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

Monday 6th December 101st Edition 2010

M A G A Z I N E

Locally Owned and Operated - www.shiftminer.com

BROTHERS IN ARMS Queenslanders at the coal face of NZ mine recovery

SIXTEEN Queensland coal miners are working around the clock at New Zealand’s Pike River mine to help local authorities retrieve the bodies of 29 miners who died in last month’s explosion. The Queensland Mines Rescue Service (QMRS) workers, who have all been granted time off from their day jobs here in Bowen Basin mines, were flown over to Greymouth by the New Zealand airforce. They took with them an extremely rare and expensive 2.5 tonne piece of specialist equipment called a GAG unit, which uses water vapor and gasses to choke underground mine fires of oxygen. “If we can get the mine inert then we can put out the fires,� said QMRS state manager Wayne Hartley “Then we can cool the mine and send in the rescue crews.� “Every coal company in Queensland has contributed to this operation in some way, by releasing their staff, providing equipment and the GAG unit is actually owned by the coal industry in Queensland.� Mr Hartley represented his crew at the memorial service for the 29 miners killed in the blast, which was held last Thursday. “It was carried out with the dignity it deserved and reinforced the quietness we all carry for the losses that have taken place, and allowed the families to see the support they have from all across the world.� continued page 7

What in the world is gagal behaviour?

News When is the boom coming? Âť page 4 News Push on for a new mining visa Âť page 5 News Rain puts CQ builders out of work Âť page 6

Around Town Tiny dancers Âť page 14

   FIND OUT PAGE 9

PERSONAL INJURY EXPERTS Darren Sekac* Stuart Naylor Gene Paterson *Personal Injuries Law Accredited Specialist (Mackay)

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W E ’ R E O N TO P OF WHAT’S UNDERNEATH. COME AND SEE FOR YOURSELF. CO

Opportunities of a lifetime Eagle Downs Coal invites you to assist in the establishment of an outstanding and sustainable mine with the potential to produce up to eight million tonnes of coking coal annually. Located in Queensland’s thriving Bowen Basin 20km from Moranbah, the project is in the final stages of its business case for commencement of construction during 2011. Right now, we are seeking experienced mining professionals, initially based in Brisbane, to join our operations and construction management teams. Don’t miss this opportunity to advance your career!

OPERATIONS

CONSTRUCTION

Construction Manager/SSE

Technical Services Manager Brisbane based As a key member of our management team, you will provide expert input into and guide the completion of all technical studies leading up to and during the mine’s construction. This includes managing the activities of the mine planning, geology, survey, gas drainage, ventilation and geotechnical departments and staff. Later, when coal production commences, you will ensure that operational targets and requirements are met.

Mining Engineer/Senior Mining Engineer Brisbane based

Reporting to the Technical Services Manager, you will coordinate selected technical studies relating to underground mine design and surface infrastructure. Later, when coal production commences, you will assist in ensuring operational targets and requirements are met.

Geologist Brisbane based

Your responsibilities will evolve around the implementation and maintenance of our geological and geotechnical databases. This includes the collection, analysis, correlation, interpretation and presentation of geological, geophysical and other technical data to the Senior Geologist and management team for use in current and future development, investment and operational plans.

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As a critical member of the construction leadership team, you will establish and then maintain all systems, processes, capacity and culture on site to ensure that the construction, pre-operational testing and commissioning phases of the project, and all related site activities, to meet the project goals.

SHEC Superintendent Working with key stakeholders, you will focus on the development of the construction SHMS and coordinate SHEC audits, ensuring compliance at all times during construction and leading into operations.

Project Superintendent (Mine Access – Drifts And Shafts) This key role will see you take responsibility for the contract management of the mine access contracts for the mine entry drifts and ventilation shafts. We will soon fill a number of other key roles and we invite you to express interest in these now: •

Project Controls Superintendent

Project Superintendent (Surface Facilities)

Project Superintendent (CHPP)

OPPORTUNITIES WITH REAL VALUE Join Eagle Downs Coal and you’ll be joining an employer with solid corporate values that include Integrity, Safety, Excellence, Adaptability, Accountability and Teamwork. In fact, through our mission statement we commit to …create value for our customers, community and stakeholders through the safe and efficient delivery of the highest quality coal. We also commit to creating value for our employees. You will personally benefit from working for an employer who values and respects your skills, contributions and provides you with opportunities to advance your career.

Apply now by forwarding your resume to hr@bowencentralcoal.com.au or GPO Box 1026, Brisbane Qld 4001 For more information please contact Peter Allonby on 07 3020 4201.

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CONTENTS 101st EDITION. 2010

20

21 SHOELESS TRAVELS

HOLIDAY RELIEF MINER’S TRADER

18

23 XMAS DELIGHTS

FROM THE EDITOR

THE Pike River mine explosion that killed 29 men is a tragedy of immeasurable proportions. First and foremost, it’s impact on the family and friends of those who died is horrific. It has stunned the industrial mining town of Greymouth, a place with a reputation for being tough-as-nails and where local councillors also work as miners. New Zealanders at large are mourning the loss, and nowhere has their grief been felt more deeply than here in the heart of Queensland’s mining belt. Bowen Basin communities are so tightly bound up in this tragedy because two of their own have lost their lives at Pike River mine. Twenty-five-year-old Josh Ofer had lived in Middlemount for three years, and his mother still resides there; he leaves behind a heavily pregnant partner.

William Joynson, known as Willy to his mates, worked at Moranbah mine for ten years. Now 16 Bowen Basin miners are working frantically to prepare the mine so it is safe enough for the bodies to be recovered. This tragedy will undoubtedly be the catalyst for changes to underground coal mining in New Zealand - some say it could even shut it down. It has shocked the world, and reminded those who work in the industry - or love someone who does - that it is dangerous and we must be ever vigilant. QMRS manager Wayne Hartley summed up the feeling among Queensland’s mining fraternity when he said the memorial service in New Zealand last week “reinforced the quietness we all carry for the losses that have taken place”. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of the Pike River miners.

Alex Graham

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Qld under-utilised

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SHIFT MINER The

Locally Owned and Operated

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With Christmas just around the to 180°C. audited by the CAB corner it’s a good time to start Preheat oven *When thinking of what to cook up for 3URFHVVELVFXLWVWR¿QHFUXPEVLQ the much anticipated festive feast. a food processor. Add butter and combine.by Press evenly Tradition dishes such as roast audited *When the CABinto the base turkey, baked leg ham, fresh prawns of a 20cm spring form cake tin and and of course plum pudding are chill in the fridge for 30 min. Place cheese, thickened cream, always on the agenda. eggs, 100g caster sugar and 1 Dessert is a good place to start if teaspoon of vanilla bean paste in a you feel like expanding the choices. food processor, blend until smooth. This summer inspired Christmas 6SUHDG¿OOLQJRYHUELVFXLWEDVH Cheesecake is great on a hot %DNHIRUPLQRUXQWLO¿OOLQJKDV www.shiftminer.com M A G A Z I N E Remove from oven and set summer’s dayMand www.shiftminer.com www.shiftminer.com M AE Gset. I N E cake AMfantastic GA AG ZAifI Zyou N I N aside EA Z www.shiftminer.com to cool for 15 min. love something sweet and indulgent Combine sour cream, yoghurt, 50g to top off your already full belly! caster sugar and remaining vanilla Bowen Basin’s premier magazine Phone: (07) 4921 Proudly Audited by Proudly Audited by Spread paste. over cake. Return INGREDIENTS: to oven for a further 10 min. Set Editor: Proudly Audited Proudly Audited by by aside to cool, then refrigerate for 200g packet digestive biscuits www.auditbureau.org.au at leastvisit 4 hours. Place 50g sugar, 85gM unsalted butter, melted A G A Z I NForEmore information cranberriesFor andmore port ininformation a saucepan visit www.auditbureau.org.au 500g cream cheese over low heat. Cover and cook for 5 100ml Thickened Cream For more information visitmin. www.auditbureau.org.au Remove lid and stir. Continue 3 eggs For more information visit www.auditbureau.org.au to cook until the cranberries give 200g caster sugar off their juice. Stir arrowroot into 1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste a dash of the juice, then add to pan 300g sour cream with berry mixture and continue 150g natural yogurt to cook until the mixture thickens. 300g frozen cranberries Remove from the heat and cool. 2 tbs port To serve, top cake with cranberry 1 tsp arrowroot sauce and garnish with the dusted 8 small rosemary sprigs dusted rosemary sprigs. with icing sugar, to garnish

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Page 3 - Shift Miner Magazine, 6th December 2010


News

101st EDITION. 2010

Boom not coming - it’s already here IF you have been wondering when the next mining boom was going to arrive - the answer is it is already here. The latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) indicated prices for Australian commodities have increased by almost 50 per cent in the past 12 months - mostly because of booming coal, gold and iron ore prices. The ABS index of commodity prices was up nearly one per cent for the month of November capping off a stellar recovery in prices for both coking and thermal coal, which crashed by nearly 50 per cent during the global recession. The rising prices have more than offset the effects of the high Australian dollar. Even when that is taken into account, prices for Australian commodities have still risen by about a third during the past 12 months.

In encouraging news for your job security, one of the world’s biggest investment banks Goldman Sachs is forecasting the coal prices will remain strong until at least 2014. Goldman’s said a shortage of supply meant the price of coal exported from central Queensland to Japan next year would rise by more than 6 per cent to about $240 per tonne, up from around $190 this year. The bank has also upgraded its forecast for the middle of next year, when it expects prices to be around $245 per tonne for premium coking coal. Those prices could be even higher if the anticipated big wet season disrupts exports over summer. Longer term, Goldman expects coal prices to remain around $230 to $240 a tonne, about 20 per cent higher than previous forecasts.

“Australian commodities have increased by nearly 50 per cent in the past 12 months - mostly because of booming coal, gold and iron ore prices.”

