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Surat BasinNEWS THURSDAY 28 MARCH 2013

28 PAGES $1.10 inc GST

inside Doubt cast over Wandoan Coal Project Page 3 Riches back to the region Page 4 Rentals you can afford Page 14

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SBNEWS The Team David Richardson General Manager Laurell Ison Media Sales Manager Beth Walker Graphic Design Jillian Poulsen Editor The Surat Basin News will publish every month and will be delivered via the three dominant newspapers of the region: the Chinchilla News,Western Star and Dalby Herald. It will reach the homes and offices of almost 20,000 living, working and playing in the Surat Basin, connecting the business and mining communities throughout the booming region. Plans are to make the newspaper more frequent as the development increases. Surat Basin News is not a necessity. It was born out of a passion for Australia's fastest growing communities — a passion for a region of unbridled potential and a future of vast economic growth and opportunities.The newspaper, professionally designed and regionally topical, will be a must read for anyone associated with the exciting Surat Basin. Surat Basin News will allow local businesses to network and communicate with everyone in the 300 sq km basin, providing unprecedented access to new clients and markets. It will give a revealing insight into major industry while lifting the veil on current and proposed developments. It will be there for each and every announcement shaping the region's future while profiling the colourful characters that define our communities. With the Surat Basin region receiving national attention, Surat Basin News has gone online to ensure our readers in every corner of the country has the latest news sent directly to them. View our previous editions on Regular updates on

inside this edition in theNews

pages 4-8

Roma is set to benefit from Newman’s Royalties to the Regions funding. Details page 5. Despite the State Government declaring CSG as having a clean bill of health, some are still not convinced. Read the full story on page 6.

"The RSPT (Resource Super Profits Tax) has created significant uncertainty for the future of mining investment into Australia and would impair the value of previously approved projects and exploration to the point that continued investment can no longer be justified," Xstrata Plc chief executive Mick Davis said after Xstrata announced earlier this month suspending $586 million of expenditure.

down tobusiness

pages 14-19 Origin delivers affordable housing in Miles, the first in the Western Downs - page 14. State Government’s housing plan released. Details page 16. Record contract awarded on QGC’s Curtis Island project. Read more on page 17.

building theBasin


pages 18-23 pages 24-28 Crops flourish from treated CSG water, story page 20. Roma is looking Sharpe. Details page 21. Diverse Industries ride the mining boom. Read their story on page 23.

March’s Face to Face with FKG’s Wade Jackwitz on page 24. Out and about with the TSBE. Were you snapped? See page 25. Dalby does some overtime at Business After Hours. Full story on page 26.

advertisers index Apel Consultants ............................................25 Brandon & Associates ..................................11 Budden Contractors ......................................25 Chinchilla Fluid Power....................................15 Chinchila Rest & Relaxation ........................25 Clearview Rise....................................................6 CMS Hire ..........................................................16 Diamantina Village............................................17 Diverse Industries ..........................................23 Easternwell ................................................5 & 11

Energy Super ......................................................9 Formas ..............................................................21 KJ'S Signs ..........................................................23 Landmark Harcourts ....................................21 M & P Services (Qld) Pty Ltd ........................1 Maguire Coaches and Travel............................8 Muddy Waters ................................................23 Osmac ..................................................................8 Ostwald Bros....................................................19 PS & R ................................................................22

Ray White Rural Chinchilla ..........................15 RMA....................................................................21 SMK Consultants ............................................13 Speciality Services QLD ................................17 Stonestreets Coaches ......................................7 Surat Basin Expo..............................................18 Surat Basin Homes ............................................7 Tilly's Crawler Parts ......................................12 Trades and Services ..............................26 & 27

Surat Basin NEWS Next Issue will be available

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Published by Chinchilla Newspapers Pty Ltd, 12 Mayne Street Chinchilla Q4413, Printed by APN Print Toowoomba, 50 Industrial Avenue Toowoomba Q4350 (2012) General Manager - David Richardson, 12 Mayne Street Chinchilla Q4413, PO Box 138 Chinchilla Q4413

Our unique position within the major centres of the Surat Basin allows this newspaper to supply relevant and required information to our local communities. This newspapers is staffed and driven by passionate locals who have an investment not only in their communities but also the people that reside in them. To gain a foothold in the Surat Basin talk to the people who will work as hard for your business as you do. Utilise our local knowledge to help you succeed in the Surat Basin Start now phone Laurell or David 4662 7368

Phone Laurell 07 4662 7368 and start building your business PAGE 2

Surat Basin NEWS Thursday 28 MARCH 2013

this WEEK

Another cloud of doubt cast over Wandoan Coal D espite Xstrata Coal announcing it will consolidate its two operating units in Australia, a spokesperson for the company said it will have no impact on the Wandoan Coal Project.

The consolidation will see its New South Wales and Queensland divisions combine under a single Xstrata Coal Australia operating division and management structure, to be run out of NSW. A spokesperson for the company told Surat Basin News the Wandoan Project is currently in the feasibility stage and remains subject to final approval. "In terms of our project pipeline, nothing has changed except that all projects in Australia will be managed by the Xstrata Coal Australia management team," the spokesperson said. "Following the Queensland Land Court's recommendation to award a Mining Lease for the Wandoan Project, we are working towards the final grant of this lease by the Queensland Government.” The company’s Mackay office will also be closed, with an unspecified number of jobs to be lost across the two locations. The spokesperson said staff consultations had already begun. Xstrata cited "industry-wide pressures including low coal prices, high input costs and a strong Australian dollar against the US dollar" for its decision.


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Surat Basin NEWS Thursday 28 MARCH 2013


in the page 5 page 6 page 7 Powerlink problems

Tara Health report

Santos update

Project manager John Baird (right) shows Premier Campbell Newman, Howard Hobbs MP and Mayor Rob Loughnan (far right) the plans for the Roma flood levee.

Royalties for the Regions program to deliver $12m for four Maranoa projects and $8m for nine WDRC projects

Riches for Roma’s region S tanding near the bank of Bungil Creek at Miscamble Street in mid March, Campbell Newman was back in Roma to deliver on a promise he made in the February 2012 floods. Then Mr Newman was an opposition leader election campaign swearing Roma should be protected from what was the town's worst flood. This month he was back as Premier to announce further major funding for the Roma flood mitigation project as part of a $12.4m Royalties to the Region package for the Maranoa Council district. Mr Newman announced $5m towards the Roma levee construction, another $5m to the bitumen seal of the Wallumbilla North Road, $2.2m to the Roma sewerage plant


augmentation and $160,000 to the Injune water augmentation project. Over the voices of a protester with Labor placards shouting "save our children's jobs", Mr Newman moved the media conference to the Cultural Centre where he said the flooding was completely unacceptable. "Hundreds of homes will be protected and the potential is there for insurance companies to come back into this market." Mr Newman said the Royalties program helped build community, road and floodplain security infrastructure. "Without these upgrades, growth will be restricted as the infrastructure services struggle to cope," he said. The Western Downs and Maranoa regions benefitted from almost $20 million into roads,

sewerage and flood mitigation as part of the Newman Government's $495 million Royalties for the Regions program, with $12m for four Maranoa projects and $8m for nine WDRC projects. For the Maranoa, there was also $5m for the Wallumbilla North Rd bitumen seal, $2m for the Roma Sewerage Plant Augmentation and $160,000 for Injune's Water Augmentation project.

