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SHIFT MINER The Queensland mining and gas community’s best source of local news

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Monday February 18, 2013 155th Edition


FIFO FURY inquiry ignores workers: QRC »  Full report page 14

Coal train cover-up »  Page 9

PERSONAL INJURY EXPERTS All accidents and personal injury claims: • Motor Vehicle Accidents • Workers Injury Claims • Public Liability Claims • Mining Accident Claims • Total and Permanent Disability Insurance Claims • Boating and Holiday Accident Claims Darren Sekac is available for consultations at the Whitsunday and Proserpine offices on Thursday, by appointment only.

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Fish deaths force of nature »  Page 5

Shift Miner Magazine

CONTENTS NEWS 4 FIFO cancer or cure? 5 Fish kills explained 9 Coal trains controversy 12 Surat housing shortage



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8 Stuff to the Editor 1 19 Frank the Tank 22 Miner’s Trader 24 Sport 25 Money Matters

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FIFO a cancer or cure for bush communities? INDEPENDENT MP Tony Windsor is a bushy’s politician. He doesn’t stand bullshit and he calls a spade a spade (not a long handled dirt lifting device). He farms, he works hard for regional communities and he considers all sides of a debate from landholders to mayors to coal and gas companies. Then he gives you his view, warts and all. So it’s no surprise that the release of the senate report into fly-in, fly-out and drive-in, drive-out that he oversaw is telling government and companies that they need to do more to understand, manage and control FIFO and DIDO. In a straightforward report the senators provided 21 recommendations covering workers, tax concessions, support for communities and even how we measure how many workers are FIFO and DIDO. If the recommendations aren’t undertaken the work practice could be a cancer for the bush

FIFO - friend or foe? A senate report says the practice needs to be better understood to save country towns and workers.


rather than a cure for low incomes and declining populations. “The Mayor of Kalgoorlie called the (FIFO/DIDO) practice the cancer of the bush,” Mr Windsor said. “He claimed, and many others agreed, that it is eroding the way of life in traditional mining communities like Kalgoorlie, Karratha, Mount Isa, Broken Hill and Moranbah. “In a different light, FIFO/ DIDO is presented as offering work opportunities to ease unemployment in cities and coastal areas, spreading the wealth of the resources industry and raising the question: could this be the salvation for our cities? “There are warning signs for inland Australia, particularly in those areas that are relatively closely settled, as well as opportunities for coastal regional centres. “Obviously, some areas of remote Australia can only be serviced by FIFO/ DIDO workforces, but many communities are concerned

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Recommendations to reign in impacts


work retur n to in s a e id Fre sh


about the negative impacts on their towns and feel that although they may be the site of the resource activity, they not a major beneficiary.” Perhaps most troubling in the brief report was Mr Windsor’s candid summation on the attitude of some governments and companies to FIFO and DIDO. “Despite the rapid increase in FIFO/DIDO workers in Australia and the impact the practice is having on regional communities, state and federal governments and some companies appear to be oblivious to the damage that it is causing to the lives of regional people, FIFO/DIDO workers and their families,” he said. They are now on notice to do better. Mr Windsor said FIFO should not allowed to be the dominate work practice in communities as this would “hollow out” regional towns and take away their personality.

23/01/2013 2:10:58 PM

FRINGE benefit tax breaks could be a thing of the past for giant mining camps and their workers.

FRINGE benefit tax breaks could be a thing of the past for giant mining camps and their workers. After months of senate hearings, a trip to Canada and more than 230 submissions, the senate report into FIFO and DIDO practices has been handed down this morning. The report contains 21 recommendations. Of those, the most significant by far is the possible removal of fringe benefits tax exemptions for work camps and FIFO/ DIDO workers. The chair of the inquiry, Independent MP Tony Windsor, warned if the

recommendations were ignored, FIFO/DIDO practices could destroy regional towns. Mr Windsor also said there was one underlying theme that kept coming through loud and clear during the hearings. “Above all else, this inquiry heard the mantra of choice - that choice must be provided to workers to fuel the high-speed mining economy,” he said. “However, the [FIFO] work practice is eroding the liveability of some regional communities to such an extent that it is increasingly removing the choice to live-in rather than simply cash-in.” The recommendations seek to put balance into who benefits from FIFO and DIDO and what it does to and for people’s lives. Among the almost two dozen recommendations were: - that the Australian Bureau of Statistics work out how they accurately measure non-resident workers - the government conduct an in-depth research study to get a true indicator of what the economic benefits of FIFO and DIDO are - health services be boosted in regional areas through health policy that acknowledges the FIFO/DIDO pressures.

Shift Miner Magazine


Mines rescue services FAST plans take a hit NEWS

A mines rescue contest that tests skills of trained safety teams - at least five per cent of underground coal miners need to be trained in mines rescue.

LAST year, the Queensland Mines Rescue Service was full of optimism as it earmarked six acres of land in Dysart to build a $40 million training centre. Twelve months later and it is a very different story.

“It’s still a little way off given the retraction in the industry and given that it is likely to continue,” QMRS state director Wayne Hartley told Shift Miner. The QMRS is funded through an industry levy, meaning it is

owned by the coal industry. “Industry is reeling from a lot of other issues, and some mines are operating in survival mode so in that kind of climate, there is little interest in this project.” The training centre for

Queensland mines rescue crews was part of a major overhaul of the QMRS to enable it to train an extra 2500 rescue personnel estimated to be needed on site by 2020. While Mr Hartley may be down, he’s not out. “The centre might not be happening at the moment, but it is still our vision. I haven’t lost a passion for it.” The organisation has the training staff and the organisational structure in place, but needs a location and the funding for the upgrade. “We are looking at Mackay or Moranbah, or any other coal centre.” The QMRS currently operates out of a much smaller centre in Dysart that can train up to 24 workers a day. The new facility would take its overall capacity up by an additional 90 training places a day. Five per cent of underground coal miners need to be trained in mines rescue, and that figure is the same or higher in the open cut sector where the geographical footprint of the mine is often much larger.

Water releases not killing fish: Minister

Dead fish in the Fitzroy River after the floods.

IT’S as simple as this: fish need to breathe. Hundreds of dead fish washed up on the shores of the Fitzroy River after the latest flood in the region, and once again central Queensland mines are being blamed. But the Queensland Environment Minister Andrew

Powell has categorically ruled out mines as the culprits. “We have had reports of fish kills from the New South Wales border to North Queensland,” he told Shift Miner. “My home river - the Maroochy River on the Sunshine Coast - there have been fish kills there, and there

is not a coal mine within cooee of the Maroochy River.” In fact, the kills are simply part of an unpleasant - but completely natural - flood event, according to the Minister. “What happens in floods is a whole stack of rubbish, mainly vegetative matter like soils, gets washed in and reduces the

oxygen levels, and that reduces the ability of fish to breathe.” He said dead fish collected by Rockhampton Regional Council workers would be analysed, but initial testing of the water had already shown low levels of oxygen. “The suggestion that this is because of mine water is just hysterical scaremongering,” he said. Thirty central Queensland coal mines have released water since the Australia Day weekend rain, and there were just on eight sites still pumping out a week later. At that time, the water flow past Rockhampton was 5.5 million megalitres, the equivalent of 11 Sydney Harbours. Of that volume, less than 10,000 megalitres is water released from mine sites - or 0.18 per cent. “We are talking about a drop in the ocean,” the Minister said. Comment or SMS 0409 471 014

Bundaberg promising

INTERNATIONAL Coal, which is backed by Gina Rinehart’s Hancock Coal, says it expect to increase exploration after high-quality coking coal was found near Bundaberg. The company says it has found the deposits about 50 kilometres from the city. It is carrying out further exploration work to discover how much coal is in the ground.

Beers fund rescues IF you had a quick beer at the Queensland Mining Expo pat yourself on the back, you’ve given charity a boost. The Port of Mackay Rotary has given $15,000 to the Mackay CQ Rescue and every dollar came from bar sales at QME in Mackay where Rotary members manned the tills and served the brews. Past Club President Paul Eyles says funds were also donated to Riding for the Disabled and Surf Life Saving, as well as Rotary International to assist with eradicating Polio worldwide. It’s the fifth time the Port of Mackay Rotary Club have been the licensee for the event.

CQ loses skills leader KERRY Whitaker is the face of group training in Gladstone, but now she’s stepping down from her role at GAGAL. During her eight years at the helm, Ms Whitaker has been an energetic driver of innovation in how apprenticeships are carried out in the region, and how to encourage young people into the industrial and mining business. She recently finished with the organisation and says she plans on taking some R&R.

Close shave AN industrial vacuum truck working at a mineral processing plant in a Queensland mine caught fire and then exploded, catapulting material up to 30 metres away. How? Because a wire leading from the battery to the vacuum pump starter motor was not protected by a fuse, and it overheated, lighting up the wire’s insulation. Gases from the sludge material being cleared by the truck had built up to explosive levels in a tank on the back of truck, and then ignited. The Queensland Mines Inspectorate recommends all mine sites identify any sumps that contain hydrocarbons or flammable materials before clean up work begins. 18th February 2013


Shift Miner Magazine


Komatsu adds more grunt to Wacol depot KOMATSU has installed a 350 tonne capacity track press at its newly opened $55million Wacol site. Dean Gaedtke, Komatsu Australia’s Regional General Manager, Queensland told Shift Miner that the track press can work on some of the largest equipment in the industry. “We understand the importance of keeping our customers’ machines downtime to a minimum, so when


18th February 2013

undercarriage needs replacement or repair, our new modern track press facility is able to provide a fast and safe service,” he said. Supplied by WTC Machinery, the new press and associated tooling has the ability to work on tracks for some of the largest dozers, excavators and hydraulic shovels. It features high ram speeds, adjustable ram force and a hydraulic track hold-down clamp to ensure safe, rapid track

disassembly and reassembly. The new track shop is part of the new 55,000 square metre Wacol facility and incorporates an MT10,000 digital track pad tensioning device for fast, accurate tensioning. More than 400 workers were employed during the 15-month construction of the site which is now office space for 150 permanent staff and home to a assembly workshop.

Komatsu said the Wacol site has 40 per cent more capacity and will assemble up to 70 mining dump trucks annually, with the facility strategically located and built to better service customers in the rapidly

expanding Queensland resource sector. The site is expected to play an integral role in the employment of up to 100 new trades-based apprentices by Komatsu over the next 12 months.

Komatsu said the Wacol site has 40 per cent more capacity and will assemble up to 70 mining dump trucks annually.

Shift Miner Magazine


Bandanna to deliver $1 billion windfall

Bandanna says mining and farming can co-exist.

