jobs rally downer mb image

UNITED FRONT: Member for Maryborough Bruce Saunders joined Downer EDI workers rallying for more company contracts to safeguard jobs.

MARYBOROUGH’S Downer EDI will share in a $400 million maintenance contract which will secure the jobs of 200 workers at the factory for seven years.

The Chronicle can reveal Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has directed Queensland Rail to negotiate the $400 million maintenance contract with Downer’s Maryborough centre and UGL in Townsville.


HerveyB – Pialba: “Wonderful news for Maryborough, and hopefully it will be the start of greater things to come, with more contracts for the firm in Maryborough.”

Ragamuffin4 – Maryborough: “About time our political parties woke up and started supporting Australian workers as the modern trend of today with all politicians is support overseas company’s and forgot about when Australian workers are employed they pay taxes, but when unemployed they cost Australian tax payers money and when all said and done wasn’t it a labor party that gave all the contracts to china that would have maintained a strong workfoce at edi in Maryborough.”

Terry01 – Harristown: “And along will come the union and decide when work will take place all because they don’t want anyone looking into the running’s of their business. Don’t worry about the workers who actually pay the union leaders how they will get on financially during your strike, just use them as your pawns for your political agenda.”


HELP WANTED: Workers from Downer rally outside their workplace to win more contracts for their company – and job security for workers. Alistair Brightman

Downer EDI is expected to receive about half of that $400 million package of rolling stock maintenance and overhaul works.

Maryborough MP Bruce Saunders said the partnership would provide vital projects for Downer and its Maryborough workforce of more than 200.

“This is the start of a revitalisation of Maryborough – this is just the start,” he said.

“I was elected to protect the future of Downer and that’s certainly what I and this government is doing.

“This will secure the future of Downer and the future of Maryborough.”

Projects will include the overhaul and modification of Queensland Rail’s L-series carriages, the diesel Tilt Trains, train units, locomotives and wheel sets.

The contract announcement comes as a grassroots campaign to save Maryborough manufacturing jobs was held at the City Hall last night.

Ahead of her visit to Maryborough this afternoon Ms Palaszczuk said the State Government direction would create a pipeline of guaranteed work for seven years to support jobs.

“My focus is on jobs for Queenslanders, especially in regional Queensland,” she said.

“This announcement is a vote of confidence in the future of the Queensland railway industry and reflects my government’s determination to ensure it can flourish as an important part of our state’s economy.”

Treasurer Curtis Pitt said Queensland Rail had $400 million in planned maintenance and overhaul projects needed for its rolling stock over the next seven years which would provide a steady stream of local work.


Henry Sapiecha

$60 million Recreation Vehicle development site approved for Howard Qld Australia

howard resort development site map image

AN OVER-50s lifestyle resort project worth around $60 million has been given the initial go ahead for development at Howard.

The project will include 212 RV-friendly homes, 47 independent living units and a 75-bed aged care facility as well as a central pool, gym and lawn bowls green for residents.

Yesterday Fraser Coast councillors unanimously endorsed the development permit application for the 45ha site at William St in Howard.

Gold Coast-based company AHC Limited has owned the site since 2007, purchasing it during the global financial crisis at a bargain $800,000.

AHC managing director Rod MacLeod said the land was attractive due to the pre-existing residential zoning and the location.

“This will be on a similar vein to the RV Homebase (at Tinana),” he said.

“This site has the Burrum District Golf Course on its boundary which is a huge positive.”

Mr Macleod said an over 50s resort would provide “quiet country, heritage-styled living” in Howard.

“Australia has got an aging population and aged care and lifestyle villages are extremely popular because they’re an affordable option,” he said.

“We think it’s a winner.”

Further operational works permits will be lodged to the council in the next six months.

Mr MacLeod hoped work would begin on stage one before 2017.

“Aroundt half the site will be developmed – the other half was a shallow coal mine in about the 1850s,” Mr MacLeod said.

The development is also expected to help add a modern sewerage network to Howard with the council’s executive and Wide Bay Water talking with AHC about co-contributions to build the pipe network.

Rural councillor James Hansen said the investment by AHC and the sewerage network would add value to the quiet town.

Buying a house in Howard,could be a great investment

Maybe the property prices will skyrocket.

A great kick start for local jobs & the business community of Howard & beyond.


212 RV-styled home units, 47 living units and a 75-bed aged care facility

Expected to cost $60 million


Colton Coal Mining Job applications being accepted for the Fraser Coast says the local Fraser Coast Chronicle Newspaper.Great news for the local economy.

THE financial buy-in earlier this year by mining giant New Hope has set Maryborough's Colton Coal Mine project on track for a start as early as next year.

THE financial buy-in earlier this year by mining giant New Hope has set Maryborough’s Colton Coal Mine project on track for a start as early as next year.

Job applications are now being processed to help fill the 100 positions the mine will create and current mine workers already living on the Fraser Coast are at the head of the queue.

The long-awaited project has taken off since Ipswich-based coal company New Hope bought 59% of shares from Northern Energy Corporation (NEC) with a $238 million cash bid in February this year.