MARANOA • • • •

Roma Sewerage Plant Augmentation - $2,180,260 Injune Water Augmentation - $160,000 Wallumbilla North Road Bitumen Seal - $5,035,000 Roma Flood Mitigation Project - Levee Construction - $5,000,000


• • • • • • • • •

Miles Water, Sewerage and Recycled Water Scheme Stage 1 $1.29 million Chinchilla Washdown Bay - $700,000 Fairymeadow Road Seal Widening - $1.2 million Goombi Fairymeadow Road Seal Widening - $1.2 million Bennetts School Road Sealing - $770,000 Weranga North Road Upgrade - $750,000 Mary Road Upgrade - $800,000 Joseph Road Upgrade - $470,000 Beelbee Road Sealing - $312,000

Without these upgrades, growth will be restricted as the infrastructure services struggle to cope

Surat Basin NEWS Thursday 28 MARCH 2013

NEWS page 8

Diamantina’s doors open

Lives turned upside down L

iving in idyllic bullock-finishing country of Yuleba North, Gary and Kerry Ladbrook's life has been turned upside down by the presence of intruders who want to change their landscape forever. The Ladbrooks' 2362ha property, Bulah, is the site of a proposed major electricity substation and five high-voltage transmission lines that will form a central part of a transmission network project proposed by the state-owned Powerlink Queensland. The project will link CSG sites in Blythdale and Fairview with Wandoan sub-station. But while the development will supply electricity to the hundreds of gas wells and compressor plants Santos and Origin are developing in the region, Powerlink is seeking to categorise the project as "community benefit", which allows them to bypass the Petroleum and Gas Act and instead use the 1967 Acquisition of Land Act, which does not have the same degree of rights to landholders. "My view is that this is a private development and should be covered under the Mineral Resources Act." Mr Hobbs said he was working with the relevant ministers to get the legislation changed. "Landholders should get an ongoing payment like those with wells on

their properties," he said Powerlink said they sought approval for the project Community Infrastructure Designation (CID) process under the Sustainable Planning Act 2009 and land rights under the Acquisition of Land Act 1967 . "CID is a planning approval process,

As a result, the Ladbrooks say they have been treated poorly by Powerlink. "They pretend there is consultation, but there isn't any," Gary said. "They don't seem to want to take responsibility for their actions. "We have no say in where their lines will go and their washdown procedures are a joke." The Ladbrooks also say Powerlink won't detail compensation and only a one-off payment will be made that does not cover all legal and accounting bills. "We've got to do this all in our own time," Kerry said. The Ladbrooks have organised an e-petition (number 2058-13) that calls for the designation of the project as private and asks the government to ensure compensation for landholders. Warrego MP Howard Hobbs has sponsored the e-petition and said the 1967 Act gave landholders inadequate protection. "The legislation hasn't caught up with the pace of industry," Mr Hobbs said.

it is not related to who is funding infrastructure," a spokesperson said. Powerlink's Terry Miller said it was not possible to determine compensation amounts until "much later in the process when the final location of the infrastructure can be known".

Surat Basin NEWS Thursday 28 MARCH 2013

That is not much use to the Ladbrooks who want to know now if the compensation will offset the impact. "They should be taking responsibility for the impact they're causing," Kerry said. "If this was CSG we would have a conduct and compensation agreement in place."


in the NEWS

Govt says CSG is not to blame Queensland Healthcommissioned report has dismissed speculation coal seam gas drilling is causing health conditions among residents in Tara. It emerged last year residents from the mining-rich town had fronted GPs across the region complaining of headaches, nausea, nosebleeds and rashes. Doctors and industry experts raised concerns about whether the symptoms were a result of


CSG activity and increased levels of air pollution in the area. But a summary risk assessment on the emotive issue found there was no worrisome link between the health problems and the CSG activities. A report tabled in parliament showed Queensland Health commissioned a Brisbane-based doctor to establish a clinic in October and individually assess a number of patients in the Tara region. Dr Keith Adam noted in his

report the distance of the patient's various residences to CSG wells would result in fairly low exposure. The report stated Dr Adam's clinical conclusion was patients were not able to identify any specific condition to point to an obvious relationship between complaints and CSG emissions. "The reported symptoms, if due in any way to CSG emissions, are more suggestive of intermittent exposure to low-level irritants and odours, rather than exposure leading to significant systemic toxicological effects," the report states. "It appears clear the reported symptoms are rapidly reversible based on the reports that symptoms improved when residents were away from the area." However, the National Toxics Network (NTN) and Lock the Gate (LTG) coalition are calling on Federal and State Governments to take urgent action The NTN's CSG advisor, Dr Mariann Lloyd-Smith said the testing, on which the Queensland Government's Health report is largely based, is very limited and leaves many questions


The testing, on which the Q u e e n s l a n d G o v e r n m e n t 's H e a l t h report is largely based, is very limited and leaves many questions unanswered unanswered. "There was no systematic approach to assessing the chemical pollutants. In most cases only one air sample was collected for each property, yet carcinogens like benzene and the neurotoxin toluene, were found in the air around Tara homes," Dr Lloyd-Smith said. "We know from studies overseas that air monitoring needs to occur over months to ensure a true picture of air pollution from unconventional gas activities. "The report concludes that there was 'no evidence of contamination of concern', yet for many of the chemicals assessed the level of detection used by the laboratories was well above the level set for the protection of health." LTG spokesperson Drew Hutton said of more than 50 people reporting symptoms like headache, rashes, nausea and

nosebleeds, only 15 people were seen in person and another two by telephone. "The Health Report and the documents on which it relies do not represent an acceptable investigation of the potential impacts of CSG activities on local residents and should not be used by either government or industry to claim a clean bill of health," he said. The report made several recommendations about consultation with the community about the CSG industry and potential impacts. Health Minister Lawrence Springborg acknowledged the report was unlikely to resolve concerns among some Tara residents. He said the recommendations would be circulated among government agencies and a comprehensive response developed and implemented.


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in the NEWS

Welcome news for farmers armers have welcomed the inclusion of ground and surface water in the Federal Government's environmental assessment process for coal seam gas and large coal mining projects. The change was announced by Environment Minister Tony Burke, bowing to pressure within the Labor caucus and public concern over how CSG


and big coal mines were affecting ground water. Mr Burke announced that groundwater and surface water would now be included among the Matters of National Environmental Significance for such projects. While Mr Burke said the new criteria would be included for any future CSG or large coal mining assessments, existing approved projects, such as the three major projects in

Santos update focused on burial and backfilling of the pipe in Arcadia Valley. "Preliminary work has also started at the Narrows Crossing in Gladstone preparing for tunnelling underneath the Gladstone Harbour in coming months," he said. Mr Klaas said during this busy phase of the project, residents may notice increased activity in project areas, particularly on the roads with more worker vehicles, equipment deliveries, and roadwork activity as we upgrade key roads. "We're committed to working with landholders and local community members to minimise these disruptions," he said. "We will continue to keep you informed about our work through community engagement sessions, radio and newspaper advertisements and my columns."

on Coal Seam Gas and Large Coal Mining were the same concerns BSA had previously highlighted. "The large increase in the take of water from aquifers seems to be unsustainable - in the driest country on earth, we must not sacrifice our underground water for a short-term financial gain," he said. The government's new regulations will not apply to the Arrow Energy proposal.

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SANTOS' workforce is expected to reach its peak this year, according to the company's Regional Manager Sam Klaas. Mr Klaas said the Santos GLNG project was currently under construction in the Maranoa, Banana Shire, Central Highlands and Gladstone regions. "In the Maranoa region, construction of our three large gas hub sites which are located on Santos-owned properties near Injune and Roma, has progressed, with foundation pours and major earthworks underway," Mr Klaas said. "We're also in the process of an Environmental Impact Statement application for the next stages of our gas field development and community sessions will be held in coming months with dates to be advertised in local newspapers." Mr Klaas said Santos was continuing to build their 420 km underground gas transmission pipeline from Roma to Gladstone, with current effort

Queensland, would not be subject to the new conditions. He said any applications for such developments which had not yet been assessed by the IESC, would now be subject to water conditions. It comes after growing concerns among primary producers and environmentalists in Queensland over the proposed Arrow Energy CSG project. The Basin Sustainability Alliance released a statement this week outlining their concerns that Arrow Energy had not provided enough detail about its impacts on ground water to the government BSA chairman David Hamilton said concerns first raised by the Independent Expert Scientific Committee

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in the NEWS

Accomodation precint with 330 rooms opens in Roma in an attempt to ease rental pressures

Diamantina Village he doors of Roma's newest accommodation precinct are now open for business, designed to lift pressures on the town's rental accommodation issues. Diamantina Village is on the Surat Rd junction, 6km east of Roma and Stage 1 consists of 330 rooms with a further 370 rooms opening soon in Stage 2. Named for the Lady Diamantina Roma Bowen, the wife of Queensland's first Governor, the facility features a pool, tennis courts, sauna, gym, restaurant,


licensed bar, smart TV's, training rooms/cinema and alfresco BBQ facilities. It was on full view at the Toowoomba and Surat Basin Enterprise (TSBE) networking evening last week. Diamantina Village operations manager Craig Kimmorley said the new facility was crucial for a town which was the service centre for the CSG industry.

