Teenage alternative pop outfit Operator Please won the "special Premier's award" at the Premier of Queensland's Export Awards in Brisbane tonight (Oct. 16), held annually to recognize achievements in trade export for businesses from the Australian state.

Operator Please, which hails from the Gold Coast, were the only music-related recipients in a field that typically draws its winners from the agricultural, technological and tourism industries. The group performed a three-song showcase, which included their best known track "Just A Song About Ping Pong."

Queensland Premier Anna Bligh handed out the gongs on the night, the linchpin of Queensland Export Week, while an audience that included her predecessors Mike Ahern and Peter Beattie looked on.

Decided by a judging panel, the "Special Award" is bequeathed to an "individual who has made an outstanding contribution to Queensland's export profile and success."

Operator Please has the chance to cap a glorious week when the winners of the 2008 ARIA Awards are unveiled this Sunday (Oct. 19) in Sydney. The band is in the hunt for best pop release and breakthrough artist: album for their debut set "Yes Yes Vindictive" (EMI Music Australia).

Last year, the group won the national ARIA Award for best breakthrough artist: single with "Just a Song About Ping Pong," a track that landed a groundswell of support in the United Kingdom, where it was licensed to Brille Records.

The group are currently in the studio working on their second album, pencilled-in for release in the first quarter of 2009. The rollout will include the U.K., Europe and Japan, and will be accompanied by a tour, which is due to hit the U.S. in the middle of next year.