis

Jo Coleman and Claire Heck

Wayne and Lorraine Groves

Buy this and many other images at

www.shiftminer.com Shift Miner magazine – bringing the mining community closer together 16th September 2013

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Shift Miner Magazine

Off Shift

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FROm THE EDITOR Have we turned a corner? FINALLY, some good news this week. The past six months have been a hard slog for workers and businesses alike, and at Shift Miner it has been hard to remain optimistic where every story has been about job losses, job insecurity, businesses scaling down or closing up shop - even the burgeoning gas industry couldn’t put a dent in the pessimism. We have been met with a very different attitude this week. Everyone seems to be cautiously optimistic and perhaps it’s because we are finally free of what has had to be the most boring election campaign in Australia’s history. I think most of us, no matter what party we support, were put into a coma. The general consensus seems to be that we have hit rock bottom with coal and will start slowly moving upwards again. What has been missed in all the stories of gloom and doom over the past year is that, plugging away quietly, have been a number of small and mid cap miners. Cockatoo Coal’s Baralaba mine and Wesfarmers’ Curragh mine are two sites that have

navigated their way through these tough times and come out the other end with their employees and bank balances in tact. What makes these mines a success? Could it be that being small means you can’t take your eyes off the ball and you can’t afford to let expenses spiral out of control? The Miner’s Mind article on page 20 is an eye-opener into the wasteful attitudes of employees and employers during the boom. Maybe another advantage of working for a smaller operation is that there is not the huge separation between the workforce and management. Perhaps employees are not seen as numbers on a balance sheet - and the mine is not seen as a giant profit-making vehicle for shareholders. But I could be wrong. What company do you work for, and how do you feel you are treated? Inga Stunzner Text us your thoughts Comment or SMS 0409 471 014

Stuff to the Editor

Our front page story last edition was about the closure of the Collinsville mine and the sacking of all workers. We thought it might interest our readers to see, in full, the statement from Glencore about its decision: In February 2013, Glencore (formerly Xstrata Coal) announced that it would take over day to day operation of the Collinsville Coal Mine following 17 years of the mine being a contractor operated business. Over the past 18 months the Collinsville mine has been loss-making. In addition to ongoing poor market conditions, productivity levels at Collinsville have not kept pace with the increasing costs of production at the mine such as increases in labour costs, materials, goods and services and government taxes and charges. Taking action to support the future We believe there can be a profitable future for mining at Collinsville, but only if we make certain changes. A critical part of the longterm plan for Collinsville will be increasing labour and equipment productivity, whilst maintaining a safe workplace at the mine. Pathway to success Glencore and its JV partners Itochu and Sumitomo are prepared to make the necessary investment into a package of measures designed to provide the Collinsville operation with the means of improving productivity and cost performance in the existing market environment. Each of these measures below is essential for mining operations to continue: Moving from a contractor to a Glencore owner operator business which will result in savings as we will no longer pay a margin to another company to operate the mine. Redesigning the Collinsville mine plan to allow for the introduction of larger equipment into the mining areas. This will improve productivity and result in more material moved per piece of equipment. Mine planning activities and equipment productivities will include a focus on a. Increasing strip lengths by joining mining areas; b. Minimising the number of ramps; c. Changing pre-strip horizons;

d. Pit redesign to minimise dragline rehandle and optimise truck haul cycles. Introducing larger capacity equipment: a. Replacing contractor equipment fleet with more efficient mix of equipment from Glencore’s own fleet; b. Introducing larger Liebherr 996 excavators with a 89% increase in bucket capacity; c. Upgrading to 220T capacity Cat 793 trucks. Addressing current throughput restrictions in the mine’s Coal Handling Preparation Plant (CHPP) to increase annual capacity, thereby delviering Collinsville coal to market more efficiently: a. Upgrading the raw coal system to increase annual throughput including the Bypass system; b. A series of planned maintenance shutdowns will be introduced to carry out the engineering changes. Flexible workplace agreements without restrictive work practices, either collective or individual - these are critical to the mine’s future viability. We already have similar agreements in place at our other operations in Queensland. a. Despite numerous approaches and discussions with the state officials of the Union, we have not been able to move this matter forward; b. We believe we will be able to employ people committed to our future vision for the mine from the local communities of Collinsville, Scottville, Bowen and Glenden; c. Employing locally will allow us to continue to support the ongoing sustainability of the local communities and standard of living with our workforce earning wages of approximately $130,000 per year; d. We have no set preference for any specific type of labour agreement but any agreement must be modern, flexible, and without restrictions. Glencore has both Enterprise Agreements and Individual Common Law Contracts across our business in Queensland. The timing on reaching operational start-up is dependent on when we will have in place all of the components required as part of the new package. The following phone number 1800 732 895 and email address collinsville.info@ glencore.com.au have been set up whereby employees and members of the community can provide suggestions that could enhance our plans to achieve higher productivity and lower costs at our Collinsville mine. Yours sincerely, Bill McKinstrey Director of Operations Coal Assets, Australia Glencore

Photos to THE EDITOR

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Off Shift

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Frank the Tank’s Dear Frank,

I really want to find that special someone, but it’s really hard as I have Tourette’s Syndrome. One of my ticks is arm spasms. This tends to scare off a lot of guys and is really getting me down. Can you help? Tanika, Mt Larcom You have my sympathies, Tanika. For many years I have lived with the stigma of an involuntary affliction, and I think it’s high time I spoke out. Like many men I suffer from the involuntary and uncontrollable urge to download pornography.