"Diamantina Village Roma will relieve accommodation pressures whilst still providing companies working in the area with modern, well equipped amenities in close proximity to their project sites," Mr Kimmorley said. Mr Kimmorley said the camp was committed to local suppliers and service providers. "Everything from the televisions on the

Diamantina Village designed to lift pressures on the town's rental accommodation issues


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wall to the produce used in the kitchen were sourced from the Roma area," Mr Kimmorley said. "We are not trying to compete with Roma business." The bar has a state of the art cashless system designed for accommodation contracts where employers stipulate their employees are only able to consume a maximum number of alcoholic beverages per evening. Diamantina Village services include bus transfers to and from the Roma airport and accommodation village.

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12 Mayne Street Chinchilla, QLD 4413 PO Box 138, Chinchilla, 4413 Phone: 4662 7368 General Manager: David Richardson Advertising: Laurell Ison Editorial: Jill Poulsen Design: Beth Walker

Editorial The opening of the affordable housing development in Miles should be congratulated, and held up as an example for all the resource companies in the Surat Basin. Through a partnership between Origin and Horizon Housing this project shows what can be accomplished when there is a will to help the local communities. The resource companies do have a significant part to play in this area of development in the Surat Basin; it is after all their search for our natural resources that is driving the growth in this region. Our local communities have been suffering from a lack of affordable accommodation for more than five years and it seems that our supply has always been about 18 months short of the demand. We hope the affordable housing model that the above companies have used will be used again and again over the coming years to help alleviate the high prices paid by our rental residents. While this paper does recognise that the investors and local rental owners are only taking advantage of a bullish market and they are entitled to earn an income out of their business decisions, the current price paid will only force our local low-income earners into the resource industry or into another community. The continued growth of not only our communities but local businesses could well be linked to the supply of affordable housing for our local residents. It would be unforgivable for a community to decline while embedded in a unique period of fast and vast development. Once again hats off to Origin and Horizon Housing - keep on leading by example. What do you think? Drop us a line at

Editorial details Jillian Poulsen 4662 7368

Surat BasinNEWS Advertising details Laurell Ison 4662 7368 PAGE 10

Chief Executive Queensland Resources Council



Michael Roche

Uranium foundation A Uranium Mining Implementation Committee report to the Newman Government has laid the regulatory foundations for the development of a world-class uranium mining industry in Queensland. With estimates from the Australian Uranium Association valuing currently known uranium resources in Queensland at $18 billion, establishing the ground rules for uranium mining in Queensland is an important step towards the realising the industry's potential. The committee's report picked up key recommendations from the Queensland Resources Council including that Queensland's existing mining, environmental and safety laws provided a solid framework for regulating the industry in Queensland QRC also submitted that the state should adopt a competitive royalty regime for uranium and direct exports through existing ports in Darwin and Adelaide, using existing shipping lanes. QRC is also enthused by a proposal for a training and business development trust to assist indigenous Queenslanders to access benefits from uranium mining, and more broadly from across the resources sector. The recommendation that the Newman Government establish a Uranium Mining Stakeholder Committee is another positive one from a hard-working committee headed by Australian Local Government Association President Cr Paul Bell. Sector unites for local businesses Queensland minerals and energy sector companies are uniting under a voluntary code of practice to strengthen linkages with local suppliers. It is in the state and nation's long-term interest to support flexible and outcomes-based measures to 'join the dots' between the resources sector and local suppliers. The minerals and energy sector is recognised as underpinning the Queensland economy by providing more than 70,000 direct jobs; and through $28 billion in local purchases, more than 400,000 indirect jobs. However, we're not resting on our laurels. This code is the right vehicle to pursue the twin goals of facilitating a high level of Queensland content in Queensland resource projects, while maintaining and enhancing the sector's competitiveness in increasingly tough global markets. The code presents enhanced opportunities for local industry participation in major projects, allowing resource companies to tailor their approach, based on their individual circumstances. It replaces and improves upon the 'tick-

Flood mitigation

Premierâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s presents

Ray Brown, Western Downs Regional Council Mayor

Robert Loughnan Maranoa Regional Council Mayor

a-box' regulatory approach embraced by both the previous state government and current federal government using a system built on giving local businesses a 'full, fair and reasonable' opportunity to be a supplier to resource projects in Queensland. The code adopts a strong 'shared responsibility' framework, with the QRC, government, minerals and energy producers and local suppliers working together to deliver on the principle of 'full, fair and reasonable' opportunity. The QRC has consulted widely in developing the code and supporting framework. As well as a broad cross-section of our members - companies large and small across the various commodity sectors we have also had discussions with representatives from various supplier groups and senior state and federal government officials to gauge views and incorporate feedback. Implementation of this important industry initiative will be overseen by a Code Steering Committee responsible for reviewing the effectiveness of the code and suggesting improvements. The committee will comprise resource sector procurement experts and senior supplier group representatives from the Australian Industry Group and the Australian Steel Institute. The Queensland Resources and Energy Sector Code of Practice for Local Content is now accessible via the QRC website.

FIFO/DIDO facts intrigue

Less than a quarter of Australia's Fly in Fly Out (FIFO) and Drive in Drive Out (DIDO) workforce is directly employed in the mining industry, according to a first ever study of long distance commuting. Despite claims that FIFO and DIDO are a 'cancer of the bush', a study of the 2011 Census by KPMG shows that only 2.1 percent of the nation's workforce Long Distance Commutes (LDC). Miners represent 21 percent of the total LDC workforce. The study shows that more people LDC to Australia's capital cities than to work in Australia's mines. A total of 64,056 people LDC to Australia's capitals compared with 44,610 mining industry employees who FIFO or DIDO. Overall, the KPMG study shows that at the time of the Census, 213,773 Australians were long distance commuting. This total includes more than 28,000 construction workers, about 14,000 public servants, more than 15,000 manufacturing industry employees, 13,000 healthcare workers and more than 12,000 people engaged in scientific research, architecture, engineering, IT, veterinary science and other professional services. While the use of FIFO/DIDO for resource operations has increased - in line with the number employed across the sector - long distance commuting for operational staff is the exception rather than the rule. Western rail corridor dust monitoring

Surat Basin NEWS Thursday 28 MARCH 2013

extended Southern Queensland's wet spell has resulted in an independent dust monitoring program along the western and metropolitan rail corridor being extended to a second month to ensure accurate baseline readings to measure the performance of planned coal dust management initiatives. Comprehensive monitoring for dust and particulate levels at key sites adjacent to the rail corridor commenced on 7 March. However, in response to expert advice that the recent run of wet weather across the region could place the representative nature of the testing at risk, the Western Users' Group has agreed to extend monitoring for another month, meaning that baseline data collection will continue until early May. Monitoring by the independent Environmental Monitoring and Assessment Sciences Branch of the Department of Science, Information Technology, Innovation and the Arts (DSITIA) is under way at dedicated sites at Oakey,Toowoomba, Ipswich, Tennyson, Fairfield, Coorparoo and Chelmer. New Hope Group - whose New Acland coal mine accounts for around 60 percent of coal moving through to the Port of Brisbane - has agreed to delay the introduction of installed coal wagon dust suppression measures until baseline monitoring is completed. Good science is essential if we are to establish an accurate picture of air quality and coal dust deposition levels along the corridor before and after the introduction of suppression measures at coal mines in western Queensland. Heavy rainfall in late February and early March from Toowoomba to Miles had the potential to influence the results over a one-month period, so we have taken the experts' advice and extended the program to present a more realistic picture. Following the end of baseline monitoring in early May, the New Acland mine will hit the 'go button' on dust suppression measures that include load profiling and veneering. Profiling involves forming loaded coal into a streamlined 'garden bed' configuration, eliminating the peaks and troughs created by some loading methods.Veneering is accepted best practice in suppressing dust emissions from loaded wagons and involves spraying the coal with a biodegradable, non-toxic polymer solution.The veneer forms a crust which, based on experience in central Queensland, has reduced dust emissions by up to 75 percent. The operators of the other two coal mines using the western rail corridor Yancoal Australia (Miles) and Peabody Energy (Dalby) - have told the Minister for Transport and Main Roads at a meeting this week that their mines would be veneering their coal by the end of 2013, in line with a previously approved timetable for mines in central Queensland.