QUEENSLAND mining company Bandanna Energy is pulling out all the stops to get its Springsure Creek mine off the ground, announcing the project would deliver $1 billion in jobs and royalties for the state. The proposed mine site, 47 kilometres south-east of Emerald, is complicated by the fact it

falls within an area technically banned from mining under strategic cropping laws. But the company will not take “no” for an answer. Last week, managing director Michael Gray announced Bandanna would begin an agricultural research program to highlight how mining and agriculture can co-exist on

prime farming land. The company has also released new figures from consultancy firm AECgroup that show how the mine would benefit the region and beyond. The figures show the project would push $1billion through the Queensland economy, and create 2000 new jobs, including 1022

full-time construction jobs while the mine is being built. These include 380 direct full-time positions and 560 flow-on jobs in the Central Highlands, Rockhampton and Gladstone regions. “If this project proceeds it will make a real difference to the prosperity of surrounding region and the ability of the government to provide the roads, hospitals and other services that Central Queensland needs,” Mr Gray said. The direct jobs created by the construction of the mine will include onsite construction jobs and employment in the design, manufacture and transport of equipment and infrastructure to the site. Bandanna’s total capital expenditure on the first longwall operation is estimated to be $750 million with an additional $400 million spent during construction of the second longwall from 2020. The second stage of construction will contribute about $199 million to the economy and directly support a further 406 full time equivalent positions and 984 indirectly. When both stages of the

project are operational, the mine will produce 11 Mtpa of coal. The project will contribute $997.8 million to Queensland’s economy over its expected 40year life, with the Queensland Government forecast to receive approximately $3.4 billion in additional tax payments over the life of the project, the majority of which will be in royalties from Bandanna. On an average annual basis between 2013 and 2054 the project is expected to provide the Queensland Government with additional revenue of approximately $81.8 million per annum and the Australian Government with additional revenue of $172.8 million per annum. The submission period for the project’s Environmental Impact Statement started on Valentine’s Day. Bandanna Energy applied for a mining lease in October. It has lodged a 300-person camp application with the Central Highlands Regional Council for its permanent FIFO workforce. This site is 10km south of Emerald.

Bypass an election issue A TOOWOOMBA bypass should be made a nationally significant infrastructure project. That’s the belief of the local Mayor Paul Antonio who addressed a forum in the city to update businesses on plans to build another road. “Today’s forum has brought together senior government representatives and industry leaders to agree on our path moving forward on this project – it is abundantly clear that we must elevate the bypass to a matter of Federal significance,” he said afterward. It is now likely to be an election issue for the companies and communities of the Surat. “Queensland’s freight networks are the most diverse in the nation, and as such require special attention,” Cr Antonio said. “This is particularly the case with the Toowoomba range crossing, where approximately half of all exports handled by the Port of Brisbane originate from the

Darling Downs and Surat Basin regions and as such must travel this road.” Executive director of Projects Queensland Dave Stewart released the updated range crossing business case at the forum along with the proposed design of a four lane dual carriageway from Helidon. The 41kilometre project will cost about $1.6 billion the forum was told and will be 20 per cent cheaper than the 2008 costings. It will be a toll road. “We have focused on affordability and safety,” Mr Stewart said of the design. “The beauty of this design is that it’s scalable. With this design we have the capacity to further build on the infrastructure to meet future demands.” The direct economic benefits of the bypass to the Toowoomba region are estimated at between $15.3 and $23.9 billion. 99 per cent of business surveyed in the lead up to the forum said they believed it would be good for business.

N Cairns



Sunshine Coast Brisbane

The direct economic benefits of the bypass to the Toowoomba region are estimated at between $15.3 and $23.9 billion. 99 per cent of business surveyed in the lead up to the forum said they believed it would be good for business. 18th February 2013


Shift Miner Magazine


Landholders take last stand against massive project Grazing land at Wandoan. Landholders are seeking to overturn permission for Xstrata’s mega mine through the Supreme Court.

GRAZIER John Erbacher has spent his life building a successful farm business at Wandoan. These days though he finds his time is used up battling the 30,000 hectare Xstrata Wandoan supermine. The latest skirmish involves the Erbachers and four other farming families opposing the mine in the Supreme Court. The graziers, what’s left of the 20 or so original opponents, successfully asked for a judicial review of the state

government’s decision to allow the mega mine to go ahead. In effect they are challenging the decision by State Environment Minister Andrew Powell to grant the project an environmental authority last August. This will now be heard in June and could overturn permission for the project. Mr Erbacher believes the court action is required because of environmental concerns and the long-term impacts the project could have on the region.

“I have got to be able to look my grandchildren in the eye and tell them that I tried to protect the underground water supplies,” he says. “We need the mining and gas companies to take responsibility for the potential dangers of contaminants of our vital underground water supplies, which are important for the viability of farming enterprises in the district.” The battle is draining and he says it takes away a lot of time and energy that should be spent on cropping and running the family’s 1000-hectare farm. If it goes ahead the Wandoan mine will re-define mining in the Surat Basin. The initial plan is to develop an open cut dragline mine capable of producing 30 million tonnes of coal a year. That would be dwarfed by stage 2 of the project, which would take annual production to 100 million tonnes.


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18th February 2013

The coal in the deposit is so close to the surface that the strip ratio is just three to one, meaning for every bit of coal extracted, only three bits of dirt will need to be cleared. The Erbachers say there is little coal under their place but the farm is required for supporting infrastructure. In the initial phase of the mine, Xstrata will build a huge coal handling and preparation plant that can process nearly 6000 tonnes of coal an hour. A 10,000 tonne train is expected to be loaded every two hours. More than 3000 construction jobs will be created while the mine is being built and there will be 1800 permanent jobs during the initial stage. However the project has significant infrastructure requirements, not least of which is the construction of a 210 kilometre railway track to take the coal to port.

A circumspect Mr Erbacher also confirmed negotiations over compensation between the parties broke down last June after a meeting in which there was a yawning gap between the graziers’ evaluations of their land and the company’s. Now, an agreement has to be reached on what compensation the farmers should get. Production is thought to be years away though, but still farming with the threat of mining beside a farm or on a farm is difficult. “My two sons ask me what’s going on but I tell them not to worry about that because a couple of inches of rain is more important at the moment,” he says. Mr Erbacher says the graziers feel let down by the government. “I expect this (behaviour) from a mining company but I don’t expect my government being compliant. That’s what really disappoints me.”

Yes, in our backyard: Mayor welcomes shale oil WHEN the Newman government recently overturned a 20-year ban on shale oil mining, it would have expected outrage from green groups who are already furious at its decision to lift the uranium mining ban. But what does the local community of Yarwun, near Gladstone, think about playing home to the first commercial shale oil processing plant? Far from outraged, Gladstone Regional Mayor Gail Sellers said residents are fully supportive of the project. “We are very proud to have this in our backyard,” she said. “I genuinely believe its closest neighbours will accept it.” It’s a very different story to a decade ago, when the Stuart Shale Oil Plant was owned by South Pacific Petroleum and was opposed by residents and environmentalists alike. In 2004, the plant was sold by receivers to Queensland Energy Resources (QER) who dismantled the infrastructure, and built a new, smaller pilot plant. Cr Sellers said QER had completely changed the dynamic. “QER have engaged their community totally, and have brought the community along with them in this project,” she said. “I mean that in the most sincere way, the Yarwun community was completely offside

with the previous owners but QER has done everything it can to keep the community informed and meet environmental standards.” Under the policy shift, QER will now be able to move from its pilot plant directly to commercial production, but new players will still have to prove their extraction technologies through trials. The Environment Minister, Andrew Powell, said strict environmental controls would apply. “To date, there has been extremely limited commercial application of oil shale in Australia and overseas,” Mr Powell said. “That’s why any proposed oil shale development will be subject to detailed environmental assessments on a projectby-project basis.” Queensland has about 90 percent of Australia’s known oil shale resources, which are equivalent to about 22 billion barrels of oil. While the ban has been lifted, the existing 20-year moratorium suspending development of the McFarlane oil shale deposit near Proserpine will continue until 2028. This is the second Bligh government mining ban the Newman government has overturned, after it lifted a ban on uranium in October last year.

Shift Miner Magazine


Coal train opponents up the ante and demand covers

Cover the coal - that’s the plea of the Stop Brisbane Coal Trains group.

BRISBANE musician John Gordon was working late one night in his Brisbane home and was staggered by the noise and frequency of trains rumbling through the city. When he investigated he

was even more surprised to find they were uncovered coal trains from the Darling Downs snaking through the city to deliver their payload to the Port of Brisbane. It was enough to make the former government environment

worker stand up to oppose the practice of transporting coal uncovered. And now he and others members of Stop Brisbane Coal Trains are meeting with the state government to demand action. “SBCT is calling for an independent inquiry into Brisbane coal trains to start in 2013,” he told Shift Miner. “From pit to port the process is a recurring nightmare - an unholy mess. “As it stands there are precious few regulations governing the transport and export of coal through the Toowoomba, Ipswich and Brisbane corridor. The trains operate with impunity.” The group believes the government departments charged with overseeing coal transport have been sidelined by industry. They are now demanding State Environment Minister Andrew Powell do something about the trains that pass through more than 30 suburbs each

year including Darra, Goodna, Tennyson, Yeronga, Coorparoo, Norman Park and Lindum. “We will say to the government they need to look into covers,” Mr Gordon said. “We think covers are the only way out of this.” The group believes chemical covering or spraying down loads is ineffective, is not regulated and is useless for the return journey when the emptied wagon could have coal residue in the bottom that can blow out. Cost to the industry will be a concern with one insider telling Shift Miner that the extra handling of the coal will mean companies will do all possible to avoid covering wagons. “It’s going to slow them down and that’s an extra cost,” he said. “It’s not just a matter of putting on a tarp - there’s a knock-on effect.” Covering could add up to between $1 million and $3 million to the cost of transport and it is believed

no companies are willing to pay. An estimated 9.2 million tonnes of coal is expected to be exported from the Port of Brisbane this financial year, up from 6.3 million in 2009-10. Air testing of the trains has been conducted by the State Government after complaints from the public and the results found dust levels at the key suburb of Tennyson were within acceptable levels. This has infuriated SBCT rather than appeased them. SBTC describes as “bogus” the testing carried out last year to see how much dust was escaping from wagons, claiming drivers knew where and when testing was taking place and were slowing down to reduce dust particles flying off their loads. Aurizon denies that drivers acted differently during testing or that any form of go-slow was in place, or that the drivers were told where tests would be carried out.

Businesses roll up sleeves

Carli Hobbs.

GLADSTONE businesses have continued rolling their collective sleeves up, grabbing their shovels and helping clean up after recent flooding. General manager of the Gladstone Engineering Alliance Carli Hobbs told Shift Miner that businesses were high and dry and had turned their attention to those affected by the rains and floods in the region. “Businesses are back to normal and I haven’t heard of anyone suffering from water damage. What businesses have done is what they can to help,” she said. Examples include a local crane high firm donating a franna crane to lift heavy debris, while others are lending their time or donating their supplies.