Acting chief executive officer of NEC, Shane Stephan, said the buy-in had provided the extra capital needed to get the project off the ground.

“The major change has been that the project has been reinvigorated now that New Hope has taken over,” Mr Stephan said.

“New Hope is very large and has the resources needed to get it going.”

Once it was up and running, the mine was set to inject about $20 million a year into the Maryborough economy in wages and local services.

“The key message is we are collecting resumes and the preference is for applications from appropriately qualified local people,” Mr Stephan said.

The site at Colton, north of Maryborough, covers just more than 1000 hectares and the company expected to mine about five million tonnes of coking coal in eight to 10 years.

“We are currently undertaking exploration drilling, and a follow-up environmental management plan is being lodged with the Department of Environment and Resource Management,” Mr Stephan said.

Following the plan’s approval, a public notification process would take place and the final paperwork would be completed to grant the mining lease.

“Once the lease is granted, which could be in the last quarter of 2012, we should be looking at starting work,” Mr Stephan said.

The coal would be sent by rail to Gladstone for export, initially through Barney Point and later through the Wiggins Island terminal.



  • The project will boost the Maryborough economy by about $20 million a year.
  • About 100 jobs will be created for local plant operators, truck driver, electricians, surveyors and more.
  • The mine at Colton will be built near the site of a historic mine that operated from the late 1800s to the 1990s.
  • About half-a-million tonnes of coking coal will be extracted every year, for an estimated 10 years.
  • The mine is expected to open late next year.

To register interest in a job at the mine, visit

Sourced from the local Fraser Coast Chronicle newspaper


Mr Henry Sapiecha

Dear Henry,

I am writing to inform you that Northern Energy Corporation Limited (NEC) has lodged the Environmental Management Plan (EMP) for its proposed Colton mine project with the Department of Environment and Resource Management (DERM) for their review.

We at NEC have made every effort to ensure that we keep all interested community members informed about the proposed Colton mine project. You are receiving this email because you have indicated to us that you would like to be kept up to date about our progress, and you provided us with your email address. We have written you a letter as well, and this should arrive in the coming days.

Activities we have undertaken to inform people about our project include holding community information sessions in Maryborough, Howard and Aldershot, introduction of various feedback mechanisms including the 1800 information line, updated project information on the company website and efforts to promote awareness of the EMP process and the Plan itself to enable community members and other interested parties to comment and provide feedback on the plan.

The EMP for Colton mine project includes reports with baseline studies on all project related issues and highlights measures proposed by NEC to ensure that the project’s environmental impacts are managed appropriately.

DERM will undertake an initial review of the EMP and will advise statutory requirements for further advertising and public comment in due course.

In the meantime, if you are interested in getting a copy of the EMP for your own review you can visit the project website and download a copy for yourself. You will see that there are quite a few files, and some of them are quite large. We have done our best to break them down into small reports and have provided enough detail in the title block to allow you to make a decision about which parts of the report you wish to download.

The address to access the full EMP, including all of the appendices and supporting reports, is:

Queries or comments may be directed to the project

toll free number on 1800 266 296

or email at

Yours sincerely

Mark Turner

Chief Operating Officer

Northern Energy Corporation

Received & published by Henry Sapiecha



northern energy howard info meeting (2)


Mr Keith Barker Managing Director of Northern Energy and his team held a public gathering this morning at Howard Community Centre to seek the support of the community for their proposed mining operations in the area.

northern energy howard info meeting (3)northern energy howard info meeting (4)

Mr Keith Barker of NE and Mr Bill Gosewich President of the B urrum Chamber 0f Commerce are pictured here with a common vote of support for the proposals by NE

They are well on the way to obtaining the various elements to enable the project to go ahead and want members of the community to let our councillors and beaurecrats know that we want the the Colston mining operation here.

Director of Wide Bay District Developments Pty Ltd, Henry Sapiecha [yours truly] had discussed the opportunity with Keith Barker of Northern Mining of establishing a service centre for their mining operations here at Howard at the


So go and lobby all those you know to help make it happen

There was overwhelming community support for what it is that NE proposes.

northern energy howard info meeting (5)WOMAN WORKER

There are many positive aspects to their proposals including a major injection of jobs and money into the community.

pile aud $50 notescoal-mining_tCoal.IN HANDSmine workers male female

More info can be obtained by contacting them at old phone rings1800266295

Published Pics and story by Henry Sapiecha 10th April 2010





MINUTES KAW Advisory Committee Formation Meeting

10.00am 16 December 2009

Police Citizens Youth Club – Bundaberg

Jason introduced himself as the Local Employment Coordinator appointed to the Bundaberg – Hervey Bay Priority Employment area.  He then provided background statistical information in support of the need for assistance to be offered in the identified priority areas.

Attachment 1:-  Attendees and Apologies.

1.         Jason provided a brief review of the Keep Australia Working Forum conducted in Hervey Bay on 13 October 2009.  Highlighted areas of interest that may need to be concentrated on locally for the priority area.