State Government to help regional communities with growth


am delighted to inform your readers in this edition of the Surat Basin News that the Royalties to the Region Program from the State Government has only just begun. Each year this program will be boosted as the financial strength of the state is restored. Recently Western Downs and Maranoa Regional Councils experienced the start of the Royalties to the Region Program, which I championed for many years as a Shadow Minister whilst in Opposition and now in Government. It is pleasing now that in Government, the LNP, can deliver real commitment to the Regions. The very regions that State Labor were happy to have a Coal Seam Gas Industry develop but didn't want to invest in the roads, or the infrastructure upgrades or protect the communities from flooding. The announcement of $5 million for the Roma Flood Mitigation Project from the Royalties to the Region Program has now brought the total State Government commitment to $12.4 million for the Roma Flood Mitigation Project. This will enable the building of stage one of the levy bank from near the Roma Airport to Lovell Street and protect 483 homes with completion likely in December 2013. Other Maranoa Regional Council, Royalties to the Region Projects total $12 375 260 consisting of the Roma Sewerage Augmentation Project $2 180 260,Wallumbilla North Bitumen Seal Project (5.3km) $5 035 000


ACN 010 461 113

and the Maranoa Water Supply Project in Injune $160 000 which will see an upgrade to the water supply and pressure in the town. A total $7 492 000 from the Royalties to the Regions Program has been allocated to the Western Downs Regional Council including seven road projects. • Miles Water, Sewerage and Recycled Water Scheme Stage 1 - $1.29 million

• • • • • • •

Chinchilla Washdown Bay - $700,000 Fairymeadow Road Seal Widening - $1.2 million Goombi Fairymeadow Road Seal Widening - $1.2 million Bennetts School Road Sealing - $770,000 Weranga North Road Upgrade - $750,000 Mary Road Upgrade $800,000 Joseph Road Upgrade -

$470,000 Beelbee Road Sealing - $312,000 There is commitment from across the State Government to help regional communities deal with the mining and resource industry driven growth. There is not doubt that we will see more of the $495 million (over four years) from the Royalties to the Regions Program in the Warrego

Howard Hobbs MP Member for Warrego Shadow Minister for Local Government and ATSI Partnerships

Electorate. This is the beginning, and I will be striving to ensure that our communities benefit now and into the future, with this long awaited program to help ensure our lifestyle improvements, employment and appropriate level of service and infrastructure are received from State Government.


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Government cohesion needed to flood-proof the Maranoa ederal LNP Member for Maranoa Bruce Scott is pushing for a coordinated approach to flood-proof towns in the electorate. "I have seen it on people's faces, people are really hurting," Mr Scott said. "We are resilient in the Maranoa but some people are at their breaking point and there needs to be an engineering solution to protect these towns from future flooding. "During my recent tours of the electorate, my constituents told me they haven't unpacked their home because they fear floodwaters will inundate their home again as soon as it rains. "We can't live like this. "There needs to be a partnership agreement between the Commonwealth, state and local governments to solve flooding issues across Queensland because, at the moment, it's an ad hoc approach to flood mitigation. "After the flooding events this year, the Western Downs Regional Council estimates the area has sustained more than $3.5 million worth of damage. More than $1.6 million worth of damage has been inflicted on the agriculture, forestry and fishing industry in this region alone. "Local councils cannot cope with large-scale flood mitigation measures." Mr Scott praised the LNP Queensland Government's commitment to communities in the Western Downs and the Maranoa regional council areas which will benefit from a cash injection of almost $20 million into roads, sewerage and flood mitigation as part of the Royalties for the Regions program. "Nine projects, totalling $7.5 million, in the Western Downs and four projects, totalling $12 million, in the Maranoa regional council areas will be funded to service the increasing population in resource towns in the electorate," Mr Scott said. Mr Scott also welcomed the $7 million of Federal Government funding towards a levee at Roma but said a total of $17 million was not enough for flood-ravaged Queensland under the National Insurance Affordability Initiative flood mitigation package. "Flood affected towns need a permanent solution and it will take action from the three tiers government to work together to get it done," Mr Scott said. "Flood mitigation should not be treated as a political football."

COMMENT Bruce Scott MP Federal Member for Maranoa



Bruce Scott MP, whose federal Maranoa electorate spans 42% of Queensland's landmass, delivers supplies to stations isolated by floodwaters near Bedourie. Mr Scott has seen the devastation caused by floodwaters across his huge electorate and is pushing for government cohesion to flood-proof the Maranoa.

Maranoa Regional Council successful A HUGE day of announcements from Queensland Premier Campbell Newman has seen Maranoa Regional Council successful in all four projects put forward for the state's Royalties for the Regions funding program. The four projects, which total over $12 million, include: • Roma Sewerage Plant Augmentation $2,180,260 • Injune Water Augmentation $160,000 • Wallumbilla North Road Bitumen Seal - $5,035,000 • Roma Flood Mitigation Project Levee Construction - $5,000,000

Last week's announcement is a pivotal step in providing the region's residents and visitors with good quality infrastructure. Now is the time for quality infrastructure to come to the forefront as assurance in our water, sewerage and road networks is what is needed with the region's growing population. With only $60 million available in this year's Royalties for the Regions funding program, I recognise there were many worthy projects put forward, however I am extremely grateful that we have been successful this time around. I am also aware that this government is

Surat Basin NEWS Thursday 28 MARCH 2013

COMMENT Cr Robert Loughnan Mayor of Maranoa Regional Council

keen to expand the Royalties funding pool in the future; this I believe is a highly beneficial move for resource communities across the state. Additionally, I'd like to thank our resource sector partners: Santos, Origin and QGC for working with us to keep our region a great place to live and work for our residents.


Premier's message to all Queenslanders COMMENT Campbell Newman Premier of Queensland

he LNP Government has had the privilege of working for Queenslanders for the past 12 months since being elected into office on 24th March 2012. It has been an exciting time, and I truly believe that 2013 is shaping as a great one for the great state of Queensland. The LNP Government was voted into office to reduce the cost of living, ease the burden on business, get tough on crime and revitalise frontline services. Over the past 12 months, we


have been delivering on these promises. To reduce the cost of living we have frozen car registration, scrapped Labor's stamp duty lug on the family home and halved Labor's 15 per cent public transport fare hikes. We have eased the burden on business by cutting red tape, scrapping the waste tax and raising the payroll tax exemption threshold. We have delivered more police on the beat, increased sentences for child sex offenders and those who assault police officers. We introduced tough news penalties for illegal firearm use. Our Blueprint for better healthcare in Queensland is an example of how we are revitalising frontline services. It describes the LNP Government's plan to rebuild Queensland

Health and re-establish the state's healthcare system as Australia's best. We will improve patient outcomes and community confidence by establishing partnerships across all health sectors and levels of Government. The Government has already made big strides in addressing the problems we inherited from Labor in the health system. Many hospitals from the Gold Coast to Cairns are now recording their shortest emergency department waiting times, but there is still a long way to go. The Queensland economy is strengthening with the 'greenshoots' of recovery occurring - particularly in the state's tourism sector. Many tourism operators have recorded their best results in six

years, with domestic visitor numbers increasing by nine per cent and international visitor numbers by five per cent. The damage of ex-tropical cyclone Oswald made for a difficult start to 2013, but the manner in which our communities pulled together through these tough times is a real hallmark of what it means to be a Queenslander. The recovery and reconstruction of affected communities is the immediate priority for all Queenslanders and this Government will do what it takes to deliver that. Our focus is now on building a more resilient Queensland.We must do a better job at building more durable infrastructure, not just replacing the same infrastructure over and over again.

Toowoomba Range Crossing highlighted need for upgrades he substantial flooding in the region in January and March has had a massive impact on operations and productivity of the energy sector in the Surat Basin. In light of these events, I would like to take this opportunity to pass on my gratitude to those energy companies that offered their resources to assist residents and the agricultural sector during this period, while facing significant impact with their operations brought to a virtual standstill. The support of these companies was gratefully accepted and their resources well supported Western Downs Regional Council and emergency services response and clean-up efforts. During the January event there were major issues associated with trying to get potable water to and wastewater away from camps to temporary accommodation villages on tenements.These issues however were not associated with camps in our towns. At present, Council's Engineering Section has begun a Regional Flood Recovery Works program focusing on delivering immediate repairs to roads suffering significant damage during the floods.These streets will be significantly upgraded to


allow a safer network for all road users which will also benefit both the energy and agricultural sectors. Major delays are expected to occur in the region's pipeline network where the wet soil structure at present is not conducive to pipeline laying.Western Downs Regional Council knows that this may prolong the program but we vow to work with companies and rural property owners to minimise any impact from these activities. In other news, the announcement by Linc Energy that it is expanding its operations overseas in Canada, Mongolia and South America with Australian technology highlights the groundbreaking research and development occurring at its technologically advanced facility at Chinchilla.Western Downs Regional Council is looking forward to future announcements by the company in regards to potential use of underground coal gasification. Meanwhile, discussions last month on the proposed Toowoomba Range Bypass crossing highlighted the growth and enormous need for upgrades to road and rail networks within the Darling Downs and South West Queensland regions.

