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Archive for August, 2009

The Department of Immigration and Citizenship is strengthening checks on student visa applications to stamp out fraud and ensure students have the financial capacity to live and study in Australia.

The Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Senator Chris Evans said today that applications for student visas grew by 20 per cent to 362 193 in 2008-09, with almost 28 000 student visas refused, an increase of 68 per cent on the number of refusals in 2007-08.

‘While overall student visa compliance rates remain high, there are elements of concern within this large caseload,’ the minister said.

The targeted measures will address the potential for document fraud and other issues around financial capacity, identification and bona fides in some parts of the student caseload. The measures implemented with immediate effect include:

  • upgrading the interview program to build a strong evidence base around fraud;
  • removing or restricting eVisa access for some agents where there is evidence of fraud or inactivity, and
  • restricting access to eVisa for some segments of the caseload if analysis demonstrates restricted access would allow for better control of fraud.

The measures will target parts of the student visa caseload in India, Mauritius, Nepal, Brazil, Zimbabwe and Pakistan.

‘These measures are consistent with those used by other countries that receive large numbers of student visa applications, such as the United States,’ Senator Evans said.

‘Australia’s student visa program supports the entry of genuine international students. For those students, the department provides a convenient, efficient service.

‘The message is clear: genuine international students remain welcome in Australia, but we will not tolerate fraud in the student visa program.’

The measures are part of the Government’s ongoing response to any changes in risk in visa programs and will build on work already conducted across the student visa program to combat fraud as it emerges. Similar arrangements are already in place for students from other countries, such as Sri Lanka and Vietnam.

‘Student visa requirements are aligned to the immigration risk presented by an applicant. The greater the risk identified, the more evidence required to be granted a student visa. Risk is determined by an objective analysis of visa compliance,’ Senator Evans said.

The next formal review of student visa risk framework is scheduled for 2010. The data obtained from the enhanced checking of student visa applications will help inform future reviews.

Source  :  http://www.minister.immi.gov.au/media/media-releases/2009/ce09075.htm

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Live auction site start bidding on 21st August 8am closing at 9pm 30th August.

Click2bid features a range of goods and services with some savings of up to 50% off retail prices.

Happy Bidding!! 

 

Get yourself a bargain on www.click2bid.com.au

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RELIEF may be in sight for renters who have been hit in the hip pocket by skyrocketing rents over the past few years.

There has been a small decrease in rental rates across Australia’s capital cities over the June quarter, suggesting rental yields may have hit their peak, leading property statistics agency RP Data says.

Weekly house rents fell by 3.5 per cent nationally over the June quarter while unit rents dropped 0.6 per cent.

The largest fall was in the Canberra market with a drop of six per cent for the June quarter in the housing market, where the median weekly rent fell from $530 in March to $498 in June.

The only mainland capital city to experience a nearly six per cent rise in rent was Darwin, where renters can expect to fork out about $100 more per week than those in Sydney, where rents dipped by about five per cent.

“It now appears that the rental market may have peaked with national weekly median rents falling slightly in each month post March 2009,” RP Data’s Tim Lawless said in a statement.

“And with rental rates now coming off the boil and property values rising we are seeing the first signs that rental rates are eroding.”

Rental vacancies remain tight across the nation with all capitals recording less than three per cent vacancy in stock.

Source  :   www.news.com.au  

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It was calm and still the day an Albany woman driven by instinct swam out to save the life of a fellow surf club member who had been attacked by a shark off Western Australia’s south coast.

Joanne Lucas’ bravery in doing so has earned her the Star of Courage, a bravery award which will presented by the Governor-General Quentin Bryce.

The 54-year-old mother of three had arrived at Middleton Beach, Albany, early on May 10 last year, ahead of a surf club event.

“It was very still and calm, and the sun was shining, and there were dolphins flipping about, a whole pod of dolphins …” Ms Lucas said.

