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Surat BasinNEWS Thursday 24 SEPTEMBER 2009

32 pages $1.00 inc GST

LOCAL NEWS

RESOURCE SECTION SPECIAL REPORT

WHY JANE MATTERS TO OUR FUTURE

BLUEPRINT FOR QLD’S $40B GIANT

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INSIDE

SPECIAL SURAT BASIN CONFERENCE EDITION

WOMEN ON THE GAS FIELDS A special edition of @Work on the Surat

Delegates at the 2009 Surat Basin Conference got a bird’s eye view and an insider’s perspective on the might of the Surat Basin.

OPPORTUNITY BY John Farmer editorial @suratbasin.com.au

Whether from the sky, inside the main auditorium or at the trade expo, the 2009 Surat Basin Conference revealed a generation of opportunity for the burgeoning energy province. Held over three days in Dalby from August 19, the Surat Basin Corporation’s

INVESTMENT FLOWS IN THE WAKE OF 2009 CONFERENCE signature event broke down the next 30 years for local and visiting industry. The main players — from Xstrata Coal to Origin Energy and Surat Basin Rail — provided not just a glimpse of the future, but an avenue for local business to get involved. By Friday afternoon when the final trade dis-

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play was coming down, the lives of many in attendance had changed for good. When asked about the event, Surat Basin Corporation CEO Richard Krause today simply describes the experiences of three delegates. He speaks about the engineering firm that won a $4 million contract, the

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construction company that quoted on 90 new homes and the man from Dubai who invested half a billion dollars in the region. Those exchanges, Mr Krause said, were made possible by their involvement in the 2009 Surat Basin Conference. “We saw the tremendous benefits that come from

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simply showing people how to engage with the right people, and from giving them a better understanding of the area,” he said.

“We saw the tremendous benefits that come from simply showing people how to engage...” — SBC CEO Richard Krause

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LOCAL NEWS

INSIDE THIS EDITION:

Surat Basin NEWS The Team

Surat Basin News

Surat Basin News

TRADE EXPO 2009

Surat Basin News

HAYSTACK LOOKS SOUTH NSW decision gives farmers hope

Your all access pass on P. 4 & 5

ORIGIN BENEFITS TO FLOW Thousands of jobs, billions of dollars

CONFERENCE

Laurell Ison Advertising Manager

David Richardson General Manager

The Surat Basin Conference may have been closed to the community but landowners protesting gas field development still made a mark. PAGE 6

Council’s tough test of balance Western Downs Regional mayor Ray Brown opened the 2009 conference with an address that highlighted the challenges his council

John Farmer Editor

Beth Walker Graphic Design

The Newspaper The Surat Basin News is published quarterly and delivered via the three dominant newspapers of the region: the Chinchilla News, Western Star and Dalby Herald. Through this distribution it reaches the homes and offices of almost 12,000 living, working and playing in the Surat Basin, connecting the business and mining communities throughout the booming region. Our aim is for the Surat Basin News to become more frequent in the coming year.

VOICE YOUR OPINION: editorial@suratbasin.com.au

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VOICE YOUR OPINION: editorial@suratbasin.com.au

GLOWING: Surat Basin Corporation president Greg West closes the conference with a rousing call to arms.

MAJOR PROJECTS LEADER: Jane Holdsworth’s two months with the future in her hands.

ON TRACK: Xstrata Coal works through the downturn to have Wandoan project on schedule

Final endorsement

Bunkered down to respond

Xstrata mines through tough times to remain on track

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Protesters get their message out

RESOURCES

LOCAL NEWS

www.suratbasin.com.au

VOICE YOUR OPINION: editorial@suratbasin.com.au

he crowd had dwindled as the last of the trade displays were leaving but at 1.43pm Friday, 300 people remained to hear one last glowing endorsement of the region in which they sat. Greg West's closing address at the 2009 Surat Basin Conference encapsulated what hundreds had witnessed over three days in Dalby but none had lost its wow factor. “There is really no where else in the world with the potential,” he said, “A major resource and energy province — that's what the Surat Basin is all about.” During the conference, representatives of the major energy companies spoke of an industry worth in excess of $80 billion, with the reverberations to be felt across Australia. Mr West, president of event organiser, the Surat Basin Corporation, said he was confident many of the benefits would also be felt at a domestic level. “We've got all this water, an abundance of gas, the cheap power and abundance of land — we've got to find a way to use it locally,” he said.

“When we do that, that's when we really create an economic benefit out here,” he said. However, to make that happen, Mr West said there was a local responsibility. “This is a once in a lifetime phenomenon,” he said. "We've never seen it before, we'll never see it again. Everyone who's a leader in their own business — in their own industry — we have to get together now. “What is happening is going to change this region for the next 200 to 300 years. “And it is changing dramatically.” While glowing of the Surat Basin, Mr West did not avoid the issues. On top of his list were the 160,000 megalitres of salty water coal seam gas companies brought to the surface every year. “That will be up to 200,000 before we know it as they bring on more gas and start their LNG projects,” he said. “We're going to have to find beneficial uses for that.” While he listed the issues, Mr West admitted planning for them was proving increasingly difficult as activity across the Surat Basin accelerated. He called on government and the energy business to streamline their information to ensure it was up to date and accurate. “Total projects in this area go from anywhere from 80, to 100 to 140 billion dollars — it changes regularly,” he said. “To try and keep abreast of

“There is really no where else in the world with the potential.” — SBC president Greg West

n a desk inside the walls of the Western Downs Regional Council's Dalby office, the pile of documents that carry the logo of almost every resource company setting up across the Surat Basin grows almost daily. That is where Jane Holdsworth has been bunkered down since she was appointed the council's manager of major projects and economic development three months ago. Mrs Holdsworth heads the major projects unit created earlier this year to deal with the rapid influx of energy related projects that sit either inside or on the edge of the Western Downs Regional Council's boundaries. “It's so enormous that sometimes I have to take a step back,” she said. While her responsibilities are supposed to be varied, since her appointment she has spent almost every day wading through the plethora of documents coming out of the inner sanctum of coal seam gas, mining and energy companies whose grand ambitions centre on the Surat Basin. Santos' five-volume EIS is

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Battle unfolds on the blocks Tara rural-residential estate landowners have launched an empassioned plea to QGC and the State Government to leave their paradise alone. PAGE 8

Decision renews hope on Haystack

Greg West, Surat Basin Corporation president, takes to the stage on the final afternoon of the 2009 Surat Basin Conference. it, it's very hard — almost impossible.” Mr West said getting that information out to its members, which come from commu-

nity, industry and government, was the reason for the corporation’s existence. “Once we've got that information, decisions can happen.”

Membership spike has SBC e panding

“It’s so enormous that sometimes I have to take a step back.”

The Haystack Coal Action Group and Future Food Queensland believe the NSW Government is on the mark to stop mining on its fertile

— Western Regional Council’s Holdsworth

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neatly stacked in a bookcase; Origin's draft terms of reference is sprawled in front of her keyboard and the IAS for Syntech's Cameby Downs coal mine sits atop a pile of folders dedicated to QGC's and Arrow's EIS documents for their LNG projects. Mrs Holdsworth admits while exhausting on herself and the council's resources, taking the time to formulate a targeted, concerted response to those documents was in the best interests of the Western Downs community. “It's actually vital to get your response right because there are no second chances,” she said. “You can't go back. It's very important because after that it becomes accepted.” Aside from collating responses, Mrs Holdsworth must report back to the council on the plans of each individual company. She said the council needed to be aware of what the future held to ensure “the needs of our communities are being met”. "We must understand the issues and implications so we can make sure infrastructure is maintained and kept up,” she said. “We also need to be able to provide a framework for our communities going into the future to make sure services are appropriate and maintained.” Mrs Holdsworth may deal with each document on an individual basis, but always at the fore of her analyst is the cumulative effect of all com-

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Syntech powers into expansion Syntech may only have started stage one ground work, but planning has started for a massive expansion of Cameby Downs PAGE 20

Manager of major projects and economic development Jane Holdsworth brings spokesman for economic development, Cr Andrew Smith up to speed.

Blueprint for an industrial phenomenon

bined. If even half get approved, by 2011 they could spark an unprecedented and challenging period of construction that would place extraordinary pressure on local businesses, workforces and the council's resources.

The Queensland Government has released a blueprint that will guide the expansive LNG industry.

While she admits individually each of the documents deals adequately with the rel vant projects, Mrs Holdsworth believes they fall short in dea ing with the combined impact “In isolation they're okay, but it's the cumulative effects she said.

l d t k

he Wandoan coal mine remains on track with Xstrata Coal working through last year's economic downturn despite doubt over the project. The 30-million-tonne a year coal mine was thought to be in jeopardy as the world's demand for coal took a dive in late 2008. However, Xstrata Coal project manager Rob Thatcher said the company had not shelved activities during the downturn and added the world's hunger for coal had not changed. “We believe there is probably demand for a Wandoan project every year just to keep pace with where we're at, so there's definitely demand for coal,” he said. “Even with the downturn in the economy, we've been still working on the project feverishly.” As work continues on its business case and expected financial close later next year, Xstrata Coal will lodged its supplementary EIS to the Department of Infrastructure and Planning next month. A public meeting to discuss the document could be held in Wandoan to coincide with its submission. The Department of Infrastructure and Planning would subsequently release it publicly. “The public will be able to obtain printed or electronic copies of the supplementary EIS and updated fact sheets

The economic downturn has not slowed Xstrata Coal down. Coal communications manager James Rickards said. Local landholders objecting the project need not to panic just yet, with Xstrata Coal forced to face an in-depth and time consuming application and approval process. Once released, the supplementary EIS is then evaluated by the Department of Infrastructure and Planning Co-ordinator General, who will evaluate the report. “The Co-ordinator General’s evaluation report may recommend approval, and state conditions that may attach to project approvals.” Based on report findings, approval for the project is then sought from Environment, H it d th A t f d l

processed by the State Government and these applications are advertised publicly; objections can be made by landholders. “Any objections to the Environmental Authority and Mining Lease are heard in the Land Court, which may recommend the application be granted or refused,” Mr Rickards said. Development applications for required infrastructure also need to be processed by the Western Downs Regional Council. More than $1.6 billion will be spent and 1300 people employed over the two years of construction. Once competed, 840 people will work on the i hi h ill t $240 il

the Surat Basin with the outside world. Though the Surat Basin coal chain, he said, was a challenge well and truly worth taking on. “The challenge we have, and it's the biggest challenge to date, is not only the logistics and the costs,” he said. “Getting this coal to port takes not only the Wandoan project — the coal project — we've got the Surat rail project, we've got the Queensland Rail upgrade and Wiggins Island. “But we're trying to open up in excess of four billion tonnes of thermal coal and, when this project (Surat Basin coal chain) gets up, we're talking about possibilities of in excess of 100 million tonnes a year coming from the Surat Basin.” Mr Thatcher said Xstrata Coal was taking a leading role in the Surat Basin coal chain to ensure all involved partners realised an economically viable and effective solution. He said a completion date for the Wandoan coal mine rested on that. “We think we could probably build the mine within two years but it all hinges on how soon we can get the rest of the infrastructure in place,” he said. “The mine is not the constraint.”

“Even with the downturn in the economy, we've been still worki h j

THE CONFERENCE:

THE NEWS:

RESOURCES:

• SBC president Greg West’s final glowing endorsement of the Surat Basin • Corporation grows to cater to growing membership • Your ticket to Trade Expo 2009 • Green interests out but protesters make point

• Project manager bunkers down with company plans • Wandoan touted as site for world leading plant • FutureFood supports NSW decision • Battle of the blocks continues to unfold as QGC searches for accepted code

• Xstrata on track despite economic downturn • Blueprint for LNG industry released • Syntech Resources goes to town with plans for Cameby Downs expansion • Liberty pushes forward with ambition for UCG power 2732427aa

Surat Basin News

Surat Basin News

A BIRD’S EYE VIEW Surat Basin projects from the air

THE PEOPLE

INFRASTRUCTURE

www.suratbasin.com.au

VOICE YOUR OPINION: editorial@suratbasin.com.au

The Website suratbasin.com.au delivers the news, events and employment opportunities of the Surat Basin around the world. The website is community focussed, allowing towns and businesses to connect with major industry, investors and government agencies.

Company portfolios surge The opening of Braemar 2 power station marked another impressive year for two homegrown success stories.

The Vision

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Hopeland calls for new direction

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, is a must read for anyone associated with the exciting Surat Basin. Surat Basin News allows local businesses to network and communicate with everyone in the 3800 sq km basin, providing unprecedented access to new clients and markets. It provides 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.

IN DEMAND: A surge in mining and petroleum development across the Surat Basin has Glen Martin fielding phones constantly.

Plans put aside as Surat Basin Rail starts to negotiate dollars

Legal aid hot property

he Surat Basin railway shifted from blueprints to dollar bills this month as its ability to make money went on the line. The billion-dollar project's business case was delivered to the Co-ordinator General in the first week of September to convince the State Government it was a financially viable project. “What we have to be able to prove is that this

thing is financially viable because, if it isn't, it won't happen,” Surat Basin Rail projects director Warren McReight said. “But we're extremely positive it is.” The approval of the business case is expected to trigger the process to acquire land along the 210km corridor. The document's delivery comes after the project's Environmental Impact Statement's public consultation period closed. A supplementary EIS is expected in the

Farmers across the rich, fertile district of Hopeland claim an Arrow pipeline will destroy their farming practices.The solution, they claim, is simple.

first week of October. Thirty-six public submissions were made to the Co-ordinator General with the majority focused on the project's work camps and the impact of its corridor, which is expected to be between 60 and 100 metres wide. Mr McReight said for a project of its scale, the response was pleasing.

“I was pretty happy with that,” he said. “We've got a project covering in excess of 210km, going through 57 properties and two local governments; yet we only got 36 submissions.” Mr McReight said Surat Basin Rail's focus over the next eight months would be locking in contracts with the

coal miners along the rail line's route. He sa negotiations were und way with around six companies and locking in those would be pivo to the project's future. “If I can't get contracts in place to be su ficient for the bank to lend us money, we won build this thing. It's th simple,” Mr McReight said.

"What we have to be able to prove is that this thing financially viable because, if it isn't, it won't happen.” — Surat Basin Rail projects director Warren McReight

Wandoan looks through pipeline maze District prepares for lines from the south

BY TENEALE Luckraft

editorial @suratbasin.com.au

With coal mines, pipelines and government acts bigger than Ben-Hur hanging over their heads, landholders in Wandoan and surrounding areas could be excused for feeling a little overwhelmed. In a bid to alleviate some of the confusion, the Wandoan Community Liaison Group held a public meeting in the small Western Downs town late, last month. To discuss landholder

The Wandoan district is prepared for an onslaught of gas pipelines from the gas fields of the south. information and knowl-

it’s having on their prop-

occupier of the land is

and all they’re going to d is bugger them up.” Mr Blakely is urging the big players to be mo proactive and contribute “All they (the roads) need is a gravelling and water, otherwise we’ll en up with a big bulldust pile.” Also the potential threat of deep, tap root parthenium weed spread ing down into the region was weighing on landeholders minds. “This has the potentia to be a real problem with the projects heading towards the Banana region,” Mr Blakely said The wash down facili

here has been a mixed reaction from local property owners regarding the proposed Surat to Gladstone pipeline project, solicitor with Legal Aid Queensland in farm and rural (mining service) Glen Martin has said. Surat Gladstone Pipeline, a wholly owned subsidiary of Arrow Energy, is currently looking to secure land for the proposed pipeline and is approaching property owners for an easement, which could occur anytime in the next couple of years. “I've been extremely busy fielding calls from property owners due to the increased activity in the area,” Mr Martin has said. “They're not necessarily concerned about the pipeline but rather seeking legal advice on option agreements.” Mr Martin said overall, local property owners were equally dividing in their decisions. “Some are happy to sign and

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Another skills boost Origin Energy’s skills scholarship program returned last month with a whole host of new apprentices from across the region. They were congratulated at an official dinner held in Miles. PAGE 26

Women making it on the fields

“Taking agricultural land and the impact it will have on them is a major concern for farmers.”