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The forum held in Toowoomba gave an opportunity for all leaders of communities across adjoining regional council areas to

In January, the LNP Government launched its new Six Month Action Plan, outlining 148 priority items to further boost jobs and the state's economy, make the community safer, and increase government accountability. Delivering on this plan will further boost business confidence and job opportunities, continue to streamline government procedures and reduce the cost of living for Queensland families. This is a Government that gets on with the job and delivers on what it promises. Every item in our initial 100 Day Plan and first Six Month Action Plan has been delivered. Queensland is a great state, with great opportunity. We will ensure it remains a great place to live, work and raise a family.

COMMENT Cr Ray Brown Mayor, Western Downs Regional Council

understand the direction the Surat Basin is moving in the future and the growing need for this major arterial corridor.

Queensland Premier Campbell Newman and Western Downs Regional Council Mayor Ray Brown.



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down to page15 page16 page17 Roma housing update

Toowoomba to Roma

Record contract

Affordable housing in Miles A ffordable housing has finally begun to take form in Miles, and is expected to continue in surrounding towns in the Western Downs in coming

years. Nine townhouse-style homes were opened along Eleanor Street and Daisy Street on Thursday, thanks to APLNG's joint venture with not-for-profit affordable housing group, Horizon Housing. The houses were aimed at solving the ongoing accommodation crisis in rapidly expanding town, and will be rented out for $300 a week at most. The nine houses cost $2 million in total to construct, but with $10 million committed to the region surrounding towns are expected to receive similar projects. Over 20 finalised applications have been received, according to Murilla Community Centre manager Cecily Brockhurst, who played a key role in researching the project.

"Investors came in and bought up all the properties when the boom started we've seen rents jump between $700 to $1000," she said. "We realise we can't house everyone, but we have to try and house some people otherwise we won't have a community any more. "We don't want to be a mining camp." A survey from the Centre found Miles, Chinchilla and Wandoan needed the affordable housing most of all. Origin Approvals, Land and Stakeholder general manager Rebecca Pickering said the Miles housing investment met an immediate need to assist working people to find affordable accommodation within the community. "There are many benefits and opportunities flowing to surrounding communities as a result of resource development, and we recognise that the added workforce can also contribute to a tightening of the housing market," Mrs Pickering said.

"We've worked closely with Horizon and many parts of the Miles community to develop innovative solutions, and I'm proud to see our combined efforts realised here today." HH is Queensland's leading not-forprofit housing developer specialising in innovative design and construction of affordable housing options. HH Chief Executive Jason Cubit said the completion of the project was a major milestone which confirmed the viability of the affordable housing model. Two of the new Miles homes

will be sold at competitive prices that reflect HH's not-for-profit business model and reduced cost of construction, with sale proceeds being re-invested in other affordable housing developments within the Australia Pacific LNG project operations area. The remaining seven homes will be managed by HH and rented at affordable rates. HH will work with the local community centre to ensure the rental properties are managed to meet specific local needs.

CECILY BROCKHURST Murilla Community Centre manager

We ' v e s e e n r e n t s j u m p b e t w e e n $ 7 0 0 t o $ 1 0 0 0

Horizon Housing Chairman Nino De Marco, Origin Approvals, Land and Stakeholder General Manager Rebecca Pickering and Western Downs Mayor Ray Brown opening a new chapter in affordable housing for Miles on Thursday.


Surat Basin NEWS Thursday 28 MARCH 2013

BUSINESS page18 page19 The Pines opening

Skills scholarship

Road to recovery s the resource sector booms in the Surat Basin, so too does the building industry. New housing developments are going up across the Maranoa,Western Downs and Charleville region. Councillor Wendy Newman, who holds the Maranoa Regional Council's portfolio chair for development, said the council was developing a number of affordable housing initiatives. "One of these is the Roma Airport Accommodation Village project, which is currently proceeding with its 'agreement to lease' phase," Ms Newman said. "This project is in its early stages; however its aim will be to provide residents with another affordable accommodation alternative on a temporary basis." The proposed Airport Accommodation Village would inject about 300 new dwellings into Roma's rental market, as well as 250 for


commercial tenants. Ms Newman said other affordable housing initiatives include the Santos GLNG project funded Rent Assistance Program, which is being implemented by Horizon Housing. "(It's) to deliver housing assistance and support programs for families and individuals in the Maranoa region experiencing rental stress," Ms Newman said. Meanwhile a spokesperson for the Western Downs Regional Council said they have set-up the Western Downs Housing Trust for the region. "This aims to provide affordable housing where businesses, community organisations and government departments are suffering a skills shortages directly relating to the shortage of affordable housing," the spokesperson said. "This will ensure liveability is maintained or enhanced in each of the towns by supporting businesses and other entities to attract and/or retain essential key services workers."

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Chinchilla PAGE 15

down to BUSINESS Flights from Roma to Toowoomba could be a while off yet

Towns get ready to take action spokeperson for planning councillor Ray Jamieson has welcomed the State Government's new towns action plan. The Regional and Resource Towns Action Plan's report aims to identify short-term initiatives and "on the ground" projects which can be underway in the next 12 to 24 months. "A significant part of cutting red tape and regulation is included in the raft of planning reforms currently underway to simplify and clarify the planning framework to make planning and development more effective," the report said. Cr Jamieson's spokesperson said Western Downs Regional Council would welcome the speed up of approvals and the reduction of any "irrelevant red tape". "Time is money for developers," the spokesperson said. "However, since the GFC, the constraints on finance, in particular holding costs, have become more of an issue for the industry. We don't want to see projects fall over due to time delays." The report highlighted lack of housing supply, high rentals, water allocation, water infrastructure and planning schemes as specific issues for the Western Downs Regional Council. It would help implement self-certification of operational works and the prequalification of engineers to assess these applications, as well as fast tracking low risk approvals. "I believe we should be giving in-principal support regarding selfcertification," the spokesperson said. "However, there will always need to be a high level of compliance with engineering standards - whoever does it. "The council is already working on a RiskSmart option with certain low-risk type developments."


Surat Basin flies D

irect flights from Roma to Toowoomba are on the cards after the State Government announced the route was not subject to government regulation. Transport and Main Roads Minister Scott Emerson said south-west Queensland local members and councils had lobbied for an investigation into whether the Roma to Toowoomba route was regulated. "The legal advice I received confirmed that airlines interested in operating on the route will not require a government service contract," Mr Emerson said.

The department review found the aerial route between Toowoomba and Roma was not currently the subject of a declaration under the Transport Operations (Passenger Transport) Act 1994 and could be opened to competition. Warrego MP Howard Hobbs welcomed the move. "The Roma area and its resources and industry will become an increasingly important part of the Queensland economy," Mr Hobbs said. Skytrans airline has operated a service between Sydney and Toowoomba and have expressed interest servicing the route onto Roma but caution it could take some time to happen.

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Surat Basin NEWS Thursday 28 FEBRUARY 2013

down to BUSINESS

Big bucks for biggest contract


GC has awarded a US$620 million maintenance contract to GE Oil and Gas Australia to support carbon-efficient turbines and other equipment at its Curtis Island LNG plant. The QCLNG project will be the first liquefied natural gas facility in the world to operate the new GE-manufactured low-emission turbines, which require less fuel than older models. Under the 22-year contract, GE will provide maintenance support for the plant's 15 turbines and 28 centrifugal compressors, gearboxes, generators and other equipment. Use of the turbines will result in the QCLNG plant having 27%

less greenhouse emissions than the original design. All the turbines and compressors, which range up to 620 tonnes, have been delivered for installation on Curtis Island. Five GE staff will initially be based in Gladstone to do testing, inspections and maintenance, and planned shutdowns will be managed by mechanical and electrical specialists. BG Group chief executive Chris Finlayson said the contract was the group's biggest single maintenance agreement. "As construction of the QCLNG project passes the halfway mark we are increasing our focus on how we are going to operate the facilities safely and efficiently in the decades ahead," Mr Finlayson said.