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Page 4 - Shift Miner Magazine, 6th December 2010

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News

101st EDITION. 2010

Industry urges mining visa changes

INDUSTRY leaders are pushing for the federal government to adopt a new visa specifically for mining - as one strategy to cope with the skills shortage. The National Resources Sector Employment Taskforce made the recommendation back in July, and the federal government is still considering the proposal. Energy Skills CEO Glenn Porter said the visa would help meet demands for specialist skills that Australia’s current labour market cannot meet.

“We’ve had industry wanting an easier system to bring people in, a more streamlined system and I think this (visa) could help definitely,” Mr Porter said. He said while training at home was industry’s first and preferred priority, new industries like CSG will require specialised skills faster than people can be trained to meet the demand. Mr Porter said those gaps will have to be filled with overseas workers. “The industry, to its credit, is training

Leighton’s $159M contract to run Dawson North LEIGHTON Contractors has won a $159 million contract with Anglo American to mine the Dawson North pit that was mothballed during the global financial crisis. Under the two-year contract, Leightons will mine the existing pit and a new greenfield operation at the mine, near Moura in the Bowen Basin. The fourth crew started on site last week, and there are now about 100 people working at the mine - 80 production and maintenance workers and 17 staff.

Project manager Heather Parry said more production and maintenance workers would be put on in January. “There will be another 20 starting in the new year,” she said. “We have already started stripping the top soil from the greenfield site, and have stripped about 20 per cent off the dump area as well.” While the contract was only signed off last week, a letter of intent meant Leightons had been able to start the

Queenslanders and Australians but to meet those needs there will be high level specialist skills that can’t be filled in that manner and will have to come in from offshore,” Mr Porter said. He said the new mining visa would link in with the 457 visa system that was currently in place. Mastermyne in Mackay is one business that trains Queenslanders for mining jobs, but also recruits from overseas using the 457 visa scheme. Managing director Tony Caruso said the strict criteria for 457 visas meant that some mining jobs are precluded, even if there was a shortage of workers in that area. He said the new visa would widen the window. “Anything that can be done to simplify the process is going to be of benefit and we think it’s a great idea and something the government should really push through,” he said.

“We’ve had industry wanting an easier system to bring people in, a more streamlined system and I think this (visa) could help definitely.” ball rolling in late September. “Our first production crew started three weeks ago, and with our D crew started up last week we now have four crews operating,” Ms Barry said. Twenty per cent of the workforce were internal transfers, and mainly people who wanted to live in the area for family or personal reasons. The rest were recruited externally, and one in five employed on the project were women. Like elsewhere in the region, the current weather pattern is beginning to cause production problems. “The rain is going to start to slow us down soon, we are trying to battle on but it is fairly grim,”Ms Parry said.

FAST NEWS Norwich shut down BMA’S Norwich Park mine, near Dysart, was shut down by mines inspectors last week over a safety breach. On Saturday 27 November, a dozer operator at the mine bogged his machine in a pit full of water. The Mines Inspectorate should have been notified immediately of the “high potential incident”, but only became aware of the incident through second hand channels the follwoing Monday. Operations were immediately suspended, but the mine was re-opened later on Monday night. An internal BMA investigation is underway into the incident, and the Inspectorate is continuing its investigations. ..................................................................

QRC’s new head honcho The peak body for the Queensland resources sector has a new president - and for the first time he will be based outside of Brisbane. Xstrata Copper’s Steve de Kruijiff was voted into the top job at the Queensland Resources Council’s (QRC) AGM recently. Mr de Kruijiff is based in Mount Isa and has been the vice president of the QRC since 2007. His mining career spans almost four decades, from exploring North West Queensland for base metals and gold as a prospector to various geological roles with Mount Isa Mines, including managing the development of the Hilton Mine Zinc Lead Project. ..................................................................

Funding for Bruce Queensland’s east coast federal LNP MPs have joined forces to push for a significant boost in funding for the Bruce Highway. MEMBER for Dawson George Christensen said the group would create a more powerful lobbying force within the Federal Parliament. “Everyone in this group understands that there needs to be greater action taken to fix the Bruce Highway,” Mr Christensen said. “By combining our voices within the Liberal National Coalition and within Federal Parliament, we will be able to put pressure on the government to take action.”

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or call our recruitment team on (07) 49317481 Page 5 - Shift Miner Magazine, 6th December 2010


News

101st EDITION. 2010

Bogged the builder - no we can’t! THE early and torrential start to the wet season is wreaking havoc on central Queensland’s building industry, with building projects across the region virtually at a standstill. Commercial and industrial builders have been hardest hit, according to Master Builder’s Mackay and Whitsunday regional manager Malcolm Hull. “We had an unseasonably wet winter period and there’s a lot of rain that’s come in late and it’s really affected the industry and it’s pulled them up quite a lot,” Mr Hull said. In Mackay, massive projects such as the Base Hospital redevelopment and the Canelands shopping centre expansion have been delayed by the wet. “The size of the projects has unfortunately not been able to give them immunity to the weather conditions,” Mr Hull said. While the rain is causing delays in most places, Mr Hull said Mackay was really suffering because of record rainfall over the past few months. “It is causing serious repercussions throughout the building and construction industry and associated trades and suppliers.”

“A lot of the builders can’t do anything and the industry suffers quite badly - there are guys out there who are earning nothing.” “The suppliers will be feeling the affect of the industry coming to a stop at the moment.” “People supplying white goods and your timber suppliers - it would be affecting everybody and is in turn affecting the community.” Mr Hull said after the economic downturn, the last thing the region needed was a downfall. “Mackay and district was actually doing okay, it had slowed but there was a steady flow of construction happening and this rain is doing enormous damage to the industry.” And the outlook isn’t looking any brighter. “The long weather forecast doesn’t have a lot of good news in it because we haven’t reached our traditional wet weather period,” Mr Hull said. In the meantime he hopes customers and home owners can be a little patient. “Let’s just hope we can get the industry up and running again as soon as possible and a little bit of sunshine will go a long way in getting that to happen.”

WET DELAYS: Rain is holding up builders throughout central Queensland

“It is causing serious repercussions throughout the building and construction industry and associated trades and suppliers.”

CQ engineering outlook improves QUEENSLAND’S steel fabrication sector remains under utilised at the moment, despite a coal seam gas driven rebound in Gladstone. The Industry Capability Network’s (ICN) quarterly survey of fabrication and precision engineering companies has revealed that about a third of businesses have the capacity to increase their workload by a third. However, there is some variation across the state. In the Fitzroy region, which includes Rockhampton and Gladstone, fabrication and engineering businesses are running at about 80 per cent capacity, while in Mackay they are running at 60 per cent capacity. ICN general manager, Peter Robinson, said the overall state utilisation rate is still 15 per cent below its highest point in

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September 2008. “Of particular note is the continued increase of plant utilisation in the Fitzroy Division where it has increased by 10 per cent, peaking at 79 per cent.” “In the 12 months since September 2009, the state-wide plant utilisation figure has improved by 5 per cent.” However, Mr Robinson urged caution when interpreting the figures. “The summary Mackay Division figure of 59 per cent should be viewed with caution as some companies are reporting that they are at maximum capacity and are only limited by the availability of skilled labour.” “Whilst others are reporting 50 per cent or below utilisation rates.”  The ICN surveyed more than 100 fabrication businesses across the state to compile the figures.

“We’ve had some interest from some larger contractors both interstate and locally in the Queensland region that are involved with the mining industry.”


News

101st EDITION. 2010

FROM PAGE 1

Queenslanders work 24/7 on Pike River recovery “I represented my team who chose to keep on working rather than attend the memorial service, they thought it was most important to keep on at their job so we can keep this recovery effort going as quickly as possible.” While Queensland miners operate the GAG unit, Queensland safety specialists from SIMTARS continue to monitor gas levels at the mine. It could still be months before the site is deemed safe enough for crews to be allowed in to recover the bodies. “We want this done as soon as we practically can, but nature has a way of dictating the terms,” said Mr Hartley. So far nature has done everything in its power to complicate the recovery efforts. The second and third explosions at the site reinforced initial reservations not to send rescue workers into the mine, and for many days the gas levels were too dangerous to allow any recovery work to begin. Gas analysis has now identified there is an obstruction - possibly a rock fall or roof cave in - in the shaft of the mine that could slow down the work of the GAG unit. “It’s also a very difficult environment to

work in,” said Mr Hartley. “It is right in a really mountainous region, and I am talking 60 degree slopes, we can’t see the shaft or the prep plant of the coal haulage area.” “We have a tight area to work in and we have six tonnes of equipment including fuel tankers and jet engines.” What went wrong at Pike River mine will be the subject of a Royal Commission of Inquiry in New Zealand. Questions have already been raised about the mine’s gas monitoring system and why the build up of gas was not detected earlier. In Queensland, tube bundle systems are used to regularly test air samples and an alarm is triggered when problems are detected. Pike River Coal chairman, John Dow, has told media in New Zealand that while the mine did not have a tube bundle system, it had something similar. It also had methane monitors that should have automatically shut down the mine when dangerous levels were detected - but those alarms were not triggered. “‘I can’t speculate on that, we’ve been

telling everyone for a week now we don’t know what happened,” Mr Dow said. Mr Hartley said the tragedy will have wide-reaching repercussions. “This will certainly change things here in New Zealand, and by virtue of the fact we are so close, in Australia as well.” He urged Queensland miners to be ever vigilant. “We all know that an event like this happens when all the holes of the Swiss cheese line up and we have to forever be careful to make sure they don’t line up.” “We should never become complacent, and this is just an awful way of being reminded.” Back at home, there have been two gasrelated incidents at Bowen Basin mines in the past fortnight. There was a small gas fire at Grasstree

mine near Middlemount, and gas was also detected at Carborough mine at Moranbah. In both instances detection systems helped avert any major problems, but CFMEU health and safety representative Chris Gilbert said neither incidents should have happened. “Both of these are very serious, and have been treated serious and it’s extremely lucky that the consequences weren’t worse,” he said. “It definitely should not have happened, ignition of methane in an underground coal mine is something you definitely do not want to happen under any circumstances.” “You just need to look at what is happening at the moment in New Zealand to see how serious it can be.” The gas incidents are the first of their kind in Queensland in more than three years.