The Boyne Valley, which has not been hit with such severe flooding since 1917, was opened a week after the flooding and this is where businesses focused. “It’s devastating what’s happened but everyone is trying to get back on their feet,” Ms Hobbs said. “Small and medium-sized businesses have been fantastic - grabbing a shovel and helping out.” Wiggins Island Coal Export Terminal and Curtis Island works were closed from the Wednesday when the rain began but re-opened after the Australia Day long weekend. “Gladstone’s lucky that it has waterways and estuaries that feed into the harbour, so the region doesn’t flood like Rocky or Bundaberg,” Ms Hobbs said. “We did have road closures north and south, so there was some food shortage.” Meanwhile, the industrial precinct of Paget, just outside of Mackay, remains quiet. The head of Group Engineering and spokesperson for the Paget precinct, Alan Ruming, told Shift Miner he had been stranded for the best part of seven days in Murgon, west of Gympie. “I’m not sure what is going around but from what I have seen is that Mackay hasn’t been hit as hard as Rocky. We are still picking up from the Christmas, but it is just a lot slower,” he said. 18th February 2013


Shift Miner Magazine


The Sledgehammer of tugs

Head to head - Sledgehammer and Hammerhead in the water.

A NEW tug boat has hit the waters in Gladstone. The Sledgehammer, designed and built by MIPEC, was launched last weekend after taking nine months to build and six months to design. The total cost for the 20-metre

tug, a sister to the two-year-old Hammerhead, was about $4million. MIPEC business development manager Chris Dunphy says the project is a positive sign for business in Gladstone. “The best part of delivering world class products and services

such as a project like this is seeing the enthusiasm and ownership of everyone involved,” he says. “The fact that these vessels are designed, built and fitted out locally is something the owners take a good deal of pride in. The quality of the build is world

class and this was a factor that made the decision to build locally and not overseas an easy one for the owners. Even the compass has been designed by a local.” The commercial decision to build the second tug was taken after the Hammerhead has been

kept busy with work in the harbour since commissioning. Top speed of the tug is 10 knots with a cruising speed of 8 knots. Operating draft is 1.6 metres. Key features of the Sledgehammer, which can carry a 20 tonne franna on its deck, is a very shallow draft and large volume work decks plus plenty of grunt when it comes to moving things around. Presently its main job is to manoeuvre barges around the harbour, including between the mainland, Curtis Island and Wiggins Island and is available to work anywhere around Australia. Meanwhile, MIPEC has also boosted its fleet ownership by buying three landing craft which they have been operating in the Gladstone harbour for the past 12 months. The Karribi, Kaleen and the Kogarah have all been bought by the industry group. With an average age of just over 14 months, the three K vessels will be used for spot and long term charter.

Lack of work control linked with gambling men

Go you good thing - CQUniversity research has found men who don’t call the shots at work will try to in their own time with gambling.

MEN are more likely to cut loose and gamble if they lack control at work. That’s according to a team based at CQUniversity’s Experimental Gambling Laboratory. Rockhampton-based researcher Dr En Li said the team explored the idea that men who lacked work autonomy would display higher levels of involvement in gambling. A phone survey of gamblers across the CQ region showed a link between low autonomy and higher gambling among men.

“Male gamblers who lack freedom at work may reclaim some freedom in leisure by gambling,” Dr Li said. “The survey indicates males low in work autonomy would be more susceptible to gambling problems than females low in work autonomy, or males high in work autonomy.” Other researchers involved in the survey include Associate Professor Matthew Rockloff, Dr Phillip Donaldson and Dr Matthew Browne, all based at CQUniversity Bundaberg.

They also found surprising evidence linking gambling to the consumption of energy-laden snack foods, caffeine, and other stimulating substances. “Should we recognise gambling as an appetitive behaviour? We suspect there is a common personality dimension explaining both higher levels of gambling and consumption of various stimulating substances,” said Dr Browne. Dr Browne and his team have applied a two-stage model that uses a variety of

variables to explain both the probability that one gambles at all, and the quantity of gambling undertaken. They have found a statistically significant link between gambling and other consumption behaviours, even after controlling for demographic and social variables. The study also confirmed other, less-surprising influences on the amount of time and money invested in gambling. For instance, single men were found to gamble significantly more than other groups.

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Head office deadline gives focus for Carmichael team

Ian Sedgman.

MANAGEMENT of Adani in Australia says it is under “intense” pressure from its head office in India to be exporting coal from its Carmichael coal project in the Galilee Basin by 2016. According to Adani, the Carmichael project north west of Clermont, including its 400

kilometres of rail, will cost around $10 billion and will employ up to 9000 people from Australia and overseas. Speaking at a recent Mackay Area Industry Network (MAIN) meeting, general manager of project planning for Adani Ian Sedgman said the project is a priority for the Indian company. “We have got a huge challenge ahead of us,” he said. “Our business has to grow, our project has to get through the approval processes and we also have to partner with most of the Australian suppliers and vendors in order to get the project off the ground. “We don’t underestimate the challenge. We think it is massive both organisationally and on the ground. We are going to face a lot of interesting times ahead.” Mr Sedgman said Adani’s head office was determined the

project would become a reality. “They are very much over here hammering us every month about why we haven’t got the approvals yet, why we haven’t started mining yet, and why we haven’t got going yet.” According to Mr Sedgman, Adani has a proud record of being able to build large infrastructure projects quickly. However, the time it’s taking to secure Australian approvals is proving to be less than record breaking. But Mr Sedgman told Shift Miner the Australian process is unlikely to break Adani’s spirit. “Adani sees the bureaucratic process as part of life, but what they do differently is that they aggressively attack the bureaucratic process,” he said. “We do this by working very closely with government - probably closer than they

would like us to work with them - and making sure we supply information on time and make it clear the time frames we are working to,” he said. “To be honest I have found both the state and federal government to be extremely supportive, and there has been a step change since the Newman government came in.” “They [Newman Government] are very focussed on their economic growth platform and mining is a central pillar of that. We have seen a big change in the way the bureaucratic process works, and we are very encouraged by those changes. “We are yet to see the outcome of those changes yet, but with the outcomes that we are getting, there is a very high possibility that the results we need will be coming a lot faster than they have in the past.”

The Carmichael coal project is expected to create 9000 jobs and promises to employ and train locals, Queenslanders and Australians. Adani says Carmichael is the single largest coal tenement in the world with 10 billion tonnes of reserves. The exploration was the single largest and most comprehensive coal mining exploration conducted in Australia. More than $7billion is to be spent on the project in the next few years. Adani is operating Abbot Point coal terminal, which it acquired in 2011, and is planning to increase its annual capacity to 120 million tonnes per year from current 50 million tonnes. The coal from the Carmichael mine will be transported via the 400km railway line to Abbot Point for exports to its power plants in India.

Thiess set to exit South Walker Creek

HSE Contracting currently runs BMA’s Saraji mine near Dysart.

IN what will be a significant blow to mining contractor Thiess, the company has lost the contract to run the South Walker Creek coal mine. The mine, near Nebo in the northern Bowen Basin, is owned by BHP Billiton Mitsui Coal (BMC). While the 90 permanent BMC workers run the washplant and dragline at the mine, for 17 years Thiess has handled all the

pre-stripping and coaling work. But as of July, the lesser known HSE Contracting will take over. The company currently runs BMA’s Saraji mine near Dysart. The union is concerned about what the shift in contractors might mean for workers. “This is really disappointing for our members and guys who have been there for a long, long

time,” CFMEU District President Steve Smyth told Shift Miner. “I don’t know why BMC have got rid of Thiess after 17 years, and switched to HSE who have only ever done one operation before at Saraji. We are suspicious when mining companies get in a new contractor in these sort of circumstances because it can be a way of cutting costs, and that can mean workers are paid less.”

There are currently about 250 Thiess contractors employed at the mine, and it’s not known if or where they might be re-deployed. It’s believed that Lake Vermont and Burton Downs mines have the capacity to take on some of the workers. Another major contractor, Leightons, is also looking to lose 80 jobs at the BMA-owned Peak Downs mine.

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18th February 2013


Shift Miner Magazine


Surat house shortage unlikely to be met any time soon

Finished by smoko - a Western Downs housing affordability study has found almost 200 homes are needed to be built immediately to ease demand.

CLOSE to 200 homes need to be built in the Surat Basin resource towns right now to ease the housing pressure. That’s the key finding from a housing affordability study that has just been carried out by the Western Downs Housing Trust set up by Western Downs Regional Council. Another observation of the survey was that many businesses are being stretched to breaking point and expect to find it difficult to retain and recruit staff over the next twelve months because they have nowhere for them to live. Mayor Ray Brown is director of the trust and says the results will help the board decide where the need for housing is, who has the greatest need and what level of housing provision is required to commence meeting the region’s affordable housing needs. “With more than 340 energyrelated projects in the region there has been this issue with

Snakes seeking Caterpillars

Snake wrangling Hastings Deering style after the 2011 floods.

IT WAS clean up time for Hastings Deering in Rockhampton recently as the Fitzroy River receded and the road opened to its Port Curtis site. Unlike the 2011 flood, the heavy machinery business escaped major flooding - but did it escape being swamped by snakes? Hastings area manager Darren Wilson, who had just opened the site after a fourday closure, was tight-lipped.


18th February 2013

“It’s too early to tell,” he told Shift Miner. “We will clean up today and get going so we can be back to normal as quickly as possible.” Last time around, 120 snakes made the business their home and snake handlers from Melbourne were called in because the local ones were booked solid. During the last floods, the business had 150 millimetres of water through its Port Curtis depot and was shut down for a month during clean-up. This time around, only the entrance and yards were flooded and the buildings remained intact. “A lot of our staff went through the 2011 floods with us and are showing great resilience,” Mr Wilson said. He said the business had a good disaster management plan in place and teams at the branch had relocated equipment and tools to alternative locations. Track frames were transferred to another facility, so service technicians could continue working on machinery during the flood. Administrative personnel had set up at a Hastings Deering facility in Richardson Road. Asked if the flood would affect business, he said it would have a natural impact. Meanwhile, for readers wanting to know what to do when confronted by a snake there are courses available. More details at

the shortage of housing and affordable rental accommodation and people who work and who have been brought up in our local townships,” he says. “They are finding it increasingly difficult if not impossible to stay in the region and this is a real concern.” The study showed the vast majority of micro businesses with up to five employees and small to medium-sized businesses with up to 20 and 100 employees, respectively, can’t get workers because they can’t find them accommodation. Cr Brown says there continues to be an urgent demand for the supply of two and three bedroom homes in Chinchilla, Condamine, Dalby, Miles and Wandoan. To meet the need 186 homes would have to be built today. And no occupation is immune from the shortage with managers and professionals to community, trades, clerical, sales, labourers,

Western Downs Mayor Ray Brown

farm workers and machinery personnel all looking for accommodation. According to latest Queensland Treasury figures there could be up to 12,000 resource workers in the region - split between on-shift and off-shift workers - and this has placed pressure on accommodation. More than $5million has been donated by industry to the Western Downs Housing Trust to address accommodation-related issues. Cr Brown says the data in the survey will now be used to pinpoint areas of most housing need.