"Using GE's technology will contribute to the QCLNG plant being one of the most emissions-

efficient facilities of its kind in the world." Mr Finlayson said LNG had an

CHRIS FINLAYSON BG Group chief executive

T h e c o n t r a c t w a s t h e g r o u p 's b i g g e s t single maintenance agreement

important role to play in the management of global greenhouse gas emissions. "When used as a substitute for coal, particularly in developing economies, liquefied natural gas from the QCLNG project could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 35%," he said. The project is on schedule for first LNG in 2014.

Solid track record GC has awarded a two-year camp management contract extension in the Western Downs to Queensland industrial hospitality company Morris Corporation. The $25 million contract covers catering, cleaning and management services at three QGC worker camps, they are; Keny 1, Kenya 2 and Windibri. Under the contract, Morris Corporation, which has run QGC camps since 2011, will manage up to 490 beds for construction and operations workers. QCLNG Project Director Mitch Ingram said QGC was committed to employing local people and to using suppliers of local goods and services where possible.


"Across Queensland, local communities are benefitting from QGC's investment in home-grown suppliers of goods and services," Mr Ingram said. "We are proud to work with a company like Morris, which sources most of the goods for their camps from suppliers on the Western Downs. "QGC will be operating in the Surat Basin for decades and we want local businesses to develop and thrive through our presence." Morris Corporation has been operating in Queensland for more than 40 years. A statement from QGC said the provision of camp accommodation is part of QGC's project-wide integrated housing strategy, aimed at easing housing pressures during construction of QCLNG.


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GE Chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt (left) and BG Group Acting Executive Vice President BG Advance Chris Cox sign the US$620 million, 22-year maintenance contract for turbines and other equipment at the QCLNG plant on Curtis Island.

Situated 5kms from the Roma town centre, Diamantina Village is a purpose built accommodation facility designed to provide modern, well equipped accommodation facilities for people working away from home. At Diamantina Village we recognise that some people can be away from their home and loved ones in excess of three weeks at a time, this is why we have strived to develop an accommodation solution that features many added luxuries to make time away from home more comfortable. The village features spacious individual ensuited rooms with reverse cycle air-conditioning and impressive recreational facilities including:

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down to BUSINESS

o t y d a e r Origin e r o m p u serve s p i h s r a schol Local apprentice chef, Damien Pyke, shares how the Origin Skills Scholarship has helped him along in his chosen field.

pplications are now open for Origin's Community Skills Scholarship 2013 program. The program is a partnership between Origin and local businesses, which enables apprentices in the region to receive up to $13,500 in scholarship payments while they complete apprenticeships in the local area. Origin's Approvals, Land & Stakeholder manager, Rebecca Pickering said the Skills Scholarship Program was about supporting local communities in the gas fields to build and retain skills. "The community is concerned about the number of young people leaving town to find work, and we designed the Origin Skills Scholarships Program to help turn the tide," Ms Pickering said.


"Now in our seventh year, more than 100 scholarships have been awarded to local people, many of whom are now working in their chosen field within the region. "People like Damien Pyke, an apprentice chef from Chinchilla, are a perfect example of how this initiative can deliver real and lasting benefits to local people, businesses and communities." Damien received a Skills Scholarship in 2012 and has completed his first year apprenticeship

at Chinchilla Palms. "The scholarship has helped me to buy a new car to get to and from work, and purchase new uniforms which I desperately needed" Damien said.

"Put simply, it has made things a lot easier, being on apprenticeship wages" The program is open to new or first year apprentices aged 15 years or older, living in the

REBECCA PICKERING Origin's Approvals, Land & Stakeholder manager,

The Skills Scholarship Program was about supporting local communities in the gas fields to build and retain skills

Chinchilla, Miles, Condamine, Tara, Springsure, Rolleston, Injune, Roma, Surat, Wallumbilla, Wandoan, Biloela, Tara, Millmerran and Dalby areas. The funding is paid in installments to match completion of course competencies and can be used to purchase items like textbooks, tools and uniforms. Recipients gain access to a strong business network through the program with regular professional development events. Applications close on June 1.



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down to BUSINESS

SBPG opens new development Wayne McPhee from Surat Basin Property Group and WDRC councillor Ray Jameison

Michael Loader and Cal Daniels from Surat Basin Homes

Gary White from MacroPlan Dimasi and WDRC mayor Ray Brown

SURAT Basin Property Group has officially opened a new major housing development in Miles with Western Downs Regional Council mayor Ray Brown turning the first sod this month. The $65million neighbourhood includes a man-made lake built as a recreational and aesthetic element for the Miles community. SBPG chairman Greg West said Surat Basin Homes will construct over 130 houses in the new estate, and that such development was a positive impact of the resource boom in the area "This is probably one of the most sensational estates across this areaâ&#x20AC;Ś we're all about building the communities and trying to attract families," Me West said. "It's a fantastic feature for the Miles community and we're very proud to be able to deliver that." The Chinchilla-based builders have recently achieved a level of national and international accreditation and certification that is normally only the domain of larger national and multi-national companies. The company has achieved Certification for it Business Management System, which is structured on requirements of Australian & New Zealand Standard 4801 for health and safety, as well as the International Standards for Environment 14001 and Quality Management 9001. Surat Basin Homes general manager Jay Wilms said the amount of resources required to obtain and maintain the accreditation was significant, but the benefits for both clients and employees into the future were substantial. "We have achieved something that not many companies of our size can lay claim to, certainly not many building companies" Mr Wilms said. "With this certification Surat Basin Homes will reinforce its commitment to maintain a safe, high quality and environmentally responsible product and workplace."

Chris Morris and Jason Van Hooft from Surat Basin Property Group

Mark Pomerenke and Shane Bagley from Brandon and Associates Engineers

Surat Basin Homes general manager Jay Wilms and Rob Fraser of Fraser Valuers

Build on your brand, increase your market share, boost your business and secure your future by using the Surat Basin News The only newspaper dedicated to delivering news and updates on the growth, investment and mining activity in the Surat Basin. Distributed every second month through the local newspapers servicing Chinchilla, Dalby and Roma communities.

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Surat Basin NEWS Thursday 28 MARCH 2013


building the page21 page22 page23 Looking Sharpe

Built to last

Riding the boom

Crops growing wild with treated CSG water

he first Darling Downs cereal crops grown with treated CSG water are flourishing on Arrow's farm outside Dalby. The 120ha of sorghum, 120ha of corn and 210ha of mung beans are growing on Theten, Arrow's 5,000ha working property. The crops are irrigated with treated water sourced from Arrow's nearby Daandine gas wells. Arrow Energy CEO Andrew Faulkner said this was a 'farming first' on intensively farmed land (IFL). "Showcasing the use of treated CSG water for agricultural purposes is a practical demonstration of how Arrow can coexist with the agricultural industry and rural communities," Mr Faulkner said. Using treated CSG water to substitute existing users' government groundwater allocations in IFL is one of Arrow's 12 coexistence commitments. These commitments apply to IFL on Arrow's exploration tenements ATP683 and ATP676, east of the Condamine River and also include providing flexibility on CSG well locations with wells located by the edges of farm paddocks, maximising spacing between wells and using pitless drilling only.



