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Archive for May 14th, 2009

POLICE have charged a 17-year-old boy – a former volunteer firefighter – after a spate of more than 20 deliberately lit fires in the Perth Hills this week.

The teenager has been charged with four counts of arson after he was arrested by detectives from the arson squad this afternoon. bush fire

Police say they expect more charges to be laid over the outstanding fires in the Shire of Mundaring on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The arrest comes after a six-month operation between FESA, the Department of Environment and Conservation and the police arson squad targeting arsonists in the Perth foothills

Detective Sergeant David Gorton said police had focused their attention on the teenager since mid-March.

“We will allege that this young man lit two fires (Wednesday) – one in Hovea and one in Parkerville – in the space of about 15 minutes,” Det-Sgt Gorton said.

“The previous charges relate to February this year in Glen Forrest and then March in Parkerville again.”

It is understood the teenager was a volunteer firefighter when he allegedly lit the Glen Forrest and first Parkerville fires, but he resigned from the position two weeks ago.

“No property was damaged in relation to these fires however, some of the fires were lit in close proximity to houses so there was always a danger that given a wind direction change or other circumstances that property could have been damaged,” he said.

“Certainly there was the potential for property and lives to be lost in relation to what he was doing.”
The teenager has also been charged with five counts of making malicious phone calls to 000 earlier this year.

The maximum penalty for bushfire arson convictions is a $250,000 fine and/or 14 years in jail.

www.news.com.au

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WESTERN Australia’s Liberal Government has handed down its first Budget, delivering a $647 million surplus but warning the state will be in deficit by 2012.

Treasurer Troy Buswell today delivered his first Budget since the Liberal Government came to power last year.

He said the 2008/09 surplus of $647 million would shrink to $409 million in 2009/10, and just $23 million the following year.

By 2011/12 the state will be in deficit to the tune of $513 million.

“Over the past months, as the global economy has been in decline, the state has been hit by large downward revisions to projected taxation revenue, GST grants from the Commonwealth and mining royalties,” Mr Buswell told parliament.

“Since the mid-year review, the Budget has lost a massive $4 billion in forecast revenue from these sources.”

Last year, then treasurer Eric Ripper delivered a surplus of more than $2 billion on the back of a booming commodities sector.

Economic growth remained high at 8 per cent for the 2008/09 financial year.

But forecasts predicted growth would fall into negative territory in 2009/10, with unemployment expected to peak, and business investment to fall by 17.5 per cent.

Mr Buswell said the Government would provide a one-year payroll tax rebate to small businesses with payrolls of up to $3.2 million to help protect jobs.

“Some 6,700 small businesses will be eligible for this payroll tax rebate, which will fully offset payroll tax for around 68,000 employees,” he said.

“The cost of this rebate is estimated at $100 million.”

A $47 million jobs training and skills package, and a $8.3 billion spend on infrastructure in the next financial year are key components of the Budget.
Mr Buswell said law and order were also strong focuses, in line with the Government’s election promises to boost funding for police and pump more money into prisons

Mr Buswell said the Government’s election promise to toughen up sentencing laws and introduce mandatory sentencing for people who assault police was underpinned in the Budget by a significant investment in prison capacity.

 

A total of $655 million will be invested in 2012/13 to create an extra 1657 prison beds across the state.

A record $5.1 billion spend on health services in the next year – rising 5.9 per cent, or $282 million from last year – will include the fast tracking of forward works for a new children’s hospital, the construction stage of the Fiona Stanley Hospital, and new hospitals in two regional centres.

Mr Buswell said the Government would push ahead with public sector reforms in a bid to achieve improved performance and efficiency.

The first stage of the economic audit committee promised by the Government during the last election was complete and a range of hard decisions had delivered $7.6 billion over the forward estimates, Mr Buswell said.

“I am looking forward to the second stage of the economic audit to identify strategies for broader reform over the longer term, so we can ensure the budget stays in surplus,” he said.

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weather perthThe first of the winter weather is expected to hit Perth next week.

Weatherzone meteorologists are forecasting wetter, windier and colder weather for most of the southern half of the state starting on Wednesday.

Weatherzone Head Meteorologist Matthew Pearce said the strength of the cold front would likely result in 20 to 30mm of rain along the coast and exposed areas stretching as far north as Geraldton and at least 5mm everywhere else.

Currently the weather is fine and sunny at 16 degrees with an expected top today of 25 degrees which will last until Sunday.

Some light showers should set in ahead of the cold front early next week.

www.watoday.com.au

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pinkP!nk – Australia’s biggest selling international recording artist of 2006-7 – is back, at the top of her game, and raring to perform live for your entertainment.