The Surat Basin News caught up with three women working on the gas fields this month to see what opportunities the industry held.

— Solicitor Glen Martin

THE TOWNS

www.suratbasin.com.au

VOICE YOUR OPINION: editorial@suratbasin.com.au

ON TRACK: The Surat Basin railway is heading to the banks to prove it wil make money once the trains hit the track

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Surat Basin News

CONFERENCE NIGHTS Opening night at the 2009 Surat Basin Conference

some are not.” Main concerns raised by residents included the effect it would have on their property, flora and fauna, loss of productivity, loss of income during the construction phase, the impact on stock and farming activity during construction and maintenance and the environmental impact. “Physical safety is also a big concern.” Mr Martin said property owners opposing the project still had options and urged them to utilise them. “It's not a done deal and there are options. “They don't have to sign the option agreement and they can put in objections. “It's no use saying they don't have rights because they do and they need to exercise them.” The pipeline is proposed to deliver coal seam gas from adjacent to the Kogan North Central Gas Processing Facility near Dalby to a proposed LNG facility at Fisherman's Landing near Gladstone. The chosen route heads north from the Kogan area through local government areas including Dalby, west of the Barakula State Forest and to the north of Chinchilla. Meanwhile the construction of Brisbane-based Syntech Resources new coal mine in Cameby has many locals con-

Documents that make

XSTRATA LULL: Activity may have lessened but Wandoan presence remains

Calm before Wandoan’s storm

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Fire, food and Roma power The Fire and Food Festival returns to Roma to celebrate the role the oil and gas industry has played in the town’s history. It will not be back until 2011. PAGE 34

Coal miner goes quiet in Wandoan

Glen Martin, solicitor with Legal Aid Queensland in farm and rural (mining service), has seen demand for his services surge. cerned, with prime agricultural land in the ‘mining zone'. “This is the hot topic,” Mr Martin said. “Taking agricultural land and the impact it will have on them is a major concern for farmers.

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“Water issues have also be raised. “Farmers are concerned; how the mine will effect surface and ground supplies, wi there be quality issues and possible contamination of sur face water.”

Residents report a noticeable lull in Xstrata’s activities but the miner continues to work away on its coal project.

Take advantage of development in the Surat Basin and

he next time Wandoan property owner Darryl Waugh will see Xstrata, its Wandoan coal project could be moving full steam ahead with results from its supplementary EIS expected to be published in November. All has gone quiet in the small Western Downs town and according to locals, there has been a visible lull in Xstrata’s presence. “We haven't seen their cars around much anymore,” one local resident has said. “We don't see their shirts hanging on the line.” Residents also questioned the opening hours of the local Xstrata Coal office located in Royd Street, with the closed sign being displayed more often then not. According to Xstrata Coal communications manager James Rickards this was not the case and he has assured residents the door was always open. “The Xstrata Coal shop front is open Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays and continues to

BY TENEALE Luckraft

editorial @suratbasin.com.au

play an important role in our ongoing commitment to community consultation in the local region,” he said. “Naomi Golden continues to manage all local community enquiries regarding the project, including the progress of the proposed mine's development, the supplementary EIS process and landowner relations. “Naomi often visits community members and organisations and therefore the office may be closed on occasion during the day.” Mr Waugh, whose property Wodonga sits in the middle of the application area, has urged residents to remain patient. “I don't think the foots off the pedal, they haven't gone away and they seem to be moving forward; it's just they've done the work they needed to do on ground level.” If Xstrata receives the

Xstrata Coal’s Wandoan shop front may have been close on this day, but the company assured the Surat Basin News it remains open to the public. approval it is seeking, Mr Waugh will lose his 3000 acre property, which has been in the family since 1950. He said although sad and emotional about the expected outcome, he needed to face reality and move on. “I have a gut feeling it will be proceeding down the track and at the end of the day and provid-

ed they (Xstrata) work through the process and landholders work with it, we all should get reasonably good outcome. “I don't want to go but if the stick to the act and get the tick and flicks in the right spots, they should get it. “If it all falls through we all breathe a huge sigh of relief.”

Housing rallies across the Surat Basin Housing prices across the Surat Basin rallied last quarter after an unsteady 2008, according to the latest figures from the Real Estate Institute of Queensland. Across the Western Downs Regional Council, the average house price jumped 7.2 per cent to $239,500 while for the Maranoa Regional Council, it sits at $243,750 — an 18.9% increase. The median price in Chinchilla rose 11.2% to $250,000, which Ray White Chinchilla's Walter Gleeson

growth is there.” Dalby First National principal Steve Balmer is not surprised Dalby's housing market has boomed this quarter considering the interest the town has attracted from out-of-town investors. The median price increased 9% for the June quarter to $250,000. Mr Balmer said the high end of the rental market had climbed upwards of 30 per cent since the start of the year, sparked by the region's

line,” he said. Mr Balmer also said a break in new construction projects had seen interest wane. “I think it will continue to slow until new contracts are signed for the power stations and then you'll see it pick up again.” While at the top end things have slowed, Mr Balmer said demand for more affordable rentals remained strong, especially considering a shortage in the

area. “Because the top end climbed so rapidly, the middle of the market also climbed. “We're finding that owners ar starting to ask more than tenan can afford,” he said. Mr Balmer also expects the lu in the top end of Dalby's real estate market to be short lived. “At the moment we're answer ing demand, three months ago w weren't and in three months tim we probably won't be,” he said.

INFRASTRUCTURE:

THE PEOPLE:

THE TOWNS:

• Surat Basin railway goes to the banks • ERM and Arrow flick the switch on new spark • A bird’s eye view of the Surat Basin • District works through maze

• Women making it on Surat Basin gas fields • Legal aid solicitor finds demand surging • Origin’s skill scholarships climb to 21 • Conference nights

• Surat Basin housing rallies after an unsteady 2008 • Roma nights come alight with the 2009 Fire and Food Festival • Xstrata lull but mining magnate remains in town

Next editions - December 17, 2009 - March 25, June 24, September 30, December 16, 2010

Surat Basin NEWS

Print run 12,000 Inserted into the Western Star, Dalby Herald and Chinchilla News and Murilla Advertiser

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FERENC the ditions before the there is still a CON said. commi in Energy of a 10-wee ent, he manager it Richardson ssioning THE region really way to go n k Chinch are taking Terminal,”project’s propon plans to build phase of to liquids David wanted to be on the way said with the ity, here at the regio billion to there so takes off, we in Chinch demonstration its gas in the illa will soon reverbe “The havePort Authorvalued at $1.3 Making next major to becoming Basin well the leadership when it ial to facility energy market Queen illa. e rate sland achieve Austra potent does and alread first, energy here,” world. the co-ordination The commi The inabl lia’s need for y in place.” . the Over hassaid. s of the stages It he susta to a third, ssioning regional hub, therets.” coming 2012. isation of is The Surat three Energy was a the “As and leaders s by up and weeks, bilted bywill projec media export will host Basin News coveray Farmer an ongoin the GTL plant final- begin to more and more hip.p those coal also up to $1.8 be comple drillingone’s teLinc ge lish quarterly Chinchilla expand develo “We will be BY John g process will pubrealise that people Gladst genera progra,m Basin Railwa ty tocan month and Surat Basin of for its next no has ral for Surat capaci boost longer its one at the shire s Linc six the potenti about the but will and lly. the Chinch tonnes ce but weeks. editorial inaugu Energy bounda .au all confine ence on 2012, h be illa teneme grow more next six gs annuaaroundy enhan By ries,” he high quality al to produc or 25 million into based on suppor It will to unite throug @suratbasin.com drillearnin frequent said. “Wed d by e very inthree Energy Confer The rigs workin withnumber one export t. diesel willnts,greatl thelsregion weave its parallel include comple The long to be merge need will cohesio March lion Innsadditio Island tion in from coal at a low and jet fuel gget with numer the our term ambiti fromdevelo counci n betwee iland site. ial markets. 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Downs and pages four Basin. er Anna Bligh projec He believe exportted because Basin beassocia years. Ms s- sequenplant commi demonstra- provid tionwill store on liquids Australia’s first fits of aries profess tone ssioned the Premi “We at Linc next fives thecouncil“But with the ,” he said. three stages “Few plant and ce. better spent amalgacoal bound ionals. thebill. areas in to do“Glads Surat Basin world’s money we wanted when all forced and five. il over in Austrag the new of — indeed to Linc experie yearEnergy the were first in aavery will be have a lot nt, the Counc ment’s that nce said lia are set ststo ferent tone. to strike a slightlNews tonnes gasification underground the Johnso Energy chairman E such creatin short te.” but indust announceme ng has an the intere over are comple timethe of her govern Bligh We wanted ry, new frame y difFERENC matio ns nced last year. al in influx past 18 something to diesel facilitycoal facility n said the demon Brian have Island the of major onthe region with e and Planniprocess month built aated stration team pments,” would bepeople annou andy.econom THE CON ructur is cation was a credit are going al events and more focus s we Associ proud of,” we can all be plate very said region Infrast lian economcontem idable of good issues their develo to She ic investigation he said. would shape form very involve of capabi to the dedi- springboard Moura Austra al base eing tment for contem you generations from,” nment to the Surat that — the Depar “These lity of to here and oppord. “When Rail link’s govern ment capacity cils overse those said. steps we Basin, the enviroMr rail upgrade Bond to come.” ort coal that are grab the for those started “One “This at Linc million to transp have more r infra- she said. cils that can e sector, coun- resources A Brisba deman d of having a $500 period acoming impressed cannot to be for Project — Terminal. “Coun ct with plate the but privat to delive Rail is a very and h tion to the ne woman’s the prospe by going acting ment’s be Coal ldoga l excitin in enoug what our the contrib Linc Energy g time Govern counci interLink-A s Island struct ure needed to tunities lion coal success of a $110 uteam holders for the are strong in place the resources, Wiggin regional team of the Bligh ry which conseam gas and ritspart the miland cils thatgrunt to put be necessary strong, large in the long termhere, of .” new strategies y been shareindust is ithally recognised project has t mining ts. will live “It is anothe for the coal p. drough Basin Railwa enough that that Queensland suppor the re ils. develo region proof t plan s Surat condipeople the y and power projec strategic the going eststions of the worsen local counc sperson from (QRC) annuaResources in view infrastructu opportunitie key mining one to s aren’t ing she said. sland econom “It’s my sec- to see these Link) andProject,” Mr Lucas of for Women l Resour Council’s carbon nects Gladst Queen signifi- theand y,” A spoke t opportunitiet someQueen Missing ces Award tradeconom ing . that thoselikely “These and (Southern the Wandoan Coal Depa rtmen and s d withou sland Gas lianimmin P.5 Shalene y now the ued on ent, major roads annou do Austra tors are even to be realise McClure Gladstone, Compa ture Contin posals like leader Basin Railwa ment in councils can’t nced it plans ny for the who ies. It theisSurat to be constru Infra struc said the gov- seam for Santos team to 50 million tonnes s- cant invest exciting and to accelerhas QRC’s said. ents will need ction of ’ of up uninspthe Romahaul news is state econom theyConda gaspropon t routes ate more succes its $170 theLeade The projec coal Action Wome n“(This) Planning with freigh their own, but out iring so did mine Power in Queen sland and jobs.” t could ensure line Farmer find million receivand rship Award CQ encouraged ful l Resou rces The compa Station. BY Johnsuratbasin.com.au predict the pages (WRA 26 ed 27, aims to Plan centra a term that this was her best to coun- that on and more premier was in ernment use only if itpresented , which P), jobs ny plans QGC-owned option. not a long- Roma coal which stronger gas-fired jobs, by On moves. editorial@ the electricity age more to work encourmeans the Ministtheirwas Child Safety of Port Alma of coal. gas month land, 8km electricity to deliver She began beneficial “econ omica lly she leads seam gas project in making er for Miles. genera women last National expansion nies Women QRC’s compaand “Just oal seam and its implem her career Curren the resour east of where nal 30 million to the eastern seaboa tion across logical ces sector. study into ically The success February Electricity Marke entation. will become Mr Cottee was as a geoncing a export an additio per cent tly women Women’s annual Intern at the Explor ATdrafter “Recently, rd,” he said. the of water. comp anies State and ecolog its preside of this of QRCannoumake would compri said the managing 2009, accord t by Hydro up 11 written you've You it could SURation, and afterwith MIM instrumental in the ed on P.3 force project viable crowd of Day breakfast ationa l rocks membe nt. She that rs’ a numbe ing to so THE Continu not produc had Snowy further threathave further the t per year. is and se three station able to commi director generation before has the and, in non-tr almost 500 K ON company Cottee. worklooking r of publica inable”. of coal because and nmen research a next in South West r 2007 Siemens adition e Shalen at figure Richar being susta v people tonnes WOR t “Austr o of a lack ing electricity houses in the s to the power source of to to tions Africa papers on G al constructed units and would employer the propos is seven e@ d drought . the $7 billion topics. under alia's offenenergy, of water. intens per cent. roles, “With oil and gas Crusader for her Gladst in 100 years ed $5 tion ely, but disliked s of under an But worst had Tarong Power but it also on the be LNG project You've because of a lack Latrobe Valley vides a new ment school inspired to study Oil, was one. “Shalene found southe tal Protecfish and face selves a WRAP, we have has reduce of water. have gone a beneficial geology. working “In the The power generasource of water pro- Envirowith Austrian EPC agreeat sador is an excelle target to coal d back rn Queensland Station in As well chip Environmen n in a hasShe joined Santos find centage Energy nment shop equall increas set ourfor nt 70 per cent for tors and water being cut water issuesface of increa starved legislation, “are sive to and gradua as mentoring & of our female e the per(Australia) in 1996 Surat Basi sector andthe minerals and ambas- in non-tr y as teamworked her waste commu drought- Ltd. sing because Agency studen and energy Pty an inspira workforce of a lack (CSG) is an , coal seam producers aditional Constructionnities.” use for at gas fields leader for way up to being eral vice tes, Shalene is the ts women Most signifi the faces 12 percen undervalued gas way tion to roles d seam gas modity. workin . presid its $110 fedis a cost of Who are cantly, the t by 2020,’ to at least major Not only trapp ed com- bined-on the 135 already under station will rely million Petroleum Explor ent of the ing a career g in, or contemother said. 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editorial@suratbasin.com.au

Surat Basin NEWS Thursday 24 September 2009


Surat Basin News

TRADE EXPO 2009 Your all access pass on P. 4 & 5

CONFERENCE

www.suratbasin.com.au

VOICE YOUR OPINION: editorial@suratbasin.com.au

GLOWING: Surat Basin Corporation president Greg West closes the conference with a rousing call to arms.