Years ago it was fairly easy to keep a lid on, but thanks to the proliferation of smart phones and tablets my addiction has reached Himalayan peaks of depravity. According to my last phone bill I exceeded my data usage by 4000 per cent due to constant downloads from Big ‘Ol Butts.com. I tried to seek psychological treatment through another website - Naughty Nurses - but that only compounded my problems. Fortunately for you, Tanika, I believe I can help you overcome your issues with Tourette’s. You just need to find a way to make your arm spasms work to your advantage. For example, if a guy asks you out on a date, maybe suggest a trip to a nightclub. If you’re stricken with uncontrollable arm spasms you can pass them off as sweet new dance moves. There are some activities you should

“Streakin” good love advice

probably avoid too. If you’re approached by a gentleman at the pub who challenges you to a game of darts it might be best to decline. Nothing will spoil a potential courtship like an errant dart in the neck. A trip to the beach could also prove disastrous, as a spasm in the water may make it seem as though you’re being attacked by a shark. Try to steer clear of coffee shops too; an unexpected arm spasm could see a good date ruined by painful scalding. Personally I think these guys you’ve apparently scared off don’t know what they’re missing. If they’re too shortsighted to see the potential sexual benefits of dating a girl with uncontrollable arm spasms then they’re not worth your time. Then again, perhaps the average gent hasn’t downloaded quite as much seizure porn as Frank the Tank.

IN THE US - We all know

The citizens of Marseille are calling for Batman - and perhaps his sidekick Robin.

IN FRANCE - Residents of

France’s second largest city, Marseille, have launched a mock online petition and Facebook page, asking ‘Will It Take Batman To Save Marseille?’ This cry for attention comes after local, Jacques Blondel, age 61, confronted attackers with pepper spray and a baseball

bat after they had robbed a tobacconist. After attempting to reason with the attackers and making a grab for their gun, he was shot in the stomach and thigh. The city of Marseille has been the victim of 13 gang related killings in 2013 alone. Many of the killings are thought to have ties with the drug trade. Criminals of the city are getting ever

Tanika, Despite what Frank would have you believe, the internet has literally millions of uses apart from pornography. If you’re a bit self conscious about your arm ticks, perhaps it might be worth giving internet dating a try. Plenty of couples meet online these days, and it’s a forum in which you can be up front about your Tourette’s. It will also allow guys to get to know the real you, so you can be confident and let your personality do the talking without worrying about whether they’re focussed on your ticks.

Susan

Frank more serious, with the introduction of AK47 assault rifles to their arsenal. Perhaps Batman has the means to combat these violent criminals…

Fair Dinkum!

SENSIBLE SUSAN

people can become a little overprotective when it comes to teenage romances, although one camp in the US may be taking things a little too far. Police escorted a 15-year-old girl off camp premises after she was caught kissing a boy behind the arts and crafts building. According to the lawyer representing her, the camp had no rules against kissing. The girl’s parents are now suing for ‘emotional stress’ brought unjustly to the young girl. The girl was publicly humiliated when escorted to camp boundaries by armed and uniformed police, where her parents were waiting to pick her up. A tragic summer romance, or simply ridiculous?

STILL IN THE US - A

teenage girl, home alone, finds a giant

spider on the back of her couch. What does she do? Get the bug spray? No, she calls 911. On the other end of the phone the dispatcher offered to send over a police officer, which the girl gratefully consented to. Upon arrival the officer found the spider, which he estimated to be approximately 5 centimetres in diameter. Definitely not the monster spider the girl had claimed finding. After rolling up a newspaper and squashing the unwelcome arachnid, the officer was on his way.

IN ENGLAND

- Some people forget the names of capital cities, while others forget whole countries. A freighter has ran aground in Northumberland, England, whilst travelling from Scotland to Belgium. The captain reportedly ‘forgot’ that England resided between the two countries. This incident led to fears that the freighter would spill 1,500 tonnes of timbre, and 27 tonnes of diesel, threatening seabirds and a local seal colony. Who says we don’t need Geography?

WHAT YOU CAN LEARN FROM A

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MOVIE Review BY Cheyenne McCamley

An action movie with heart Whether you like action films or you just like the look of Channing Tatum in a singlet, this is the movie for you.