2.         Discussed the need for PPP consideration for the Maryborough employment area.

3.         Also discussed that there needs to be a concentration on the Construction industry especially around the BER opportunities and the need to focus on Local Employers.

4.         Reduction of Red Tape was also discussed but acknowledged that there is a need for it but shouldn’t be at the expense of projects.

5.         Need to look to the Talent Program and what can still be done there.

6.         Transport was a major issu

7.         The issue of boundaries was raised especially with respect the North Burnett and whether it would be included in the role??

8.         Need to look to New Development Opportunities; areas of influence; focus on Existing plans;

9.         Kerry Blackman asked for focus on Indigenous opportunities

10.       Re the Terms of Reference – asked for the issue of Timing to be included and for the UNI to be added.

11.       Brain Stormed the interest / alert areas including Sustainability/Green, Business Development, Education and Trade Training.

12.       There was then a call for people interested in being members of the working groups identified and after discussion people offered to approach after the meeting rather than immediate offers.  The following individuals have offered to be involved for specific programs in the key themes to explore & develop strategies:-


Lance Stone

Tracey Mason             

Dominic Tape

Business Development:

Peter Gregory

Tony Weaver

Tracey Mason

Cheryl Graffunder


Cheryl Graffunder – Treasurer of the Bundaberg & District Chamber so could represent that way as well.

Training & Trade

Julia Mijic


Peter Gregory

Geoff Kelly


Peter Gregory


Julia Mijic


Neil McPhillips Lance Stone – TESS

Julia Mijic – CRS Aust

Ron Bishop – CQU

Cheryl Graffunder – NEATO Donna Norman – TaFE

Peter Gregory – AIMNet

Naomi Searle – Bundaberg RC

Kerry Blackman – Gidargil

Andrew Jackson – Fraser Coast RC

People are currently being approached to confirm their interest in being part of the Committee, and you will be advised of the final committee members..

First Meeting of the Advisory Committee will be at 9.00am 29 January 2009 at the Council Chambers Reception Room in Maryborough – cnr Kent & Lennox Streets.

Attachment 1


Ron Bishop & Phillip Clift – CQU; Ian Bent – CAMit Pty Ltd; Frank Trendelkamp – Bombardier; Greg Weir – B’berg Fruit & Vegetable Growers; Neil McPhillips – Starfire Solutions; Grant Maclean – RDA Wide Bay Burnett; David Rees Hervey Bay Chamber of Commerce; Peter Gregory – AIMNet; Geoff Kelly – Construction Skills Qld (CSQ);Kerry Blackman – Gidarjil Development Corp; Betty Lappin – CQID Ltd; Ara Harathunian – B’berg & Burnett Region Community Development Aboriginal Corp. Tony Weaver – Better Development & Training; Tracey Mason & Anne Wendt – Community Solutions; Cheryl Graffunder – NEATO; Andrew Bainbridge – Employment Services Qld; Judy Heard – Impact Make Your Mark; Lance Stone – Fraser Coast TESS; Garry Bannister & Joe Harrold – Jobfind B’berg; Julia Mijic – CRS Aust; Michael Whiting, Julie Gee, Michelle Davies &  Zona Hussey-Smith DEEDI; Donna McMah – Skilling Solutions Qld; Donna Norman – Wide Bay Tafe; Cory Pignatelli – Centrelink; Lee Sunderland, Alicia Weiderman, Mark Rowland – DEEWR; and Jason Millward

Not sure if there – Maxine Brushe – Gladstone Regional Council; Vicky Wilson Discovery Coast Tourism


Phil Ainsworth – Microavionics; John Maclean –Bundaberg Brewed Drinks; Allan Meiring – Downer EDI – Rail Maryborough; Max Voigt – CQMS Castings Geoff Nocher – Maranta Hervey Bay; Jason Pascoe – Port of Bundaberg; Graham Richers – Richers Transport; Garth Robinson – Retravision Childers;  Rory McDonald – Master Builders; Cameron Bisley – former Wide Bay ACC; Yvonne Brams – Manager Rockhampton ICC; Andrew Jackson – Economic Development, Andrew O’Brien CEO &  Cr Gerard O’Connell – Fraser Coast Reg Council; Cr Greg Barnes – Coral Coast Chamber of Commerce; James Corvan – Bundy North Burnett Tourism Ltd; Glen Churchill – Gladstone Area Promotional & Develop; Cale Dendle – Gladstone Regional Council – Mark Powell – Woodgate Tourism; Christine Malone – Buderoo Emp & Training; Peter Shirres – Centrelink Hervey Bay; Ken Collier – Exec. Regl Director -Education Qld; Donna Constable  – Skilling Solutions Qld; Steve Dixon – Qld Commercial Properties; Phil Dowling – Global Manufacturing Group; Jane Harrison – Tri Care Pt Vernon; Seath  Holswich – Aust’n Employment Covenant; Bob Hockey – DEEDI M’boro; Trevor Schwenke – TAFE Hervey Bay; Lorraine Pyefinch Bundaberg Regional Council; Alana Sinnamon & Paul Clifford – Employment Services Qld.

Received & published by Henry Sapiecha 15th Jan 2010