“We all know that an event like this happens when all the holes of the Swiss cheese line up and we have to forever be careful to make sure they don’t line up.”

Page 7 - Shift Miner Magazine, 6th December 2010


News

101st EDITION. 2010

Wet weather warning for miners THE wet season only officially began last week, and already mines have been washed out and coal loading delayed by torrential rain. The Mines Inspectorate has released a safety bulletin to ensure mines and their workforce know the rules when it comes to wet work. The Inspectorate said mines must be able to monitor, identify and evaluate, in a timely manner, the onset of any severe weather that could adversely impact the site and cause an unacceptable level of risk. When such an event is likely, systems must be in place for safe evacuations of workers to designated safe havens. Before the onset of severe weather, mine sites should: • Clean-up and remove loose ‘flying object’ debris • Prepare park-up areas for mining equipment above the ‘high-water mark’ • Prepare shutdown and tie-down procedures for conveyor belts, crib huts, temporary structures and other plant and equipment exposed to the weather • Inspect and clean out nominated storm shelters

• Clean out sumps and environmental traps (oil, grease, fuel) to eliminate or minimise ground

contamination should the trap / sump overflow • Check the integrity of mine communication and power systems • Check back up power systems for availability in case of mains blackout • List post-storm clean-up equipment e.g. front-end loaders, bobcats, lighting plants, pumps etc • Park-up of post-storm clean-up equipment in a safe location • Check on-site emergency response equipment including medical facilities and vehicles • Check containment dams, levies and weirs to avoid accidental breaches • Check for areas of potential ponding, particularly on top of waste dumps, to avoid subsequent slope stability issues During the mopping up after a severe storm or flood, the following hazards should be addressed: • Increased likelihood of some form of pit wall instability due to ingress of water and lubrication of joint/fault planes, and undercutting as surrounding areas are soaked

and ground water tables are recharged, possibly at some distance from the operation

• Ramp and road (in)stability: In rebuilding mine roads and other infrastructure, mobile equipment hazards, including damaged bunds, undercutting, washouts, loss of traction and soft edges, must be effectively addressed. These issues also extend to pedestrian traffic • Stability of waste dumps, stockpiling areas, sedimentation ponds and dams must be established prior to reopening and use • Re-establishing water management infrastructure, pumping and working near the water’s edge • Personnel and equipment hazards when using mobile equipment in and around water must be identified and effectively addressed. This work might include setting up pumping stations, ‘righting’ of pumps, reinstating drains, sumps, suction and discharge lines, pontoons, restoring fuel and electrical supplies etc. Potential drowning hazards must be managed, and hazards in handling mud must be considered

those approved by the original equipment manufacturer; so called ‘vehicle tie down points’ must not be used as they can fail

• Hazards due to water ingress into mobile equipment, including into braking, electrical systems, and vehicle batteries, must be addressed • Electrical work to reinstate infrastructure and systems must address hazards including water ingress into switchgear, degradation of materials, mechanical damage due to submersion, residue on contacts, damage or destruction of drawings and plans, and possible damage to fire and other alarms EXTREME CARE: The Mines Inspectorate has issued wet weather advice for mine workers

• In towing or recovery of equipment and procedures, safe working loads of recovery equipment, including attachment points, must be reliably established prior to recovery. The only recovery points to be used are

More production, less life at Washpool Planting the seed for Yarwun kids AQUILA Resources has revised its plans for a proposed mine near Blackwater, and now wants to almost double its original annual production. Aquila estimates there is a 100 million tonne coking coal deposit at the Washpool project site, and is currently looking at the best way to mine the area. Under the revised plan, a new annual production target of 2.6 million tonnes has been set, which would reduce the life of the mine by 10 years to 15 years. Aquila Resources executive chairman, Tony Poli, said the change would also increase the value of the total project.

“A detailed review of the production and cost options for the project, has indicated that increasing the annual production to 7 mtpa of ROM coal to produce 2.6 mtpa of hard coking coal product has significant benefits for the project valuation,” he said. “The proposed infrastructure will be expanded to match, and the board has accepted this recommendation.” Aquila still has to complete its environmental impact statement, and finalise its rail and port agreements with the expanded Wiggins Island Coal Export Terminal. Pending those approvals and agreements, the mine is expected to be in full swing by early 2013.

IN one central Queensland classroom the seed is being planted to generate some future environmental scientists. Yarwun State School students have adopted two of Rio Tinto Alcan Yarwun’s environmental scientist as their own and are getting green through a unique program. The students are helping to grow the tress that will feature at Yarwun’s refinery entrance and be used in rehabilitation around the Yarwun 2 site. Rio Tinto Alcan Yarwun environmental specialist Jonathon Dalton and environmental advisor Anja Steinberg have been working closely with students researching acacia trees.

The students are working to identify, research, heat treat and germinate different species of the hardy tree that is native to the region. The saplings will eventually be planted at Rio Tinto Alcan’s Yarwun sites. Principal Pauline Porch said the project would provide long lasting benefits to both the school, and the refinery. “The Yarwun State School is incredibly fortunate that Rio Tinto Alcan Yarwun has so willingly provided both Jonathon and Anja’s time to work with the children.” The principal said working side by side with real scientists is especially exciting for the students.

Rio Tino Alcan Yarwun environmental advisor Anja Steinberg helps year six and seven students

Page 8 - Shift Miner Magazine, 6th December 2010


News

101st EDITION. 2010

Tricks of the trade keep young ones learning GRADE four students in Gladstone are trialling a new trade program that’s expected to improve retention rates and lift numeracy and literacy levels. The GIVE [Get Into Vocational Education] program - is the brainchild of GAGAL general manager Kerry Whitaker. “I would die happy tomorrow knowing this program is really making a difference,” said Ms Whitaker. “Anecdotally we know that young people disengage and lose interest in school at a really young age and we know things like our ‘What’s my trade’ roadshow really connect with kids.” “This is an extension of that, and we are going to prove that kids being engaged leads to improved retention rates, and helps with numeracy and literacy as well.” The course has been running for five weeks at Gladstone’s Central State School and involves grade four students working in GAGAL’s workshop one day a week. So far classes have made planter boxes, a truck, a trinket box and are now working on a clock. The program is being funded through Rio Tinto in partnership with the Queens-

SMOOTH OPERATORS: Grade four students show off what they’ve made during the GAGAL program

land University of Technology (QUT) - and university researchers are putting together a report on its impact on students. Ms Whitaker said the changes in students was enormous - and had been noted by staff and parents. “They are calling it GAGAL

behaviour,” she said. “We expect these kids to be quiet, follow instructions and be courteous - and they have to abide by that in the workshop or they can’t participate in the program.” “That behaviour is already being mirrored at home and in the classroom.”

Ms Whitaker said the point of the program was to keep kids at school, and learning. “These kids are learning maths concepts that grade 10s would struggle with, but they can understand it because they are applying it in the workshop.” “We had one little girl ask her teacher about congruent, divergent and parallel lines the other day - that is amazing that she even knows what they are.” Ms Whitaker said there was already widespread interest in the program, with schools in Rockhampton and Cairns keen to start up a similar course next year. “This isn’t about kids wanting to be tradespeople, it’s about keeping them in the classroom because then you have some hope of teaching them.”

“These kids are learning maths concepts that grade 10s would struggle with, but they can understand it because they are applying it in the workshop.”

Statewide FIFO protest on the cards STATEWIDE protests could become part of a movement to stop mining operations in the Bowen Basin becoming reliant on a flyin fl-out (FIFO) workforce. The Moranbah Action Group is spearheading the campaign against BMA’s application to have a 100 per cent FIFO workforce at its new Caval Ridge mine, just outside of the town. The community met for the fourth time last week, and discussed plans to take the campaign to the next level. The Group’s chair, Kelly Vea Vea, said it was time to take the issue to Canberra.

“Ultimately the decision lies with the state government and we have been very focussed on them but as of next year we will be needing to bring it to the attention of the federal government.” Ms Vea Vea said BMA was still preparing the paperwork to apply to the Co-ordinator General to allow the Caval Ridge mine to operate with 100 per cent FIFO workforce. “We are preparing for them to push it through over Christmas but the longer they take to submit their application the longer we have to get organised and gather more support in our campaign.”

Mining community advocate and former MP Jim Pearce has been involved in Moranbah’s battle against BMA’s FIFO plans and said the fight to keep families in mining towns will ramp up in the new year. Mr Pearce, a former Dysart miner, has experienced first-hand the atmosphere of the early mining communities.

He said they were dominated by families and not single men flying in and out and he’s confident that towns can find the right balance. “The communities are really getting moving, there are action groups already up and running in Moranbah, Blackwater, Moura and Collinsville,” he said.

“Ultimately the decision lies with the state government and we have been very focussed on them but as of next year we will be needing to bring it to the attention of the federal government.”

HARLEY NOW OR IN THE FUTURE? Bert’s been mining for 20 years. 19 years ago he sold his beloved Harley to start investing for the future. He took money to Steve Taylor and Partners in Emerald.

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Page 9 - Shift Miner Magazine, 6th December 2010


News

101st EDITION. 2010

Hail Creek Christmas spirit ONE Hail Creek mine operator is encouraging colleagues to dig deep into their own pockets this Christmas. For the past six years, Julie Clark has organised the fundraiser which sees employees donate to the St Vincent De Paul Society’s “Adopt-A-Family” Christmas Appeal. Ms Clark said she was inspired by her mum. “My mum, who is now retired, spent 39 years as a nurse for St Vincent De Paul’s home nursing service in Mackay,” she said. “She was always very passionate about helping the sick and poor, so I’ve always felt a strong connection to the charity and also a desire to help people.” “When we first started we managed to provide gifts and groceries for two families, and we’ve grown from there.” Last year, $6500 was donated to 13 families in the Mackay region thanks to mine workers, and Ms Clark said she was expecting an even bigger response this year. “Our C Crew production team is already donating the money they receive for their staff Christmas party to the cause – which equates to $2500.” “Some of the companies that Hail Creek mine does business with are also getting

involved this year including Wombat Engineering, which is donating two children’s push bikes; and Nixon Communications, which is donating $500.” “Other local businesses in the region are also showing their support including CQ Insurance Solutions, which is donating $150, and Silk Mechanical, which is donating $300.” St Vincent De Paul Mackay regional president Ray Egan said Christmas should be a happy occasion for families, but for many it can be a difficult time. “Our goal is to help men, women, and families break their cycle of poverty and disadvantage, which is why we are very grateful to Hail Creek mine and its employees for continuing to support this appeal year after year,” Mr Egan said. Hail Creek Mine general manager operations Andrew Woodley said although the appeal was an employee initiative, the mine itself would also donate $1000 towards the appeal. “I am very proud of the generosity our employees are showing to their community and we are pleased to pitch in also,” Mr Woodley said.