PUZZLES

7 1 6

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However, Cale gets caught up saving the life of President Sawyer (Jamie Foxx). Getting the president to safety, Cale discovers, isn’t easy. The two battle bad guys in the elevator, the hallways, on the lawn, even in the president’s walk-inwardrobe. All the while Emily has been taken hostage. The primary purpose of film is to entertain, which this movie certainly does, but it can also be used to send a message. The bad guys in the film threaten nuclear warfare against the Middle East, claiming

This movie follows ex-soldier John Cale (Channing Tatum) as he attends a job interview with the secret service. Accompanying him is his daughter, Emily (Joey King), who just so happens to be obsessed with all things presidential. While on a tour of the famous White House, a team of angry para-military men blow up the central part of the structure, leaving everyone else in lock-down. Cale, realising his daughter is missing, risks his life to escape the custody of the bad guys and search for his daughter.

FANS of the action genre, hold on to your seats. Roland Emmerich’s new movie, White House Down, will have your heart racing. If you liked Die Hard, Air Force One, Shooter, or Independence Day, then you’ll love White House Down. Many action movies are just nonstop shoot this, shoot that, blow stuff up. Usually a see-through plot and second rate dialogue accompany these movies. While White House Down has all the fantastic stunts and action sequences of a typical movie of this genre, it also has a heart.

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Across 1. Bewitches 5. Greatly loved 9. Small houses 10. Hollywood’s movie prizes 12. Onlooker 13. Little 14. ... upon a time 16. Gift 19. Clothing 21. Snug 24. Director, David … 25. Oversee 27. Idea 28. Cinderella’s deadline 29. Tennis deliveries 30. Umpires

that someone must end the war with the good old ‘us or them’ speech. Mr Emmerich showed that this type of thinking would only lead to chaos. The top-notch special effects and cinematography are breathtaking. It seems that there isn’t a single shot that hasn’t been thought through. In many action movies the fights are over-glorified, looking too choreographed. This movie, however, shows true, gritty, hand-to-hand combat. It looks great but, more importantly, it looks real. The rather fantastic script contained the typical, funny one-liners along with some really heartwarming moments between father and daughter. Clever plot twists and corruption in all corners, will have you guessing right up till the end who the real evil mastermind is. While many movies are excessively complicated, giving you headaches as you try to work out what is happening, White House Down is just complicated enough to have meaning, without giving your brain too much of a workout. Adrenaline-pumping action paired with heart-warming father-daughter moments, makes White House Down an incredibly well-balanced film. If you love action movies, or you just love Channing Tatum, this film is definitely a must-see.

Down 1. Over-abundance 2. Large towns 3. Bend to circumstances 4. Entertainment venue 6. Catastrophes 7. Arouse again 8. Stark 11. Tap leak 15. Santa’s home (5,4) 17. Shortcomings 18. Unmarried woman # 54 20. Mislay 21. Upturn (boat) 22. Sole 23. Mooring spots 26. Wash lightly

# 55

LAST EDITION’S SOLUTIONS C A S U A L T A I N O C A T E GOR K I E P L ON E L I E E G D O S L O P S T OR C H A R D S O T A T H R E E D C P M S A B I D E D R O N DON A T E

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SHIFT MINER Handy Crossword 139ME - (15A grid) Handy Crossword 075s. pdf

© Lovatts Crosswords - 27/10/2009 - Artist -MB

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Bait Shop Banter

watch the conditions. After three or four days of warmer weather they switch right on, but will quieten down after a bit of a cold snap” said Adrian. Warmer weather is also waking up the crabs, with Coorooman Creek reportedly producing solid catches if you fancy running the pots.

GLADSTONE - The

weather in Gladstone has been fairly fickle of late, but when conditions are good there are fish being caught. Dylan from Pat’s Tackle World in Gladstone reckons the anglers who have managed to get offshore have been doing quite well. “We’ve heard reports of good catches of red emperor, coral trout and red throat, and plenty of Spanish mackerel out around Rundle Island.” The rivers and estuaries are fishing reasonably well too, with a number of species on the bite. “We’ve had a few fingermark caught in the harbour, and good bream and flathead in the estuaries. The warmer weather has stirred up the barra, and if you fish the mud flats in the harbour and the gravel bank in the Calliope River you can still get some nice salmon,” said Dylan. Crabbing around Gladstone has been exceptional of late, so it’s well worth running the pots.

MACKAY - The

Lots of fish were caught at the Tight Lines Fishing Classic in Yeppoon recently.