Final endorsement PAGE 6

Protesters get their message out The Surat Basin Conference may have been closed to the community but landowners protesting gas field development still made a mark. PAGE 6

Council’s tough test of balance Western Downs Regional mayor Ray Brown opened the 2009 conference with an address that highlighted the challenges his council faced.

he crowd had dwindled as the last of the trade displays were leaving but at 1.43pm Friday, 300 people remained to hear one last glowing endorsement of the region in which they sat. Greg West's closing address at the 2009 Surat Basin Conference encapsulated what hundreds had witnessed over three days in Dalby but none had lost its wow factor. “There is really no where else in the world with the potential,” he said, “A major resource and energy province — that's what the Surat Basin is all about.” During the conference, representatives of the major energy companies spoke of an industry worth in excess of $80 billion, with the reverberations to be felt across Australia. Mr West, president of event organiser, the Surat Basin Corporation, said he was confident many of the benefits would also be felt at a domestic level. “We've got all this water, an abundance of gas, the cheap power and abundance of land — we've got to find a way to use it locally,” he said.

T

“There is really no where else in the world with the potential.” — SBC president Greg West

“When we do that, that's when we really create an economic benefit out here,” he said. However, to make that happen, Mr West said there was a local responsibility. “This is a once in a lifetime phenomenon,” he said. "We've never seen it before, we'll never see it again. Everyone who's a leader in their own business — in their own industry — we have to get together now. “What is happening is going to change this region for the next 200 to 300 years. “And it is changing dramatically.” While glowing of the Surat Basin, Mr West did not avoid the issues. On top of his list were the 160,000 megalitres of salty water coal seam gas companies brought to the surface every year. “That will be up to 200,000 before we know it as they bring on more gas and start their LNG projects,” he said. “We're going to have to find beneficial uses for that.” While he listed the issues, Mr West admitted planning for them was proving increasingly difficult as activity across the Surat Basin accelerated. He called on government and the energy business to streamline their information to ensure it was up to date and accurate. “Total projects in this area go from anywhere from 80, to 100 to 140 billion dollars — it changes regularly,” he said. “To try and keep abreast of

Greg West, Surat Basin Corporation president, takes to the stage on the final afternoon of the 2009 Surat Basin Conference. it, it's very hard — almost impossible.” Mr West said getting that information out to its members, which come from commu-

nity, industry and government, was the reason for the corporation’s existence. “Once we've got that information, decisions can happen.” 2732430aa

Membership spike has SBC expanding The dust may have settled on its signature event but the Surat Basin Corporation remains determined to champion the needs of the burgeoning energy province. Over the next 12 months, CEO Richard Krause said the corporation would undertake a strategic expansion to better represent its membership, which had spiked considerably in 2009. Much of that increase

More feet on the ground needed: CEO came in the wake of the Surat Basin Conference. “We're looking at expanding and having a wider representation with more feet on the ground,” Mr Krause said. “We need to be looking to service our members better and to be providing more information.” Mr Krause attributed the growing member-

ship to a need for industry and community leaders to break down the rhetoric of the resource companies. “I think they're after not just information, but they're wanting to get the real facts behind the EIS documents; not just what the companies are saying.” In conjunction with the Surat Basin

Surat Basin NEWS Thursday 24 September 2009

Conference, the corporation launched a promotional DVD highlighting the employment, business and lifestyle opportunities of the region. That DVD has become a major weapon in the corporation's attempts to convince resource companies of the region's ability to meet their supply, service and manufacturing

needs. “We have different strategies of linking with these major projects,” Mr Krause said. “We will be looking at holding forums so locals can speak with people from those companies to make them aware of the region's capability. “It's about more than what they see on the surface. We have a huge capacity and a good range of businesses to meet their needs.”

PAGE 3


LOCAL NEWS

Easternwell reconnects

YOUR TICKET TO

TRADE EXPO 09 For three days in August, a cavalcade of industry packed the Dalby Showgrounds to connect with the Surat Basin’s multi-billion-dollar energy business. Manufacturers, drill rig operators, home builders

Easternwell Group was out to impress and to reconnect when it hauled a 70-metre-tall drill rig into the Dalby Showgrounds in August. Marketing manager Shelley Grofski said Easternwell, Australia's largest, privately owned integrated services company, participated in the Surat Basin Conference not as a way to secure new contracts or clients. “Overall, it's just a great opportunity to run into clients and have a chat. “The response has been fantastic in terms of quality enquiries,” she said.

and universities were just some of the hundreds who set up trade displays besides companies like Santos, QGC and Arrow Energy. The Surat Basin News was there to meet with some of the exhibitors.

Easternwell Group’s Stuart Wagner, Bill Sankey and Shelley Grofski.

HSEplus’ Peter Kelbassa and Troy Kuff.

Rare safety insight

Familiar faces

With equipment usually only seen on-site and more times than not only during a safety incident, HSEplus provided a rare insight into its operations at the Surat Basin Conference. The company, on the eve of a move into Roma, offered an overview of its Rig Ready training program plus its range of safety equipment

To most coal seam gas producers established across the Surat Basin, no introduction is needed for Dalby-based Condamine Electric Company. For years, managing director Gavin Walton and his team have been

and training courses. “This gives a wide range of people and companies total exposure to what we do, which is important because we're basically a new company,” regional manager Peter Kelbassa said. “And they've just been blown away with what they’ve seen.”

CEC’s Peter Wylie.

providing on-site support in the form of wiring worker camps, connecting generators or any electrical installation required. However, that did not stop CEC from setting up in the trade expo at the 2009 Surat Basin Conference.

TOOWOOMBA REGIONAL COUNCIL

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To find out about all positions currently available please visit our website

www.toowoombaRC.qld.gov.au/jobs Ken Gouldthorp CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER

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PAGE 4

Surat Basin NEWS Thursday 24 September 2009

QBSA No 1114141

6 YEAR STRUCTURAL WARRANTY


LOCAL NEWS

Short visit, long stay

Moving

EzyQuip’s Dennis Gardner.

EzyQuip eyes off the east It may have only been temporary, but it pointed to an ambition that would see its equipment become a permanent fixture on the rich, eastern edge of the Surat Basin. EzyQuip Hire, a division of FKG, has established itself across the coal seam gas fields around Roma but plans to have more of a presence on the Darling Downs. Marketing manager Lauren Flint said the conference was an ideal starting point for the company's expansion. “This is creating awareness for those who don't know us,” she said. After three days spent with industry, community and government leaders, Ms Flint labelled the Surat Basin Conference appearance a success. “It's been an excellent networking experience,” she said. "It's allowed us to build relationships and, at the end of the day, that's what business is — relationships.”

After two years of looking, John Shepherd and his JSIS Engineering support team set down in the Surat Basin for a couple days last month. Mr Shepherd, managing director of the Mackay-based company, led a convoy of staff and suppliers to the 2009 Surat Basin Conference. He said two years of investigations could soon result in the company, which specialises in polyethylene pipe welding, establishing a

workshop in the region. After expanding its range of fusion machines, JSIS could deliver prompt and reliable service to the mining or petroleum sectors, Mr Shepherd said. “We can believe we can supply a product in a shorter period of time because of our multiple machines,” he said. JSIS was joined at the Surat Basin Conference by suppliers iplex Pipelines and Georg Fischer Piping Systems.

iplex Pipelines’ Alistair Woolfe, JSIS’ John Shepherd and Georg Fischer’s Mark Holmes.

A roof for a lot of heads

Surat Basin Homes’ Steven Bradford and Col West.

With a bar fridge and five cartoons of XXXX up for grabs in its business card giveaway, there was little surprise that the Surat Basin Homes team looked a little weary by Friday afternoon. However, that was far from the only reason its trade display had been inundated by potential clients over the three days of the 2009 Surat Basin Conference. Sales consultant Steven Bradford said the scale of the projects discussed during the

conference highlighted to delegates the size of the workforces that would be needed. Where those people were going to live came next and that is where Surat Basin Homes came in. “All of the people we've been talking to, whether they're business owners, investors or on the projects, they want to know about the availability of housing,” Mr Bradford said. “We've discussed a lot of potential new homes with a broad range of people.”

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CONFERENCE

LANDOWNERS MANAGE TO GET MESSAGE OUT

No apologies for no green That wasn’t the conference’s point The Surat Basin Corporation has made no apology for the omission of environmental or agricultural stakeholders at the Surat Basin Conference. Aside from Future Food Queensland's paid participation in the trade expo, no speakers representing affected property owners, environmental groups or community interests took part.

The omission did raise some questions from delegates. However, Surat Basin Corporation committee member Cr Andrew Smith, a councillor on Western Downs Regional Council, said the conference was a business and industry specific event. He said the program was tailored to this goal and, as a result of its single focus, proved an effec-

tive exercise. “It was more about linking businesses with the opportunities out there and it did that very well.” Cr Smith said the Surat Basin Corporation had been an active advocate for rural landowners since its inception. He said that would not change. “After all, it's all part of what is happening across the Surat Basin.”

Hopeland district farmer George Bender

They might not have been allowed inside but on the opening day they still managed to make their presence felt. Armed with banners, video cameras and a united voice, landowners fighting mining and resource development launched a passionate protest at the entrance to the Surat Basin Conference. The strongest showing came from Tara's rural-residential estates, an area faced with a growing presence from QGC. Kelly FraserParle, said they just wanted a fair go. Kelly said while concerns were varied among the protesters, he simply wanted what he deserved. “Either they pay the right price for my land or they're not welcome at all,” he said.

Mayor opens with a delicate balancing act In the 10 days before Western Downs Regional mayor Ray Brown took the podium on the opening morning of the Surat Basin Conference, the playing field had changed dramatically. Three new power stations, one alone worth $3 billion, had added to the 75 gas, coal and power projects worth an estimated $85 bil-

lion to be built within the boundaries of the regional council. Cr Brown admitted it was that dramatic activity and upheaval to a once predominantly rural area that was challenging the main role of the council — “to protect our communities”. “There are many ways to protect our communities,”

he said. “On one hand you have to establish growth; on the other your have to protect lifestyles. “As you can see, there is a bit of a balancing act.” Walking the tightrope created by an influx of new industry that potentially threatened to derail the region's much lauded

lifestyle, Cr Brown admitted the council was finding it increasingly difficult to remain upright. The Western Downs Regional Council might often have to find a middle ground, but Cr Brown told those at the Surat Basin Conference there was one debate on which it refused to negotiate.

He declared resolutely that mining would not be supported where the nation's food was grown and from which the region's prosperity had been founded. “Our regional council has drawn a line in the sand where we will protect prime, agricultural land,” Cr Brown said. 2732442aa

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Surat Basin NEWS Thursday 24 September 2009

The region’s mayor Ray Brown opens the 2009 conference.


Surat Basin News

HAYSTACK LOOKS SOUTH NSW decision gives farmers hope

LOCAL NEWS

www.suratbasin.com.au

VOICE YOUR OPINION: editorial@suratbasin.com.au

MAJOR PROJECTS LEADER: Jane Holdsworth’s two months with the future in her hands.

Bunkered down to respond n a desk inside the walls of the Western Downs Regional Council's Dalby office, the pile of documents that carry the logo of almost every resource company setting up across the Surat Basin grows almost daily. That is where Jane Holdsworth has been bunkered down since she was appointed the council's manager of major projects and economic development three months ago. Mrs Holdsworth heads the major projects unit created earlier this year to deal with the rapid influx of energy related projects that sit either inside or on the edge of the Western Downs Regional Council's boundaries. “It's so enormous that sometimes I have to take a step back,” she said. While her responsibilities are supposed to be varied, since her appointment she has spent almost every day wading through the plethora of documents coming out of the inner sanctum of coal seam gas, mining and energy companies whose grand ambitions centre on the Surat Basin. Santos' five-volume EIS is

O

PAGE 10

Battle unfolds on the blocks Tara rural-residential estate landowners have launched an empassioned plea to QGC and the State Government to leave their paradise alone. PAGE 8

Decision renews hope on Haystack The Haystack Coal Action Group and Future Food Queensland believe the NSW Government is on the mark to stop mining on its fertile farming country.

“It’s so enormous that sometimes I have to take a step back.” — Western Regional Council’s Holdsworth

Downs Jane

neatly stacked in a bookcase; Origin's draft terms of reference is sprawled in front of her keyboard and the IAS for Syntech's Cameby Downs coal mine sits atop a pile of folders dedicated to QGC's and Arrow's EIS documents for their LNG projects. Mrs Holdsworth admits while exhausting on herself and the council's resources, taking the time to formulate a targeted, concerted response to those documents was in the best interests of the Western Downs community. “It's actually vital to get your response right because there are no second chances,” she said. “You can't go back. It's very important because after that it becomes accepted.” Aside from collating responses, Mrs Holdsworth must report back to the council on the plans of each individual company. She said the council needed to be aware of what the future held to ensure “the needs of our communities are being met”. "We must understand the issues and implications so we can make sure infrastructure is maintained and kept up,” she said. “We also need to be able to provide a framework for our communities going into the future to make sure services are appropriate and maintained.” Mrs Holdsworth may deal with each document on an individual basis, but always at the fore of her analyst is the cumulative effect of all com-

Manager of major projects and economic development Jane Holdsworth brings spokesman for economic development, Cr Andrew Smith up to speed. bined. If even half get approved, by 2011 they could spark an unprecedented and challenging period of construction that would place extraordinary pressure on local businesses, workforces and the council's resources.

While she admits individually each of the documents deals adequately with the relevant projects, Mrs Holdsworth believes they fall short in dealing with the combined impacts. “In isolation they're okay, but it's the cumulative effects,” she said.

Construction leader takes out employer of the year Ostwald Bros was named Employer of the Year for its commitment to training excellence at the regional finals of the prestigious Queensland Training Awards held in Toowoomba last month. The award recognised Ostwald Bros as a top employer within the south-west region for its commitment to providing training opportunities for

its 380 strong workforce. Ostwald Bros CEO Brendan Ostwald said as a regionally based company with the bulk of company projects in remote locations the company had adopted a policy of ‘train to retain'. “We have built a stateof-the-art maintenance facility in Dalby where we carry out maintenance on our transport

fleet and company plant and we train a number of apprentices at any one time,” he said. At the time of the award submission, Ostwald Bros was training a total of 74 apprentices across a number of areas including Certificate III in civil construction and various trades such as fitter and turner, diesel fitter and boiler maker.

Surat Basin NEWS Thursday 24 September 2009

CEO Brendan Ostwald accepts the winner's trophy on behalf of Ostwald Bros which was awarded the 2009 South-West Region Employer of the Year title at the recent Queensland Training Awards. 2732444aa

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LOCAL NEWS

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World leading plant touted for Wandoan Mayor Ray Brown believes the latest power station to be announced for the Surat Basin could be the impetus for a new generation of energy projects. Global corporation GE Power, with Stanwell and Xstrata Coal, wants to build a world-first 400MW power station near Wandoan that would incorporate 90 per cent carbon capture and storage. It could be operational by as early as 2015. Cr Brown said the technology, which is fast becoming the norm for Surat Basin energy projects, could truly see the region’s coal powerful potential realised. “This could be the green light for so many other projects across the Surat Basin,” he said. “We’ve been crying out for this technology and now that it’s here, it’s great news for a 3800 square kilometre region with an abundance of coal.” GE submitted a full project proposal to the state and federal governments as well as the Australian Coal Association earlier this year. The proposed Wandoan project would produce 400MW of power pre-carbon capture and would be capable of capturing 90% of the CO2 in the fuel stream for future storage. The plant could be ready for commercial operation in late 2015

or early 2016. It would use IGCC technology, which enables the use of large amounts of coal to generate electricity with lower emissions than traditional pulverised coal technology and with the ability to capture carbon today for storage or enhanced oil recovery. Steve Bolze, president, GE Energy Power & Water said the project would address the future demand for electricity in Queensland. “The IGCC plant with carbon capture as proposed by the Wandoan Power Consortium would be a critical step in ensuring the future of cleaner coal technology for power generation and, importantly, would utilise Australia’s most abundant fuel resource, coal, in a cleaner way,” he said. Queensland Resources Council chief executive Michael Roche has welcomed the announcement. “From my own experience visiting one of GE’s operating coal gasification power plants in Florida, I can understand why the Wandoan proponents are so excited by Queensland’s potential,” Mr Roche said. “Queensland is ticking all the boxes with its high quality coal, storage geology, technical expertise and financial support for commercial scale technology development from state and federal governments and the coal industry.”