BMA mine for sale

CENTRAL Queensland’s biggest miner is looking to sell off one of its Bowen Basin mines. BMA [BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance] is putting its Gregory Crinum mine on the market to see what interest is out there from potential buyers. In a recent memo to staff, BMA boss Stephen Dumble said any decision to sell off the mine was unlikely to happen for at least six to 12 months. “I am mindful of how this news may be received by our workmates at Gregory Crinum but want to make sure that everyone is aware of the process which has commenced. It’s important to remember that no decision has yet been made to divest the asset,” Mr Dumble said. The 33-year-old mine was shut down in October last year after the company said it was no longer profitable. But in the staff memo, Mr Dumble said there had been a significant turnaround. “Gregory Crinum has made excellent progress in implementing

the recommendations of the recent cost review and the operation is now positioned to be profitable.” Mr Dumble said if the mine remained in BMA hands, it would continue to operate for the foreseeable future. Workers at the mine were told of the news the same day, and the union representing them is not concerned in the short term. “Any concerns we do have are for the long term,” CFMEU President Steve Smyth. “The company has said jobs are safe for now, but if the mine does not sell it is still an unknown what will happen to workers.” Mr Smyth has also said at least one other mine in the region was up for sale. “It’s no different to what Anglo Coal has done at Callide Mine,” Mr Smyth said. Callide has been on the market since late 2010. “They (BHP) have put it out there to see if they get the price they want,” Mr Smyth said. “From a union perspective, we’re going to ensure our members - no matter which way it goes - are looked after.”

“Gregory Crinum has made excellent progress in implementing the recommendations of the recent cost review and the operation is now positioned to be profitable.”

Shift Miner Magazine


Red light on decline

A slowdown in resources spending has cut the number of workers travelling to Mackay and staying at local motels.

THIS time last year, the most common sight around the Bowen Basin was the “No Vacancy” sign plastered outside motels. But times have a changed. The glaring red “no” seems to be fast declining in Mackay. Kelly Davidson, manager of the Alara Motor Inn in Mackay, told Shift Miner that vacancy signs started to appear about six months ago.

“Normally December and January are quieter months, but not to this extent,” she said. “There are fewer people coming through and normally if you called for a Tuesday or Wednesday booking you would need to book at least two weeks in advance.” A year ago, Shift Miner sent its two journalists on a threeday trek around the Bowen

Basin and one of the most challenging aspects was finding accommodation. There was nothing in Mackay, and the journalists had to stay in a single person’s quarters in Nebo because of the lack of vacant hotels. Today, a browse of the accommodation site Wotif. com found 28 hotels/motels in Mackay were listed - and

only three did not have rooms available straight away. A quick look around other popular towns in the region found a similar story. In Emerald, which had been booked out months in advance this time last year, there were 12 providers with rooms available immediately. Moranbah was one town that still requires the ring around, as and Tripadvisor found none with immediate vacancies. Ms Davidson said that because the percentage of “no vacancies” had dropped, operators were doing all they could to keep their occupation levels up. “We’ve all been a bit cautious but we are optimistic that it will buck up again,” she said. “Some people may be feeling a bit pessimistic but we are definitely sticking with a positive attitude.” The opening up of more accommodation is good news for those travelling long distances and want to use Mackay as an overnight stop.

“Generally if people are stopping in Mackay for tourism, we’ve always had vacancies over weekends. If people were stopping in Mackay overnight midweek on the way to another destination, they would struggle to find a place to stay.” The Alara, which has been in operation for over 20 years, has normally been host to those working in the mining industry and sits on the city’s main accommodation strip of Nebo Road. Meanwhile, long-term confidence in the area because of resources has lead the Sydneybased Paul Irvin Hotel Group to buy the Sarina Hotel for a reported $7million. The acquisition of the freehold pub close to Hay Point and Mackay makes six properties the group owns in Queensland all in resource centres. PIHG paid about $28 million for Gladstone’s Tannum Sands Hotel Motel and development site last year and owns the Young Australian and Rocky Glen hotels in Gladstone as well as two other pubs in Mount Isa.

Coal stays put as rail on mend COAL from mines in Baralaba and Moura won’t be going anywhere for a few days week as the rail line to the Gladstone port remains closed. Rail company Aurizon has crews working to fix the damaged caused by ex Tropical Cyclone Oswald and expects the line to reopen by this Wednesday. “Pending no issues emerging with the recovery effort, we are working towards reopening the Moura system progressively west from Boundary Hill by February 17, with the last section impacting mines at Baralaba and Moura to open by February 19,” a spokesperson from Aurizon told Shift Miner. The Moura network received extensive damage in the flooding and repairs included the full replacement of

three kilometres of track and earthworks. Meanwhile, an Aurizon coal train derailed a few days after the floods, causing significant damage to the line at Ambrose, north of Gladstone. Shift Miner has seen a number of coal trains between Ambrose and Rockhampton at a standstill, although the company said some services were back running last week. Aurizon reopened its Blackwater rail system on the Central Queensland Coal Network to diesel coal trains earlier this month, following the repair of lines damaged by ex Tropical Cyclone Oswald. Electric coal train services have also begun to come back online. The Goonyella and Newlands networks continue to operate as normal.

Sedgman on track, but cautious MINE services company Sedgman is on track to make an after tax profit of $12.3 million. The figure was released last week in an ASX announcement and additional comments showed the company is being cautious and diligent because of market pressures. “Sedgman is continuing to monitor business overheads, costs and staff numbers to ensure that resourcing and overheads match expected workload,” the statement said. Sedgman’s half year results will be released to the market on February 20. The statement also said that the full

year results are expected to be lower than projected when they are finalised. This is due to: “continuing market volatility and weak conditions in the Australian coal sector”. Coal handling and preparation plants (CHPP) operation contracts at Peabody’s Coppabella and Moorvale mines to June 30 are expected to contribute $30m revenue to Sedgman during the financial year. Sedgman designed and constructed both plants and commenced operating the Coppabella CHPP in 1999 and the Moorvale CHPP in 2003. 18th February 2013


Shift Miner Magazine


Get where you want to be

Workforce ignored by senate probe claims angry QRC

The QRC says workers have been ignored by the senate probe into FIFO and DIDO.

AN angry Queensland Resources Council has wasted no time in hitting out at the senate probe into fly-in, fly-out and drive-in, drive-out work practices. The QRC claims that workers within the industry have been ignored by the committee assessed submissions across the country and visited resource towns. “Inquiry chairman Tony Windsor’s lament that

there is a lack of empirical evidence about workforce practices in regional Australia is very disappointing as we see there is not a single reference to a survey of almost 2300 minerals and energy company workers in Queensland,” QRC’s Chief Executive Michael Roche said. He believes data provided by QRC was not used in compiling recommendations released last

week and that the information would have shed light on what would help workers. “The message for the committee delivered in that comprehensive survey was that resources sector workers want the option of residential and non-residential accommodation arrangements,” he said. “Without options, the survey found that Queensland would place at risk our ability to realise the full benefits from resources sector growth across the state.” Mr Roche said QRC commissioned the survey by social researchers URS Australia when it became apparent that the debate over residential and non-residential workers was almost entirely based on who could produce the most sensationalist interpretation of life in resource communities. “A lack of empirical evidence did not stop various pressure groups and commentators from representing mining towns in Queensland as

the mainland equivalent of Devil’s Island,” he said. “Strangely, none of those groups had thought to ask workers if they were satisfied with their accommodation arrangements. “The answer to that key question in the QRCcommissioned research was that an overwhelming majority of resident and non-resident workers are happy with their current accommodation arrangements, and would not change them. “With no material difference in satisfaction with accommodation between residential and non-residential workers, this says loud and clear that it is important for resources sector companies to be able to offer accommodation options.” Mr Roche said the most disappointing aspect of the inquiry’s report was that the political rhetoric and grandstanding has continued while empirical data such as the

generated at


18th February 2013

QRC’s workforce accommodation study gathered dust. “Just reading the report’s title, it’s clear that most committee members sought to have their own views justified rather than shedding light on issues such as an employee’s right to choose where they live and work and how the benefits of resources sector growth are being spread across the community,” he continued. “With federal and state governments supporting the development of FIFO hubs in centres with higher than average unemployment, one has to wonder what value the committee was ever going to bring to the table. “Eighteen months in the making, the report falls well short of providing important new insights into the issue of where resource workers live, instead falling back on the trusty standby of calling for more data and more research.”

Shift Miner Magazine


Get where you want to be

Workplace bullying gets tougher under changes

A definition of what bullying is will help those being victimized by workmates and those that try to solve the conflict.

BULLIES often say things like “toughen up princess” or “take a spoonful of cement and harden up.” Complain and they say its just robust workplace ribbing between mates. They know they are actually giving you a hard time, you know it and so do the good people in human resources. But can anyone do anything about it and then allow you to keep doing the job you enjoy? Hardly. And part of the problem is no-one really understands what bullying is. However, things have got slightly better in past days with the federal government seeking to toughen anti-bullying legislation in the wake of the senate enquiry into bullying. That enquiry made a string of recommendations aimed at protecting every worker and ensuring careers aren’t destroyed by the behaviour. This week Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations Bill Shorten told Shift Miner that there is now a definition of bullying and that the majority of the 23 recommendations of the enquiry will be adopted into the Fair Work Act. Bullying is now considered to be behaviours that are repeated, unreasonable in the context, and cause a risk to people’s health and safety “The response supports measures to adopt a national definition of workplace bullying, to promote education and awareness of what

constitutes workplace bullying and to lead the development of national training standards to improve responses to bullying complaints,” Mr Shorten said. “Bullying and harassment have no place in any Australian workplace. Every Australian who goes to work should be able to come home safe.” The government will now amend the Fair Work Act to allow an employee who has suffered bullying at work a right to seek assistance through the Fair Work Commission. “We want to make sure all Australian workplaces are safe, healthy and productive and to adopt a zero tolerance approach to bullying,” Mr Shorten said. “We heard from those who gave evidence of their personal experiences to the committee the importance of early intervention in bullying cases, to preserve the employment relationship, to stop bullying from continuing or escalating and to ensure their voices are heard.” Safe Work Australia will also work with the states and territories to develop nationally accredited training for managers and health and safety representatives to help them deal with bullying. The Productivity Commission estimates the total annual cost of workplace bullying in Australia at between $6 billion and $36 billion.

Returning to work after injury a real achievement IF you, or someone you know, has been injured at work and successfully returned then you’re just the person that Q-COMP wants to hear from. The workers compensation regulatory authority is again running its Return to Work Awards that acknowledge those that have overcome tough obstacles to recover from injury and get back to work and those that help them do it.

The awards also highlight new initiatives used in helping injured workers return to employment and recognising the parties who are going above and beyond in this process throughout Queensland. The awards will be officially launched on March 11 but the organisation says it wants eligible workers or their friends and colleagues to think about nominating now.