YEPPOON - The gods

of fishing smiled on Yeppoon during the recent Tight Lines Fishing Classic, delivering near-perfect weather and some cracking fish. Adrian from the Secret Spot

Bait and Tackle in Yeppoon reckons the fishing on the Capricorn Coast has been pretty good in general. “We got some really good mackerel and fingermark out around Corio, and there’s been some nice catches of tuna

off Double Head thanks to some big schools of bait fish hanging around.” There’s been some good catches of barra in the Fitzroy, but it’s important to fish the conditions. “The fishing is hot and cold for barra; you’ve just got to

fishing continues to be steady in Mackay, with most anglers who are putting in the time getting good catches. Clinton from Tackle World says that the warmer weather has woken up some good barra. “In the last week-and-a-half the weather has been warming up and we’ve been getting some good barra on soft plastics.” Despite the weather warming there’s still a lot of good king salmon and flathead being caught, however the winter whiting have quietened down. Weather in the coming days should favour boaties and those chasing mackerel. “In the next couple of days the mackerel will be back on, try trolling lures and you should get a few spotties and doggies,” said Clinton.

your weather forecast T

MACKAY

Gladstone

MACKAY

Gladstone

Mon 16

Early jump into summer heat

outside workers out with high heat stress.

WEEK 1 - Maximum temperatures jumped from the late twenties in early September into the mid thirties last week.

A few bushfires on the southern Blackdown Tablelands and one smaller fire north of Blackwater were fanned by the westerly winds.

This means midday temperatures were around 50 degrees in the direct sun temperatures not felt in over four months. North west Queensland could reach 40 degrees this week, which could be the earliest ever recorded. This sudden heat rise has caught some

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16th September 2013

The heat combined with the high cure state of the grasslands has pushed the Fire Danger to “Very High”.

A slight relief from the hot temperatures on Tuesday, mainly south of Emerald, with a slightly cooler south westerly. This may be associated with a very isolated high based thundery shower with very little rainfall. It may occur late Monday/Tuesday

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If you have a good photo or fishing yarn send it through to our resident bait chucker-

angus.peacocke@shiftminer.com

With Mike Griffin

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0039 0639 1243 1906

0.69 3.52 0.71 4.19

0128 0729 1335 1952

0.43 3.75 0.51 4.29

0211 0813 1421 2033

0.27 3.92 0.38 4.30

0251 0853 1503 2111

0.20 4.02 0.35 4.22

0328 0932 1543 2149

0.21 4.07 0.41 4.07

0404 1011 1621 2226

0.32 4.04 0.56 3.84

0437 1049 1657 2302

0.51 3.93 0.79 3.55

0235 0828 1436 2047

0.59 4.88 0.51 5.81

0321 0914 1526 2130

0.34 5.14 0.34 5.89

0403 0954 1610 2210

0.21 5.32 0.28 5.85

0441 1034 1651 2248

0.17 5.43 0.32 5.70

0516 1112 1730 2325

0.23 5.46 0.47 5.44

0549 1149 1807

0.37 5.38 0.72

0002 0621 1227 1845

5.07 0.62 5.18 1.07

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0508 1127 1732 2337

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0533 1207 1809

1.03 3.54 1.34

0014 0558 1252 1856

2.94 1.30 3.32 1.59

0103 0643 1352 2015

2.69 1.55 3.16 1.74

0221 0826 1510 2159

2.53 1.71 3.11 1.69

0412 1009 1635 2314

2.57 1.64 3.21 1.48

0530 1117 1736

2.80 1.45 3.41

0037 0653 1305 1923

4.62 0.96 4.89 1.47

0113 0725 1347 2009

4.15 1.35 4.55 1.85

0156 0806 1443 2116

3.71 1.74 4.24 2.15

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3.36 2.08 4.06 2.18

0510 1106 1743

3.31 2.14 4.18

0033 0637 1228 1847

1.90 3.61 1.89 4.47

0123 0726 1321 1932

1.56 3.97 1.57 4.77

with some dry lightning which could spark more fires. Then a rapid warming again. Yes! Summer seems to have arrived early. Boaties - out early and back before lunch! Mon: NNW 10-15 ( less early morning) with NNE inshore gusting 18 avo. Tue: NNW 13-18 with NNE afternoon sea breezes inshore gusting 20-25 avo. Late thundery shower ( gusting 30 knots) mainly south of Shoalwater. Wed: Rapid SSW 15-10 tending SE/E 8-10 avo. Thr- Fri: ESE/ENE 15-10. Sat-Sun ESE 15-11 north and ESE/ENE 14-09 south of Shoalwater. WEEK 2 - the SOI has dropped to minus 2 last week and seems to be hovering in this area.

Last year it was low and rising at this time. This seems to indicate the dry conditions and the over 30 maximums should continue with no real relief in sight. The only hope is late in the week if a southerly change in NSW/VIC has enough “ puff” to reach the Coalfields. Looks unlikely! Marine Lovers! A tough call! The early heat has broken the normal synoptic flow. If the ESE/ENE 8-12 start the week then it will turns N/NE by mid week. If the heat inland moves east NNW winds 10-15 and afternoon NNE sea breezes gust up to 20 knots in the afternoon during the later part of the week.