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FutureFood Queensland hopes the NSW Government’s halt on mining on the Liverpool Plains will influence its Queensland counterpart. Last month, BHP decided not to apply for any open cut mining that would threaten prime agricultural land. On the Surat Basin, Haystack Plain and Jimbour both face an uncertain future with mining companies targeting open-cut mines across the districts. Co-chairman Geoff Hewitt said he hoped the NSW decision pressured the Queensland Government into placing a moratorium on new mining developments on prime farmland. The stop of any new projects is wanted while a regional plan is established for the Surat Basin. “The regional development

Surat Basin NEWS Thursday 24 September 2009

plan will be a complicated process, and therefore will not be quick, so there is an urgent need for a circuit breaker in the form of a moratorium covering only the cropping lands of Queensland while the process runs its course,” Mr Hewitt said. “The risk of irreparable damage to some of the state’s best farm land is here and now. “We need the Queensland Government to call a halt to the resource company’s push into cropping lands until the outcome of the planning process is known.” Mr Hewitt commended the NSW Government and BHP for their leadership. “For Australia’s largest mining company, in conjunction with the NSW government, to make these changes represents a significant shift in thinking”, he said.


It’s about a fair go for everyone.

June Dougall, Drildool landowner.

At Origin, we’ve learned a lot about energy development from local landowners like June Dougall. Like how best to work together to minimise disturbance to cattle or crops and where to build infrastructure that suits landowners’ needs as well as our own. That’s the beauty of working together. Because while the Coal Seam Gas industry is set to bring new benefits to Queensland, it won’t come without a few challenges along the way – especially for the landowners whose properties lie above these reserves. That’s why at Origin, our relationships with our land partners like June are paramount. Because by working together, we can make sure everyone gets a fair go. Together we can make a difference.™

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Surat Basin NEWS Thursday 24 September 2009

PAGE 9


LOCAL NEWS

CODE OF CONDUCT POSSIBLE: QGC

Kogan Creek Power Station manager Ivan Mapp (back right) with USQ lecturers Bob Fulcher and Dr Fouad Kamel helping school students consider the alternatives.

CS power investigators lighting up Electrovale Entries have closed and the town of Electrovale is about to light up for the first time. In July at the first Power Forum, CS Energy made 200 school kids power investigators and asked them to light up life for the residents of the fictional town Electrovale. While hosted at the Kogan Creek Power Station, a coal-fired generator, guest speakers at the Energy Forum challenged students to consider clean, renewable and futuristic energy solutions for their competition entries. By the end of the day-long forum, most of the power investigators had Electrovale well on its way to a cleaner, brighter future. “I'm going to use solar power,” student Rebecca Hall said, “because

there's lots of sun during the day and at night it'll be powered by battery. “At least then we won't hurt the environment.” Kogan Creek Power Station manager Ivan Mapp said the forum and Energise Electrovale competition would have equipped students with a better understanding of the world of electricity and the alternatives available. He also said they had gained a unique insight into their future where Australia would rely on a diversity of energy sources. “It won't be just coal, or just gas, just solar or nuclear, it'll be a combination of all,” he said. “This is the future you will see when you are teenagers.”

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Battle of the blocks rages QGC confirmed a code of conduct remained a realistic possibility for its dealings with Tara's rural residential estates this week. The company had committed to an area-specific code at a June meeting with a group representing the district but negotiations broke down last month when members claimed QGC had carried out practices against regulations set by environmental authorities. A spokesperson from the LNG aspirant told the Surat Basin News QGC was still working with landowners on the code. “QGC has clearly explained our commitment to ensuring the safety of our employees and contractors as well as those who may be affected by our activities,” the spokesperson said. “We are also committed to continuing work on a code of conduct which is an important part of our community engagement in the region.” The Tara Rural Residential and Private Landowners Group formed four months ago in the wake of increased coal seam gas exploration in the district. It wanted a code that would prevent QGC's contractors from working within a set distance from homes and using practices it deemed were damaging to the local environment. Some residents were outraged when drill rig crews set up within 200 metres of their homes; close enough for light and noise to be a disturbance. Negotiations had been scheduled following the meeting held in Tara but appeared destined to end when QGC was found to be spraying salty water on roads across the rural-residential district. That water failed to meet standards set by the

Kelly Fraser-Parle joins other Tara estate residents to protest at the Surat Basin Conference. Department of Environment and Resource Management. A spokesperson from the department said DERM had been developing standards to apply to activities which reflected a high standard of environmental protection. “The department recently tightened the quality limits on QGC's environmental authority to reflect these more stringent standards. “However, the department does not believe any environmental harm or soil damage resulted from the past use of associated water for dust suppression. “As the associated water generated by QGC's activity does not currently meet these more stringent limits, QGC has applied for a temporary permit. This application is still being assessed. “The department is continuing to liaise with QGC and local stakeholders”

Michael Bretherick, one of the founders of the landowners' group, said at the time QGC had betrayed locals and, as a result, all talks were off. “The only thing we’re willing to negotiate as far as the estates are concerned is how wide the exclusion zone will be and the fact we won’t be talking about limiting impact.” The QGC spokesperson said talks with Tara businesses had been positive during its community consultation process.

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OPINIONS QUARTERLY CONDUCT The issues, identities and announcements making news over the last three months.

THE ISSUE:

THE REAL CONFERENCE FACTS Fed up with the rhetoric and keen to set some sort of regional plan in place, the Surat Basin Corporation called on speakers at the 2009 conference to provide real facts and practical advice to local businesses. That request sparked an outpouring of opportunities for business and individuals to take part in the Surat’s resource boom.

THE IDENTITY:

JANE HOLDSWORTH Not many would have heard of Jane Holdsworth, manager of projects and economic development for the Western Downs Region Council. She, however, has your future in her hands.

THE ANNOUNCEMENT:

LNG BLUEPRINT The Queensland Government’s blueprint for the state’s LNG industry set the agenda for a promising 30 years. It will guide, regulate and support a $40 billion industry expected to create 18,000 jobs and more than $850 million a year in royalties for the next three decades.

THE CONTROVERSY:

BATTLE OF THE BLOCKS While many districts have opposed the start of mining or gas exploration over the past four years, maybe no other district was so angered than the rural-residential estates north of Tara.

SEVENinSEVEN

MAIN leader reveals the lessons that will guide the Surat Basin Allan Ruming started as an apprentice in the Bowen Basin mining industry 33 years ago. Today, he is deputy chairman of the Mackay Area Industry Network. SBN: What is MAIN? What does it hope to achieve? AR: MAIN is the coal services and industry representative body in the region. We want to ensure that our members and the wider industry understand what they need, and can influence regional decisions and share in information that makes our members’ businesses and the industry more successful. SBN: What has been your involvement with the Bowen Basin and mining industries? AR: Personally I started an apprenticeship in the industry 33 years ago. I was a founding member of the Coal Services Industry Cluster 10 years ago (now MAIN). My consulting and projects engineering company GROUP Engineering has a 20-year history in supporting regional mines, ports, sugar and other industries. SBN: From your interaction with Surat Basin communities and industries, what is your perception of the energy province and its future? AR: The Surat Basin is a unique opportunity for business and community to grow and develop. An immense resource with the opportunity to plan from the start to ensure all interests are well addressed in a balanced and sustainable manner. The world will need energy for a

long time to come assuring a future for the region and those who choose to live there. SBN: What are the key similarities between the Bowen and Surat basins, especially at an early development stage? AR: Similarities are more aligned to recent unprecedented growth in the Bowen Basin and the issues this highlights. The community and infrastructure problems are shared, the skills needs and shortages are similar. The shortage of funding for infrastructure is the same and we are all competing for attention to the same problems. SBN: What are the differences from a positive point of view? What is the Surat Basin doing right that the Bowen failed to do early in its development? AR: The major differences are the already established communities in the Surat Basin, which provides a different community attitude to a mining-only township. Also, the awareness of the issues that impact the region and a willingness to work together to work out what the problems are and plan for the future as a region. Then there is the readiness to seek out other and learn from them rather than make the same mistakes again.

Allan Ruming, MAIN deputy chairman, has spent 33 years working in and around the Bowen Basin mining industry. He believes the lessons of the Bowen could strengthen and better position the Surat Basin. SBN: What should we be doing to prepare, plan and position ourselves for the resource boom that lay ahead? AR: Gather together the key players in the region, close the doors and work out how you can all work together and what you want and need as a region. Then emerge, stand united as one regional voice and fight to ensure that government, large corporation and the community at large do their part to deliver the desired outcomes. The Surat Basin Corporation is already doing an excellent job as the catalyst for this process.

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THE STATEMENT: “Our regional council has drawn a line in the sand where we will protect prime, agricultural land.” - Western Downs Regional mayor Ray Brown speaking at the Surat Basin Conference. Pictured below is Haystack Plain, an example of the land to which Cr Brown was referring.

SBN: If there was one key lesson we as a region should take from the Mackay area and the Bowen Basin, what should that be? AR: If a region does not know what it wants and needs as a priority then how can can we expect government and others to respond to our needs. Know the top 10 issues that if you were given the resources would be your immediate focus as a region. Choose three that are essential and can be addressed and fight to get them resolved. As you knock one off the list fill the space and keep fighting as the list will never get shorter just less critical.

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR EMAIL: editorial@suratbasin.com.au POST: 12 Mayne Street, Chinchilla, 4413

Surat Basin NEWS 12 Mayne Street Chinchilla, QLD 4413 PO Box 138, Chinchilla, 4413 Phone: 4662 7368 General Manager: David Richardson Advertising: Laurell Ison Editor: John Farmer

Editorial

Right direction The 2009 Surat Basin Conference was just the start to breaking down the barriers between the billion-dollar energy business and local business. It was, though, a giant leap forward and one in the right direction. The conference put businesses on the front foot before the resource boom really takes hold. They have a better understanding of what lay ahead. They are also better informed of expectations they must meet to secure contracts with the resource companies. The three-day trade expo made the energy companies more aware of the capability of the local business community. After meeting with local industry leaders, they now know a lot of what they need can be found in the local area. Finally, the nature of the 2009 Surat Basin Conference allowed extended opportunities for networking. From that, we can expect to see alliances formed between the region's businesses. By working together and forming alliances, local industry will become more equipped to handle the demands of the fast moving resource companies. It will mean more dollars stay locally. The Surat Basin Conference will return in 2010 and once again the province's industrial landscape is likely to have changed dramatically. However, for an event like the conference, the need to keep local businesses informed, aware and up to date will ensure it remains relevant regardless of the barriers.

LETTERS to the editor Address to: The Editor Surat Basin News PO Box 138 Chinchilla 4413 Email to: editorial@suratbasin.com.au

LETTERStotheEDITOR Royalties must be shared Welcome to the Surat Basin News. Last edition I made mention about mining and urbanisation on prime agricultural farming areas and this is just one issue which will continue to generate much debate and discussion. The other issue that is in the forefront of peoples minds is that of the disrepair of the Warrego Highway from Charleville to Ipswich. We have the State Government softening up the community to reduce the cattletrain service which will further off load freight from the rail to the road. This year there are reports that all grain from the Roma depot will be trucked out of Roma placing an estimated 50 extra road trains a day on the highway back to Brisbane. This is the freight impact of just one depot; there are more sending grain by road. With the State

Recipe just does not work Why would Premier Bligh wish to appear on a cooking program on television to hi-light Queensland produce when she will do nothing to protect our prime food bowls? This must only be a short term project to fill in space before we start the short term fix for the economy of coal mining. Then she will really have to cudgel up something good for the long term food shortages Maybe she has a surprise up her sleeve – 14 different ways on how construct and present a coal sandwich without bread! The coal grab on prime Darling Downs land – Haystack Road, Jimbour Plains, Felton – will leave few options for Bligh and her government. Janet Cox Warra Government estimating they will receive $850 million (source Blueprint for Queensland’s LNG Industry) in royalties from the gas sold from the LNG it is time the state and federal governments stopped blaming former governments — and buck passing to each other — and got busy and made some serious commitments

Haystack Plain farmers want the district protected from mining.

COMMENT Howard Hobbs MP Member for Warrego

on how they are going to upgrade the Warrego Highway. To date, there has been no commitment by the

State Government to return any of the royalties that are receiving from mining areas back to the communities in the Surat Basin, despite the royalties already paid by coal and potential LNG royalties. There is no point having an LNG gas super highway from the Surat Basin to Gladstone connected to Brisbane with a goat track.

Basin perfect place for centre of excellence The skills shortage for trades in both the mining and agricultural industries is a widely discussed topic, and one to which I have often referred when writing in the Surat Basin News. It is no secret that a major obstacle to resolving the skills shortage is the perceived lack of training opportunities in non-metropolitan areas. A large number of young people leave their rural hometown to move to the city or larger regional areas to attend university or TAFE, never to return. For many, rural Queensland is barren in its career opportunities. The development of the Surat Coal Basin, however, has the potential to change this perception.

COMMENT Bruce Scott MP Federal Member for Maranoa

If we were to properly harness the positive changes brought about by the local resources boom, then we can improve our ability to attract and retain employees and their families. At the Surat Basin Conference, I spoke of a Surat Basin Centre for Excellence, which would provide training for careers in both the mining and agricultural. I noted Dalby’s Agricultural College as a potential site for a Centre for Excellence, as the infrastructure is already in place.

Five reasons why the Surat Basin Energy Province is Australia’s Future

However, Chinchilla and Roma also offer the same potential as the home of a training centre, or as additional campuses. A partnership between the major mining companies and all three levels of government would allow for the centre to be able to provide quality training to locals and to new residents. For example, a working oil rig could be constructed on which apprentices and trainees could conduct practical lessons. The centre could also expand to incorporate courses on renewable energy technologies. Offering courses which can create professionals and experts in the area of renewable and green energy would help to attract stu-

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dents both locally and from metropolitan areas, and in turn strengthen the local economy and improve our chances of attracting and retaining workers in the region. Whilst the mining and agriculture industries are poles apart in terms of methods, aims and endproducts, the reality is that in southern Queensland they are sharing the same resource – the earth. If these two industries were to collaborate in creating a new generation of workers who are trained to have a holistic approach to the wealth opportunities generated above and below the ground, it would serve to make southern Queensland an economic powerhouse for decades to come.