Xmas donation helps SES crews Hail Creek’s Liam Wilson with Nebo SES controller Alex McPhee

WITH a wet summer on the cards for central Queensland, an early Christmas donation to local State Emergency Service (SES) workers could be invaluable. Instead of sending Christmas cards in the post this year, Rio Tinto is donating $10,000 to be split between three Bowen Basin SES units. “We’ve chosen to donate to the SES this year due to the predicted wet summer, which we have already started to experience

Dysart’s 1.8 tonnes of dirty work Breakfast

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Page 10 - Shift Miner Magazine, 6th December 2010

Afternoons

Clermont SES group leader Keith James with Rio’s Clermont general manager Andrew Cole

in the region,” said Rio Tinto’s Clermont region general manager Andrew Cole. “Weather forecasters have predicted above average rainfall for much of eastern Australia over the next few months, so we are expecting an increased risk of flooding.” The donation will be split between the Clermont, Nebo and Emerald SES units which service the communities around Rio Tinto’s Blair Athol, Clermont, Hail Creek and Kestrel mines.

ISAAC Regional Council called on locals to help with its dirty work - and its call was answered. In November last year, the Clean Up Dysart program was launched. Since then more than 1.8 tonnes of rubbish have been collected by 250 sets of hands - mainly BMA employees along with Dysart school teachers and students. Now the streets of Dysart are so clean the town has won the litter prevention category at this year’s Tidy Town awards. Isaac regional mayor Cedric Marshall hosted a morning tea recently to thank those who helped with the campaign. “The Clean-Up Dysart program is a great example of community groups coming together and making a difference,” he said.

Tune into the Michael J. Breakfast show from 7:35 am every Monday for 4RO's CQ Mining Update, with special guest Angus from Shift Miner.

Alan Jones - Weekdays 1pm - 2pm

SALES ENQUIRIES: (07) 4920 2000


News

101st EDITION. 2010

Volunteers the Rocky the big loser missing link for in CQ mining belt tourism VOLUNTEERS could be the missing link in bringing together mining and tourism industries in the Bowen Basin. The Mining Trail is a dedicated tourism route promoting the towns and attractions between Clermont and Mackay. Mackay Tourism launched the Mining Trail initiative several months ago and are now searching for volunteers to help operate “mini information centres” in the smaller mining towns. “We want to bring mining and tourism together - instead of being either a mining town or a tourist destination you can be both,” said Mackay Tourism’s Jessica Hogan. Ms Hogan said there is more than just big trucks and big mines along the route and volunteers with local knowledge will be perfect to share the other hidden gems these communities have to offer. “There are no visitor information centres

inbetween Moranbah and Clermont so we are looking at having one in Nebo and Moranbah.” “It’s to encourage tourists out to places they may have never heard of before or think are predominately just mines.” The “mini information centres” will operate as demountable stands in local businesses along the route. The initiative was launched in July and detailed Mining Trail brochures can be found scattered across the route and have so far been popular. Mackay Tourism originally printed 10,000 of the brochures and are going to reprint another batch in the new year. Ms Hogan said people are picking up the brochures but it’s hard to tell just how many people are making the trek and said volunteers would help with collecting those statistics. Anyone interested in volunteering can contact Mackay Tourism on 4944 5803.

“We want to bring mining and tourism together -instead of being either a mining town or a tourist destination you can be both.” Top: BIG DRAWCARD: Volunteers are needed between Mackay and Clermont to help promote the trail

THE money spent by resource companies in Mackay is more than four times what is spent down the road in Rockhampton. Those statistics are contained in a new website set up by the Queensland Resources Council (QRC) that details where - and on what - every mining dollar is spent. “The beauty of the website is that if you want to know exactly what was spent in your local government area by resources companies in 2009-10, the total spend is there, along with an independent measure of subsequent economic activity generated in that community,” said the QRC’s Michael Roche. “All you need is a postcode or town name to get instant results.” “While a large share of the annual spend on goods and services and wages and salaries occurs in resource communities, it’s revealing to learn how far and wide the economic benefits spread.” The big winner in the central Queensland region was the Mackay district with more than $2.5 billion spent by the resources sector in 2009-10 on wages, goods and services and voluntary community contributions. In comparison, around $1.3 billion was spent in the Gladstone and Isaac regions, and $1.5 billion in the Central Highlands. In Rockhampton, the total spend from the resources sector stood at just below $600 million. Further south and a staggering $9.8 billion poured into the Brisbane local government area.

MISSING OUT: Rockhampton is seeing much less of the mining dollar than neighbouring Mackay and Gladstone

Overall, the new data showed the resources sector accounted for nearly a quarter of Queensland’s economy and 13 per cent of its employment. In Brisbane, the sector was responsible for employing 136,600 people - that’s 22.7 per cent of the city’s jobs. As for the future, while royalties are forecast to line Queensland’s coffers with an estimated $3.2 billion this financial year, that could rise to $6.1 billion by 2020-21. The website - queenslandeconomy.com. au - has been put together using information from the QRC’s member companies with the assistance of CQUniversity researchers and the Eidos Institute.

“The big winner in the central Queensland region was the Mackay district with more than $2.5 billion spent by the resources sector in 2009-10 on wages, goods and services and voluntary community contributions.”

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Above: WATERING HOLES: Nebo Pub is one of the historic sites along The Mining Trail

p 07 4927 3789 f 07 4927 3705 m 0408 625 532 Page 11 - Shift Miner Magazine, 6th December 2010


CQ BUSINESS 101st EDITION. 2010

Industrial alliance CQ transport hub set for new year scouts for backers DISCUSSIONS between two leading central Queensland industry groups could lead to a partnership that would aim to keep local jobs local. The Mackay Area Industry Network (MAIN) and the Gladstone Engineering Alliance (GEA) have been working collaboratively for several years. A decision to formalise that partnership will be made in the new year. GEA CEO Karen Porter said the partnership will have many benefits for the group’s members, in particular it will share the region’s opportunities. “It will be about sharing information between the two organisations and their members and sharing opportunities between the two regions via the organisations.” She said the partnership will allow businesses in both regions to have a better of

understanding of each other’s capabilities. “It’s extending the philosophies of both organisations,” Ms Porter said. “We (GEA) are here to raise the capabilities of the supply chain to major industry in the Gladstone region and the more we link with other areas and build partnerships the more opportunity there is to keep work here.” Ms Porter said once Gladstone’s gas projects are up and running there will be many linked opportunities for local businesses. “With the skills shortage there is potential for spill over here in Gladstone,” she said. Ms Porter said an industry partnership would allow those jobs and contracts to stay in the central Queensland area. “Instead of disappearing overseas or interstate that work and those opportunities can be shared within the local regions.”

“It will be about sharing information between the two organisations and their members and sharing opportunities between the two regions via the organisations.”

FINANCIAL backers are needed to kick start the next stage of central Queensland’s push to establish an inter-modal transport hub. Major stakeholders including transport companies, government departments and Queensland Rail have now met several times on the issue. All are united in their desire to see a transport hub established on the outskirts of Rockhampton that could cater for the region’s burgeoning mining and industrial sector. The group has now set up an association incorporation, in order to be able to receive financial support. It is estimated between $60-70,000 will be needed to complete a pre-feasibility study on the hub. “We have total faith that the pre-feasibility study will say it has to happen or else we wouldn’t be doing this,” said steering group chair Frank Munnich. “If we thought there was only a 50-50 chance why would we do it?” “We are absolutely committed to this project

and believe it can happen for this region.” Aside from garnering support from local businesses, the local and state government will also be asked to chip in. “We are currently arranging presentations for the council and state government representatives,” Mr Munnich said. For more information on the project you can contact Frank Munnich directly on femunnich@gmail.com

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Call 07 4957 5111 Page 12 - Shift Miner Magazine, 6th December 2010


CQ BUSINESS 101st EDITION. 2010

Emerald’s $4.5M industrial sale A purpose-built freight facility in Emerald’s latest industrial estate has sold for $4.5 million to a syndicate of regional Queensland buyers. The Centra Park industrial estate is being developed by Buildev, and the first stage was built specifically for freight company NQX Freight Systems to lease on a long-term contract. CD Realty’s Clinton Adams is the

FOR SALE: Stage two of the estate is now on the market

agent facilitating the sale, and said they had been marketing the 2000m2 facility for about four months. “We’ve got a syndicate of buyers that come from Roma, Yeppoon and other Queensland areas that have entered into an unconditional contract to purchase the site with the shed for just over $4.5million,” Mr Adams said. The estate is set to become the new industrial hub in Emerald, and stage two has already secured $2.3 million worth of contracts. “We’ve had some interest from some larger contractors both interstate and locally in the Queensland region that are involved with the mining industry,” Mr Adams said. Buildev’s Queensland development director, Craig Dowling, said NQX had a 10-year lease with options on the building. “The market response has been very positive for both the purchase of NQX and

NEW HOME: NQX moves into its purpose built facility in the Centra Park industrial estate

other lots in the estate,” Mr Dowling said. “The enquiry levels have been very high, and we’re working to keep pace with the demand,” he said.

NQX will take over its purpose-built facility early next month, and construction of stage two of the estate is expected to begin in the new year.

“We’ve had some interest from some larger contractors both interstate and locally in the Queensland region that are involved with the mining industry.”