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Out-there ads Political punch ups Bus advertisement fail

Battle of the beers

We see ads on buses every day. Most are generally boring. This is not the case for Doctor Media’s ad campaign, which depicts an elderly woman giving passers by the ‘peace’ sign on the back of a bus. The ad wasn’t supposed to be funny, but unfortunate placement soon changed that.

It’s the battle of the beers with Stella Artois and Newcastle having large print advertisements one above the other in a street. While Stella Artois says, “It’s a chalice. Not a glass”, Newcastle delivers a ballsy blow asking, “Who uses the word ‘Chalice’?” I guess the customers decide who wins the battle. The US Senate was heated back in 1856, a dispute over slavery led to a vicious caning.

IF you thought parliament could get heated in Australia, think again! Earlier this week a Jordanian MP opened fire on a colleague with an AK47 assault rifle in chambers of a judicial building after the two became embroiled in a heated dispute during a sitting of parliament. Remarkably no-one was injured in the incident, however the gun-happy MP may now face charges of attempted murder and possessing an illegal weapon. Bizarrely, footage of the parliamentary dispute shows the gunman removing his shoes and belt during the argument. One can only speculate as to why he did this, but the popular theory at the Shift Miner is that he was planning to spank his

Lunivers whiskey chocolate People make the funniest faces when they’re drunk. Including kids, apparently. Lunivers Chocolat released an advertisement for their whiskey chocolate, depicting a drooling, drunk toddler. Insanely cute, and quite funny as well.

opponent with the belt until parliament awarded him victory in the disagreement. While most politicians don’t resort to mowing down their opponents with assault weapons, world politics is littered with hilarious fistfights. All the way back in 1856 a heated debate over slavery in the US Senate led to a South Carolina Senator beating his Massachusetts counterpart repeatedly over the head with a metal cane. Politicians in Russia aren’t opposed to letting fists fly either, with a number of political sittings breaking down into a flurry of windmilling fists. Again, there’s no strong evidence to support this claim, but we suspect many of these fights may be attributed to the liberal consumption of vodka before and during parliamentary proceedings. A fight between two politicians in Japan served to perpetuate the stereotype that all Asian people are karate masters when one pollie dispatched his opponent with a surprisingly deft judo move (we highly recommend typing ‘Politician Fight - Judo Master’ into YouTube). Australian politics has managed to limit virtually all of its disputes to the spoken word, that is unless you count the dispute between Bob Hawke’s face and that cricket ball (again, if you haven’t seen the video, consult YouTube).

Reality sucks Utopolis cinemas tries attracting audiences by claiming that ‘Reality Sucks’. Their campaign shows a mock poster of Free Willy with the whale eating a human being. Another poster of theirs depicts a famous Titanic scene. A man and a woman stand at the bow of the boat enjoying a romantic moment when a bird flies into the woman’s face. Yeah, reality sucks.

Don’t let the toys die We all know kids can get a little out of hand when their favourite toy is lost. In this print ad a little boy has broken into his dad’s paint cupboard and, by the looks of it, is about to paint the family dog. This advertisement tells us to ‘Never Let Their Toys Die’.

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Is the fast food pigout World’s cheapest wedding dead down under?

IT’S safe to say there’s a shift among Australian fast food outlets toward healthier options. Sure, you can still chow down on a Big Mac if you feel the urge, but McDonald’s, Hungry Jack’s and the like seem to have curtailed their really shame inducing meals. HJ’s, for example, withdrew the controversial ‘quad stacker’ burger from the menu a few years ago. This was presumably in response to public outcry over the gut-busting amount of fat the burger contained (a whopping 71 grams). In other parts of the world - and not just in the trans-fat-loving USA - the decadent trend of pig-out food continues to shoot for new heights of gastronomic decadence, which begs the question: are we missing out in Australia? If you’re not convinced that fast food trends here in Oz are in a different league to our overseas counterparts, please read on. Ice cream goes well with a lot of things:

chocolate topping, cake, biscuit pieces, etc. Most people don’t associate ice cream with bacon. In an effort to help consumers cool down over summer, Burger King in America launched the Bacon Sundae, an ice cold swirl of soft serve ice cream covered in crispy bacon bits. Something that the Middle East and the United States apparently have in common is food guaranteed to clog your arteries. In the Middle East Pizza Hut serves ‘cone crust pizzas’. The base of the pizza comprises parmesan encrusted cones filled with either Philadelphia cream cheese or honey mustard chicken...just thinking about it is enough to make your chest ache. Australia seems to have been passed over by these especially heinous fast food creations, but is this a good thing? Are we being deprived of access to ‘soul food’ like the bacon sundae and the cone crust pizza? Or does the absence of these alluring atrocities save us from the inevitable post pigout shame and unbearable indigestion? We want to know what you think. Are we ready for the bacon sundae down under? Tell us on the Shift Miner Facebook page.