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Work together

Training the key

Need to plan

There is a place for agriculture and mining in the Surat Basin Michael Roche, QRC

Our economy can be strengthened with a training centre for mining and farming. Bruce Scott, MP

The LNP is committed to protecting prime agricultural land from mining and coal seam gas production Howard Hobbs, MP

Communication the key for Surat hile evident that Queensland's fortunes will continue to be closely aligned to those of its resources and agricultural export sectors, ‘energy security' is an issue that won't be far from the headlines in coming years. For countries with few natural resources like Japan, South Korea and Taiwan, energy security will continue to hinge on imports from trusted suppliers like Australia. Queensland coal played a pivotal role in the transition of post-war Japan into the manufacturing powerhouse that ranks today as the world's second largest economy. It is also no coincidence today that Japan is Australia's leading market for rural exports. And it's predicted that the growth of China and India will dwarf Japan's economy in coming years. For China and India, energy security is the key to raising living standards to help put a brake on population growth and deliver higher agricultural productivity, reflecting western experience. The resource demand implications of China's plans to move 350 million people from subsistence farming and into regional cities and towns over the next decade has been likened to the construction of another 50 New York cities. Australia has built a world class economy over more than 200 years of global trading and is poised to expand that role, having confirmed itself recently as the world's third largest energy exporter behind Saudi Arabia and Russia. The Asia-Pacific region is where about 70 per cent of the world's energy demand growth will come

W

COMMENT Michael Roche Chief Executive Queensland Resources Council

from over the next 20 years, and the fastest growing primary energy fuel in the world today is coal. The notion that coal is ‘yesterday's fuel' is simply not borne out by the reality of its demand growth being more than twice that of gas or oil. In Australia, the biggest energy security challenge is liquid fuels. Agriculture and mining are heavily dependent on diesel for their livelihoods. The comparative efficiency of our transport systems has given Australia a competitive advantage in the business of moving large amounts of heavy commodities extremely long distances. In just over five years' time, Australia is forecast to have an annual import bill for transport fuels of around $26 billion — twice the value of Queensland's entire agricultural output, or around half of the value of the Queensland resource sector's production. Given this outlook, it's not surprising to see the emergence in Queensland of new liquid fuel production concepts such as coal to liquids, underground coal gasification and oil shale. The QRC has been engaged in constructive dialogue with Agforce, the Queensland Farmers' Federation, FutureFood Queensland and rural communities over issues of common concern. You will find no more sympathetic ear to the call for long-term land use planning in Queensland than the QRC and its

members. The QRC and its members fully support the role of the State Government in developing a workable, long-term strategic plan for the Surat Basin, including land use. We also have no qualms over the preservation of prime agricultural land, determined by transparent and objective criteria. This is the way our industries are used to doing business, as almost every aspect of a mining operation in Queensland is regulated and monitored. An initial stocktake confirms mining and petroleum operations in Queensland can fall under the control of more than 120 state, national and international regulations. Is the Queensland countryside being held to ransom by exploration and overrun by mining developments? Queensland has a land mass of 1.7 million square kilometres. Mining operations to date have occupied around 1700 square kilometres, or 0.1% of the state. That should confirm the size of the gulf between exploration and development. The Queensland Government owns mineral and gas resources on behalf of all Queenslanders. The government allocates the exploration tenures and designs the legislation that literally lays down the law. Exploration regulations and land access are complex but the iron law of mineral exploration is contained in two words — “make good”. The QRC, rural groups and the State Government are working on a new code of conduct for exploration activity that will make the industry's intention crystal clear. AgForce's slogan of ‘every family needs a

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You will find no more sympathetic ear to the call for long-term land use planning in Queensland than the QRC and its members. farmer' is familiar to us all. What we want to avoid is adding: ‘and every farmer needs a lawyer'. Recently, the media had a field day reporting that around 85 per cent of the state was covered by exploration or mining tenures. Regrettably, this ignored overlapping tenures, which can include gas and petroleum, minerals, geothermal energy and carbon storage over the same property. In such an extreme example of overlapping tenures, the area of land under tenure is four times the size of the farm. A look at historical maps shows that tenure coverage today is comparable with 30 years ago, with a much stricter monitoring regime built around ‘use it or lose it'. Another issue causing concern in the Surat Basin is the production of saline water as a by-product in the extraction of coal seam gas from depths of up to one kilometre. Instinctively, some have looked at the water windfall as a threat rather than an opportunity to not only alleviate urban water shortages in the region but also contribute to rural productivity. There is no one-sizefits-all resolution to this issue but given its time over again, the State Government would be looking closely at the relative merits of an ocean desalination plant on the Gold Coast and one on the western downs. The issue of mined land rehabilitation has been portrayed as something of an industry pipe dream and the QRC accepts that

it is hard to find an example of successfully rehabilitated farm land in Queensland. The reason for the lack of examples is that the vast majority of export coal mined land has not been fully rehabilitated yet because of two influences — the relative youth and scale of the industry in the Bowen Basin. Thanks to the QRC's initiative in negotiating the certification of progressive rehabilitation, mining companies can now reform and restore mined land to its previous standard as they proceed, and receive confirmation from the government that their rehabilitation requirements have been met. Notwithstanding that progressive rehabilitation is now a far more attractive option, all rehabilitation must be completed at the direction of and to the satisfaction of the Department of Environment and Resource Management. Scheduled over the next six years is the first closure of a major export coal mine in central Queensland — Blair Athol near Clermont. It will have been in constant operation for 32 years and is being replaced by the nearby Clermont mine, operated by the same company. The cost of mine rehabilitation is factored into the cost of mineral production and that is an important concept to understand. Higher quality land demands and receives higher quality rehabilitation. The State Government's financial assurance system also means the state and

the people of Queensland are protected if a mining company walks away from its land rehabilitation responsibilities. Every resource development project in the state must meet strict environmental licence conditions. These are drawn up after the government's thorough assessment of a formal Environmental Impact Statement or similar mechanism to have the last word on how a mine operates in Queensland. Both EISs and the development of a company's environmental operating requirements - called an Environmental Authority - have multiple regulatory requirements and processes in relation to public consultation, objection and appeal rights. In the case of mining this provides substantial opportunity for community input into what a mine's rehabilitation should deliver. The QRC accepts that there's emotional capital tied up in opposition to certain development proposals. We would be naive to presume to change the view of people wedded to a fear that mining signals the end of rural Queensland but it is important for all stakeholders that effective communications continue in the long-term interests of all. This is an edited version of a Queensland Resources Council presentation to the 2009 Agforce State Conference on 12 September 2009. The complete presentation is available from www.qrc.org.au (Publications).

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Surat Basin News

ORIGIN BENEFITS TO FLOW Thousands of jobs, billions of dollars

RESOURCES

VOICE YOUR OPINION: editorial@suratbasin.com.au

ON TRACK: Xstrata Coal works through the downturn to have Wandoan project on schedule

Xstrata mines through tough times to remain on track PAGE 14

Syntech powers into expansion Syntech may only have started stage one ground work, but planning has started for a massive expansion of Cameby Downs PAGE 20

Blueprint for an industrial phenomenon The Queensland Government has released a blueprint that will guide the expansive LNG industry.

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he Wandoan coal mine remains on track with Xstrata Coal working through last year's economic downturn despite doubt over the project. The 30-million-tonne a year coal mine was thought to be in jeopardy as the world's demand for coal took a dive in late 2008. However, Xstrata Coal project manager Rob Thatcher said the company had not shelved activities during the downturn and added the world's hunger for coal had not changed. “We believe there is probably demand for a Wandoan project every year just to keep pace with where we're at, so there's definitely demand for coal,” he said. “Even with the downturn in the economy, we've been still working on the project feverishly.” As work continues on its business case and expected financial close later next year, Xstrata Coal will lodged its supplementary EIS to the Department of Infrastructure and Planning next month. A public meeting to discuss the document could be held in Wandoan to coincide with its submission. The Department of Infrastructure and Planning would subsequently release it publicly. “The public will be able to obtain printed or electronic copies of the supplementary EIS and updated fact sheets about the Wandoan Coal Project from the Xstrata Coal shopfront or at a public meeting Xstrata Coal will be holding soon after its release,” Xstrata

The economic downturn has not slowed Xstrata Coal down. Coal communications manager James Rickards said. Local landholders objecting the project need not to panic just yet, with Xstrata Coal forced to face an in-depth and time consuming application and approval process. Once released, the supplementary EIS is then evaluated by the Department of Infrastructure and Planning Co-ordinator General, who will evaluate the report. “The Co-ordinator General’s evaluation report may recommend approval, and state conditions that may attach to project approvals.” Based on report findings, approval for the project is then sought from Environment, Heritage and the Arts federal minister Peter Garrett. Mining Lease and Environmental Authority applications will also need to be

processed by the State Government and these applications are advertised publicly; objections can be made by landholders. “Any objections to the Environmental Authority and Mining Lease are heard in the Land Court, which may recommend the application be granted or refused,” Mr Rickards said. Development applications for required infrastructure also need to be processed by the Western Downs Regional Council. More than $1.6 billion will be spent and 1300 people employed over the two years of construction. Once competed, 840 people will work on the mine, which will cost $240 million a year to operate. With the financial crisis almost over, Mr Thatcher said the next challenge was linking

the Surat Basin with the outside world. Though the Surat Basin coal chain, he said, was a challenge well and truly worth taking on. “The challenge we have, and it's the biggest challenge to date, is not only the logistics and the costs,” he said. “Getting this coal to port takes not only the Wandoan project — the coal project — we've got the Surat rail project, we've got the Queensland Rail upgrade and Wiggins Island. “But we're trying to open up in excess of four billion tonnes of thermal coal and, when this project (Surat Basin coal chain) gets up, we're talking about possibilities of in excess of 100 million tonnes a year coming from the Surat Basin.” Mr Thatcher said Xstrata Coal was taking a leading role in the Surat Basin coal chain to ensure all involved partners realised an economically viable and effective solution. He said a completion date for the Wandoan coal mine rested on that. “We think we could probably build the mine within two years but it all hinges on how soon we can get the rest of the infrastructure in place,” he said. “The mine is not the constraint.”

“Even with the downturn in the economy, we've been still working on the project feverishly.” — Xstrata’s Rob Thatcher

Cougar unlocks commercial resource Cougar Energy’s latest drilling results have confirmed its Wandoan site is primed for a 30-year-plus commercial energy project. The company plans to replicate a power station it is currently constructing at Kingaroy combined with a chemical manufacturing facility using UCG gas.

PAGE 14

Drilling conducted in June and July this year revealed a compliant resource of 341 million tonnes, exceeding estimates of around 300 million. Cougar CEO and managing director Len Walker said the resource gave the company “great confidence” to develop its second UCG project with technol-

ogy partner Ergo Exergy Technologies. “We will follow a clear development roadmap to build long life projects at Wandoan in a similar manner to our Kingaroy development. “Given that our Kingaroy Power Plant (73 million tonnes) will supply 400,000 homes with

Surat Basin NEWS Thursday 24 September 2009

electricity for 30 years, the upside potential for power generation at Wandoan is extremely exciting. “In addition, we have incorporated into our overall project plan a work program to determine the most appropriate chemical by-products to be produced from the syngas.” 2732465aa


RESOURCES

FROM THE FIELDS OF THE SURAT BASIN TO THE SHORES OF GLADSTONE, THE STATE GOVERNMENT HAS SET THE AGENDA WITH ITS...

he State Government stands to make $850 million a year from the “once in a lifetime” LNG industry and local councils want their cut. Last week, Premier Anna Bligh released the Blueprint for Queensland's LNG Industry, a document to support, regulate and shape an industry that by 2014 could be worth $40 billion. Eight separate gas schemes have been proposed for the Surat Basin

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“That’s $850 million a year for more schools and hospitals.” — Queensland Premier Anna Bligh 2732467aa

with an anticipated 18,000 jobs to be created. The blueprint sets a royalty regime that by 2014, when Queensland is expected to be exporting around 28 million tonnes of LNG a year, the State Government would earn about $850 million. “That's $850 million a year for more schools and hospitals,” Ms Bligh said. “This is a once in a lifetime opportunity. It is akin to what coal did to the Bowen Basin and to Queensland in the 1970s and 1980s and beyond.” However, with the potential for LNG exports to increase to in excess of 50 million tonnes at its peak, royalties could almost double. Western Downs Regional mayor Ray Brown said the south-west region was screaming out for some of those royalties to flow into local communities to help upgrade infrastructure,

BLUEPRINT FOR A ONCE IN A LIFETIME INDUSTRY THE BLUEPRINT • $850m in royalties for State Government • 18,000 direct jobs • Evaporation ponds banned provide services and deal with rapid growth. “I hope when she (Ms Bligh) said schools and hospitals, she meant our region because, as I've been saying from day one, we've got to see some of those

royalties coming back to these regions,” he said. After missing out in the $100 million Resource Community Partnerships program last year, Maranoa Regional mayor Rob Loughnan agreed the need

for funding was getting desperate. “Even just some of the impacts of the industry already existing; we need a hell of a lot of money,” he said. “We could spend $50 million a year just in these councils to fix roads, infrastructure and our airport to handle the people coming into the region.” Along with setting a royalties regime, the blueprint banned coal seam gas companies from using evaporation ponds to dispose of waste water. Instead, that must be treated and put to a beneficial use. Cr Brown said the move could mean sweeping benefits for the region. “Beneficial uses could, of course, mean for our towns, our agriculture and our industries,” he said. However, Cr Brown said he was concerned the companies would still be allowed to use lined ponds

to store salt extracted through the treatment process. “I don't want any environmental harm caused by that salt; I want to see that put to a beneficial use as well,” he said. Cr Loughnan said his communities would welcome the use of treated coal seam gas water to take the pressure off existing supplies. “It will take the pressure off of our bores and give us the time we need to put down more. “It's definitely a logical fit for us.”

“... we’ve got to see some of those royalties coming back to these regions.” — Western Downs mayor Ray Brown

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Next edition of Surat Basin News- December 17 Surat Basin NEWS Thursday 24 September 2009

PAGE 15


RESOURCES

STAGE 1 UNDERWAY - MAJOR EXPANSION IN

Groundwork begins

— Liberty Resources managing director Andrew Haythorpe

As works begin at Cameby Downs, Syntech has already set its sights on a massive expansion, John Farmer reports.

PAGE 16

Liberty launches into clean power ABOVE: Drilling at Cameby Downs. RIGHT: Checking coal samples. tonnes a year by 2013. It has lodged its draft terms of reference and IAS to the State Government in hope of having an EIS approved before 2011. CEO Darian Hielscher said a community meeting in Miles on September 24 would outline what was involved in the second stage. “We've engaged the community about stage one but this is our chance to engage with them, talk to them and hear what their concerns might be with stage two,” he said.

Mr Hielscher said Syntech was pushing ahead with planning for stage two but admitted a number of factors had to fall in place before the company could proceed. These included approval for its EIS, and the realisation of the Wiggins Island Coal Terminal and Surat Basin railway. “If they don't happen, we can't go ahead with stage two, so we'll just keep going

with stage one.” Mr Hielscher said some who lived inside the 13,370ha site could be anxious about the future of their properties. “But we can't start doing that (purchasing land) until we have approvals in place.” The mine life of Cameby Downs is expected to be around 40 years with stage two to take two years to construct.

Liberty Resources emerged in August as a driving force behind the move to use underground coal gasification to pioneer clean, efficient and affordable power generation. The Perth-based company has an exploration potential of upwards of 350 billion tonnes that, in partnership with Clean Global Energy and Carbon Energy, it wants to turn into syngas-powered electricity. Managing director Andrew Haythorpe said Liberty planned to partner with the established companies that had proven their techniques to build its own portfolio. An added dimension to its Queensland project would be the capture and storage of carbon in the deep, secure cham-

bers created during the UCG process. Mr Haythorpe said Liberty's projects had the potential to become carbon neutral with plans to capture emissions from both the syngas and electricity generation. He said UCG had a significant role to play in Australia's shift towards a clean energy future and could also diminish a reliance on imported fuels. “We see it as having the potential to reduce energy imports and expand Australia's role in the world as a major energy exporter.” In early September, Mr Haythorpe said with agreements locked in, Liberty was planning to be on the ground before Christmas to ramp up project development.