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Delivered direct to your inbox every Wednesday To register go to www.shiftminer.com and follow the link Page 13 - Shift Miner Magazine, 6th December 2010


around town 101st EDITION. 2010

Twinkle toes

Blackwater Dance Academy held their annual concert recently

Georgie, Lily and Emily

Olivia Allen, Charlize Laherty, Emily Esser, Georgie Barry, Piper Murphy, Emily Connolly and Jorja Gostelow

Cassie Weir

Indiana Delaforce and Maddie Pitt

Alexia and Piper

Billie Boase, Jacqeline Pitt and Finn Collins

Charlize Laherty and Emily Connolly

Small people but big voices!

Dana Ireland and Shae Lackey performing

Scott Foley on violin, Courtney Brown on Cello and Nicole Whitkoff on guitar

Chloe Rogers and Jasmine Jenkins in the perscussion section

Music under the stars Blackwater High School held a “music under the stars” night recently with all three Blackwater schools performing.

Blackwater North School’s junior choir

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.

Page 14 - Shift Miner Magazine, 6th December 2010


around town 101st EDITION. 2010

The BEAT of YOUR DRUM

Peter Pather Drum School held its annual concert at Moranbah’s Town Square stage recently. Students of the drum school range in age from early primary to adult and each took to the stage to show off their drumming skills while performing a variety of classics and modern tunes.

Joshua Whitford-Papu

Kate Cochrane

Shay Davis

Lance Young

Keinan Smith

Izak Platzer

Sebastian, Hayden and Lance Young

Bailey Smith

MORANBAH MARKETS

Selling cakes for the Country Women’s Association were Tanya Kupfer and Belinda Hay

Janaya Maher, Kristy-Lee Roberts, Raelene Maher and Jye Maher

Montanna and Wyatt Schmidke with Jessica English

Stallholders Joanne and Tiahnni Gaukroger with their nappy-cake-art.

Selling cupcakes to raise money for the RSPCA Back: Kelly Watkins, Sandy Slatter-Raguse Front: Abbey Watkins

Ben and Cooper Watkins relaxing in the sunshine at the recent Moranbah Markets

BUY THIS AND MANY OTHER IMAGES AT

www.shiftminer.com Shift Miner magazine – bringing the mining community closer together Page 15 - Shift Miner Magazine, 6th December 2010


stuff to the editor 101st EDITION. 2010

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Toxic chemicals in gas wells in whatever proportion doesn’t sound safe to me. Especially since the industry is so new - how do we really know how safe it is? G.P, Theodore. People are still divided on FIFO and mining camps:

Mining towns can’t have it all. On one hand they want mining money to stay in local but on the other they don’t want any camps. They wouldn’t be around if it wasn’t for the mines and massive donations from the mining companies. Karen, Mackay.

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Shift Miner Magazine’s Most Eligible Bachelor and Bachelorette have been the talk of the Coalfields!

I was really hoping Podge would take out the bachelor comp!!! I hope he re-enters if he still has bach status when the comp runs again. Podge’s biggest fan, Moranbah. Can we see what luck the Bachelor comp winners had AFTER they go on their holiday? Airlie is the town of hook ups afterall! Julie, Rockhampton. AAAAAWWWWW POOR PODGE! Cameron, Rockhampton. Is the cupid on the front page entering next years bachelor comp? Wouldn’t mind taking me home some of that! After a trip to the beauty therapist of course. Jess, Gladstone.

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Page 16 - Shift Miner Magazine, 6th December 2010

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FAIR DINKUM 101st EDITION. 2010

Fair Dinkum!

IN TAIWAN: The Oscar-winning movie Avatar is a good watch by most people’s standards - but add a bit of 3D viewing and it’s a killer combination. It seems the sci-fi flick was a bit too much excitement for one Taiwanese man who has died of a stroke after watching the film. The Chinese Times reported the man had a history of high blood pressure and started to feel unwell during the screening. He was taken to hospital and died 11 days later. While it is the first death linked to the James Cameron film, blogging sites have reported complaints of headaches, dizziness, nausea and blurry eyesight from viewing Avatar and other 3D movies. IN AMERICA: You’ve got a thumping headache, there are empty stubbies all over the place and you want a greasy feed. You’re hungover but there is no one to help - or is there? Two University of Colorado graduates have created a business called “Hangover Helpers” - where they will swing by your pad with breakfast and energy drinks and clean up the mess from the night before. A local paper in Colorado reports one clever bloke started cleaning houses after parties a year ago and found a niche market - despite the bad economy. He joined forces with a friend to get the business up and running and charge $15 per roommate. Sadly, they don’t have plans to take the

business international - so in the meantime you will just have to suck up to your mates and rock, scissor, paper who goes and gets maccas.

Frank the Tank’s

“Streakin” good love advice

IN ENGLAND: A three-year old boy struck gold when he was playing with a metal detector for the first time - a $4 million gold locket. James Hyatt was enjoying a day out with his dad and grandad and had only started scanning the ground for a few minutes and hit the jackpot. The beep certainly wasn’t a false alarm and after digging 20 centimetres the trio found a rare gold locket that dates back to the 1500s. The locket is gold but the value was boosted after evaluators said it could have held parts of Christ’s crown of thorns or crucifix. The proceeds of the locket, which could be bought by the British Museum, will be split with the family and the owner of the field where it was found.

Dear Frank,

STILL IN THE UK: If you’re suffering a bit of post-traumatic stress (PTS), forget the shrink, pull out your old Tetris game. British scientists have claimed playing the video game could reduce the symptoms of PTS. Oxford University scientists say the block-dropping action can positively alter the way negative thoughts are created and could help prevent flashbacks to traumatic memories.

Dear Trevor, There’s no need to stop seeing a woman simply because she’s older than you. In fact, I’ve written a number of books on the subject of dating older women, most notably, Hip Dysplasia During Intercourse, and The Erotic 85 Year Old - both best sellers in the geriatric swingers community. You see, Trevor, unlike most people I discovered a long ago that there are literally hundreds of hidden advantages to dating a woman many years your senior. First and foremost, if your partner is significantly older than you there’s a good chance you’ll outlive them, if you’ve played your cards right as a lover, this should see you score a nice portion of

It seems the sci-fi flick Avatar was a bit too much excitement for one Taiwanese man who has died of a stroke after watching the film.

I recently met a new lady friend out on the town and we’ve been seeing each other off and on ever since. Through a mutual friend I discovered that she is 15 years older than I am, needless to say my friends are throwing around a lot of ‘cougar’ jokes and I’m feeling a bit embarrassed. Is it wrong to stop seeing a woman just because she’s older than I am? Trevor, Emerald

Time Management Sensible Management of Priorities

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Trevor, Frank appears to be under the impression that you are dating a senior citizen, as I’m sure this is not the case I encourage you strongly to ignore all of his advice. It’s not ‘wrong’ to break up with a woman because she’s older than you, but what I think you need to ask yourself is whether

dough in the will. As an interesting side note, that’s how I paid for my first yacht. Spending time with an older woman will also afford you some experiences usually only reserved for the distinguished older gent. I can say from personal experience that if you haven’t made love with the assistance of an orthopedic back pillow or a shower safety seat, you haven’t made love at all. However, maintaining a relationship with an older lady isn’t all fun and games. There are number of things that one must take into account to ensure success in the aforementioned areas. If you wish to stay in the good books of any older woman there are three golden rules you should follow. First, never speak ill of bingo. That game is the lifeblood of the older woman, any disparaging remarks will be regarded as slanderous filth, and you will most likely find yourself blacklisted at every bingo hall and early-bird dinner buffet in town (thus limiting your chances of meeting any other eligible older ladies). Second, never suggest any vacation that isn’t a cruise, and be prepared for the fact that on said cruise there will be staggering amounts of bingo played. The third and final golden rule is perhaps the most important of all. I strongly urge you to encourage your older lady friend to increase her consumption of products containing high amounts of calcium, this will help to fight the onset of osteoporosis. Otherwise, the business end of the deal might be not be a bed of roses. Regards, Frank

this woman is too old for you - or too old for your friends. It seems as though you enjoy spending time with her, but just don’t appreciate enduring the ‘cougar’ jokes. If you break up with her just because your friends are giving you a hard time, you might regret it in the long run, and what’s to say your friends won’t give you a hard time about the next girl you meet? I would encourage you to make a decision based how you feel, not what you think your friends might say. Susan

If you have a question for Frank and Susan Email Us at: franksusan.shiftminer@gmail.com

Page 17 - Shift Miner Magazine, 6th December 2010


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Page 18 - Shift Miner Magazine, 1st June 2010


.pdf 2010

5 minute fiction

Off shift 101st EDITION. 2010

by Bernard S. Jansen

You Miners Get Paid Too Much

1

2

3

4

5

9

6

7

“I’ve got to say,” said Mike, “I don’t think it’s fair, what you miners get paid.”

ACROSS

8

1. Climbs with difficulty

10

5. On train

11

9. Noblewoman

12

13

10. Large showy flower 12. Shoulder decoration

14

15

13. Stupid

16

14. Factual

18

17 19

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16. Barber’s trim

21 22

25

24

19. Stored secretly

23

21. Weather feature, El ...

26

24. Shopping mall

28

29

30

27. List of topics 28. Make legitimate

The joke was lost on Mike, but that made it funnier, really. “I don’t mean, like, they pay you more than your contract. I mean, what’s in your contract isn’t fair. You blokes get paid a ridiculous amount.”

29. Rectifies (text) 30. Sheerest

1 9

8

4

6

1

5

5 8 7 2 3 4

7

DOWN

9 4 2 1 3 2 9 6 2

1. Spider’s network

“If my pay packet isn’t unfair to me, then who is it unfair to?”

2. Aviator 3. Hackneyed

7. Pact

Mike focussed his attention on flipping steaks for a minute. He was frowning again. “It’s unfair to the rest of us not working in the mines; getting a normal wage.”

8. Local languages

“Where do you work now?” said Paul.