But a short time later, a woman ran up the beach telling her a man had been attacked by a shark.

“I said: `No, no, it’s the dolphins’ and she said: `No it’s a shark’,” Ms Lucas said.

Ms Lucas said running down to the beach, driven by instinct and adrenalin, she stripped off her tracksuit pants and swam 80 metres to where fellow surf club member Jason Cull was critically injured, barely able to swim or tread water.

“It was a completely instinctive thing. I didn’t think: `There’s a shark out there maybe I shouldn’t go out there’,” she said.

“I just thought I’ve got to get this guy out and I’ve got to get him back in.”

All the while, the shark manoeuvred around the scene, with Ms Lucas fearing the frantic splashing of two nearby swimmers trying to scare it away would steer the shark toward her and Mr Cull.

She said she kicked harder and made it to shore where Mr Cull was treated for his injuries.

His leg was completely ripped open from his ankle right up to his knee and he had been “nipped” on the other knee, Ms Lucas said.     Article_shark-200x0

Ms Lucas said she was happy to see Mr Cull now back on his feet and cycling around the place.

Being awarded the star of courage was humbling, she said.

“I’m very honoured and humbled to receive this.”

Ms Lucas said she was quickly back on the beach after the attack.

“It hasn’t turned me off the ocean at all,” she said.

“I actually scan the ocean before I go in now …”

The governor-general is expected to present the star of courage to Ms Lucas at a ceremony early next year.

Source www.watoday.com.au

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WITH a new manager running a very tight ship, and a new chef in the kitchen armed with a new menu, Oceanus on the Beach in City Beach has undergone something of a renaissance in recent months.

Since moving to Perth from his native Scotland, chef John Martin has run kitchens at the likes of the old Campo De’fiori in Applecross and the Royal Perth Golf Club as well as his own Wembley restaurant, ultimately selling the business to spend more time with his growing family.

Martin said the first thing he did was change the Oceanus’ menu to something more in tune with the beachside restaurant’s oceanic surrounds.

“The last chef went sort of 90 per cent meat on the menu, and I thought, we’re surrounded by water here, so I went back to about 80 per cent seafood, 20 per cent meat,” he said.

“There’s nothing on the menu that I’m not proud of.” Martin – who was originally trained in French cooking – said simplicity was an important part of his culinary ethos.

 “I go for the good taste and the flavour and I tell the staff in the kitchen to keep it simple ,” he said.

 “You get a lot of chefs that put too many flavours in; complex flavours, and you end up with this mish-mash on your plate.

” Another recent addition to Oceanus is manager Paul Fox, brought in by owner Tom Galopoulos. Fox said he arrived at the restaurant shortly after Martin.

“All I’ve done is just streamline the staff to make sure the service is at a level where it should be, that all the staff are fully professional and really compatible with the industry,” he said.

“I’m teaching my staff the three things I find lacking most in the industry – complex flavours, and you end up with this mish-mash on your plate and, to let people know that the menus are suggestions.

“If you like the sound of the fish of the day, but you don’t want the mashed potatoes with it, we will ask what would you like with it?

“Products in the fridge are there to be used and the chef is there to cook the food that you want to eat.”

Oceanus is also introducing some dinner shows later in the year, with pub-rock legends Mental as Anything dropping in as part of their 30th anniversary tour, as well as a show by Richard Clapton.

Source  :  www.inmycommunity.com.au

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FOUND in the quiet and serene surrounds of South Perth, the Shish Mahal restaurant offers authentic Indian cuisine.   resized_shishmahal_300_300_FitSquare

Its fusion of traditional cooking and contemporary dishes makes the venue an ideal choice for any occasion.

Those who prefer dining without the spice can consult  spice indicators on the menu.

The entrée menu comprises a range of traditional dishes including Fish Amritsari, delectable boneless fish pieces dipped in chickpea batter.

Vegetarians will enjoy the  vegetarian options including Paneer Makhanti, which consists of succulent cubes of homemade cottage cheese coupled with Makhani sauce.