IF you’re getting married in the near future and want to save a bit of dough, try taking a leaf out of this couple’s book. Scottish newlyweds Georgina Porteous and Sid Innes took thrift to a new level when they managed to keep the bill for their wedding to just $1.50. How is that possible? Well, it’s easy if you don’t mind forgoing ‘frills’ like gold wedding bands, catering and a lavish dress. In fact the only thing the frugal

couple shelled out for was the bride’s wedding dress, which cost exactly one pound ($AUD1.50). The wedding rings were handcrafted by the bride out of a set of antlers she found in her garden. Catering fell to the guests, who were asked to bring a plate of food each. Chairs, clothing and other decorations were sourced from a free website where people basically give away their unwanted junk. The couple even managed to have their big day photographed for free, with the wedding photographer agreeing to shoot the nuptials pro bono in exchange for some graphic design work from the bride. Unfortunately they couldn’t escape the $70 marriage fee, but most would undoubtedly agree that $71.50 is ludicrously cheap. To put it in perspective, earlier this year one couple spent over a million dollars on a Game of Thrones themed wedding, complete with authentic costumes and decorations. Ironically, the $71.50 wedding, set in the Scottish Highlands and featuring stag-horn wedding bands, may have had a decidedly ‘Game of Thrones/ Medieval’ air about it. How much did you spend on your wedding? Tell us on the Shift Miner Facebook page.

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Shift Miner Magazine

Sport

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Disappointment behind them as Miners look to 2014 WITH the headaches hardly worn off from the “mad Monday”celebrations, the Moranbah Miners rugby league committee is already preparing for the 2014 season. It was a very disappointing end to 2013 after perennial enemy Souths beat them by eight points in the Mackay and Districts A-grade rugby league grand final. Going into the game there was no clear favourite with both Souths and Moranbah having won two games apiece in their last four encounters. The miners may have even had some momentum by going into the game, after winning a thrilling last-gasp victory over Brothers in the major semi final the week before. However it wasn’t to be. President of the club Peter

Henderson said despite the result, 2013 had been a good one. “Obviously it’s a disappointing result not to get a premiership,” he said. “All teams performed really well, and in particular our U18s exceeded expectations. In fact two of our under 18 players made the 18-man squad for the A-grade grand final.” “It says volumes about the club and coaches that we have been able to develop those young guys to that standard.” “I am not giving excuses for the way the season ended, but injuries made the finals very difficult.” “Reserve grade was very disappointing. We had eight regular players with longterm injuries going into the finals, and for a club like ours - depth only goes so far.” “Then in A-grade we lost Tyson McKay,

Derksen the difference in Highlands rugby final Clermont Bush Pigs utility player Phil Derksen proved the difference in a very close battle for the Central Highlands Rugby Union premiership on the weekend against Emerald. Both teams scored three tries, but it was Derksen’s three conversions and a penalty goal from 40 metres out that gave Clermont it’s 24 points to 17 winning margin. The win makes it back to back premierships for the Clermont side, and underscores its reputation for fat cattle and good rugby players. Competition president Eddie Shaw said both teams proved why they had made the final. “Both sides played well, and it was a game worthy of a grand final,” he said. “Emerald only converted one of their tries, while Clermont converted all theirs and also kicked a penalty goal from 40 metres out.” “Derksen’s penalty shot not only made the 40 metres but sailed over the posts and into the car park - he is a class act.”

With the grand final out of the way President Shaw’s attention will now turn to 2014, and he has signalled his intention to apply for the president’s role again. One of the areas he is keen to fix is the dire shortage of referees. “Like a lot of competitions, we have a real problem getting local referees, and while we can get referees out from the coast it is an expensive option.” “With the footy season over we are going to focus on getting a few people skilled up to do the job.” “One idea we had was to have each team in the competition nominate three players who can referee on the weekends that they have a bye.” “That would create a pool of 15 extra referees, and the demands on each person over the course of the year would be low.” The playing season is not yet over, however, with the invitation side the Brigalow Bushwhackers heading to Hong Kong for a 10s tournament in October.

Blake Walker and Neil Budworth for the grand final.” But the future looks bright for 2014. Most of the team will be back again, and discussions have already begun with player managers for next season’s player intake. The only major change will be replacing A-grade coach Josh Hannay who, at this point, looks likely to step down from the coaching role. “Player managers are all over us at the moment,” President Henderson said. “But bringing in players is more difficult in this economic environment, but we have lots of home-grown talent that is coming through.” “The key is finding apprenticeships in town for the young players coming through.”

Bowled over in Middlemount By Nicky Way

Winners are grinners at the Middlemount Bowls Clus L-R Johan Oosthuize, Mick Morris, Joel Treasure, Matt Biggam.