Through the awards, the many passionate and dedicated individuals and businesses who work in this dynamic industry are given an opportunity to shine and share their achievements and innovations with their colleagues. The event is also a wonderful opportunity to network with other professionals with a wealth of knowledge, experience and

insights on the best ways to get injured workers back to work. The awards ceremony will again be part of the annual Return to Work Conference and Expo planned for the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre in October. Nominations for the awards close in June. Meanwhile, Q-COMP is also calling for resources staff to attend

the annual North Queensland Conference in Cairns on March 22. Delegates will hear a range of thought-provoking presentations and robust discussions on how employers can improve return to work practices. Cost is $250 with further information on the conference and the Return to Work Awards on the Q-COMP website at

18th February 2013


Shift Miner Magazine



A very large turnout of mining businesses to hear where Adani is up with its Galilee projects

(L-R) Paul Squire - Health & Safety Services, Alan Hayes - Hayes HR, Theo Greyling - Dowdens Pumps

(L-R) Drew Callander - DAC Mining Services, Luke Harrison & Dennis Eagers - Diamond Protective Coating Services

(L-R) Danny Schnieder - NAB, Matthew Gray - KPMG, Tim Miles - Results Plus Business Solutions

(L-R) Hans Berkhout - RCS Derek Curd - MTUDDA

(L-R) Bernnie Neame - Westfund, Kylie Huth - Railway Systems

(L-R) Tania Begg - Gibsons, Gina Davis - Gina’s flags, Rudi Mitutoiu - ANZ, Olga Teran - ANZ

(L-R) Mick Storch - The Bullion Group, Tim Magoffin, Haynes Mechanical

(L-R) Mike Crouther - Aurecon, Ian Sedgman - Adani, Michael McGrath - GW industrial

(L-R) Kristen McCubbin - Techserve, Danielle Sanderson - Mackay Solicitors

(L-R) Murray Gibbs - Kaytone, Bill Hopton - CTPM

(L-R) Ruston Kemp - Excel Drilling, John McCulloch Shipping Container Rentals

(L-R) Chris Bonanno - Mackay Regional Council, Paoloa Craib - Thomas & Coffey

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.


18th February 2013

Shift Miner Magazine

Around Town


Ex Tropical Cyclone Oswald might have rained out the Australia Day awards for the Central Highlands, but that just meant locals had another excuse to get together recently! These award winners were unable to make the first ceremony on Australia Day, but they made it to the second one

The winners were: Citizen of the Year: Lorrae Brimblecombe Young Citizen of the Year: Shearna Smith Community Event of the Year: Duaringa ANZAC Day Service Sports Administrator Award: Sharyn Latchford Junior Sports Award: Brad West Senior Cultural Award: Christie Marschke Junior Cultural Award: Tayla Grant

Buy this and many other images at Shift Miner magazine – bringing the mining community closer together 18th February 2013


Shift Miner Magazine

Off Shift

FROm THE EDITOR THE war of words and posturing

was away from her, their two

started in earnest after the

toddler daughters and the family

release of the senate report into

home for 28 days at a stretch. It’s

fly-in, fly-out and drive-in, drive-

tough, she told the announcer,

out. Shooting the messenger is

and it’s not about the money it’s

counterproductive though.

just the job he has and loves. It’s

Even if interest groups inside and outside resources don’t agree with all the report there are aspects of it they must agree with. Maybe that

just one small glimpse as to real face of FIFO and the people that might need a hand to get through the experience as best they can.

Stuff How far does an education go? (Mining lifestyle keeping kids from school P1 SM154)

k Acciden ts Motor Veh icle Acciden Insuranc ts e/T

mining town and am married to a

should start.

miner. Yes, I appreciate that when

squarely put FIFO and DIDO on the

finger at others.

national agenda.

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no-one is entirely happy with it.

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actually a school teacher in a

the media interest generated, has

Locally Owned


What help could a family like that

hearings and travel, along with

’s mining and

to the Editor

makes the perfect report - when The months of submissions,

SHIFT MIN ER Queensland

my husband has a decent length break it is tempting to get out of our small mining town for a few days, but as a teacher I can tell you that

industry and we won’t be surprised or disappointed if he comes back to it, but he will have a better job than I did and he will have options to leave if he decides to. But I know of plenty of similar families who don’t think that way. but they should. Anonymous, Clermont

What must happen now is all

one day does make a difference -

The take home message from

interest groups must work together

and every day after that is worse.

the report by the senators, led

to make the most of FIFO and

The main issue is that learning is

by Independent New England

improve some of the issues

a process, and if you miss a few

MP Tony Windsor who farms

highlighted in the report and the

steps along the way the education

near Gunnedah when not

media for months - pressure on

suffers. And if you must be away for

wrangling fellow politicians,

people and services; housing

a while - talk to your teacher. Most

Here we go again, the big miners

is that FIFO and DIDO aren’t

affordability and support as well as

of the problems can be sorted out.

with the government in their pocket,

working as well as they could

the social responsibility companies


telling the people who own the

for the worker, the community,

have when they fly thousands of

company and country.

workers in and out of small towns.

And talk back radio in capital

If constructive talking doesn’t start

they tell me is usually nothing. Start

cities was awash with people

now FIFO will become the cancer

teaching things that help them in

ringing in after the release of

of the bush and that will destroy

the real world and I will get more

the report to tell their side of the

towns and livelihoods along the

serious about it. Brad

story. Many said something has

way. Surely no amount of money

to be done.

makes that worthwhile.

One mother from Brisbane’s eastern suburbs said her husband

Comment or SMS 0409 471 014

My kids come home and I ask what have you learnt today and what

A couple of times a term we take our kids out of class to get away as a family for a few days, and I reckon they learn more about life in that time than they do in a classroom.

Photos to THE EDITOR

Also my kids teacher seems to have more days off than he does. Malcolm, Alpha I am a third generation miner, and the way my son is talking he will probably be the fourth generation. But my wife and I made the decision years ago to make sure we gave

SEEN SOMETHING WE HAVEN’T? Prizes for the best mining photos. Take it on your phone or camera and send it in - Text to 0409 471 014


18th February 2013

river that we didn’t cause the fish kill! Well I have been a resident on the Capricorn Coast for more than 40 years, and we didn’t have big fish kills after flood in the old days. Simon, Yeppoon I think there was a large fish kill in New Zealand a few years ago - let’s blame the miners for that also. Trent, Rockhampton

Frank the Tank (Put on women’s clothing P19 SM154) Frank who are YOU? Craig, Townsville Ed’s note: We could reveal his identity but then we would have to kill you

our kids options. We made them

There are all types of us in this

go to school, and we are proud

industry Frank. I wouldn’t mind

to say that our son is the first to

finding out some of my workmates

go to university where he studied

are cross dressers.

engineering. We love the mining While we don’t condone graffiti on private property, we appreciate the thought!

Fitzroy and fish (Mines discharge 0.34 per cent of total fitzroy flow P5 SM154)

Ed’s note: ¥Ay, caramba!

Got something to share? Send us your text messages or phone photos to 0409 471 014 Or email to

Shift Miner Magazine

Off Shift

Frank the Tank’s Dear Frank,

A few months ago I met this German girl who had moved to Australia to study at University. We went on a few dates and had some fun times but things were always pretty casual, and after a while things just kind of petered out. Recently, however, I got a call from her asking if I would marry her so she could stay in Australia to work. She said she’d make it worth my while financially, but I’m not sure what to do. Is it wrong to marry for money and a green card? Todd Rockhampton

The short answer, Todd, is no. In fact, most people wind up marrying for money. They’re just not honest with themselves about it. I’m sure you’ve seen the covers of those tabloid magazines. Do you really think a supermodel would marry an 85-year-old man who breathes with the help of an oxygen tank and makes love with the help of a quasi-nuclear penile implant if he wasn’t a billionaire? I’ve been married a number of times, and in every instance I would have been much better off if I’d known my marriage was a sham from the beginning. Consider this. Most wives would be inconsolable if you stayed out until 3 a.m. at an underground club where homeless women play strip poker for sandwiches. However, you’d be in the unique position of your wife not caring in the slightest where you go or what you do. Since you’re only marrying this fraulein so she can get residency, you can both

“Streakin” good love advice

galavant all over town with no feelings of guilt or remorse. The fact that she’s offering to “make it worth your while financially” only means that you should definitely marry her. A wife that gives you money is unheard of. There’s no basis for it in nature; it’s be like seeing a lion give birth to a zebra. There’s also the possibility that marrying a German woman would grant you citizenship to Germany, which could be useful if you ever want to go there to live or work. I went to Germany once when I was younger, and I would highly recommend paying it a visit. The food is amazing, not to mention the abundance of beer. As great as the culinary aspects are, it doesn’t compare to the women. German women are far more uninhibited than their Australian counterparts, and I can assure you you haven’t lived until you’ve been chained to

a bed, dressed up as Hitler and given what the girls over there call “The Third Reich”.



I suppose it all depends on what your personal beliefs about marriage are. For a lot of people marriage is a big deal, not something to be entered into lightly, and reserved only for people who want to spend the rest of their lives together. For other people a marriage certificate is just a piece of paper. You need to decide what your feelings are on the subject, and if you’re uncomfortable marrying for reasons other than love, you need to tell this girl that it’s a no go.


If you have a question for Frank and Susan Email Us at:

Fair Dinkum!

In Japan it is traditional for women to give chocolate on Valentine’s Day; men can return the favour in March on “White Day”.


- An inventor has at long last provided the world with what it needs most: a wagging tail for humans. The device, which is called “Tailly”, attaches to your belt and is equipped with a sensor that measures heart rate. If you’re excited the tail will wag rapidly; when you’re calm it will wag more slowly. The inventor says it’s much more than a gimmick and will help people to better express their feelings. The inventor is currently trying to raise $100,000 so he can produce the first batch of Taillies for commercial sale.

IN JAPAN - A cafe has come up

with a way to personalise chocolates this Valentine’s putting your face on them. The innovative cafe allows female

customers the use of a 3D scanner, which in turn creates a silicon mould of the face, which is then filled with chocolate truffle and set. The personalised treat costs about $65 and are available to women only.

IN SWEDEN - What some

may have considered to be a fairly dry news story about the Syrian President was livened up extensively by the fact that a

pornographic film could be seen playing in the background. The film played for about 10 minutes behind the Swedish news anchor during the story, and while blurry, depicted a naked woman having sex. The news editor was quick to state that although the adult film was shown, it did not mean a staff member had actively been watching pornography.


businessman claims that he and his son watched strange lights in the sky for 15 minutes, and are convinced that it was some sort of UFO. The two orange lights have reportedly appeared several times in the sky over Cardwell, only to move north-west and disappear into the clouds. The President of UFO Research Queensland said she could not confirm what the lights seen by Cardwell residents were, but stated that extraterrestrials visited earth from time to time.

What can you learn from a


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Delivered direct to your inbox every Wednesday To register go to and follow the link 18th February 2013


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Off Shift

Classic movie review BY JUSTIN CARLOS

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As the film progresses, John Doe’s bizarre and circuital plan is revealed, with chilling consequences for Detectives Mills and Somerset. Set in a dreary, perpetually rain-drenched cityscape, Seven is a fantastic example of a

as they track a serial killer who uses the seven deadly sins to choose his victims. The detectives are forced to compromise their values and circumvent normal avenues of investigation in order to catch the killer known only as “John Doe”.