4. Award ribbon 6. Rio de Janeiro native

11. College 15. Nabbed in the act, caught ... (3-6) 17. Fellow crew member 18. Geisha’s nationality

5

8

6

20. Plunges

23. Least busy # 92

26. Conscious (of)

LAST EDITION’S SOLUTIONS P L A T ON I O W R L ME A T B A L P K I B OV E R T HR M S E H A RD S I P T OMC A T S I P T O F A I T H F F N E T E I GH T H N E I S E DUC E

C

I M E L EM S O EW R A I B E S E MA D E R A NC S R P L E A E T A S S E

P A# L 91E N N B A R K L I A YON S D T I A L S E E D J H I S E V T S A N T N E S S E D

6 2 9 1 3 8 4 7 5

4 8 5 9 2 7 1 6 3

7 1 3 5 4 6 9 2 8

2 6 7 3 8 1 5 4 9

5 3 1 2 9 4 7 8 6

8 9 4 7 6 5 2 3 1

“I’m a boilermaker at Harvey’s Engineering,” said Mike. He looked uncertain about this change in tack, but went along with it. “It’s a steel fabrication workshop. We do mostly custom jobs.” “You spend a lot of time driving to and from work; are your hours very long?”

21. Tidiest 22. Garb

MEDIUM

Mike turned away from the barbecue, and looked back at Paul. His forehead creased up as he frowned. “That’s not what I meant,” he said. “I think you get paid too much.” He picked up his tongs and started to turn over the sausages on the grill, showing black, charred undersides. “I check my payslip every month,” said Paul, keeping a straight face, “and I only ever get paid as much as what’s in my contract. I’ve never been over-paid.”

25. Pretended (4-5) 27

Great, thought Paul, another one of them. He’d only just met Mike, who was married to one of his wife’s new friends. Paul took a sip of his beer. “Don’t worry about us mate,” he said. “We’re all paid well above award rates.”

9 4 2 8 1 3 6 5 7

3 5 6 4 7 9 8 1 2

1 7 8 6 5 2 3 9 4

Mike spoke slowly as he replied. “It’s a bit under ten minutes from here. I do seven to three, Monday to Friday. I do overtime now and then.” “Do they treat you fairly: pay your wages, give you reasonable time off, treat you like a person?” Mike got defensive. “My boss is great. He pays better than most do around here. I’ve never had a problem working for ‘im. Never.” “Well Mike,” said Paul, using his hands as he spoke, “it sounds to me like you’ve got it made. Plenty of time to

spend with your family. A job you like, where they treat you fair. They pay you enough for you to live in a great house in a great suburb.” He paused, then added softly, “So how is it that my pay packet is making you worse off?” Mike was turning meat so fast now it was almost a blur. He kept his eyes on the barbecue, not looking at Paul. As soon as the sausages and steaks were all turned, he would mix up the onions on the plate for a bit, and then go back to flipping sausages. The flames of the barbecue flared with the fat that dripped down from the meat dropping back onto the grill. “Fair enough,” said Mike. “I like my life. I’m not complaining about my set-up here. I just think what you blokes working in the mines get paid is...” “Unfair,” Paul finished for him. He rolled his eyes; he was tired of this conversation now. “Okay. Do you want to get paid a hundred, maybe even a hundred and twenty thousand a year?” “Of course I do!” “Well, if you want the pay, you take the job. You’ve got no mining experience, so you’re better of trying to get a start with a contracting company – but you can apply anywhere you want. I know there’s a project near Nebo where the contractor is screaming out for blokes. No need to uproot the wife and kids: you can keep the house here in Brissy. You’ll fly into Mackay for the start of your tour, and get a bus out to site. With this mob you’ll be doing ten days on - twelve hour shifts. You then fly out to Brisbane for your five days off with the family, and then it all starts again. Fair deal?” “Are you nuts?” Mike turned away from the barby to face Paul again. “You want me to do boilermaking work for twelve hours in a single day, for ten days straight, sleeping in some donger camp in the desert, away from my wife and kids? You’d have to pay me a tad more than a hundred and twenty thousand bucks a year to do that.” “So it really isn’t fair what we miners get paid, is it?” said Paul. “That meat looks done, mate. Let’s see if the girls are ready to eat.”

Bernard S. Jansen is 31, married and has three young boys. He lives in Emerald, works as an engineer at a local coal mine and is active in his local church. Read more of Bernard’s writing online at surgebin.blogspot.com or email him at bernard.jansen@gmail.com

Page 19 - Shift Miner Magazine, 6th December 2010


OFF SHIFT 101st EDITION. 2010

School holiday boredom? Join the club... WONDERING how to while away the school holidays without resorting to dumping the kids in front of the telly for hours at a time? With all the rain that’s forecast for the region, you’re unlikely to be able to tell the kids to put their hats on and go and play in the yard all day either. Luckily for you, if you live in the Isaac region there is a solution. Isaac libraries are creating some holiday fun with the Summer Reading Club program. Over summer, all young readers, movers and makers should make their way to the closest library to take part in the club, that is run in partnership with the State Library of Queensland. This year the club draws on the animation station theme, exploring ways of bringing the written word to life through storytelling, performance, song, cartooning, and cookery amongst a host of other possibilities. Children will be able to participate in a range of exciting and interactive creative writing and arts activities and online games

which encourage the love of books and reading as well as literacy and computer skills. Participants can chat online to children’s author John Danalis, write their own whacky fairy tales like Jan Turner Jones, follow Fiona Bazley Hodges blog on making a Stopmotion video, write their own ending to a story started by Duncan Richardson, and choose their own adventure with Josie Montano. The program is free and designed especially for children between the age of one and 16 - as well as their family and friends. The program has been extremely successful in the past - in fact last year more than 6500 children and young people from 215 public libraries and Indigenous Knowledge Centres across Queensland took part. For more details you can check out the website www.summerreadingclub.slq.qld. gov.au and for more information about other events at your local Isaac library click on to www.isaac.qld.gov.au and go to the section marked libraries.

“Children will be able to participate in a range of exciting and interactive creative writing and arts activities and online games which encourage the love of books and reading as well as literacy and computer skills.�

IN THE CLUB: Happy readers Jackson, Matterson and Charlotte Szepanowski with their mum Tanya

A Great read for him & her





this Christmas at another story &/2()- &!,,/&')!.43"9+%.&/,,%44

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Page 20 - Shift Miner Magazine, 6th December 2010

and cakes Central Queensland has to offer. Shop 2B Denham Street Rockhampton Q4700 T: 07 4921 4322


Back in August, former Shift Miner staffer Lincoln “Linx” Bertoli decided to ditch the comforts of a steady pay packet and go and live the dream. Lucky bugger. For the rest of us stuck working to earn our keep in this cruel world, Linx will now taunt us with a regular column in “Off Shift”. If you can’t be there yourself, you might as well live vicariously through someone else... and just hope something unfortunate happens to him out there on the open road...

South Australia 101st EDITION. 2010

where shoes come to die!

AUSTRALIA – much like the United States I suppose – is a land of striking contrast. A land of alpine glaciers and scorching deserts, peaks and valleys, flood plains and air planes. And as I’ve discovered during these last couple of months on the road, it’s also a land where people enjoy being weird for the sheer sake of being weird. Enter South Australia. Soon after realising that we had indeed driven ourselves into one of the wettest

winters in the past 20 years – and with a little gentle persuasion from a friendly Hall’s Gap bus driver – we decided the next plausible route was via the scorching mallee desert to Renmark on the banks of the mighty Murray River. “Beautiful country,” he said. “Especially around this time of the year.” (If you cannot trust the advice from a bus driver on the street of a strange town, who can you trust?) With this infallible plan now snugly in place,

we set Henry the ute on a course for mallee country and the unknowns of South Australia. Harsh? Yes. Unique? Most definitely. But beautiful? Well I’m afraid mallee falls a little short in this particular criteria. It is flat and arid and pretty boring quite frankly. And – as I discovered a few hours into the drive - it seems I’m not the only one who feels this way. Over the years other would be wander-

ers have created a novel break in the boredom and a chance to pull over and stretch your legs by way of ‘Boot Hill’ – a final resting place for a few hundred pairs of shoes. Everything from blundstones, pluggers, runners and a few sneaky pairs of crocs can be found hanging from the straggly branches. I don’t know when, who or indeed why someone first decided to string the first pair of the sneakers up in the tree... but it does seem to be catching on. Roughly 20 metres up the road, someone is trying to take the novelty to the next level. And what is the next level you ask? Well it’s underpants... naturally! There aren’t nearly as many unmentionables as shoes, but it’s a nice break from the boredom that has been South Australia thus far. After a few snaps, including some of Marnie my girlfriend getting into the spirit in her undies ( these unfortunately didn’t make the final cut by way of countless castration threats ) we continued on our merry way into Renmark where one of the first people we stumbled across was a sweet old lady walking her cat! Strange but I suppose not unheard of. Stay tuned!

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Page 21 - Shift Miner Magazine, 6th December 2010


OFF SHIFT 101st EDITION. 2010

Bait

shop

FISHING IN GLADSTONE

FISHING IN YEPPOON

A lot of rain and not much fishing action is the same old story in the Port City. Ben from the Compleat Angler said the biggest news would be the crabs. “The crabs are starting to show up again finally and it will be another two weeks before the prawns start up.” When they start firing up, try Calliope Creek and the Narrows. They Boyne River is producing quite a few barra and it is the same at Calliope but keep in mind the restrictions. He said there have been reports of Jack up South Trees Creek. “No one’s really been going out the reef due to the weather but commercial fishers are getting plenty of trout.” He said summer whiting around Gladstone are on the go but are either there in droves or not at all. “They are very picky and choosy - you either get onto a massive school or you can’t find them at all.”

“Too wet, too windy - try golf.” That was the sage advice of Adrian from Yeppoon’s Secret Spot. Not your typical talk from a fisher/salesman but he said the wet weather has really slowed things down. However, he is hoping for a gap this week and a bit of sunshine. “That’s only my own personal thoughts and the bureau doesn’t agree with me but I hope the first three days of this week will be alright.” If his optimism is wasted and the weather continues to be wet there is a spot 6 kilometres south of Rocky along Port Curtis Road that isn’t hindered by rain. “The Woolwash Lagoon fishes well in rainy periods and they’ve been getting a few little barra and bits and bobs down there.” There’s been a few crabs around that the hardy fishermen braving the rain have been getting out Corio and Coorooman.