Bowls players young and old took to the green for a crackerjack twilight competition at the Middlemount Bowls Club’s second annual community classic More than 30 players from as far afield as St George, Port Macquarie, Mackay, and even Zimbabwe, competed over the weekend. They formed 10 three-person teams, who each played five games. The relaxed twilight comp was great

Going the Extra Mile for the elderly in our community The Hail Creek Mine Community Development is proud to partner with Crossroad Arts to provide The Extra Mile programme for elderly people in Mackay and Sarina. The Extra Mile reaches out to elderly people experiencing isolation, dementia and other disabilities. Art and music workshops and projects to share their stories are a valuable way to strengthen connections with their families and wider community. Pictured: Crossroad Arts’ Abiramimi Venkata Balasubramanian teaches Maureen Costello how to play the uklele.

“The AGM is still a month away, and about then we will start advertising for a coach as Josh doesn’t look like he will be around.” “He has done a great job, and certainly we will give high consideration to people in coaching roles within the club already.” On the committee side, Mr Henderson is hoping that he will be able to continue his role in 2014, and in particular has praised the turnaround at the League’s club under new management. “Our biggest recruit this year has been Michael Leonard the Leagues Club manager.” “He has really turned the fortunes of the club and therefor the team around.” “I am hoping that we can work together next year, which would allow us to really kick some goals.”

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fun and welcomed the return of the longer days and warm spring nights. Bowls club member Joanne Coleman said it was a great night. “Everybody really got into the spirit of the comp, even the really young ones. They bowled and did really well, it was a great night.” Ms Coleman said. In first place were Joel and Cate Treasure, Mick Morris, Matt Biggam. In second place Clarie and Darren Heck, Bernadine and Johann Oosthuizen and in third place Kieran Hansen, Ben Steel, Nathan Moffat and Justin Chappell. Anglo American sponsored the event and HR manager Sandra Thompson presented the winners with $700 worth of prize vouchers from local Middlemount businesses. The Middlemount Bowls club has a number of other events coming up, including barefoot bowls starting around the 18th October and the President’s Day competition on Sunday 13 October. For more information on any of the above contact the Middlemount Bowls Club on 4985 7525. To apply for funding for your local organisation please contact Hail Creek Mine’s: Fiona Kruger - 4840 4401 Marie Cameron - 4951 6437 hailcreekCDF@riotinto.com Applications close 4 October.

Proud to be a part of the central Queensland Community and committed to the future. 16th September 2013

25


Shift Miner Magazine

Money Matters

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Unit sales soar in Queensland September quarter last year. “In fact, the June quarter is usually the weakest of the four quarters throughout the year. Over the last 12-month period, however, this quarter was actually the second strongest and very nearly wore the crown as the stand-out three-month period of unit sales activity.” Median price of units fluctuated in many areas of Queensland over the past year, this is particularly evident in Central Queensland. Median prices dipped 17.6 per cent and 7.7 per cent respectively in Gladstone and Rockhampton, while Mackay and the Central Highlands both saw substantial increases in median unit price. According to the REIQ these

fluctuations in median price outside the south east corner are not unusual. Due to smaller unit markets they depend largely on what is sold over the current quarter. Buyers looking to break into the market should attend the free REIQ Experts’ Guide to Buying Queensland Property seminar on 21 September. The seminar is designed for both first home buyers, first investors and those seasoned in the property market. The session will address key questions about buying property and provide practical advice on how to make the process as stress-free as possible. To book a place at the seminar email events@reiq.com.au or phone 3249 7384. Median

SALES of units and townhouses have risen dramatically across Queensland in the last year, according to Real Estate Institute of Queensland data. A report by REIQ found that the preliminary volume of sales for the June quarter rose 40 per cent when compared with the same period last year. REIQ chief executive Anton Kardash suggested the unit market was mirroring the growing strength of the housing

market in Queensland. “Both the unit and house markets are gathering steam with sales volumes much improved on the same periods in 2012,” he said. “What is also interesting to note is that the preliminary numbers of unit sales this quarter were only marginally lower than during the strong spring selling season last year. That is, there were only 66 fewer sales this quarter than in the

Industrial shortage in Mackay?