NEARLY 20 years since its release, detective thriller Seven still holds its own alongside anything modern cinema can dish up. The film follows two homicide detectives, Mills (Brad Pitt), a rookie, and Somerset (Morgan Freeman) a veteran,





ACROSS 1. Elaborately 5. Ploy 9. Retreated 10. Jammed 12. Remembering 13. Stretch of shallow water 14. Group of labourers 16. Abbreviate 19. Hesitated 21. Incense, ... stick 24. Copy outline of 25. Plunderers 27. Posted 28. Sword sheath 29. Symbolise 30. Enlisted (6,2)

modern hardboiled detective drama. Utilising many cliches of classic film noir (soft lights, shadows, steam billowing from sewers), director David Fincher creates a gritty, almost hopeless setting, which serves to perfectly complement the grisly murders investigated by Mills and Somerset. While Fincher’s directorial ability is on display in Seven, its largely the performances by the actors that drive the film. Morgan Freeman is excellent as the career veteran nearing retirement and is offset perfectly by Brad Pitt, who plays the arrogant rookie looking to make his mark on the force. Gwyneth Paltrow plays an important role as Detective Mills’ wife, who is struggling to adjust to city life. Kevin Spacey rounds it out with a creepily good performance as the forcefully evangelistic serial killer John Doe. Some of David Fincher’s more recent films - Zodiac and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button spring to mind - seem to drag on endlessly, however he manages to pace the plot of Seven perfectly. If you’re a fan of thrillers or crime dramas, then Seven is definitely worth a look. Fans of the Saw franchise will particularly enjoy Seven, as the over-thetop punishment of victims at the hands of John Doe is mirrored (and multiplied) by the Saw films.

Down 1. Ahead! 2. Announcement 3. Natural disaster, ... wave 4. Ogling 6. Intense dislikes 7. Harbour vessels 8. Hugging 11. A long time 15. Contract 17. Cheated on (lover) (3-5) 18. Flying art # 40 20. Trial showing 21. Biblical Palestine city 22. Return (to custody) 23. Consumed totally (4,2) 26. Metropolitan Handy Cross 120 ©Lovatts Publications





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Numbers You Can Trust* *When audited by the CAB Shift Miner Handy Cross blank grid.pdf ©Lovatts Publications 5/03/09 artist – mb

M A G A Z I N E Proudly Audited by

For more information visit


18th February 2013


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Shift Miner Magazine

Off Shift

Redmond’s Rants

Lost in translation 3. SAFETY MAGGOT: Why have you fitters forgotten to write three points of contact in this JSA? FITTER: We were unsure whether to put “three-points contact” as “slip, trips or falls” or “safe access” - but thanks for the tip. TRANSLATION: I f***ing hate you and your kind, f*** off back under your rock. 4. STORE MAN: No fitters allowed in here. FITTER: Sorry bud, just looking for a black texta. TRANSLATION: You stupid three-toed sloth. I’ve boosted three LED worklights, a 3/4 rattle gun, 19 tins of contact cleaner... and your black texta.

RECOGNISE any of these scenarios in your workplace? 1.OPERATOR: Oil leak under my truck? FITTER: Parts on order. TRANSLATION: I don’t care.

2. DIRTBOSS: How long until digger is up? FITTER: It’s right to go, just need bit longer to find proper signal for pilot pressure. TRANSLATION: I have no idea what I’m doing.

5. HR EMPLOYMENT CONSULTANT: So tell me a workplace change or improvement you were directly involved with. FITTER: I was the workshop rep for safety meetings at prior job. TRANSLATION: I am able to sit mute for extended periods during bullshit fests.

6. SERVICEMAN: Copy fitter, can you come up to the waste dump and check my brakes out please? TRANSLATION: Wanna pinch some diesel? 7. OPERATOR: This machine has a noise, sometimes, from brakes....or steering maybe. TRANSLATION: F*** this, I’m sick of sitting in this truck. I wanna sit in the crib hut. 8. MAINTENANCE SUPERINTENDENT: Safety is our first priority. I don’t want to have to ring your wives or families and tell them you have been hurt at work. TRANSLATION: I truly cannot think of one single intelligent thing to say, so please accept this hot air I’m blowing up your arse. 9. MINER: The food is shit in this mess. TRANSLATION: I’m only eating four meals today and have put on 20 kg in three years. 10. EVERYONE IN MINE: One more year and I’m taking a town job. TRANSLATION: I F***ING LIE !!!

Who is Redmond? Redmond was born in a cross-fire hurricane and now resides in Queensland. Former Golden Glove champ turned champion shearer, his shearing career was cut short when he entered the adult film industry and made 3467 films in three months. He now enjoys semi-retirement and lives happily on his 100,000 acre property with his seven wives. He has received the annual Golden Pen award from the Writer’s Guild four years in a row in the Truth Telling category...

Be the next Jimi Hendrix

DO you ever finish work and feel as though you’re just wasting your free time? Sitting around watching DVDs is nice every once in awhile, but sometimes it feels as though you could be doing something far more productive. Why not take up a musical instrument?

Now, I’m not talking about the oboe or the French horn, but something a bit more fun like the guitar. It may seem a little daunting, just picking up a guitar and learning from scratch, but hey, it’s the 21st Century. The internet has your back.

You can buy a starter guitar from an online music store for less than $200, spend an extra $20 or so on a guitar tuner, and you’re ready to go. Once upon a time if you were going to teach yourself guitar it would have involved a very boring book and

accompanying tape, which taught you how to play crowd pleasers like “Ode to Joy” and “London Bridge is falling down”. Thanks to YouTube, that is now a thing of the past. There are literally hundreds of free guitar tutorials that cater to players of all skill levels. Even if your particular aspiration is to learn how to strum out the chords to your favourite song, chances are YouTube has a tutorial video you can use to help you. If guitar isn’t your bag and you want to try something a little less costly, why not try the guitar’s diminutive - and slightly inbred cousin - the ukulele. Gone are the days when ukuleles were basically considered toy guitars, given to kids as a stocking stuffer to test the waters of musical interest. If you walk into any music store at the moment you’ll probably see more ukuleles than any other instrument. Why the sudden explosion in ukulele culture? I don’t exactly know, but there are ukulele clubs popping up all over the place, even Yeppoon has its own, Y.U.M (Yeppoon Ukulele Movement). Just like the guitar, there are also countless YouTube tutorials for the aspiring ukulele virtuoso. So if you feel like you want to accomplish a little more during your time off, why not have a crack at a musical instrument? 18th February 2013





Offshore Marine Master 2012 Mac5 Cuddy.

68000 Ks, 4 doors 7 seats, 4 cyl. A1 condition. New tyres. Complied 2009 Rear nudge-bar. Full logs. All Toyota serviced. Always kept undercover. With 7 seats there’s plenty of space for the whole family. $21,900 NEG Phone: 0413 913 042

Brand new! 90HP Suzuki 4 stroke, Hydraulic steering, Live well, Bimini, Bait station, self draining fully welded floor, Kill tank. 4mm bottom, 3mm sides. Comes on Dunbier Glider trailer. Fishermans dream $39,950 Phone: 0404 891 776





Mine Spec, BMA Thiess Mac Coal Certified, New 265 Maxxis Iron Mud Tires, ADB Bull Bar, Lightfrce Driving Light, Twin Battery, Snorkle, Iron-Man Lift Kit, Mine Radio x 2 UHF, 135 Litre Fuel Tank, Oconners Tray. Toolboxes, Fire Ext 1st Aid MSDS

8mtrs, vcomplete with all upgrades. Ford F250 V8 deisel w/ gas injection. tow vehicle. Full details on request. Will pass any inspection.

$40,000 Phone: 0421 000 789

Phone: 07 4162 5730



SELF-SUSTAINABLE living on a sapphire mine claim 5 km west of Rubyvale. Small house, off grid, solar/ rainwater/composting toilet, great view. $75,000 ono Phone: 0428 538 869 DINGHY FOR SALE

2012 Horizon 3.1M Aluminium Dinghy, 6HP Yamaha Motor and Redco trailer – All New, Registered 11/13 with safety gear.


2006 DODGE RAM 3500 SLT Lonestar Edition Heavy Duty 5.9L Cummins Turbo Diesel Allison auto transmission Wood grain inserts 5th wheel hitch, tow bar 4 door dual cab Dual wheels, new tires and chrome Call for more detail..... Genuine sale!!!! 104000klms




40ha. Open country, House, Dam, bore (1100gl/ ph) Submersible pump, Yards & ramp. Excellent garden & views. 50ks nth of Yeppoon Turnoff. 1.3ks off highway, bitumen road, School buses from Highway

Bitumen Road and Phone to front Gate. School, PO, Garage, Hospital, Hotel kindergarden and stores 15 min Drive. New gold mines in area.

$595,000 ono Phone: 07 4937 3564

$48,000 Phone: 0413 501 222



3 beds, 2 bath big yard, fenced

Gracemere acreage and residence. Large well appointed 5 bedroom home on 10 acres. Stables, yards, shed, bore. 3 km from new shopping centre.


Currently leased @ $385 inc gst/week Includes shares in Rockhampton Cab Company Perfect sideline income

$320,000 neg

Phone: 0407 373 664

With large capacity cranes, 4 Trailers Bundy based. Soild work contacts, carrying house frames and trusses to Gladstone, Rocky, Mackayand Central Highlands. Established 1981 T\O approx $380,000 Call for more info and pics Asking $350,000 WIWO Phone: 0408 988 866

LAND FOR SALE YEPPOON Acreage Living, City Conveniences! 4000 sqm North facing, corner premium block, 5 minutes from CBD, schools, transport. Plenty of space for shed, pool, kids to play. $300,000 Phone: 0409 391 254

$15,000 Phone: 0429 112 396 CAR PARTS FOR SALE

Front Bumper Land Cruiser 2012 $150 Standard Exhaust System 2.5 Inch $500 4x Standard GXL Rims $750 each Air Intake Snorkel (Top Only) $50 5 Dunlop Tyres 265/70R16 111RLT $250 Full Suspension Front Coil, Rear Leaf & Shockies $1000

Phone: 0429 831 021 TRAILER FOR SALE Home built camping trailer, built to carry 3 full sizes bikes or a quad and bike, camp slides forwards or backwards to balance picture taken back for bikes to sit on 5 months rego. Tows very well $4,500 Phone: 0429 112 396 HOUSE/LAND FOR SALE MOUNT PERRY ”Main Top” Best most usable 40 acres in town. Good large level flats, great mountain veiws, hay shed, machinery shed, dam, House requires work. Power to house.Plenty of feed, Potential to work 7 on 7 off roster at mount Rawdon Gold mine, Bus travels daily to mine site. $235,000 Phone: 0488 079 675



HYDEAWAY BAY Stunning modern 3 bedroom, Gourmet Kitchen, large open living, office, aircon. 3 bay garage. Opposite beach. School bus to Proserpine. Excellent fishing & diving reef 50metres offshore.