Arrow considers IFL to be a subset of Queensland Government-designated Strategic Cropping Land (SCL). "It is important we continue to demonstrate we can coexist with the agricultural industry to meet the energy needs of all Queenslanders," Mr Faulkner said. "Based on technology advancements and feedback from our consultative committees in the Surat, we have made 12 commitments that will see us reduce our operational footprint to less than two per cent on total IFL." Arrow Farming Manager Bill Schloss said the Theten crops looked extremely healthy and promised excellent yields. "We definitely expect these crop yields to be some of our best, and also expect our fertiliser use to be down as well," Mr Schloss said. "So far we've used more than 150ML of water and have been drawing about 20ML a day from our reverse osmosis treated water dam since December. "The CSG water is treated then stored in a 1,250ML dam on the farm before being pumped through the pivots on to the crops. "Planting cereals in this country is historic but there is a commercial side to this as

well, with the sorghum and corn going to cattle feedlots while the beans will be exported." Arrow has Queensland Government approval to use treated CSG water on crops under an intensive water and soil monitoring program which includes monitoring bores and weekly water testing. "This includes weekly water testing and use of monitoring equipment that considers rainfall, plant uptake and metrological conditions to ensure environmental protections are in place," Mr Schloss said. Theten also includes Surat Tek Park where Arrow actively researches ways to minimise impacts on IFL and demonstrate its gas well and drilling technology. Pad drilling and pitless drilling have been recent innovations from the Surat Tek Park. Pad drilling allows up to eight gas wells on one pad with shared infrastructure that substantially minimises the gas infrastructure footprint. Pitless drilling involves drilling without the traditional open pit to collect drilling mud and cuttings. The waste is instead contained in portable tanks which are removed from site when drilling ends. Arrow is moving to pitless drilling as standard in IFL areas where it has tenure.

Surat Basin NEWS Thursday 28 MARCH 2013

The crops are irrigated with treated water sourced from A r r o w 's nearby Daandine gas wells.

BASIN The pointy end of Sharpe T

heir new building in Roma is concrete proof that Sharpe is on the rise and here to stay. The modern, state-of-theart two story building on Duke Street will be the base for the local, familyowned business which has become one of the region's biggest success stories. Sharpe is a family owned business, which has been on the rise ever since founder Peter Sharpe turned his idea to service the resource service into a reality. The company specialises in drilling-related products built for the resources sector. Sharpe chief executive officer Peter Sharpe said

the new facility allowed them to operate systematically to deliver solutions to their clients. "Another benefit is that after 17 years of operating in Roma, the new building will be a permanent structure as opposed to a temporary structure," Mr Sharpe said. "It reassures our clients, our employees and the local community that we have a long-term strategy." The beautiful new premises is concrete proof that shopping local pays off. Peter Sharpe said using

local suppliers to build the new premises was very important to him. "Kate and Stephen Duff, the builders, built this whole complex," he said. Mr Sharpe said the process had run so smoothly because he could easily liaise with his local building team. "Any problems were sorted out straight away," Mr Sharpe said. "You've done a magnificent job and everyone is commenting on it." The Sharpes also used local suppliers to install the buildings electrics,

PETER SHARPE Sharpe chief executive officer

The new facility allowed them to operate systematically to deliver solutions to their clients

internet cabling and plumbing. Toowoomba-based Feather and Lawry Design designed the interior and exterior of the building. Maranoa Mayor Robert Loughnan was on hand to officially open the building. "It's a great pleasure for me to be here to open



Architect and designer Tess Lawry said when they had discussed the plans with Peter and Anne, it was clear it meant more to the Sharpe's business than an office. "They wanted much, much more than a building, they wanted a dream," Ms Lawry said.

Safe and comfortable


this new facility for one of Roma's longest standing and most successful businesses," Cr Loughnan said. "I anticipate Sharpe engineering will continue to lead the way in business development. "The facility is on par with its city counterparts."

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Formas are built to last

s uniform housing spreads from the suburbs to developing regional areas the traditional Queenslander is expected to give way to the modular home. Queensland's population is expected to jump to 8.7 million by 2056, in the next seven years 471,000 dwellings will need to be built to avoid chronic shortages. According toQueensland-


based Commercial manager for Formas' modular housing, Michael Tolshmakoff, traditional housing argued the prebuilt homes were quicker, cheaper and safer investment than the competition. "Demand for housing will only increase with population growth, and Queensland is already struggling to meet demand as evidenced by higher rent, fewer rental vacancies and further pressure on

property prices," he said. "Modular housing can provide a fast solution to Queensland's housing crisis, because unlike traditional homebuilding, modular homes are ready

to move in within a matter of weeks, whilst combating high building costs and lengthy construction times. "Modular homes are also ideal for remote locations, where homebuilders may

MICHAEL TOLSHMAKOFF Formas commercial manager

Demand for housing will only increase with population growth, and Queensland is already struggling to meet demand as evidenced by higher rent, fewer rental vacancies and further pressure on property prices

be scarce and climate conditions are extreme." Modular homes are designed and built in batches with pre-set layouts, and can be installed virtually anywhere. The ALTO design covers residential lots while ERGO provides commercial structures; both are designed as a single unit and are solid enough to withstand a cyclone. The homes are pre-wired,

double-glazed, plumbed and insulated and range in size from 40m2 to 160m2 for young couples or large families. Verandahs, carports, boat ports and decks are additional add-ons and can come with climate control. Although transportable, Formas buildings are not temporary structures; they come with an independent producer statement certifying their structural performance.


24 Railway St, Chinchilla REAL ESTATE SPECIALISTS

Phone 07 4662 7050 Leanne Clark 0427 816 774 Tony Mitchell 0421 195 610 PAGE 22

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Surat Basin NEWS Thursday 28 MARCH 2013


building the BASIN Diverse Industries: riding the insatiable mining boom

Mechanical monsters

echanical monsters are Lawrence Perkins' stockin trade as he rides the mining boom's insatiable need for earthshifting equipment. Mr Perkins married a Chinchilla girl and started Diverse Industries in town early in 2012, and he has been overwhelmed by the amount of activity in the region.


Most of the work requires auto electricians, diesel mechanics and administration staff to work in tandem to get field repairs done quickly and efficiently - not an easy task when working on machines weighing nearly 400 tonnes. Mr Perkins was confident in the future of his company. "We're here for the long term; we employ electricians, mechanics and an apprentice on top of admin staff," he said.

"All of them live locally, which was nearly impossible early on but we've managed it. "Basically we're all over the place repairing things every day." At the Diverse workshop they tackle anything from trucks, trailers and farm equipment to the enormous bulldozers, diggers and graders that carry the mining boom deeper and further into the Western Downs.

Covering areas like Injune and Wandoan from their Chinchilla base can be a challenge, given the hours demanded by the larger gas companies. "They expect us to work every single day of the year; basically we're travelling all over the place repairing things every day," he said. "At the moment we're dealing with problems with getting parts through courier services

- things not getting here on time or parts simply getting lost. "We're really hoping to see industry in Chinchilla, to see the parts made right here in town." Diverse Industries continues to grow in the economically fertile conditions, and intends to expand their operations to match momentous changes into the future.

To contact the Diverse team call: 4668 9289 Muddy Waters

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places and page 25 page 26 page 27 Out and about

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Wade Jackwitz FKG Senior Project Manager

Despite Roma not being on Wade Jackwitzâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s bucket list, the senior project manager for FKG couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be happier to call the Western town home. We caught up with Wade to find out a bit more about him.

Are you a local to Roma? Yes, we have been here 18 months on relocation with FKG. When did you start with FKG and what is your role? Nearly 2 years I have been with FKG, and I am currently a Senior Project Manager and I lead our construction team out here in Roma How did you get where you are today? I had worked for10 years prior in Toowoomba in Construction and Project Management and prior to that on the Sunshine Coast. In this time I have built projects from high rises to abattoirs, homes to office complexes etc, and home was in the Lockyer Valley. This job in Roma was offered by FKG and it has been a great change from the norm that Toowoomba had become for me. Is this role/town where you had expected you would end up? No Roma was not on my bucket list, but in saying that, the relocation has been rewarding, working close to home and understanding the dynamics of the mining and gas industry, along with the impacts to a community. Do you have a family? Yes I do have a family, my wife Angela and I have three children, two boys (aged eight and seven) and a little girl aged three who all came with me to Roma for a lifestyle change. They all have enjoyed what Roma has to offer. What do you love about living in Roma? Everything is five minutes away, the sports and activities for the children is great without the travelling, the easy lifestyle, for a country town it has a lot to offer. We have also met some great people here too which has been very welcoming. How long do you see yourself staying in Roma? I have a three year contract here with FKG, but who knows as its growing on me PAGE 24

Have you noticed many changes in Roma since living there? There has been a lot of local businesses turned over in the past 18 months and the Industry has grown. There has been a huge amount of construction traffic on the roads and within the town. The main street is always busy on weekends. Where do you see the town headed? I believe Roma is still growing and it will continue to grow. It has a great base for industry and still some great projects relating to the mining sector that haven't even commenced as yet. This has and will sustain growth within the area. More major players will come to town which will create more cost effective outcomes for consumers. This will be a good thing for Roma. What are the greatest challenges you face in your role? Time, cost and quality is the obvious focus which isn't just important in the construction industry, but in every industry. To do this programming and coordinating logistics in areas like Roma is always a challenge. What is your favourite thing to do in your spare time? Mainly spend time with my family. At the moment spare time is renovating our home we bought here, I am a chippy by trade before moving on with my degree in construction, so to play with timber on weekends is a bit of a novelty. My boys and I enjoy riding motor bikes

My wife and I enjoy cooking and focus a lot of our time on weekends to this.

