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Aerial Drone of NSS @ Work

NSS recently partnered up with SkyDronics to bring you a series of aerial drone videos of just some of the services we offer at NSS.

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Move drone video and other NSS videos can be found over on our YouTube Channel.


Townsville is next in line for a major reroofing project as Sugar Terminals Limited completes a $100 million capital program across its Queensland bulk sugar storage and export facilities.

Sheds 1 and 2 at STL’s Townsville terminal are the last of the 12 sheds slated for roof sheeting replacement

STL chief executive officer John Warda said the Shed 1 project was due to be carried out in 2021 and Shed 2 in 2022.

It will follow a $12 million overhaul on one of the giant sheds at Mackay sugar terminal, now underway and work on two sheds in Bundaberg last year.

The Mackay project is replacing 330 tonnes of roof sheeting at the terminal, to extend the life of Shed 1 by at least 40 years.

The project comes after an extensive condition assessment report in 2009 identified 12 sheds as “reaching the end of their asset life”.

Once STL completes its reroofing project, the business will begin a project to replace shed walls over a period of about seven years.

STL has assets at the ports of Cairns, Mourilyan, Lucinda, Townsville, Mackay and Bundaberg.

Its terminals handle more than 4.6 million tonnes of raw sugar and other bulk commodities each year (including molasses, wood pellets, gypsum and silica sands), and provide 2.48 million tonnes of storage capacity.

Sojitz Blue says it is on track with plans to reopen production at the Crinum underground mine in Central Queensland around April next year.

Sojitz Blue (then Sojitz Coal Mining) gained control of the mothballed Gregory Crinum coking coal site last year after acquiring it from BMA for $100 million.

It is already in production from the Gregory open-cut, employing about 270 people in the Emerald region.

The company has now turned its attention to bringing the former Crinum South underground mine back online in 2021.

“We have been pumping some water and recommissioning the ventilation system ready for an August underground inspection,” Sojitz Blue managing director and chief executive officer Cameron Vorias said.

This would be followed by a ramp-up in activity including recommissioning and recertifying underground equipment and bringing the conveyors back online, he said.

The company expected to be able to reopen Crinum production in the second quarter of 2021, he said.   

This will lift the combined operation’s production from its current rate of about 2.5Mtpa to between 3.5Mtpa and 4Mtpa.

The Crinum deposit offers an initial resource of about 14 million tonnes to be mined via a bord and pillar operation, before transitioning to M Block – with an 80 million-tonne resource.

This would initially be mined as an open-cut operation before shifting underground.

Sojitz expects the Crinum underground to be a contractor operation employing about 150 people.

Mr Vorias said Sojitz Blue and Futura Resources were also continuing their work to bring the Wilton and Fairhill coking coal projects online.

COVID-19 issues and lower coal prices had delayed progress, but mining was expected to begin at Wilton around March/April next year, he said.

The projects, in the Emerald area, have received all necessary State Government environmental approvals.

Arup senior structural engineer Scott Rathie’s role in creating the pandanus-inspired design of Townsville’s new stadium has seen him named among Australia’s Most Innovative Engineers 2020.

Australia’s Most Innovative Engineers is an annual program run by create magazine, the publication of Engineers Australia.

Now in its fifth year, the list profiles 30 Australian engineers who are finding creative and innovative solutions to some of the world’s biggest challenges.

Engineer recognised for NQ stadium innovation
Mr Rathie worked with Cox Architecture to develop an winning concept for the new Queensland Country Bank Stadium in Townsville,

He came up with an innovative roof framing system that was inspired by the leaf of the pandanus tree, with research including folding a variety of origami models to understand the limitations and opportunities of the leaf’s post-buckled form.

His create magazine profile explains how Mr Rathie’s design enabled the creation of the stadium’s emblematic pandanus “kites”.  (More HERE)

Engineers Australia chief executive officer Dr Bronwyn Evans said the Australia’s Most Innovative Engineers listing sought to recognise engineers and raise the profile of the profession within the wider community.

“The 2020 innovators span a fascinating and diverse range, demonstrating the ability of engineers to bring new ideas to life and reimagine the everyday,” said Dr Evans.  