$700,000 Phone: 0749 333 106

Phone: 0414 381 330


HOUSE FOR SALE Immaculate 4BR home. BIR. 18 solar panels. Fully insulated & A/C. Ceiling fans. 2 bathrooms. 2 Toilets. Double lock-up garage. Stainless steel kitchen appliances. Spacious open plan kitchen, dining & lounge. Potential rental return above $22 000p/a. $429,000 Phone: 0418 796 074

HOUSE FOR SALE EMU PARK Beach front, Keppel Island views. Upstairs large main bedroom with large ensuite, 2nd bedroom, office, lounge, kitchenette and balcony. Downstairs 2 bedrooms lounge,kitchen, dining, formal dining, bathroom, laundry plus self contained granny flat $995,000 ono Phone: 0407 659 181

Phone: 0428 227 623

1hz motor, turbo diesel and gas which gives more power and econ. New suspension , injectors, timing belt, new paint ,windscreen, clutch, 12 months rego, 90% tyres.



The solution to accommodation in Mackay. Stay a few days, earn income while you’re away. 1 Bedroom, 1 Bathroom Beachfront Resort living, pool and restaurant on site.



Phone: 0419 020 566






brick at Emu Park.

Ph. 0419 672 181


Phone: 0419 788 599

Excellent low set 3YO

Phone: 0409 630 311

Phone: 0407 913 914

Compass slide-on camper on Ford F250 ute.Camper sleeps 2 plus makeup 3rd. 3way Electrolux fridge, 2 burner stove, wired 12 & 240 volts, 100Lwater, PortaPotti, space for 2x4.5kg LPG and 2 batteries, steps and legs carried below floor. F250XL 2001, 4.2L diesel, 190,000km, strengthened springs, UHF, compressor. Whole unit $45,000 ono. Camper only $11,000 ono.


Sale price includes shares in “Gladstone Taxis”.

CAR FOR SALE 2008 H3 HUMMER Luxury 6.2lt V8 LS3. Auto transmission. Full leather, BOSE sound, 22” American racing rims.Only known H3 V8 in Australia. Collector’s item. 27000kms. Excellent condition. Very classy vehicle with performance to match. $73000 ono Emerald.Q. Phone: 0427 189 834

$79,000 ono Phone: 0432 429 264


BOAT FOR SALE 2004 PowerCat 2600 Sports Cabriolet. Twin 115hp Yamaha 4 stroke engines. Sleeps 4, Toilet, Shower. Road registered tandem trailer. Always maintained and kept in a shed. All safety gear. Excellent condition. Registered until September 2013. Reduced to $108,000.00 Must be sold. OFFERS, OFFERS, OFFERS Very Negotiable

PROSERPINE Rural land 15 min cbd proserpine 2x200 acre lots good grazing land and house sites will sell separately POA $ 520,000 the pair Phone: 0447 031 588 HOUSE TO SHARE YEPPOON Ocean views with one other person Enjoy your days off at the Beach Lockable car cover, heaps of lockable garage space and storage

$110/week Phone: 0429 451 196 after 5pm please

Shift Miner Magazine

Off Shift

r e t n a B p o h S Bait You beauty!

Caught at the a Causeway after hon at ar m ht moonlig


IT was a full moon battle of epic proportions: this 103cm monster barra [pictured] was hooked at the Causeway Lake recently. “The Nilsmaster Invincible, a good old timber lure in Qantas colours, was used,” said the Secret Spot’s fishing guru Adrian. The barra season is open but the fishing has not been fantastic, thanks to the eight odd metres of flood water still making its way through the system.

“The water is clearing up and things should get back to normal pretty quickly,” Adrian said. Already, Coorooman Creek is back to within its normal limits, and according to Adrian you could “catch yourself a good feed” down there now. It has been tricky to get out wide, but the odd break in the weather has produced some good catches of Spanish, trout and a smattering of sweetlip for local fishermen. Prawns are running nicely in sections of Coorooman Creek and also at the Causeway.



MACKAY Gladstone MACKAY Gladstone Boaties! The debris from the floods has made the inshore waters rather opaque so beware. Now a low develops in the eastern Coral Sea. Monday expect east-south-easterlies of 16 to 14 knots with a brief isolated shower. Tuesday south-easterlies will arrive from 9 to 13 knots and tending southsouth-easterly with just a rogue brief shower. Wednesday: Depending on low positioning you’re looking at south-south-easterlies of 10 to 15 knots.

LOCAL fishers in Gladstone are wondering if 2013 will be even better for barra fishing in the region than 2011. That was the last time water ran over the spillway at the Awoonga Dam - but not in the same quantity! Water in the region is still pretty murky at the moment, with lots of logs and other hazards clogging up waterways. “The fishing hasn’t started to really fire up just yet; a few have been caught but a

Mon 18

pleasant maximum of 28 Celsius last Wednesday. Temperatures will warm gradually during the week reaching 35C to 36C from Moranbah/ Emerald by Wednesday. Isolated thundery showers in the Central West and Warrego will get close in the evening from Rolleston/Gindie on Thursday and Friday.

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


your weather forecast

Week 1 - Ex-Tropical Cyclone Oswald, or “Ozzie”, has moved on and the clean-up after the rain and wind and floods continues. Debate on the unsavoury smell of rotting fish and vegetation also continues along with the release of diluted effluent into river water. All this as a strong complex high (see weather map) drives comfortable easterly winds into the coalfields. These moderate to fresh winds along the coast brought drier comfortable conditions and very little rainfall to the southern Coalfields. Higher humidity gave the Central Coast squally showers (Mackay airport 73mm and Sarina 55mm) and blew cloud inland to cause moderate falls from Dysart (14mm) and Collinsville (10mm). The falls reached Moranbah that got 5mm and a

lot more have been sighted,” said Jarrad from Pat’s Tackle World. “One of our best fishermen has been out to Pike’s Crossing at the back of the dam, below the wall, and there were barra around, but he couldn’t catch them. If he can’t catch them, no-one can.” For those managing to head out wide, there are flathead, bream and whiting to be had. Crabs are also on the run, although there are reports of lots of Jennys but not so many Bucks.

The conditions have combined in Mackay to produce a fisher’s paradise at the moment. Smaller tides are leading to good catches of fingermark at Belmunda near Seaforth, according to Bruce at Nashy’s Compleat Angler. “There have also been nice catches of mangrove Jack and big grunter off the Indian Head at Cape Hillsborough, as well as Jewfish,” he said. For the experienced fishers, while there are not a lot of whiting around, they are a good size at the moment in the Pioneer River. Crabbing has been mediocre, but Bruce said it was still worth throwing your pots in. There are plenty of prawns and mullet around and lots of bait in the estuaries and close inshore waters, particularly schools of garfish. They make excellent bait for barra fishers. The dams are fishing steadily, and there have been some nice sooties caught at Eungella.



With Mike Griffin







Tue 19

Wed 20

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3.22 1.98 2.78 1.78

0432 1110 1713 2302

3.27 1.85 2.84 1.68

0545 1212 1819

3.48 1.62 3.04

0008 0635 1255 1904

1.49 3.71 1.40 3.25

0054 0715 1331 1940

1.28 3.92 1.21 3.43

0133 0750 1406 2013

1.09 4.08 1.04 3.58

0209 0824 1439 2046

0.92 4.20 0.89 3.72

0532 1219 1812

4.25 2.40 3.66

0018 0654 1332 1925

2.07 4.52 2.06 3.92

0123 0747 1417 2011

1.81 4.86 1.73 4.20

0209 0827 1454 2046

1.52 5.16 1.46 4.44

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1.27 5.39 1.26 4.63

0321 0931 1557 2146

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0353 1001 1628 2216

0.91 5.69 0.96 4.97

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Fri 1















0245 0857 1512 2118

0.79 4.27 0.76 3.85

0321 0930 1547 2152

0.69 4.30 0.67 3.95

0357 1004 1621 2226

0.67 4.26 0.65 4.01

0435 1038 1654 2303

0.73 4.15 0.71 4.01

0513 1115 1729 2343

0.88 3.95 0.84 3.94

0555 1157 1805

1.10 3.70 1.03

0029 0646 1248 1850

3.81 1.35 3.43 1.24

0427 1032 1658 2249

0.80 5.78 0.84 5.13

0502 1104 1730 2323

0.74 5.79 0.76 5.24

0538 1137 1802 2358

0.78 5.69 0.76 5.28

0614 1211 1834

0.93 5.48 0.85

0035 0652 1247 1909

5.23 1.18 5.16 1.03

0116 0735 1330 1949

5.10 1.49 4.77 1.26

0207 0832 1428 2046

4.93 1.81 4.36 1.53

Guts could reach 25 knots in a squally shower. Thursday south-easterlies and east-south-easterlies will dominate and be 10 to 15 knots. Friday the winds will move around but tend to north-northeast and gust up to 11 knots. Saturday and Sunday the north easterlies will sit at 9 to 14 knots with north-north-easterly inshore winds to 25 knots in the late afternoon. This all hangs on the low moving south. Week 2 - The SOI has plunged to -8. It was here before in early January before rocketing to +4. Just before Ozzie formed in the Gulf. If this happens again the Monsoon Trough (MT) could form around the last few days in February. Then watch for Cyclone Rusty to develop in the north. This means very warm to hot conditions for the

Sat 2 Sun 3

Coalfields. Afternoon thunderstorms could deliver a punch in the first couple of days of March in the far north. Then encroach from the Central West into the western Coalfields. Marine Lovers! All depends on the falling pressures. A weak ridge may distort this early in the week. But warm sticky tropical northerlies should prevail. Monday and Tuesday expect eastnorth-easterlies and east-south-easterlies from 10 to 15 knots with squally showers in the north. Wednesday and Thursday north and north-northeasterlies to 15 knots with fresh to strong inshores in the afternoon. Watch for thunderstorms and gusts over 35 knots inland which may reach the coast early weekend.

18th February 2013


Shift Miner Magazine


Triathletes find another leg

Gear change: Triathlon enjoying good support in the coalfields.

The sport of triathlon seems to be going from strength to strength on the coal fields, with the recent Clermont race attracting more than 100 competitors - a record for the sport. Event organiser Scott Chapman said they are drawing new athletes from all over the coalfields. “We had over 100 people competing, which is a record for us and a really good result for the sport,” he said. “A big part of that number were juniors, which is really encouraging. We also had a few more people from further north, with particularly good support from the Clermont and Moranbah Communities.” “We even had a couple of people come out from Mackay, and four athletes travelled from Alpha.” The fact that the race was held at the height of summer seems not to have deterred people, although Mr Chapman said they started early and all the racing was done by 10am. Former Capras rugby league player and Tieri resident Mark Fickling took out the open men’s race, while quiet achiever from Springsure Mindy Durdin won the open ladies. The enticer race was won by Clermont’s Wilton Jansen and the women’s event by Springsure’s Connie Fields. Part of the attraction seems to have been the challenging racing environment provided at Theresa Creek. The Central Highlands triathlon series continues over the next couple of months with Capella this weekend, followed by Middlemount, Blackwater and Springsure dates to be confirmed.