What is your ideal holiday destination?

We enjoy waterskiing, and would love to see Lake Neverfill given a revamp to

Beach, bush and camping.

I work long hours so holidays are super important for our family and have become involved in the Roma moto X club.

be able to use the grounds, that would be a great way to spend weekends.

Surat Basin NEWS Thursday 28 MARCH 2013

We have always gone somewhere every year that is exciting for the kids, I work long hours so holidays are super important for our family. We would like to one day live in the Greek Islands for a year, after holidaying there twice, we would love to take the kids there and lose ourselves in their culture and lifestyle.

FACES page28 Sport flourishes

Out and about with TSBE

Carl Spruce, Bart Bowen and Rowena Coombs catch up at the TSBE Networking evening at the Diamantina Village on Thursday. FKG Development Manager Dallas Hunter,Toowoomba Mayor Paul Antonio, USQ Professor Julie Cotter and Toowoomba Regional Council CEO Brian Pigeon at the TSBE function at Diamantina Village. Photos: Derek Barry.

MGA insurance broker Joe Regan,TSBE Project Manager of Surat Basin Reagan Park, property valuer Bart Bowen from Herron Todd White and Lesley Stumbles Origin government relations advisor catch up at the Diamantina Village launch.

Roger Hall and Michael Hubbard.

Brian Hennessy super intendant at FK Gardner with Melanie Cavanough enjoying a drink at the Diamantina village launch.

Rocla staff Mike Salisbury, Adam Bradley, Scott Fyfe and Scott Smyth enjoying the TSBE meeting at the Diamantina Village.

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Auction bidding service

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places and FACES

Business after hours in Dalby usiness After Hours in March attracted a large crowd wanting to check out the Arrow Energy Community Information Centre in Dalby. The Community Information Centre in Cunningham St was packed with Chamber of Commerce and Industry members eager to find out more about Arrow Energy and the CSG sector as well as catch up socially over a few drinks and nibblies. Arrow's senior community officer Sarah Delahunty explained that the office has been open six months and in that time about 600 people have been in looking for information on working in the energy sector, community investment through the 'Brighter Futures' program, supplier opportunities and general information on the CSG industry.


Through the program Arrow has invested $1.58million locally in community partnerships. Arrow Energy Local Content Contracting and Procurement team leader Robert McRuvie said that over the last 10 months Arrow has spent $24m with local businesses. Business After Hours is organised by the Dalby Chamber of Commerce and hosted by a different business or community organisation each month. These events run from 5.30 to


7pm give busy chamber members and their employees the chance to catch up socially after work and to find out about other organisations in Dalby. It is also a chance for businesses, particularly new businesses to the town, to promote themselves and their activities to other business people. The host business provides drinks and nibblies and for its effort is presented with a Certificate of Appreciation by the Chamber of Commerce. Any business in the Dalby area interested in more information should contact the chamber on 4662 4050 or email The next event will be held on May 1 at Carrick Aland and all members of the Dalby Chamber of Commerce and Industry and their employees are welcome to attend.

Arrow Energy Community Information Centre staff hosting the March Business After Hours are Community Information Centre receptionist Sally Dowling and senior community officer Sarah Delahunty.



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Building blocks of the future tudents at Miles State High School will be given 'real world' engineering and commercial training through a new partnership with Surat Basin Property Group (SBPG). The company has commissioned the school to create outdoor furniture for one of its flagship developments. About a dozen Tech Studies Year 12 students will work to design, create and deliver seating, tables and benches over the coming months, which they will then install at a new park at The Pines community in Miles. SBPG has also donated $3,000 towards the provision of new safety clothing for the Tech Study team, so students will be fully equipped to complete the project. Miles State High School Training Centre manager Gavin Priest said the partnership with SBPG offered students a wonderful opportunity to put their knowledge and skills to practical use in a business environment. "The fantastic thing about this project is that it simulates a real-world commercial contract," he said. "The students will have to work through the entire process - from providing a quote and purchase order, to negotiating and finalising the designs and then delivering a quality product to


satisfy the client. "We're thrilled that SBPG have come on board to support our school and it will be great for our students to be able to showcase their work to the community, once the furniture is installed at the new park around April this year." JACK EGAN SBPG Head of Property Development

There are a lot of young people in our community with great potential, and I think we should be doing what we can to help foster their ideas and skills SBPG Head of Property Development Jack Egan - who arranged the partnership with Miles State High - said he was confident that the students would deliver quality product. "There are a lot of young people in our community with great potential, and I think we should be doing what we can to help foster their ideas and skills," he said. "We hope that the students will not only gain valuable experience and confidence from this exercise, but they may even be able to turn a profit to get them started on their next venture."


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Joy Byrnes - Principal & Sales 0428 223 380 Kerri Collins - Sales & Marketing 0428 153 720 Desley Oates - Finance/Office Manager Jessica Stansbie - Senior Property Manager Sarah Hancock - Property Manager Maree Mitchell - Reception Sam Schefe - Real Estate Trainee With the district thriving, the Roma office has been exhibiting success across all fronts of the property business. For an office that specialises in residential and small acreage sales, commercial and business sales, industrial sales and property management, contact Joy and her team at Ray White Roma .

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Surat Basin NEWS Thursday 28 MARCH 2013

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Dan Cross 0429 691 309 PO Box 322 Chinchilla •


n influx of thousands of fit and strong young men and women in the Western Downs over recent years has grown sporting groups across the region. As the winter seasons approach, social and competitive sporting clubs are looking stronger than ever and are enjoying support from an evolving community on a level never seen before. Long time locals never predicted Aussie Rules and Rugby Union to become mainstream sports in Chinchilla. But sure enough, in 2013 the Chinchilla Suns Australian Football Club joins the Darling Downs competition, while the Chinchilla River Rats Rugby Union Club looks to dominate the region once


again. One of the Suns' founders, Helen Gent, said with so many southern and western folk coming to live in the region, the red leather ball was never far away. "The interest in AFL has always been here but the influx of experienced and talented players has really bolstered the local love of the sport," Helen said. HELEN GENT One of the Sunsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; founders

With so many southern and western folk coming to live in the region, the red leather ball was never far away

"The arrival of the club has definitely surprised some locals but has been embraced by those seeking a different sporting code that focuses on fitness." But it's not just adult workers themselves who have increased the participation rate for local sporting clubs, but their kids as well. The Chinchilla Bulldogs Junior Rugby League Club has seen unprecedented growth in recent years and in 2012 underwent a massive expansion in player registrations. For the first time ever, the pups contributed two teams per age group to the Western Downs Junior Rugby League competition which, according to president and life member Mick Ashurst, is a testament to new families in the area.

the news online

Breath of fresh air for sport in the Surat

places and FACES ISSN 1835-6400

View the back editions on line Read all of our back issues on the internet at: suratbasinnews

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Surat Basin News Published by Chinchilla Newspapers Pty Ltd, 12 Mayne Street Chinchilla Q4413 Printed by APN Print Toowoomba 50 Industrial Avenue Toowoomba Q4350 2012 General Manager - David Richardson, 12 Mayne Street Chinchilla Q4413, PO Box 138 Chinchilla Q4413, Phone 07 4662 7368 The only online information service that keeps our readers informed across the west Fed by your local newspapers

Western Times, Balonne Beacon, Western Star, Chinchilla News and Murilla Advertiser, Surat Basin News, Dalby Herald, Northern Downs News and Thirsty Work B U I L D I N G O U R A U D I E N C E A C R O S S M U LT I P L E P L AT F O R M S PAGE 28

Surat Basin NEWS Thursday 28 MARCH 2013

SBN March 2013  
SBN March 2013  

Surat Basin News - the March edition, providing all the information on the Resources, Companies, People, Towns and Infrastructure in the eve...