Tide Times

December

Banter

Adrian cut Gladstone fishing guru’s grass and also talked about Awoonga. He said it’s well worth the trip that direction because fishing conditions are improving. “It’s quite a romantic 25 degree mark at the dam and it’s warming up.” “The barra are feeding and people have been catching a few down there.” It’s closed season for barra but in specified stock impoundments - like Awoonga you can still take them home. Adrian said regardless of the closed barra season in the open areas people are keen to for a bit of catch and release action. “Catch and return is fast becoming quite popular.” “Everyone realises you just can’t keep taking everything if you want something to catch next time.” It’s fair to assume Callide Dam at Biloela would be fishing well as well for barra and if anyone fancies some bass, yellow belly or saratoga head to Cania Dam near Monto.

MACKAY Gladstone

Time Ht

Time Ht

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

angus.peacocke@shiftminer.com

With Mike Griffin

Time Ht Time Ht Time Ht

0258 0.58 0336 0.68 0412 0.84 0442 1.01 0509 1.20 0025 3.02 0110 2.94 0923 4.34 1004 4.25 1045 4.11 1123 3.93 1201 3.75 0543 1.39 0630 1.59 1551 0.68 1633 0.77 1714 0.91 1752 1.06 1830 1.21 1240 3.57 1325 3.40 2144 3.44 2226 3.35 2306 3.24 2345 3.12

1911 1.32 1959 1.40

0446 0.50 0525 0.67 0007 4.30 0048 4.12 0130 3.95 0216 3.81 0314 3.73 1104 5.92 1144 5.76 0602 0.91 0639 1.19 0716 1.50 0759 1.81 0853 2.11 1744 0.90 1825 1.06 1223 5.51 1301 5.22 1341 4.92 1425 4.63 1518 4.36 2325 4.48

1904 1.25 1945 1.45 2027 1.62 2116 1.74 2217 1.79

Mon 13 Tue 14 Wed 15 Thu 16 Fri 17 Sat 18 Sun 19 MACKAY Gladstone

IT comes as no surprise that it’s been raining in Mackay too. Aaron from Nashy’s Compleat Angler said the rain has slowed things down but he is hoping for a break in the weather. “As clouds will start to move most fish will be out the front of the creeks where there is cleaner water.” “In the estuaries you will have to try to find deeper holes.” He said the main reports coming in from people throwing in the crab pots. “There’s been plenty of decent legal bucks and in good numbers.” “The best reports I’ve been getting are from the northern creeks.” Kinchant Dam is fishing okay for barra and as it’s a specified stock impoundment what you catch is yours for the taking.

Your weather forecast

Mon 6 Tue 7 Wed 8 Thu 9 Fri 10 Sat 11 Sun 12 Time Ht Time Ht

FISHING IN MACKAY

Time Ht Time Ht Time Ht Time Ht Time Ht Time Ht Time Ht

Record low November temps with rain

0207 2.90 0316 2.95 0431 3.11 0532 3.35 0620 3.62 0029 0.99 0111 0.87

Week 1 - Most of the Coalfields experienced the coolest November on record. Maximum temperatures were 3-6 degrees below the long term average.

0740 1.77 0916 1.84 1036 1.76 1137 1.59 1229 1.40 0702 3.85 0743 4.05

Clermont was 27.9oC - 6.1oC below average - and the previous low was 29.2oC in 1933.

1418 3.24 1519 3.13 1626 3.09 1732 3.10 1830 3.16 1315 1.22 1400 1.05

Moranbah was 28.3oC - 5oC below average - and the previous low was 29.9oC in 2000.

2059 1.43 2200 1.38 2256 1.27 2345 1.13

Collinsville was 29oC - 2.8oC below average - and the previous low was 30.6oC in 2000.

1918 3.23 2002 3.29

0426 3.76 0542 3.95 0019 1.58 0106 1.38 0147 1.18 0227 1.00 0304 0.86 1009 2.31 1139 2.31 0644 4.26 0732 4.62 0813 4.96 0850 5.25 0927 5.49 1626 4.17 1737 4.10 1249 2.12 1344 1.86 1430 1.60 1512 1.39 1552 1.23 2322 1.73

1837 4.13 1928 4.20 2012 4.28 2052 4.34 2132 4.39

Page 22 - Shift Miner Magazine, 6th December 2010

This was supported with above normal cloudy skies and record rainfalls. The highest November rainfalls totals were recorded at: Somerby 250.6mm and the coast at Mackay 564.4mm, where the previous highest was 503mm in 2000. Some 7 days rainfalls (mm) from storms across the Coalfields to the 2nd Dec of note: Katrina Downs 152, Middlemount 138, Dysart 123, Blackdown Tablelands 104, Comet Weir 74, Springsure Ck. Jnc. 62, Gregory Hwy. 47, Theodore 46, Mt. Morgan 42, Moranbah 40,

Emerald AL 36, Taroom 28, Clermont 24. Just before print, more heavy rain and flash flooding was expected. Warmer conditions early in the week could cause a very isolated thundery shower in the afternoon mainly Tuesday and Wednesday. Cooler conditions return mid-week and a line of storms reaches the Central West around Saturday and the Coalfields by Sunday. Could be some heavy falls with more – you guessed it - flooding. Boaties! Conditions may be a little iffy with ESE winds 14-18 knots south of Mackay Thr-Fri! Watch out for late storms Sunday. Week 2 - The SOI at the end of November was +16. This is the 8th highest for a November on record. Long term models are suggesting temperatures could be closer to the long term average for the week before Christmas. Tropical Cyclone “Abele” formed in the Indian Ocean on the 2nd December. So all eyes must look to the northern Australian waters for another tropical disturbance. Could be a week of lighter coastal winds for marine lovers.


Your Health 101st EDITION. 2010

EXPERT ADVICE For those too busy or embarrassed to ask the important questions about their health Hi Tammy, Thanks for last weeks article about depression - I found it interesting. I recently spoke to a counsellor over the phone because of some of the things I have been feeling, which were similar to what you had outlined in your article. The counsellor also said anxiety can play a big part in my state of mind. Thought that should be something others need to know about. An interested reader. Thank you for your email and, yes, anxiety has become an increasingly important issue in today’s world. I was recently in Perth for a conference on men’s health, when the Under Treasurer for WA and Ambassador of BeyondBlue Tim Marney spoke about his role with the organisation. Tim spoke about his difficulties with depression and the impact it has had on his life. At the very end of his speech he confessed that he thought he was having an anxiety attack mid-speech but got through to the end. Anxiety can effect anyone, even the most successful of people. However, if you notice the sweating, shaking and rapid heartbeat thumping in your chest is starting to become increasingly common and for longer periods than you think is normal, then it might just be a problem. The trouble is, anxiety can be easy to ignore until it gets completely out of con-

trol, so a lot of people don’t seek the help they need. Unfortunately, anxiety disorders can continue to get worse, and may seriously affect the people around you. Anxiety can commonly occur with depression, or on its own. If you are aware of some triggers which may perpetuate anxiety such as the foods, drinks or substances you consume, it might be time to slow down on the consumption. Let’s look at the caffeine charged drinks we consume. Caffeine consumed in moderation gives you a great energy boost and helps to focus your concentration, but too much caffeine can cause clumsiness, irritability and – you guessed it – anxiety. So many people use these drinks as a substitute for water, drinking up to eight cans or cups a day. Is it any wonder Australia is getting more anxious every year? The symptoms of anxiety Someone with an anxiety disorder probably feels upset and stressed most of the time, and for no clear reason. The general symptoms of anxiety disorders include a rapid heartbeat, an acid or upset stomach, sweating, shakiness, muscle tension, difficulty breathing and even fainting in severe attacks. In the next issue we will look at the more specific symptoms related to anxiety and tips to managing anxiety. Remember stay healthy, stay informed!

Tammy Farrell is a registered nurse, nutritionist and author of ‘The Real Man’s Toolbox – A DIY Health Manual for Men’. Tammy grew up in the Hunter Valley with two brothers in the local coal mines. In 2007, she started to give health talks in the Hunter, and that’s when she began compiling the book, helping hundreds of men answer questions about their bodies.

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Christmas Cheesecake Serves 8 With Christmas just around the corner it’s a good time to start thinking of what to cook up for the much anticipated festive feast. Tradition dishes such as roast turkey, baked leg ham, fresh prawns and of course plum pudding are always on the agenda. Dessert is a good place to start if you feel like expanding the choices. This summer inspired Christmas Cheesecake is great on a hot summer’s day and fantastic if you love something sweet and indulgent to top off your already full belly! INGREDIENTS: 200g packet digestive biscuits 85g unsalted butter, melted 500g cream cheese 100ml Thickened Cream 3 eggs 200g caster sugar 1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste 300g sour cream 150g natural yogurt 300g frozen cranberries 2 tbs port 1 tsp arrowroot 8 small rosemary sprigs dusted with icing sugar, to garnish

METHOD: Preheat oven to 180°C. 3URFHVVELVFXLWVWR¿QHFUXPEVLQ a food processor. Add butter and combine. Press evenly into the base of a 20cm spring form cake tin and chill in the fridge for 30 min. Place cheese, thickened cream, eggs, 100g caster sugar and 1 teaspoon of vanilla bean paste in a food processor, blend until smooth. 6SUHDG¿OOLQJRYHUELVFXLWEDVH %DNHIRUPLQRUXQWLO¿OOLQJKDV set. Remove cake from oven and set aside to cool for 15 min. Combine sour cream, yoghurt, 50g caster sugar and remaining vanilla paste. Spread over cake. Return to oven for a further 10 min. Set aside to cool, then refrigerate for at least 4 hours. Place 50g sugar, cranberries and port in a saucepan over low heat. Cover and cook for 5 min. Remove lid and stir. Continue to cook until the cranberries give off their juice. Stir arrowroot into a dash of the juice, then add to pan with berry mixture and continue to cook until the mixture thickens. Remove from the heat and cool. To serve, top cake with cranberry sauce and garnish with the dusted rosemary sprigs.