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While the first stage pushes forward unabated, the company behind the Surat Basin's newest coal mine is going to the community with its plans for a major expansion. Syntech Resources is on track to open the $250 million stage one of its Cameby Downs coal mine by mid-2010, which would see 1.4 million tonnes of coal annually sent by rail to the Port of Brisbane. The project's workforce is steadily building as the site — located 16km east of Miles — is cleared and equipment arrives for a coal preparation plant and handling facilities. However, the Direct Invest-backed company wants to increase production to possibly 15 million

“We see it as having the potential to reduce energy imports and expand Australia's role in the world as a major energy exporter.”

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Surat Basin NEWS Thursday 24 September 2009


RESOURCES

Origin’s massive flow on rigin Energy could kick a $35 billion project that may create upwards of 9000 local jobs into gear by as early as December next year. In partnership with LNG pioneer Conoco Phillips, Origin released the draft terms of reference for its Australia Pacific LNG project earlier this month ahead of an early 2010 release of its EIS. A final investment decision is planned for late next year. Origin wants to export 16 million tonnes of LNG a year from a Curtis Island plant fed with coal seam gas from across the Surat Basin. It anticipates the first train will leave within five years during which a second will be built. Another two could be leaving Gladstone by as early as 2020 depending on gas reserves. “Up until the end of next year it's almost business as usual to an extent,” Origin EIS and stakeholder manager Ken Horton said. “Following the final investment being made we will then have four years of

O

$35 billion - 9000 local jobs - 30 years

Origin is gearing up to start shaping its $35 billion LNG project. intense construction activity and, at the moment. we’re planning the end of 2014 for our first LNG shipment.” During construction of the plant, Origin will directly employ 5000 people, of whom 60 per cent will be located at Curtis Island, while once completed, 600 people would be needed to run the fields.

Mr Horton said the flow on effect could be 9000 local jobs for at least the next 30 years. “During the construction phase, the jobs are actually primarily focused around the Gladstone region because it is a very large plant to be built,” he said. “But then, during the operation phase, the bulk of those jobs will be focused

on this region and the ongoing employment — we're looking at possibly up to 9000 new, ongoing jobs created throughout the life of the project.” Origin plans to get its coal seam gas from permits that run from Millmerran to Spring Gully, a field just north of Roma it has operated for five years. It also owns permits in

QGC release sends team on a field-to-shore community tour With the release of its environmental impact statement, QGC sent a team along the route of its proposed pipeline, taking those involved from the gas fields to the shores of Curtis Island. The consultation tour, part of the EIS process, visited eight centres for a series of information sessions with communities and individual stakeholders affected by the multi-billiondollar QCLNG project. Once the doors shut at the Biloela Civic Centre, QGC's team had held more than 160 meetings. “We received constructive

responses from everyone we spoke to during this stage of the EIS consultation for the Queensland Curtis LNG Project,” a company spokesperson said. “We had more than 160 meetings and discussions, with topics focusing on everything from project benefits such as employment through to commitments on environmental performance and social provisions.” The release of the QCLNG EIS represented another significant milestone in the development of the project. QCLNG will expand QGC's

EXCLUSIVE

coal seam gas production in the Surat Basin, transport the gas via a 380km underground pipeline to an LNG processing plant and export facility on Curtis Island. It will generate significant economic benefits for Australia and Queensland, including more than 4000 direct jobs at the peak of construction and about 1000 permanent positions during operation. QGC managing director Catherine Tanna said QCLNG would provide significant benefits to regional communities, Queensland and Australia for decades. 2732473aa

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the Galilee Basin but they remain at least 10 years from development. A 1000km gas gathering network will connect the fields and Origin plans to have reverse osmosis plants located at each of the project's gas plants to treat waste water. “We're still looking at what the opportunities are for that water,” Mr Horton

said. At the moment, Origin is conducting a field appraisal, which is seeing 120 wells developed annually. That would increase to in excess of 400 once its LNG project begins. Mr Horton said the need for ongoing development of gas fields meant Surat Basin communities stood to benefit immensely. “This project is not going to be just a peak at the top then nothing as far as opportunities go,” he said. “There is going to be an ongoing level of opportunity across the 30-plus year life.” While competing with four other LNG aspirants, Mr Horton said Origin was well positioned due to its alliance with Conoco Phillips, a pioneer of the industry and the largest coal seam gas producer in the USA.

“There is going to be an ongoing level of opportunity across the 30plus year life.” — Origin’s Ken Horton

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Fax 4669 1912 PAGE 17


Surat Basin News

A BIRD’S EYE VIEW Surat Basin projects from the air

INFRASTRUCTURE www.suratbasin.com.au

VOICE YOUR OPINION: editorial@suratbasin.com.au

ON TRACK: The Surat Basin railway is heading to the banks to prove it will make money once the trains hit the track

Plans put aside as Surat Basin Rail starts to negotiate dollars PAGE 26

Company portfolios surge The opening of Braemar 2 power station marked another impressive year for two homegrown success stories. PAGE 27

Hopeland calls for new direction Farmers across the rich, fertile district of Hopeland claim an Arrow pipeline will destroy their farming practices.The solution, they claim, is simple.

PAGE 18

he Surat Basin railway shifted from blueprints to dollar bills this month as its ability to make money went on the line. The billion-dollar project's business case was delivered to the Co-ordinator General in the first week of September to convince the State Government it was a financially viable project. “What we have to be able to prove is that this

T

thing is financially viable because, if it isn't, it won't happen,” Surat Basin Rail projects director Warren McReight said. “But we're extremely positive it is.” The approval of the business case is expected to trigger the process to acquire land along the 210km corridor. The document's delivery comes after the project's Environmental Impact Statement's public consultation period closed. A supplementary EIS is expected in the

first week of October. Thirty-six public submissions were made to the Co-ordinator General with the majority focused on the project's work camps and the impact of its corridor, which is expected to be between 60 and 100 metres wide. Mr McReight said for a project of its scale, the response was pleasing.

“I was pretty happy with that,” he said. “We've got a project covering in excess of 210km, going through 57 properties and two local governments; yet we only got 36 submissions.” Mr McReight said Surat Basin Rail's focus over the next eight months would be locking in contracts with the

coal miners along the rail line's route. He said negotiations were underway with around six companies and locking in those would be pivotal to the project's future. “If I can't get contracts in place to be sufficient for the bank to lend us money, we won't build this thing. It's that simple,” Mr McReight said.

"What we have to be able to prove is that this thing is financially viable because, if it isn't, it won't happen.” — Surat Basin Rail projects director Warren McReight 2732477aa

Wandoan looks through pipeline maze BY TENEALE Luckraft

District prepares for lines from the south

editorial @suratbasin.com.au

With coal mines, pipelines and government acts bigger than Ben-Hur hanging over their heads, landholders in Wandoan and surrounding areas could be excused for feeling a little overwhelmed. In a bid to alleviate some of the confusion, the Wandoan Community Liaison Group held a public meeting in the small Western Downs town late, last month. To discuss landholder concerns, guest speakers included Roma-based deputy mining registrars from the Department of Mines and Energy Waanda McCarthy and Todd Ellis as well as Legal Aid Queensland solicitor for farm and rural (mining service) Glen Martin. Company representatives from Origin Energy and Surat Basin Rail also fielded questions. Wandoan Community Liaison Group president Bill Blakely said it was important that landholders were armed with

The Wandoan district is prepared for an onslaught of gas pipelines from the gas fields of the south. information and knowledge. “The main reason for the meeting was to make the landholders more informed,” he said. “The average primary producer hasn’t had contact with this type of development before.” Mr Blakely said questions focused on pipeline projects rather than mining developments. “The mining has been ongoing for 12 months, not a lot has been said about the pipeline,” he said. “Landholders were worried about the impact

it’s having on their properties and local roads.” Landholder and company rights and entitlements under the state government’s Petroleum Act were also discussed. Entry onto private land proved a contentious issue. “We discovered that under the Petroleum Act, companies are not abiding to the Notice of Entry when entering private property.” According to Act guidelines, a person must not enter private land to carry out an authorised activity unless each owner or

Surat Basin NEWS Thursday 24 September 2009

occupier of the land is given notice at least 10 business days before entry. Meanwhile, damage to local roads, especially during a possible 18month construction phase, was also causing angst. “These companies don’t own any land; they only take out a lease,” Mr Blakely said. “They aren’t rate payers and there are great concerns about the impact this is going to have on council roads. “They should be made to contribute to the upkeep of the roads. “There is a lot of traffic

and all they’re going to do is bugger them up.” Mr Blakely is urging the big players to be more proactive and contribute. “All they (the roads) need is a gravelling and water, otherwise we’ll end up with a big bulldust pile.” Also the potential threat of deep, tap root parthenium weed spreading down into the region was weighing on landeholders minds. “This has the potential to be a real problem with the projects heading towards the Banana region,” Mr Blakely said. The wash down facility located in Taroom is currently being utilised by mining and gas companies, but as development moves, the threat could heighten. He said the introduction of sub-contractors was also making landholders nervous. “The spread of parthenium weed can cause health problems, it does stop production; it just takes over." Mr Blakely said the liaison group was not planning a second public meeting in relation to these issues, but would considerate it if needed.


INFRASTRUCTURE

District’s hope for change as gas pipeline threatens Farmers call for company to look past its bottom line and to consider an alternative route The Hopeland community has banded together in an attempt to divert a pipeline it believes could derail farming practices across the rich, agricultural district. In a combined submission to the environmental impact statement issued by Surat Gladstone Pipeline, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Arrow Energy, affected landowners of Hopeland have unanimously opposed the planned pipeline. The company wants to take coal seam gas from fields west of Dalby to Gladstone, where it proposes to construct an LNG plant. The planned route would see the pipeline cut across 11 Hopeland properties and several others north of the Condamine River.

Landowners want an alternative corridor used but claim Arrow Energy refuses to be swayed due to financial factors. Hopeland district spokesman Arthur Gearon said landowner concerns essentially centred on the unnecessary destruction of prime agricultural land. The EIS submission outlines factors such as impacts on soil, the spread of weeds and the unsuitable nature of the district's soil for a high pressure pipeline, that would disrupt farming practices. “Arrow's own EIS statement shows that the soil type and farming methods used in Hopeland are entirely unsuitable for a high pressure gas pipeline,” Mr Gearon said.

Hopeland farmers like Arthur Gearon, Wayne Davis, Michael Sperling and Malcolm Valler are calling on Arrow Energy to avoid building a pipeline across the prime agricultural district. “In addition with issues such as compaction, subsidence, soil degradation and access, this has the potential to divide farms into two which will result in whole crops being missed, entire operations being affected and ultimately increased safety concerns beyond Arrow's proposed contingencies.” Mr Gearon said landowners wanted to see the pipeline re-routed

so it did not come into contact with the district's prime, board acre country. He said other companies had used an alternative route though claimed Arrow had dismissed it due to the extra costs involved. “There is an existing alternate route that other companies have used deliberately to avoid unnecessary destruction of such an asset,” he said.

“Disappointingly, it would appear Arrow are less concerned about the social implications of their actions and are focused purely on their bottom line. “Hopeland has put forward an alternate route that minimises their effect on prime agricultural land. “We respectfully ask them to consider factors beyond their own bottom line.”

Council calls for some sense The Western Downs Regional Council is holding firm on its position regarding the proposed Surat to Gladstone pipeline projects with the effect on landholders their main concern. Cr Ian Staines said they were starting to “see some sense” from the major energy companies and hoped more amicable agreements could be sought in the future. “We can see this is a great project and the world needs it, but we just want the gas trafficked in the most practical way,” Cr Staines said. “We would prefer if a single corridor was used or a single pipeline. “It’s all heading from the Surat Basin to Gladstone, but everyone is taking a different route.” A direct route could be obtained if development in the Barakula State Forest was allowed. The State Government, which owns the forest, has plans to convert the area into a national park. Cr Staines said council would also like sensible levels of compensation paid to landholders with past values offered ranging from 30 to 60 per cent. “Compensation values have certainly moved but there is a long way to go yet.” Crop compensation was also a concern for the council. “We just want this project to have a minimal effect on landholders,” Cr Staines said. 2732479aa

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PAGE 19


INFRASTRUCTURE

POWERFUL PORTFOLIO "This is the location that is nearly uniquely placed to actually in the longer term become a potentially viable solar and gas power development...” — ERM Power chairman Trevor St Baker New beginning for ERM Power... sunrise at Braemar 2 looking across evaporation pond towards stacks.

Last month, two homegrown success stories flicked the switch on a power project that adds further spark to a powerful portfolio expanding every year. As ERM Power flicked the switch on another bright light in an increasingly powerful portfolio, it set its sights on adding further spark to

Braemar. In the shadows of the founding power station it completed three years ago, ERM was joined by

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BRAEMAR 2 OPENS IN THE SHADOWS Minister for Infrastructure Stirling Hinchliffe on August 25 to open the $546 million Braemar 2. Chairman Trevor St Baker said the second Braemar power station did not signal the end of development in the area, which also plays home to Origin Energy's Darling Downs project. Along with Braemar 3, which could be completed by as early as 2011, Mr St Baker said ERM was planning a “significant, flagship” solar project. “This is the location that is nearly uniquely placed to actually in the longer term become a potentially viable solar and gas power development that can nearly economically proceed to provide solar power,” he said. That project remains in the early stages of pre-feasibility. Fully operational in midJune, Braemar 2 is an integrated, 450MW open-cycle, gas-fired power station and 110km highpressure pipeline. It is located next to the Queensland-NSW high voltage

BY John Farmer editorial @suratbasin.com.au

transmission interconnector and half owned by Arrow Energy, which supplies 5.5 petajoules of gas to it annually. Mr St Baker commended Arrow and the successful co-ordination between “two of the most outstanding homegrown, Queensland company success stories”. “Our two businesses continue to grow with seemingly no bounds,” he said. “I'd like to thank Arrow for their tremendous partnership in this project.” Mr Hinchliffe recognised the leadership and innovation of ERM Power. He said Braemar 3 was a “great, all round outcome” for Queensland because of its response to the state's growing electricity demand and its clean

“Our two businesses continue to grow with seemingly no bounds.” — ERM Power chairman Trevor St Baker

Western Downs Regional managing director Phillip

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INFRASTRUCTURE

SURGES

“This is a fantastic and important step on our journey together to seeing a cleaner and greener energy industry here in the state of Queensland and across the eastern seaboard.” — Minister for Infrastructure Stirling Hinchliffe

BRAEMAR 3 Braemar 3 is a planned replica of the 450MW Braemar 2. It is a 100 per cent owned ERM project that has development approval and effectively, is ready to execute. Financial close of the project will occur in mid 2010 with operation expected from 2011.

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The official party, which included ERM Power and Arrow Energy staff, and Minister for Infrastructure Stirling Hinchliffe, take a tour of the Braemar 2 power station last month.

OF A SOLAR FIRST

mayor Ray Brown talks with ERM Power St Baker during last month’s opening. credentials. “This is a fantastic and important step on our journey together to seeing a cleaner and greener energy industry here in the state of Queensland and across the eastern seaboard,” he said. Arrow managing director Nick Davies said the opening of the power station further consolidated the transformation from coal seam gas producer to integrated energy company. “This is a significant milestone which will increase Arrow's exposure to a buoyant electricity market and provide significant options for utilisation of LNG ramp up gas,” he said. Braemar 2 was completed within 20 months and $15 million under budget, which Mr StBaker said was a remarkable achievement by ERM's experienced team. “For ERM Power staff, Braemar 2 adds to ERM Power's portfolio of successes; we've had five power stations successfully coming online over just three years and three months across three states totalling 220,000 megawatts of pure electricity generation and $2.5 billion of capital investment,” he said. “ERM has been the lead project developer, project manager and operator and business manager at all of these stations. :It's an achievement without parallel.”