“Innovations ranged from macro-scale pieces of infrastructure like railway stations and sports stadiums, to micro-scale technology like atomically thin materials.”

The Australia’s Most Innovative Engineers list is organised into 10 categories representing a cross-section of the profession. Applicants had to explain what their project was, the problem it solved, the benefits it offered, why it was innovative and the role they played individually on the project.

The full list of Australia’s Most Innovative Engineers 2020 can be viewed here:

If you’ve ever dreamed of tackling marlin fishing on the Great Barrier Reef, a recent YouTube video is well worth a look.

The Cairns Professional Game Fishing Association has released On The Edge, to show its long connection to the reef and the mighty marlin.

On The Edge provides a unique glimpse into the day-to-day operation of the Cairns-based marlin charter fleet, whose vessels take keen anglers from around the world out to catch the elusive black marlin.

The game fishing association has over 40 member vessels representing the very best professional charter fishing operators in the world.

See the video here

The best wheels in the North West are hitting a digital arena this year after the COVID-19 crisis forced Mount Isa Motor Show organisers to opt for an online version.

Last year’s event attracted 80 vehicles and drew more than 600 people through the gates at Buchanan Park.

This year will see the Mount Isa ‘Digital’ Motor Show go live online on July 12. (Details HERE)

Mount Isa Motorsports and Recreation Inc secretary Nadia Cowperthwaite said taking the seventh annual event online had been a hard decision.

Concerns about what crowd restrictions may still apply as Queensland Government’s COVID-19 response continued to unfold prompted the move in May, rather than facing the risk of having to cancel at the eleventh hour.

There may be an upside to the online platform, with hopes it will give a glimpse of treasures usually kept under wraps.

“There are a lot of motoring enthusiasts here and a lot of really amazing cars in sheds that no one sees,” Mrs Cowperthwaite said

“So I’m hoping that people who may not like to take their pride and joy to a physical car show might be more inclined to post a photo.”

Mrs Cowperthwaite said entries were starting to come in, but she expected the bulk to appear from the middle of next week.

The competition, open to Mount Isa vehicles, will include a people’s choice award as well as a judge’s choice award.

Entries close on July 10 and the album will be uploaded for viewing and voting via Facebook from July 11.

IMAGE: Nadia Cowperthwaite's 1973 XA Ford Falcon will be on display, although not among the competition entries.

A record $181 million capital works program headlines Cairns Regional Council’s 2020-21 Budget.

Mayor Bob Manning said the record $181 million capital works program, part of a $312 million Budget, would provide a needed stimulus boost to the local economy and ensure the council continued to deliver services to a level expected by the community.

Cr Manning acknowledged the city was facing unprecedented challenges due to the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, and said it was vital the council maximised its capital works program to stimulate the local economy.

“Given that approximately 90 per cent of the council’s works expenditure is invested locally through employment and locally sourced materials and services, it is clear the council has an important role to play in keeping our local economy moving,” Cr Manning said.

“It is equally important that we continue to invest in water, wastewater, drainage and transport infrastructure networks to ensure the city’s critical networks operate efficiently.”

The commitment of $181 million in the capital works program brings the total amount of capital works delivered by the council over the past seven years to almost $1.2 billion.

“The record $181 million program for this year will be delivered across the length and breadth of our local government area, with an emphasis on upgrading core infrastructure to ensure the ongoing delivery of services, while also providing economic stimulus,” Cr Manning said.

“The program includes $60 million for water and waste infrastructure, $43.5 million for improvements to our transport and drainage network and $28 million for the Esplanade Dining Precinct project.”

The council has also allocated $42.5 million on maintaining 577 parks and nature areas, 500km of sealed footpaths, more than 100 connecting footbridges, 800 litter bins and 65 toilet blocks.

This year’s capital works program allows for:
  • $43.5 million on roads, bridges, drainage, kerb and channel, shoulder sealing, and bus stops
  • $28.5 million on improving the wastewater network,
  • $32.7 million on water and waste infrastructure, and
  • $37 million on community, sport, cultural and tourism projects
  • $28.7 million for the Esplanade Dining Precinct
IMAGE: Cairns Regional Council has committed $28.7 million to the Esplanade Dining Precinct project.