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Page 23 - Shift Miner Magazine, 6th December 2010


MoTor Sports 101st EDITION. 2010

Queensland’s spectacular autoshow change

DRAG RACING? Shannons’ famous Goggomobil will show Autospectacular goers what it’s made of at the Willowbank Raceway next April

SHANNONS insurance has jumped on board and is now the naming sponsor of one of Queensland’s major car and boat shows. The name and venue has now changed of the highly successful ten-year-old Cleve-

land Autospectacular. It’s now Shannons Queensland Autospectacular and will be held during the Ipswich Festival at the Willowbank Raceway. It’s expected to draw more than 900

More cash in racing than golf Daryl Watson Engineering

show and display cars and 300 traders to the new venue on April 10. Along with the new name and venue will come a number of other new features, including the chance for show car entrants, traders and sponsors to race their cars on the Ipswich drag strip during the event. “Shannons is Australia’s leading insurer of motoring enthusiasts and Autospectacular is a perfect fit for us because it has huge potential in its new location,” said Shannons’ Queensland business development manager Phil Ross. “It was already a fantastic event when it was held at the Cleveland Show Grounds, but it was limited by space.” “Now that it has moved to a bigger and better location it could easily become the best ‘all-makes’ car and bike show in the state, where we will see the largest gathering of car club enthusiasts.” It’s not just a static show, the event also features a large swap meet, ‘Test and Tune’ quarter mile drag racing and a swag of traders. “Shannons has always had a long association with car club movement so we couldn’t pass up this opportunity to be the major sponsor. We also hope to see the event become a two-day event in 2012.” At the 2011 Autospectacular, Shannons will be running a ‘Get a quote’ competition,

with Hot Laps for two lucky winners with Jim Richards in his 320km/h Porsche GT2 to be taken at Lakeside Raceway on August 15 next year. The famous Shannons Goggomobil will also head down the Willowbank Drag Strip, with a prize at Autospectacular for the person who can guess its Elapsed Time. “We have no idea ourselves,” said Phil Ross. “We’ve never run it at Willowbank. The only clue we can give is that with a two cylinder engine producing just 15 horsepower and a top speed of 100km/h with a stiff tailwind, an hourglass might be more appropriate than a stopwatch!” Willowbank Raceway is Queensland’s premier drag racing facility and hosts four major drag racing events each year. Willowbank’s annual Queen’s Birthday event is the largest drag racing event outside of the USA and is the season finale for the ANDRA Pro Series calendar.

MARK Webber has raced to the top of the rich list of Australian sport earners. According to the BRW’s 2011 Rich List the 34-year-old may have missed out on the Formula 1 title but is doing pretty well financially. The racing star has for the first time knocked golfer Greg Norman from first place on the rich list published annually by the magazine. “Former No.1 Greg Norman has been removed from the list this year to reflect the continual slowdown in his playing commitments,” BRW said. “Norman still makes millions but almost all of his money comes from property development and other business deals,” it added.

Webber was fourth on last year’s list, but the estimated $13.4 million he earned this season means he overtakes the 2010 number two Andrew Bogut NBL basketball star. Bogut’s earnings are listed as $12.6m, ahead of motocross rider Chad Reed ($7.5m), MotoGP’s Casey Stoner ($6.8m), Premier League player Tim Cahill ($4.2m) and NASCAR driver Marcos Ambrose ($4.2m). In other Webber news the race star was in Hobart last week where he announced the 2011 resurrection of his Tasmanian outdoor adventure challenge, which was cancelled after he broke his leg in 2008. The moral of this story? Get your kids into motor racing not golf.

OUT WITH THE OLD: The name and location of the Cleveland Autospectacular has changed to Shannons Queensland Autospectacular.

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Page 24 - Shift Miner Magazine, 6th December 2010

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MONEY MATTERS 101st EDITION. 2010

Sales slow & prices steady in CQ THE effect of the global financial crisis continues to linger in central Queensland with both commercial and residential real estate sales and prices remaining stagnant throughout 2010. According to Herron Todd White’s (HTW) latest monthly review, median prices in Gladstone, Mackay and Rockhampton have not changed throughout 2010. However, in some cases the volume of sales has fallen dramatically. Worst hit was Rockhampton where the number of residential sales fell 52 per cent compared to the same period in 2009.  However, median sale prices have held steady since January at around $300,000.  The HTW report said the falling volume was due to rising interest rates and government policy changes. “With the end of the first home owners boost in December 2009, owner occupiers stopped being a dominant force, and low vacancy rates attracted investors back into the market,” the report said. “Four interest rate increases during the past nine months have also influenced the declining demand in the region.” The Capricorn Coast unit market has also had a hard year, with a number of developments struggling to sell.  Most of these units were generally in the upper price bracket, suggesting buyers were reluctant to spend more than $450,000. In   Mackay, despite dire predictions at the height of the GFC, HTW said while the residential property market had not “set the world on fire” is was definitely not in “dire straits”. “The market appears to have held its own on previous levels, even in the face of rising interest rates, the proposed mining tax, and general affordability issues,” the report said. “Some sectors have even surprised, including the rural lifestyle/residential market which appears to have gained

SLOW SELLING: In Mackay real estate is not in dire straits according to HTW

some momentum during the year.” “The top end (above $600,000) has also found some friends over the past six months with a number of sales occurring.” In Gladstone, HTW said the emerging coal seam gas (CSG) industry was pushing up rents and pushing down vacancy rates. For central Queensland shop owners and commercial investors, 2010 has been a very mixed year. Some forced sales have allowed investors to snap up high yielding assets, but slow retail is also affecting tenancy rates and rents. In Rockhampton, the volume of commercial sales has been very low with just 30 occurring in the last 12 months. Rental rates for commercial real estate in Rockhampton remain around $150 to $250 per square metre gross and yields are steady at between 8.5 per cent and 9 per cent. Call us today!

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This Successful Pool Table & Juke Box Vending business has reluctantly been placed on the market due to change of business direction. Large inventory of equipment, excellent cash net return & great potential to expand further. All this by working only 2 days per week. $375,000 WIWO Immaculately maintained 14 room motel, located on the busiest main road in & out of Bundaberg, within walking distance to CBD & Rail Station. Spacious 3 bedroom managers residense. Fantastic lease in place with 20yrs remaining offering great security for new owner. Excellent returns. $525,000 WIWO

This long established mixed business, convenience & takeaway store has been recently refurbished & is in excellent condition. Large equipment inventory including Point of Sale. Great location & high turnover make this business a must to inspect. $420,000 +SAV Freehold Motel at Bargara Beach with good income. CBD location. 2032m2 Zoned Recreational Business Precinct. 3 story height & underground parking available. High growth oceanfront area with fabulous climate. All reasonable offers Considered Asking Price $1.9M

However, HTW said that could change in January with a number of retail businesses intending to close their doors after the Christmas rush because of slack retail sales generally. One notable transaction for 2010 was Stockland’s recent acquisition of a 278 hectare residential development site in Parkhurst for $10 million. The site is likely to yield more than 1900 residential allotments and includes a retirement village, retail centre, a school, community facilities and a small mixed business precinct.  In Mackay, the big retail shopping centre

owners are all expanding. Caneland Central shopping centre will grow to 62,500m2, with the inclusion of a Myer store, an expanded IGA and a doubling of the current number of specialty stores to 240. Owners of the Northern Beaches Central shopping centre have begun building the second stage of their facility which will include a Woolworths supermarket, a McDonalds outlet, and 17 specialty stores. The Mount Pleasant shopping centre will also increase its floor space at the centre by 15,432m2. 

“Four interest rate increases during the past nine months have also influenced the declining demand in the region.” Is now the time to reconsider your loans? Interest rates are higher, but the outlook for mining is excellent. Taking 5 minutes now, could save you $1000’s in the future. Get the best from your bank.

Call Jeff on 1300 366768

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Page 25 - Shift Miner Magazine, 6th December 2010


MONEY MATTERS 101st EDITION. 2010

Rockhampton real estate lagging behind

MEDIAN house prices have slumped in Rockhampton, with the real estate market yet to see any flow-on benefits from Gladstone’s recent LNG announcements. The median house price fell by 1.6 per

cent to $315,00 in Rockhampton during the September quarter, according to figures released by the Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ). That’s in stark contrast to Gladstone,

where median prices jumped by 5.9 per cent to $392,000. REIQ Rockhampton spokesperson, Noel Livingston, said Rockhampton did not usually see dramatic highs and lows but the past 18 months had been tough. “The market in general is flat and has been for some time,” he said. Mr Livingston also warned it would take time before the LNG announcements had any impact in Rockhampton. “After the Gladstone announcements everyone thinks it will happen overnight and it won’t, it just takes time,” he said. “Prices haven’t moved much at all and if anything there is some decline and it’s all part of a cycle.” Despite the slump, Mr Livingston said there was reason for optimism as Stockland had purchased 1900 residential blocks in Parhurst that it planned to developed. “The investment that Stockland has recently made in the region will give confidence to your Mum and Dad investors,” Mr Livingston said. “Those two announcements about Gladstone and the Stockland development are the most positive things I’ve seen in

the market place for a long time.” On another positive note, he said people from rural areas are once again looking to invest in town after a good season. “They have been missing for some time and are now investing in the residential market,” he said. Mr Livingston said the data was collected during a period of six interest rate rises and a drawn out federal election. “It’s fairly black and white, we’ve got a tough market but we’ve got good reason for optimism.” According to the REIQ, buyers and sellers should remain confident as Queensland’s population continues to grow and the multibillion dollar resources industry is booming. “While no one is under any illusion that the Queensland economy has turned a corner just yet, the fundamentals of the state’s economy ensure that our part of the world is well-placed for growth in the years ahead,” REIQ managing director Dan Molloy said. Mining developments in the state’s south-east could have boosted Toowoomba’s real estate market, with median house prices increasing 1.4 per cent to $289,000 in the September quarter.

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Page 27 - Shift Miner Magazine, 1st June 2010


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