CSG double-edged sword for Surat Basin rugby The conventional wisdom when the CSG industry arrived in the Surat Basin was that rugby clubs like Roma, Chinchilla, Condamine and Dalby would enjoy a major revival. However in reality CSG has been a mixed blessing for a lot of rugby teams, with many clubs having large playing rosters and good sponsorship but lacking a regular team on game day. With the workforce required in the gas fields expected to peak over the next three years, general manager for Darling Downs rugby Cameron Donaldson says the game will adapt. “It’s interesting the way it has panned out,” he said.

“The anecdotal view was that towns like Roma, Condamine, Chinchilla and Dalby would be flush with players, but that hasn’t really been the case.” “For example Roma really struggled last year.” “We do have a lot of young players, but when they are not working they are off spending their money on the coast. They are not hanging around to play rugby.” “But clubs are soldiering on, and they have learnt to adapt to the changes that are happening.” “As a competition, we are not looking at any major changes to the way we do things just yet.” Readers in the coal fields will recognise

Rio Tinto Coal Australia is pleased to continue its support of the RACQ CQ Rescue helicopter service in 2013 The RACQ CQ Rescue helicopter comes to the aid of central Queenslanders in their time of need. We have been a long term supporter of this invaluable service and a formal sponsor since 2008. The RACQ CQ Rescue helicopter completed a total of 435 tasks, assisting over 400 people and logging over 1000 hours of service in the Mackay, Bowen Basin and Whitsunday regions in 2012. Pictured: RACQ CQ Rescue chief executive officer Mark Shield and Hail Creek Mine community relations specialist Fiona Kruger.


18th February 2013

this tune - shift work has played havoc with all sports since the introduction of 12-hour shifts. However clubs like Dawson Valley Drovers Rugby Club have adapted to the new reality and last year they won the Central Queensland Rugby Competition. And there are positive signs in the Surat Basin too. Roma has more 22 teams registered for it’s seven-a-side competition this weekend, and Chinchilla is getting more than 20 players a week at training. That’s a good sign for Chinchilla, especially when you consider they spent more than 20 years in the wilderness before reforming three seasons ago.

Michael Shepherd from the Chinchilla River Rats says CSG has helped with numbers. “I guess with the influx of people into the region, we reformed,” he said. “But our players come from a range of industries, not just the gas industry, although that certainly has helped.” “We have started training and for the first session we had about 20 blokes, five or six of them were new.” “One of the good things about all these companies coming to town is that there are a lot of businesses willing to part with some sponsorship money, which is important.” “We are pretty good for sponsors, we haven’t had to struggle too much.”

Proud to be part of the central Queensland community and committed to the future. We support a range of local projects through our Community Development Funds. For more information: Clermont Mine – Travis Bates on 4988 3503 or Kestrel Mine – Samantha Faint on 0447 599 990 or Hail Creek Mine – Fiona Kruger on 4840 4401 or

Shift Miner Magazine

Money Matters

The wisdom of pocket money

IF you are anything like me, trying to teach your kids good savings habits is a bit laughable. But just because we may not be the best at managing money doesn’t mean we can’t instil some good habits into our progeny. I have to admit that I am a bit lax: I might not have the cash on me one week, so they get double the amount the following week. My theory is that as long as you remember and

keep note, then the principle is the same. It can, however, bite you on the bum if you forget too often. One time I owed my kids about $60 each. Ouch! There is a bit of debate as to how much to pay your kids, but the majority seem to go with the one dollar per year. So my eightyear-old gets $8 and my 11-yearold gets $11. They have to bank two thirds of that, so they fill out

their bank books on a Monday morning and send it off to school banking. This is absolutely great as they see their balance grow. I have found a downside to this: my eight-year-old is now so intent on saving that he has become a bit of a miser. He doesn’t want to part with a cent, not even for presents, so we are working hard on the concept of generosity, gift giving and sharing. And he nags and nags at me to buy his treats - to which I am putting my foot down. What the kids do with the other third of their money is up to them. This week, the eight-year-old blew his loot on the lolly machine at work. On Monday. So there is no money for treats until next pay day, which is something he is not too impressed with. But there is the lesson. The 11-year-old has been more cautious and spent half on lollies and I can see her eyeing up something from iTunes. Theoretically, the kids are meant to save some of that money for mid-term goals and buying gifts, but I will get on to that next week. Another debate is whether you pay your kids to do things around

the house, or is pocket money a given and they are expected to contribute through chores? My feeling is that it’s what works for you. My kids do more over the school holidays, but during term they do the minimum: make beds, set and clear the table, wash and dry up on weekend, feed pets etc. If they do bigger things, like mow the lawn or wash the car, they will get extra. I know of some families where their kids are vacuuming and cleaning, doing all the washing up and even ironing. One day, I am sure I can get my kids to do the same! I am probably the last person to give advice on good money habits, so it may be a better idea to head to my favourite website www. for good tips on teaching kids to budget by:

• Giving them a combination of notes and coins in their pocket money. This teaches them how to handle different sums of money, and they can immediately put a few coins or notes aside for saving. • Showing them how to read household bills and bank statements.

• Sending your older kids to the grocery shop with a shopping list and a fixed sum of money. Tell them that they need to buy everything on the list, and can save any money left over. They will need to consider branded products, bulk buying and even where to shop. • Letting them pay for small expenses and asking them to check they get the right change at the checkout. • Giving them a fixed amount of spending money for family holidays. Show them how much they can afford to spend each day to avoid running out of money before the holiday ends.

A final word of encouragement from is that it is never too early to teach your kids about money. Talk to them about the difference between the things they need and the things they want, and these fundamental financial and life skills will serve them through to adulthood. It can be just a little bit more difficult if you have a partner who believes that a new 60 inch full HD 3D plasma smart TV is a need!

18th February 2013


Shift Miner Magazine

Money Matters

Surat catches up to Bowen Basin

THE proportion of people earning high incomes in the Darling Downs-Surat Basin region has doubled since 2006, and unemployment is lower than in non-mining regional areas, according to a new study. The study, prepared by KPMG for the Minerals Council of Australia and the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association, also shows that educational attainment in the Downs and Surat Basin is higher than the average for regional Australia. The findings put paid to claims that mining is hollowing out the regions in which it operates, according to Michael Roche, chief executive of the Queensland Resources Council. “The mining and gas sectors in the


18th February 2013

Surat are boosting incomes, attracting families and reducing unemployment,” said Mr Roche. In the Surat, 4 per cent of residents earn more than $2000 a week, up from 2 per cent in 2006. And, unemployment is at 4 per cent, compared with an average of 5.4 per cent across regional Australia. Meanwhile, the Surat gets top marks in the education stakes with 43 per cent of people completing Year 12, compared with 37 per cent for the regional Australia average. The study also shows that 31 per cent of households are made up of “mum, dad and the kids”, which compares favourably with the regional Australia average of 34 per cent. Findings were similar in the Bowen Basin: higher incomes, lower unemployment and

higher educational attainment. Compiling for the first time the key standard-of-living measures and demographic profiles of Australia’s nine main mining regions, the study shows that mining has driven a three-fold increase in high-income earners. In 2006, 5 per cent of the resident population in mining regions earned $2000 a week or more, but by 2011, this had increased to 13 per cent of the population compared with 5 per cent across regional Australia generally. In the Bowen Basin 21 per cent of residents earn more than $2000 a week, up from 12 per cent in 2006 and compares with a state average of 5 per cent. And, unemployment in the Bowen Basin was just 2.5 per cent, compared with an average of 5.4 per cent across regional Australia. Mining regions also score top marks when it comes to Year 12 completions – 41 per cent compared with the regional Australian average of 37 percent. In the Bowen Basin the proportion is 44 percent. KPMG also found that in the five years to 2011, the population of Australia’s mining regions had grown at 1.5 per cent per year. This was greater than the 0.8 per cent for regional Australia more generally. Mr Roche said the Surat Basin’s population growth for the period was 0.6 per cent, and, based on the average for

other mining regions is likely to increase as the gas industry continues to ramp up operations in the Surat. “It’s argued that resource companies don’t pay their way in local communities for the services that they use. A quick look at rates income for local councils puts paid to that,” he said. “For example, the Maranoa Regional Council estimated the resources sector would pay 20 per cent of all rates levied for 2012-13, increasing from $1.7 million to $3.2 million in 12 months while in the Western Downs rate revenue from mining and gas operations was budgeted to grow by 50 per cent. “When you consider the direct and indirect economic contribution of mining to Queensland’s regions, it’s clear that the resources sector plays an important role in these communities.” Mr Roche said while the sector will always play its part to ensure the livability of regional centres, government must also continue to ensure that the supply of infrastructure and services traditionally in their realm keeps pace with demand to attract and retain people in regional areas. Other mining regions examined were the Pilbara, Central-West (WA), Bowen Basin, Galilee Basin, North West Queensland, the Hunter Valley, KalgoorlieBoulder, Central SA.

Shift Miner Magazine

Money Matters

Sunny Coast: a glimmer on the horizon?

COULD it be that Sunshine Coast real estate has finally hit rock bottom? That’s the question the team at Herron Todd White pondered for January. “Confidence is a beautiful thing. Confidence is the biggest asset a market

can have. It allows you to back yourself to, make a decision and then commit to it. The Australian cricket team would love some confidence,” the cheeksters write. But while the cricket team may not be smiling, the Sunshine Coast may have a subtle

quirk of the lips - depending on which part of the real estate market you are looking at. If it’s the high density, low-rise and high-rise units you’re after, we’ll just cut to the chase now. Herron Todd White say this market will continue to be impacted by the fallout from almost a decade of overdevelopment and the fallout from the GFC. Now on to the better news. The Herron Todd White team say it’s the improvement in confidence, felt throughout last year, that has helped the Sunny Coast property market hit the bottom and in some cases start to turn the corner. The confidence has been boosted by the building of the $2.03 billion University Hospital at Kawana, with the first stage private hospital due to be completed in 2013. Thanks to this boost, housing under the half a million mark is finally moving. “It appears the bell has rung here with values stabilising with some, albeit minor, price pressure,” Herron Todd White reports. “This market is expected to continue to turnover quite well as long as there is stock available - some agents have reported that stock levels are becoming quite low.” The unit market, however, is a completely different story. “This market is tough in all price ranges with values easing, even in the entry level.” This is particularly the case for resort

style units as they are mainly limited to short stay accommodation. Herron Todd White anticipates that this market will continue to remain tough throughout 2013. “Hopefully we will see supply level drop as some stock is taken up, but don’t expect any records in this market.” The land markets have also improved, however this is only at a particular price point as developers have dropped the lot sizes and the subsequent land price, this helped owners to build a new dwelling under $450,000. The prestige markets have experienced a significant increase in activity in 2012, however this has mainly been on the back of vendors meeting the market. Hence values have remained subdued. “The market for high density, low-rise and high-rise units will continue to be moderately to severely impacted by the fallout from almost a decade of overdevelopment and the fallout from the GfC.” In contrast to higher density unit projects, lower density duplex and townhouse developments were not as heavily oversupplied during the construction boom of the early 2000s and the outlook for these unit classes is more moderate and in keeping with the housing market. “As in last year, 2013 will be paradise with plenty of opportunities for the astute, bargain hunting buyer.”

18th February 2013


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