Surat Basin NEWS Thursday 24 September 2009

PAGE 21


INFRASTRUCTURE

THE SURAT BASIN

FROM THE SKY Delegates were given a birds eye view of the region’s resource boom during the 2009 Surat Basin Conference. Plane and helicopter flights were held from Dalby to just west of Miles, taking in power stations,

gas fields, coal mines and expansive farming land. The Surat Basin News climbed aboard for a Wednesday afternoon flight and captured the fervent activity taking place on the eastern edge of the energy province.

ABOVE: Origin Energy’s $780 million Darling Downs Power Station will be Australia’s largest combined cycle power station when it is completed in early 2010.

LEFT: The Wilkie Creek open cut coal mine, owned by Peabody Coal, is located 30km south-west of Dalby. It opened in 1994 and currently sends 2.35 million tonnes of coal a year to the Port of Brisbane.

The Braemar 1 and 2 power stations, which were built by ERM Power. They are 450MW gas-fired power stations, which were opened in 2006 and August 2009. Braemar 3 is expected to be operational by late 2011. 2732504aa

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ABOVE: An evaporation pond for waste water harvested during the coal seam gas process. Around 160,000 megalitres are currently being taken from the ground every year. However, these will become increasingly rare across the Surat Basin, with the State Government banning their use.

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Surat Basin NEWS Thursday 24 September 2009

CS Energy’s Kogan Creek Power Station, a 750MW coal-fired generator that has been operational since 2008.


Surat Basin News

THE COMPANIES www.suratbasin.com.au

VOICE YOUR OPINION: editorial@suratbasin.com.au

VERSATILE AND ACCOMPLISHED: FKG Civil takes out Queensland Master Builders award.

Versatility awarded PAGE 24

High priority for Bullivants Bullivants has been providing safety solutions for more than 100 years. Get the lowdown on height safety in this edition. PAGE 24

Origin’s role for local communities

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Origin Energy visited the towns of the Surat Basin this month to speak about the company’s LNG plans and the role local communities can play in the project.

C

ivil construction company FK Gardner and Sons last month won the prestigious 2009 Queensland Master Builders — Downs and Western Region — Civil Contractor of the Year award. While FKG has been involved in the civil industry for many years, it recently established the new business unit FKG Civil. Already recognised as a market leader when it comes to the construction of quality commercial buildings, the award highlighted the company’s versatility and civil accomplishments. Managing director Gary Gardner said the award was a remarkable result for the entire FKG team. “Our team needs to be acknowledged for their hard work and dedication; without their commitment to FKG this achievement would not be possible" he said. FKG Civil has developed

Bruce Henry, FKG Civil manager and Clayton McDonald FKG Civil project manager accept the company’s award from a Master Builders representative. rapidly over the past two years. Input from its key clients has provided valuable insight and direction that has enabled FKG Civil to achieve the milestone. “Being able to continue to grow and expand in this economic climate is a testament to our team and procedures,” Mr Gardner said. FKG has already very active throughout the Surat

WDS staff pictured during pipeline contruction, displaying some of the activity in the Surat Basin enrgy region Basin and has an optimistic view of the future.

“Our team needs to be acknowledged for their hard work and dedication, without their commitment to FKG this achievement would not be possible.” — FK Gardner and Sons managing director Gary Gardner

Achieving this prestigious award of Civil Contractor of the Year cements FKG's reputation as a leader in civil construction. Mr Garden said having existing relationships with many mining companies in the area, gave the company every reason to be optimistic.

Improved break equals opportunity for growth Investment talk with WHK During the Surat Basin Conference, much of the focus revolved around attracting and recognising opportunities in the region. Part of realising these opportunities however, is having the structure and resources in place to be able to support new business — particularly if there is sudden or dramatic growth. The Federal Government has improved recent legislation on a tax break for businesses. The now 50 per cent deduction for small business entities

is designed to increase business investment in income-producing assets. The tax break takes the form of an additional deduction on up to 50% of the cost of eligible assets and applies on top of the normal 100% depreciation allowed over the asset's effective life. Depending on the stage of a business, it is critical to look at the overall efficiency of the business, and objectively assess its capacity for growth. Whether this means reviewing or developing a new budget or marketing plan, or updating or purchasing additional equipment, the opportunities available within the Surat Basin need to be approached with a practical and thoughtout strategy. Otherwise there is potential

RELEVANT DATES Small business • To get the additional 50% deduction an asset must be purchased between December 13, 2008 and December 31, 2009 and be installed, ready for use, by December 31, 2010. for under-delivery to clients as well as missed opportunities to service new clients. Besides improving capacity for growth, there are additional benefits and implications to consider before taking advantage of the tax break. For businesses looking at investing in new assets or replacing existing assets, the tax break will help to minimise tax; and whilst it allows

Surat Basin NEWS Thursday 24 September 2009

Large business • To get an additional 30% deduction an asset must be purchased between December 13, 2008 and June 30, 2009 and be installed, ready for use, by June 30, 2010. businesses to invest in their future operations, it will also have an impact on cash flow and budgeting. Overall, the investment tax break is a great way for small businesses entities to grow in the Surat Basin. For more information, or to determine whether this legislation may apply to you, call us at WHK and ask to speak to one of our many experienced accountants.

PAGE 23


COMPANIES

Origin emphasises key role of local area Grant King, managing director of Origin Energy met with local landholders, government, businesses and industry groups in Roma this month highlighting the importance of the local region to Queensland's future energy industry. As part of a visit to the region, Mr King said south-west Queensland, particularly Roma, Chinchilla and Miles, is a core region for Origin's fast growing national business and continues to be a key focus for the rapidly growing coal seam gas industry in Australia. Mr King said the region houses the Spring Gully gas fields where a large, quality world class accumulation of coal seam gas is found. The Spring Gully gas fields form part of the

Karen Moses, Maranoa Regional mayor Rob Loughnan, Nikki Thompson, Origin Energy managing director Paul Zealand and Paul Thompson during the Roma breakfast. Australia Pacific LNG joint venture with ConocoPhillips which is investing millions of dollars in the local region. “Investment in the area will help strengthen the

local economy and boost employment opportunities for those that live and work here with the flow-on benefits to small businesses. “Origin currently

employs, as both the operator for Australia Pacific LNG's upstream operations and in its own businesses, more than 1000 people directly and through other business contracts across central and south-west Queensland,” Mr King said. "”Origin has been a long term operator in Queensland's south-west region for more than forty years and is committed to investing in the area well into the future. “We undertake extensive consultation and engagement with local groups in the region helping form productive and long lasting relationships with local community, landholders and governments. I want to take this opportunity to acknowledge the support

we've been given to date and look forward to maintaining and building on our close relationships in the local area. “Our success to date has come from the relationships we have with members of the local community, in particular the strong business relationships we have with local landholders. “The south-west region is of critical importance to our ongoing gas production and generation businesses, housing some of our largest projects. These include the Talinga and Spring Gully gas fields which are currently under development and form part of the Australia Pacific LNG Project; Darling Downs Power Station which will produce enough power to supply the equivalent of

400,000 Queensland homes and the Darling Downs pipeline. “We asked people in the Roma region where we could work with them to make a long term difference in the local community. “They told us there was a need to provide careers for young people in local towns so that they didn't have to leave the area to build a career. As a result, Origin is helping to address this in conjunction with local businesses by creating the Community Skills Scholarship Program. "Origin is investing in the development of local communities, local people and the creation of local jobs as part of our long term commitment to the region.”

High priority at Bullivants Did you know that under the Workplace Health and Safety Act, employers have a duty of care to provide a safe work environment for all employees, contractors and visitors alike? For more than 100 years, Bullivants has been providing safety solutions for companies throughout Australia. In the field of height safety, Bullivants has designed and installed height access and safety systems for a wide cross section of industries These include mining, government, commercial, industrial, sporting, health and education. For each building structure or access issue, Bullivants conducts a risk assessment to determine the potential for risk of injury. Following the assessment, Bullivants determines the best control measures to implement, from it Hierarchy of Control: • Eliminate the hazard through appropriate building design. • Transfer the hazard to ground level. • Rigid control: handrails and walkways. • Mechanical access: cherry pickers, scissor lifts, etc. • Fall protection: ladders, safety lines, safety rails, anchor points. In the instance that fall protection is required, Bullivants will recommend one of the following methods: 1. Proprietary walkthrough safety line systems and rail system. 2. Prescribed non walkthrough safety line system. 3. Temporary safety lines 4. Fall arrest anchor points Each system has its merits in certain circumstances. These merits are discussed with the client so that an informed decision can be made. Bullivants’ team of experts prides itself on having a perfect safety record across hundreds of installations. Bullivants is dedicated to helping clients achieve a safe work environment and ensure compliance to regulations, codes of practice and current standards. When it comes to height safety, talk to the experts at Bullivants.

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College’s sporting endeavours Downlands College students find polocrosse a popular sport with a total of 14 students currently playing this fast equine game. Polocrosse is a fastpaced, skillful and exciting game which presents an incomparable athletic challenge involving speed and stamina, and also demands lightning quick reflexes in both horse and rider. Downlands students participating in the sport range across all year levels, with five of them being privileged and skilled to play for Queensland — year 12 students Ashley Wheeler and Christy Edwards, year 11 students Ben Paterson and Grant Carroll along with Year 8 student Zac O'Leary. Polocrosse is one of only three sports that Australia can truly claim as its own; the others being Australian Rules Football and campdrafting. In 1938, the sport was created by Mr and Mrs Edward Hirst from Sydney. After visiting England, where they witnessed an indoor horse exercise used to help young riders take better charge of their horses, they developed the

Downlands College’s 14 polocrosse playing students Dan O’Leary, Ben Paterson, Grant Carroll, Jacinta Brennan, Brooke Wheeler, Ashley Wheeler, Christie Edwards, Cody Madder, Clare Standfast, Jack Standfast, Kalicia Brennan, David Edwards, Zac O’Leary and Melinda Williams. exciting horse sport we see today. Being a sport the whole family can play, polocrosse caters for everyone from the expert A Grade and elite player to the once a year casual player. Polocrosse has mini junior (non-competitive), sub junior, junior, intermediate, open and masters levels.

Some levels have separate men, women and mixed competition, however it is one of the few sports where male and female players can compete equally in the same team. The Queensland Polocrosse Association (QPA) was formed in 1957. Today the QPA administers seasonal competition between 42 clubs through-

out the state, culminating in the State Club Championships held annually, usually on the first weekend in September. An inter zone championships is held bi-annually. Queensland Polocrosse also selects representative teams to compete in interstate and international competitions that are held annually.

Boost to region’s business growth Western Downs Regional Council, the Surat Basin Corporation and the region’s chambers of commerce have joined forces to promote the Western Downs region as a place of choice to invest and conduct business. Local businesses across the region have been invited to take part in a Western Downs Business Capability Survey which is taking place between September and November. The survey will help council and its partners better understand the capacity of the local industry and to establish a comprehensive regional profile of businesses and their capabilities. Council's spokesperson for economic development and board member of the Surat Basin Corporation, Cr Andrew Smith, is encouraging businesses to take part. "The survey will provide a better understanding of the local and regional business climate and will help council and its partners develop economic development strategies, programs, resources and information to assist future planning, workforce skills development, as well as identify business investment and expansion opportunities,” he said. “Business participation is essential and I urge operators to share their knowledge which will help attract funding and develop programs that will support the growth of business in our region for many years to come.” Cr Smith said zone maps of commercial and industrial areas would be used to identify where the survey will be conducted through the region. “We envisage from our endeavours that the Western Downs region will become a landmark for business investment and opportunities. “From an economic development perspective the data collected will allow council and its partners to connect with and communicate more effectively with businesses." 2732525aa

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Surat Basin News

CONFERENCE NIGHTS Opening night at the 2009 Surat Basin Conference

THE PEOPLE

www.suratbasin.com.au

VOICE YOUR OPINION: editorial@suratbasin.com.au

IN DEMAND: A surge in mining and petroleum development across the Surat Basin has Glen Martin fielding phones constantly.

Legal aid hot property here has been a mixed reaction from local property owners regarding the proposed Surat to Gladstone pipeline project, solicitor with Legal Aid Queensland in farm and rural (mining service) Glen Martin has said. Surat Gladstone Pipeline, a wholly owned subsidiary of Arrow Energy, is currently looking to secure land for the proposed pipeline and is approaching property owners for an easement, which could occur anytime in the next couple of years. “I've been extremely busy fielding calls from property owners due to the increased activity in the area,” Mr Martin has said. “They're not necessarily concerned about the pipeline but rather seeking legal advice on option agreements.” Mr Martin said overall, local property owners were equally dividing in their decisions. “Some are happy to sign and

T PAGE 26

Another skills boost Origin Energy’s skills scholarship program returned last month with a whole host of new apprentices from across the region. They were congratulated at an official dinner held in Miles. PAGE 26

Women making it on the fields The Surat Basin News caught up with three women working on the gas fields this month to see what opportunities the industry held.

“Taking agricultural land and the impact it will have on them is a major concern for farmers.” — Solicitor Glen Martin

some are not.” Main concerns raised by residents included the effect it would have on their property, flora and fauna, loss of productivity, loss of income during the construction phase, the impact on stock and farming activity during construction and maintenance and the environmental impact. “Physical safety is also a big concern.” Mr Martin said property owners opposing the project still had options and urged them to utilise them. “It's not a done deal and there are options. “They don't have to sign the option agreement and they can put in objections. “It's no use saying they don't have rights because they do and they need to exercise them.” The pipeline is proposed to deliver coal seam gas from adjacent to the Kogan North Central Gas Processing Facility near Dalby to a proposed LNG facility at Fisherman's Landing near Gladstone. The chosen route heads north from the Kogan area through local government areas including Dalby, west of the Barakula State Forest and to the north of Chinchilla. Meanwhile the construction of Brisbane-based Syntech Resources new coal mine in Cameby has many locals con-

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Glen Martin, solicitor with Legal Aid Queensland in farm and rural (mining service), has seen demand for his cerned, with prime agricultural land in the ‘mining zone'. “This is the hot topic,” Mr Martin said. “Taking agricultural land and the impact it will have on them is a major concern for farmers.

“Water issues have also been raised. “Farmers are concerned; how the mine will effect surface and ground supplies, will there be quality issues and possible contamination of surface water.” 2732529aa

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PEOPLE

Skills boost gets a lift of its very own

James Minchin from Dalby is congratulated by Origin’s general manager, Queensland CSG, Martin Riley and Federal Member for Maranoa Bruce Scott on his scholarship.