In 2007 P!nk staged the biggest Australian concert tour ever by a female artist, with more than 307,000 tickets sold for a 35 show itinerary that grew to a run of more than 8 weeks around the country’s arenas.

Winning the 2007 Helpmann Award for ‘Best International Contemporary Concert’, 2007’s I’m Not Dead Tour was a spectacular that drew critical raves and standing ovations!

“Such was the deafening reception for the singer… it was impossible not to be swept up in the excitement of her opening songs… the singer’s strikingly energetic performance left them tickled pink .” Sun Herald

“The pop rebel shimmied, grooved and rocked her way across the arena all night, turning her performance into an elaborate stage show to take her sometimes controversial messages to the masses. And they loved it.” mX

Now P!nk brings her Funhouse Tour 2009 to Australia, presented by Optus for what is certain to be another recordbreaking run of shows.

Aiming to top the raunchy theatrical performances of the I’m Not Dead Tour, Funhouse will not disappoint! Expect a dazzling carnival-styled stage set, feats of aerial daring and surprises that can only be hinted at… and at the core, the confident and charismatic vocal powerhouse that is unmistakably P!nk .

P!nk said, “I’m so excited to get back on the road. The ‘Funhouse’ tour ideas are running rampant in my head. Who knows what they’ll come out as…. And I can’t wait to see.”

“When P!nk lets rip there’s no denying her soul or sass.” Herald Sun

“She’s real, fallible, positive, gutsy, a self-confessed dork and knows her own mind. And she has proved to be a great entertainer too, offering….one of the best shows….seen in a long time.” West Australian Set to add substantially to the accumulated albums sales of 23 million world-wide, P!nk ‘s 5th studio album Funhouse will be released on October 25 by Sony/BMG, and features the 1 smash hit So What.

It follows the massively successful I’m Not Dead album – which spawned seven top 5 smash hits and has to date sold more than 600,000 copies in Australia.

www.wots-on.info

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Prominent real estate agent Michael McKenna and a Dianella settlement agent are among those who have been sentenced following an investigation into the bribing of Landgate officers.

Between them, four men were convicted of nine counts of bribery and fined $65,000.  bribes

In the District Court in Perth yesterday, Judge Kevin Sleight heard settlement agent Gordon Andrew Poulton, 66, committed two counts of bribery by placing $1000 of gift vouchers into two envelopes and addressing them to Landgate supervisors.

Judge Sleight called Poulton’s efforts “abhorrent to our system” and fined him $10,000.

McKenna received a $20,000 fine and 12 month community based order, including 80 hours of community service work, after being convicted of three counts of bribery, while another man, whose name was suppressed, was fined $10,000 for one count of bribery.

Ian Croasdale, a former Landgate officer and self-confessed impersonator of television star Kenny, was earlier fined $25,000 and received a sentence for accepting three $500 bribes.

Croasdale was a qualified cartographer who had been employed by Landgate for 31 years until the Corruption and Crime Commission brought the bribery allegations.

www.watoday.com.au

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WESTERN Areas NL has successfully raised $35.35 million through it’s institutional share placement.

Seven million shares were issued at a discount of 3.6 per cent at $5.05 each.

The placement was significantly oversubscribed, with strong demand from both domestic and international institutions, most of which were existing shareholders.

Western Areas’ managing director Julian Hanna said: “The success of this placement will support Western Areas’ rapidly expanding nickel production and help underpin the Company’s growth strategy to achieve its goal to become Australia’s second largest and lowest cost nickel miner.”

Western Areas shares last traded down 44 cents, or 8.4 per cent, at $4.80.

www.news.com.au

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ritary parkThis site is a guide to finding coffee in Perth’s playgrounds and parks, created by a Perth family.

We are a family of two children who love playgrounds, and two parents who love coffee. We made this website to tell other parents of places we have found in Perth where you have coffee in the park while the kids play on the playground. 

New changes – over the Easter weekend we changed the menus – the list of parks is getting bigger and we have divided it up into a Perth Playgrounds South and Perth Playgrounds North menu.  We are also compiling a list of great parks without coffee – due to the huge number of suggestions we have received from parents across Perth. 

What counts as a coffee in the park?                                                                                      

To count as an official ‘coffee in the park’ a park need to have two essential criteria – a playground and a nearby source of takeaway espresso coffee. The two must be no more than a short walk from each other. These free public parks are listed in the two Perth Playgrounds menus. 

We also know of many other great playgrounds that unfortunately don’t have a built-in source of caffeine, so while they don’t qualify as a coffee in the park, we have created a new category for the site called Great Parks – No Coffee and will soon list them here. 

Under the Other Cool Places menu we have included places to play that are ‘pay for entry’ or which are fun places to play, without actually being formal playgrounds.

www.acoffeeinthepark.com

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