AFTER months of lobbying, the Mackay branch of the Urban Development Institute of Australia (UDIA) believes they have convinced council there is a looming shortage of industrial land in the city. The UDIA says Mackay has about eight years of industrial land available for growth projects and has been calling for the council to reconsider its draft regional plan. While there isn’t a land shortage in the Mackay region, the UDIA says the key issue is whether the land is serviceable and developable. Given the current lead times and costs for supplying infrastructure, UDIA Mackay president John Harris says council needs to start preparing now to be able to match demand in the future. “Last week we had a meeting and we can finally agree on a notional figure of

26

16th September 2013

10 years of available industrial land at the current rate of use,” Mr Harris said. “It of course depends on the sales rate figure you use. We used an industrial land sales rate of 22 hectares a year and we get an availability figure of 8.3 years. If you use this year’s sales rate of 33 hectares, it comes to about 6 years. “The five year average is around 20 hectares a year, but either way from a planning point of view that is not sufficient.” The future aside, for now the development sector in Mackay remains subdued according Mr Harris. “Business confidence is just very low and no one wants to make a capital investment for fear of losing their jobs,” he said. “If people didn’t realise Mackay was intrinsically relying on the resource sector - they do now.” “The reality is that without coal miners wanting to invest - this might be the status quo for a while.” Mr Harris said there was a small window of opportunity for wellpositioned businesses and individuals to pick up a bargain in residential and industrial real estate. “Between now and Christmas is the period of opportunity, after Christmas I think we will see the market start to build again.”

Suburb

Number

Median

Median

of Sales

Sale

Sale

Jun13

Jun13

Median

Sale

Sale

Qtrly

12mths

12mths

1yr

Mar13 change

Jun13

Jun12

change

TOOWOOMBA TOOWOOMBA (LGA)

68

$255,250

$245,000

4.2%

$253,000

$240,000

5.4%

CENTENARY HEIGHTS t

3

N/A

$323,000

N/A

$319,000

$270,000

18.1%

EAST TOOWOOMBA t

8

N/A

$220,000

N/A

$245,500

$242,500

1.2%

KEARNEYS SPRING

9

N/A

$249,000

N/A

$253,500

$240,000

5.6%

RANGEVILLE

4

N/A

N/A

N/A

$289,000

N/A

N/A

TOOWOOMBA CITY

2

N/A

$245,000

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

(LGA) * t

9

N/A

N/A

N/A

$347,500

$255,000

36.3%

CHINCHILLA * t

3

N/A

$382,500

N/A

$347,500

$138,012

151.8% -17.6%

WESTERN DOWNS

GLADSTONE GLADSTONE (LGA) ~ s

14

N/A

$310,000

N/A

$323,500

$392,500

AGNES WATER

1

N/A

N/A

N/A

$310,000

$305,000

1.6%

GLADSTONE CITY

6

N/A

N/A

N/A

$455,000

$460,000

-1.1%

GLEN EDEN

3

N/A

N/A

N/A

$270,000

N/A

N/A

SOUTH GLADSTONE ~

1

N/A

$252,500

N/A

$287,500

$330,000

-12.9%

27

$240,000

$335,000 -28.4%

$265,000

$285,000

-7.0%

3

N/A

N/A

N/A

$286,000

$310,000

-7.7%

HIGHLANDS (LGA)

3

N/A

N/A

N/A

$352,500

$345,000

2.2%

EMERALD

3

N/A

N/A

N/A

$350,000

$329,000

6.4%

MACKAY (LGA) ~ s

47

$361,856

$327,000

10.7%

$325,000

$320,000

1.6%

MACKAY * ~ f

26

$392,679

$352,500

11.4%

$365,000

$286,000

27.6%

3

N/A

N/A

N/A

$315,000

$285,000

10.5%

ROCKHAMPTON ROCKHAMPTON (LGA) ~ s YEPPOON f SURROUNDS CENTRAL

MACKAY

NORTH MACKAY


Shift Miner Magazine

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Money Matters

Women fall behind in long-term finance

NEW research shows that despite beating the boys at budgeting, the fairer sex is falling behind when it comes to long-term savings. That’s according to a survey conducted as part of MoneySmart Week 2013. Research showed that 21 per cent of women say they’re setting up a budget or savings plan, compared with only 16 per cent of men. Despite these short-term successes, women are falling behind when it comes to long-term wealth generation and financial planning. “It seems women are leading the way in terms of day-to-day money management but are not taking a longer-term view of things like wealth generation or the state of their superannuation,” says Effie Zahos, editor of Money magazine. The survey found the gap between the

sexes when it comes to long-term financial planning was pronounced, with 25 per cent of men building wealth for retirement, compared with only 19 per cent of women. These survey results seem to confirm research conducted into the financial literacy of Australians, which found that women perform better than average in the category of ‘keeping track of finances’, but no so well on ‘staying informed’ and ‘financial control’. Elaine Henry, member of the Australian Government Financial Literacy Board, said that women need to take charge of their financial future as early as possible. “Women live longer, generally earn less, have lower super balances and are more likely to take time off for child rearing and caring responsibilities, so they need to extend their focus from day to day money management to planning for the future.” Ms Henry encouraged women to take the first step and start planning their long-term financial future. “A great place to start is to do a money health check. This will show you which areas of your finances need attention, and more importantly will provide you with some simple steps and links to helpful information that will help you achieve your financial goals.”

16th September 2013

27


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