Meat lovers will be tantalised by the Lamb Madras – a tender lamb dish with a hot and sour sauce, teamed with curry leaves, mustard seeds and coconut milk.

The rich flavours of India are reflected in the Shish Mahal’s Chicken Korma dish, which features tender pieces of chicken in a succulent almond and cashew sauce.

Desserts are also a feature on the menu, with its Gulab Jamun dish, a selection of sweet dumplings with ice-cream.

Address: Shop 8, Meadowvale Shopping Centre, 298 Mill Point Rd, South Perth

Phone: 9367 3809

Open: daily for dinner

Liquor: BYO

Source  :  www.inmycommunity.com.au

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The Australian tax year ended on 30th June, 2009.

With its knowledge of migrant tax matters and the impact of visa status on how income and capital gains are taxed Go Matilda Accounting and Tax is here to help. It is particularly important for temporary visaholders (eg subclass 457, 410, provisional business skills subclasses 160 to 165) who are residing in Australia to be aware that income and capital gains arising from outside Australia are not subject to Australian tax – only Australian source income is taxable.

This is to be contrasted with the generality of Australian taxpayers (Australian citizens and permanent residents) who are resident in Australia, for whom worldwide income and capital gains are assessable in Australia. Go Matilda Accounting and Tax is managed by Alan Collett and Jane Cooper, both of whom are tax qualified in the UK and Australia.

They will be pleased to discuss your situation, how we might help – and to confirm our fees if we are instructed to assist.

Contact Alan Collett on Geelong number 03 5222 6288, or Jane Cooper on Perth number 08 9261 7762.

Source  :  www.gomatilda.com

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WA police believe the body of a man found washed up on a beach near Bunbury is that of German backpacker Jan-Christian Bielenberg who had been missing for more than two weeks.

South West police Detective Senior Sergeant Kylie Whiteley said this afternoon that although the body had not yet been formally identified, it was likely that of 20-year-old Mr Bielenberg.

“At this point we are still attempting to formally identify the male,” Senior Sergeant Whiteley said.

How sad, the rest of this article is on  www.watoday.com.au

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AIRASIA recently launched its Big Sale promotion by offering three million seats for both domestic and international destinations.

The booking period for both sectors during the Big Sale campaign is only until Sunday.

Bookings are for the travel period from Jan 11 to July 31 next year. The flights are available from its eight hubs – Kuala Lumpur, Johor Baru, Penang, Kota Kinabalu, Bangkok, Jakarta, Bali and Bandung.

Guests can fly from Kuala Lumpur to domestic destinations such as Penang, Johor Baru from as low as RM9. Popular international destinations such as Jakarta, Yogyakarta, Bangkok, Phuket are offered from as low as RM49.

Ho Chi Minh, Phnom Penh, Bali and Bandung are offered from RM69 and the highly in demand “Kangaroo Routes” in Australia such as Gold Coast, Melbourne and Perth are offered from RM149.

The airline is also extending the promotion to its recently launched routes such as Colombo, Taipei, and London from RM89, RM99 and RM479 respectively.

“This ‘Big Sale’ promises to be the sale of the year for AirAsia,” said AirAsia Group regional head of commercial Kathleen Tan.

“I dare say that it is even better than the free seats offered in the past as guests now save on administration fees and fuel surcharges as we have abolished both charges,” she said, adding that guests can now enjoy greater savings of up to 70% from the Big Sale.

“For example, with the past free seat offer, guests paid RM53.50 for Penang now they only pay RM9, Kuching was RM78.50, now RM29.  For international sectors, guests paid RM142.50 for Bali, now RM69. Singapore used to be RM122.50, now it’s RM29, Gold Coast was RM354, now RM149,” said Tan.

Promotional seats are limited and available exclusively online via www.airasia.com and mobile.airasia.com.

Source  :  www.thesundaily.com

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