Twenty-one apprentices step up in 09 Origin Energy has reaffirmed its commitment to south-west Queensland communities with a major boost to its popular skills scholarship program. Twenty-one local apprentices will receive financial help and mentoring support to kick start their careers as part of the program’s 2009 intake – more than double the number of participants already involved. Nineteen year old Bryan Vincent joined the program in 2007 and is currently working for Westlands Engineering in Roma. “The support I’ve received has made a big difference to me and means that I can stay in the local area to build my career,” Bryan said. “It’s great to see that scholarships are given to people wanting to make a go of it outside the oil and gas industry. I’m doing a fitter and turner apprenticeship, but there are others in the program who are training to be hairdressers, chefs, boiler-makers, electricians, plumbers and carpenters.” Origin’s general manager, Queensland CSG, Martin Riley, announced the successful recipients at a special presentation dinner in Miles. Origin has committed up to $13,500 per recipient to help apprentices in the south-west and western Darling Downs

regions get started in a trade. Funding is paid in instalments to match the completion of course competencies and can be used to purchase items like textbooks, tools and uniforms. In addition to financial support, Origin Community Skills Scholarship recipients gain access to the Skills Scholarship Network, which is a series of training courses and networking sessions to develop life skills and build a peer support network. Local business people and Origin volunteers will be coming along to share their experience with the apprentices. Mr Riley said the skills scholarship supported the community’s capacity to build and retain skills across all areas of business – not just in the oil and gas industry in which Origin operates. “This year’s scholarship intake is our largest to date and takes the total number of apprentices Origin is assisting with their studies to 32,” Mr Riley said. “Our hope is these apprentices will go on to become role models for other young people looking to take up trades, and that one day they may even become local employers in their own right.” Federal Member for

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Maranoa Bruce Scott was on hand at the dinner to offer his congratulations to the scholarship recipients. “Origin’s Community Skills Scholarship program is helping young people in the region continue to live and work locally, and their communities will benefit from the knowledge and skills they gain as they complete their apprenticeships,” he said. “I understand the quality of applications was very high, which is evidenced by the large number of successful recipients this year.”

Bryce Gersekowski (2009 recipient, Jandowae) with parents Ross and Heather.

ROMA • Ashley MacDonnell – Boiler-making with National Oilwell Varco • Doug Lewis – Plumbing with Roma Plumbing • Len Joliffe – Electrical with Pollock’s Electrical • Jessica Buldurs – Spray painting with GT Smash Repairs • Quincy Kinivan – Boiler-making with NEBGAR Engineering and Hydraulic Services • Lindon Jukes – Diesel fitting with Mounts Machinery • Todd Crawford – Electrotechnology communications with Advance Communications

CHINCHILLA • Carl Bacon – Carpentry with DGT – Ian Simms Builder • Chloe Zerbst – Hospitality (commercial cookery) with Great Western • Mathew Dolbel – Hospitality (commercial cookery) with Chinchilla RSL Memorial Club

MILES • Lachlan Drury – Electrical with CRC Electrical • Regan Saltau – Carpentry with Hinds & Co Builder

Chinchilla 2009 scholarship recipients Carl Bacon, Chloe Zerbst and Matthew Dolbel.

• Maxwell Mitopoulos — Carpentry Homes

with Sanson

DALBY • Aaron Mengel — Diesel fitting with McIntosh and Son • Harrison Ellis – Electrical with Condamine Electrical Company • James Minchin – Cabinet making with Pure Bliss Cabinets • Nadia Nooteboom – Hospitality (commercial cookery) with Dalby RSL • Carly Sutton – Hairdressing with Hair Central

TARA • James Carmichael – Carpentry with Carmichael Builders

JANDOWAE • Bryce Gersekowski Gersekowski Kitchens

Cabinet

making

with

WANDOAN • Patrick Sharpe – Meat processing with Longyard Beef Co.

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DEVELOPING AND SUPPORTING THE COMMUNITY

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Providing a FREE CONFIDENTIAL SERVICE

Surat Basin NEWS

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Surat Basin NEWS Thursday 24 September 2009

PAGE 27


PEOPLE

@Work on the Surat Part of an ever growing team

QGC’s Paula Townsend.

Chinchilla’s Paula Townsend started as the only woman on QGC’s Surat Basin-based production team. Eighteen months later she is one of eight working on gas fields south of Chinchilla. “And the opportunities are enormous,” she said. Paula has been employed at QGC’s Kenya gas field since April this year, initially as a administration officer and now as field technical assistant. The role ensures efficiency and safety within the production team. “This is a diverse role which requires creativity, flexibility and the ability to work well under pressure, all of which keep me motivated and challenged,” Paula said.

Variety the spice of the fields Casey Dickman does not have to think twice when asked if there are opportunities for women in the coal seam gas industry. “My advice to women considering employment in the gas industry would be to get on board,” she said. “It is an exciting and vibrant industry, with new, positive experiences every day. “Women are quickly gaining authority and respect in what was once a male-dominated industry.” Casey has been employed as a field data assistant at the Kenya gas field since June this year. Her role is to assist and support the production team members through data entry and general administration.

Field data assistant Casey Dickman. “I am learning a lot about how the gas industry works and have gained a greater appreciation of how vital the gas industry is for the Surat Basin,” she said.

BUDDEN CONTRACTORS

Andrea’s bright future On a sunbaked spring afternoon just west of Dalby, Andrea May is peering across a vast expanse of land that, in between its ridges, towering scrub and dry creek beds, hosts a maze of resource-rich gas wells. Over the next three hours, she will visit several drill rigs, catch up with team members and make sure the data matches her employer's expectations. Andrea is a production geologist with Arrow Energy and is responsible for ensuring production rigs are tapping into the rich coal seam gas reserves powering several generators or manufacturing plants across south east Queensland. “Because they're production rigs, I have to check where they're drilling and what they're drilling through,” she said. “I make sure if they're putting casing down that the design is right and confirm that they are going deep enough or not too deep.” The 31-year-old moved to Australia from Germany four years ago and for the past seven months has been based on Arrow Energy's Surat Basin gas fields. Even after just a short time, Andrea believes the energy province that is her workplace has a prominent role to play in Australia's energy security.

Andrea May, production geologist with Arrow Energy. “I think it has a bright future ahead,” she said. “It provides quite clean energy and because the gas is pretty shallow, it's easy to get to.” Andrea shares the same faith in the coal seam gas industry and especially in her employer Arrow, which has allowed her to work in Indonesia on one of its international projects. “You have a lot of opportunities to get trained and there are also a lot of career oppor-

tunities,” she said. “There are quite a lot of possibilities.” While at the moment it is an industry dominated by men, Andrea believes there are ample opportunities for women to work on the gas fields of the Surat Basin. “It's different because of the low percentage of women you have to fight for your respect first,” she said. “But once you get that respect, it's easier in a lot of ways.” 2732531aa

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Surat Basin NEWS Thursday 24 September 2009


PEOPLE

BUSINESS DAYS TO

SOCIAL NIGHTS When the final speaker had left the podium, delegates at the 2009 Surat Basin Conference were far from left with nothing to do. During both nights of the conference, they met at Jimbour House and in

Oakey for a chance to socialise, network and recuperate for the day ahead. For many, the chance to catch up with similar businesses, the networking nights were the most rewarding part of the conference.

Peter Hutson (left) and John Thompson (right) from the Department of Infrastructure and Planning with Waltz Group's Mark Adamson and Ron Hellberg.

Western Downs Regional Council Cr Charlene Hall and Surat Basin Developments' Warren Daniells.

Xstrata Coal's Rob Thatcher (second from right) talks with Ostwald Bros' Bruce De'Ambrosis, Brendan Ostwald and Rob McKenzie.

Shane Charles from the Toowoomba Chamber of Commerce with Avis' Andrew Kibble, Ostwald Bros' Matt Ostwald and ABN

Surat Basin Corporation's Ray Hicks with Nev Shooter and Jim Horder from the MacGroup.

Western Downs Regional Council's Lee Vohland with Beth

2732538aa

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Surat Basin NEWS Thursday 24 September 2009

PAGE 29


Surat Basin News

THE TOWNS

www.suratbasin.com.au

VOICE YOUR OPINION: editorial@suratbasin.com.au

XSTRATA LULL: Activity may have lessened but Wandoan presence remains

Calm before Wandoan’s storm

T Fire, food and Roma power The Fire and Food Festival returns to Roma to celebrate the role the oil and gas industry has played in the town’s history. It will not be back until 2011. PAGE 34

Coal miner goes quiet in Wandoan Residents report a noticeable lull in Xstrata’s activities but the miner continues to work away on its coal project.

PAGE 30

BY TENEALE Luckraft

editorial @suratbasin.com.au

play an important role in our ongoing commitment to community consultation in the local region,” he said. “Naomi Golden continues to manage all local community enquiries regarding the project, including the progress of the proposed mine's development, the supplementary EIS process and landowner relations. “Naomi often visits community members and organisations and therefore the office may be closed on occasion during the day.” Mr Waugh, whose property Wodonga sits in the middle of the application area, has urged residents to remain patient. “I don't think the foots off the pedal, they haven't gone away and they seem to be moving forward; it's just they've done the work they needed to do on ground level.” If Xstrata receives the

Xstrata Coal’s Wandoan shop front may have been closed on this day, but the company assured the Surat Basin News it remains open to the public. ed they (Xstrata) work through the process and landholders work with it, we all should get a reasonably good outcome. “I don't want to go but if they stick to the act and get the ticks and flicks in the right spots, they should get it. “If it all falls through we all breathe a huge sigh of relief.”

approval it is seeking, Mr Waugh will lose his 3000 acre property, which has been in the family since 1950. He said although sad and emotional about the expected outcome, he needed to face reality and move on. “I have a gut feeling it will be proceeding down the track and at the end of the day and provid-

Housing rallies across the Surat Basin Housing prices across the Surat Basin rallied last quarter after an unsteady 2008, according to the latest figures from the Real Estate Institute of Queensland. Across the Western Downs Regional Council, the average house price jumped 7.2 per cent to $239,500 while for the Maranoa Regional Council, it sits at $243,750 — an 18.9% increase. The median price in Chinchilla rose 11.2% to $250,000, which Ray White Chinchilla's Walter Gleeson said was driven by demand in the top end of the market. “We've seen a lot of new houses sell in recent times; many to out-of-town investors,” he said. Mr Gleeson said with the worst of the economic downturn over, investment interest in Chinchilla was again climbing. With the increased cost of housing, he said rentals had also risen, both in price and demand. “It seems that investors are cranking up again, which is a kick back from the Surat Basin Conference and renewed confidence,” he said. “They know for certain the

growth is there.” Dalby First National principal Steve Balmer is not surprised Dalby's housing market has boomed this quarter considering the interest the town has attracted from out-of-town investors. The median price increased 9% for the June quarter to $250,000. Mr Balmer said the high end of the rental market had climbed upwards of 30 per cent since the start of the year, sparked by the region's resource activity and a brief shortage in new homes. “They (rentals) have gradually crept up (in price),” he said. “As the scarcity has increased so has the price.” However, Mr Balmer said in recent months investors had become hesitant as they waited for Dalby's housing market to awaken from a slight lull. He said an abundance of high end rentals, a sector characterised by fourbedroom, two-bathroom homes, had temporarily stunted the market. “There is probably 100 of these things around and there are more coming on

line,” he said. Mr Balmer also said a break in new construction projects had seen interest wane. “I think it will continue to slow until new contracts are signed for the power stations and then you'll see it pick up again.” While at the top end things have slowed, Mr Balmer said demand for more affordable rentals remained strong, especially considering a shortage in the

area. “Because the top end climbed so rapidly, the middle of the market also climbed. “We're finding that owners are starting to ask more than tenants can afford,” he said. Mr Balmer also expects the lull in the top end of Dalby's real estate market to be short lived. “At the moment we're answering demand, three months ago we weren't and in three months time we probably won't be,” he said. 2732541aa

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he next time Wandoan property owner Darryl Waugh will see Xstrata, its Wandoan coal project could be moving full steam ahead with results from its supplementary EIS expected to be published in November. All has gone quiet in the small Western Downs town and according to locals, there has been a visible lull in Xstrata’s presence. “We haven't seen their cars around much anymore,” one local resident has said. “We don't see their shirts hanging on the line.” Residents also questioned the opening hours of the local Xstrata Coal office located in Royd Street, with the closed sign being displayed more often then not. According to Xstrata Coal communications manager James Rickards this was not the case and he has assured residents the door was always open. “The Xstrata Coal shop front is open Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays and continues to

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Surat Basin NEWS Thursday 24 September 2009


TOWNS

Fire festival lights up Roma nights

An oil rig goes up in flames.

Rachel and Kirsten Steinohrt get creative with their lantern design for the Food and Fire Festival lantern parade.

The festival crowd was entertained by strolling fire dancers.

Laughter followed Maverick Fisher and his mates as they ran through the Food and Fire festival on September 13. They ran around hay bales in front of the main stage, up through the market stalls, slowing to dodge the thickening crowd basking in illuminated light from hanging lanterns. “I’ve come close to running into so many people,” grinned Maverick. “I’m trying to keep as far away from mum and dad in case they are thinking of going home.” As the sun dipped below the horizon casting the Big Rig parklands in a rich red hue, the 2009 Santos Food and Fire festival burst to life. The two raucous performers were complemented by a daring fire twirling group, a travelling drum troupe – complete with exotic belly dancers — and the smooth tunes of Brisbane band, Timbre. In its sophomore year, the festival celebrated the life and times of Roma’s namesake,

Lady Roma Bowen. “She would have enjoyed the tea party they threw in her honour but I don’t think she’ll approve of the mischief we plan on getting up to tonight,” said Brisbane visitor Ross Gates as his mates kindly toasted the ‘newspaper man’. The festival attracted visitors from all over the state with local hotels and motels packed to the brim, with crowd estimates tipped at more than 2000. Tourism development officer for the Maranoa, Perry Bacon was delighted with the way the community responded to the event. “The festival has really bought the community together and highlighted what a tightknit multicultural place Roma has become,” he said. “A lot of thanks need to go to Loretta Waldron, she deserves a lot of accolades for the work she has put in, as do the support staff that helped throughout the festival.” The Santos Food and Fire Festival will not return next year and will now become a biannual event. 2732549aa

Elijah and Oliver Peak, Jamie Cloherty, Jordan Collinson and Elliot Lewis enjoy the bounty of a busted pinata.

Beth, Ted, and Deni (front) man the Mexican stand with Mitchell Neprasnik.

Surat Basin NEWS Thursday 24 September 2009

PAGE 31


Encompassing the communities of Toowoomba

Dalby Chinchilla Roma Tara Injune Surat Mitchell Miles Wandoan Strategies for growth

The Surat Basin Corporation

focusing on facilitating positive outcomes from increased regional investment

SB C

is a partnership of government, business and community organizations for the purpose of promoting sustainable development in the Surat Basin Energy Province. The Surat Basin Corporation was established in response to the fundamental learning observed in other regions that have experienced rapid resources-driven growth where a lack of coordination resulted in inefficiencies for industry and disruption to communities. The Surat Basin Corporation's primary role is to effectively source and share accurate energy project information so that:

• Industry can more efficiently enter and operate in the region. • Local service businesses are able to plan and grow to meet regional demand. • New service businesses are attracted to establish in the Surat Basin. • Government, community and industry can efficiently plan for lasting social and physical infrastructure. Charged with realizing positive outcomes from increasing investment, the Surat Basin Corporation is completing projects focused on attracting relevant skills to our region, growing our region's economy and enhancing the lifestyle enjoyed by residents.

Become a member Download applications from the website or contact

CEO: Richard Krause Phone: (07) 4669 1620 Email: manager@suratbasincorporation.com.au Website: www.suratbasincorporation.com.au

We’re powering Queensland’s progress with cleaner energy. Arrow Energy is one of Australia’s leading producers of coal seam gas, one of the world’s cleanest burning fuels. Three of our four producing fields are located around Dalby in the Surat Basin and more are under development. The safe and sustainable expansion of our operations in the region is creating hundreds of local jobs, strengthening the economy, providing brighter futures for families, and answering Queensland’s call for cleaner energy.

arrowenergy.com.au | ASX Code: AOE | Major Project Partner, Surat Basin Conference 2009 PAGE 32

Surat Basin NEWS Thursday 24 September 2009

2732552aa

SBN Sept 24 2009  

Surat Basin News is a quarterly newspaper dedicated to providing all the news on the booming Surat Basin Energy province in Queensland Austr...

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