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wa small firmsSigns are emerging that the worst of the global financial crisis is over, according to a new survey, and the State’s small businesses are leading the way.
  
The Commonwealth Bank-Chamber of Commerce and Industry quarterly survey of business expectations, released yesterday, shows that economic conditions in WA appear to be stabilising after six months of decline.
  
CCI chief economist John Nicolaou said that the community could “take heart” from the results and that an economic recovery within the next 12 months was on the horizon.
  
“This survey is an important lead indicator of future economic activity,” he said.
  
“While just over half of all businesses remain pessimistic about the next 12 months, that’s come back from around 75 per cent of businesses that were pessimistic last quarter, and at the same time businesses that think conditions will improve (over the same time) has doubled.”
  
Mr Nicolaou said small businesses in service industries were the most optimistic, with 17 per cent of the firms surveyed believing conditions would improve over the next 12 months.
  
Beaumonde Catering owner Mark Dimmitt said he felt small business was better prepared for the slowdown than in other downturns because it had taken time to flow to Australia from the US.
  
He said that though his trade had been affected and was patchy, February was a record month for his 20-year-old business and he expected an upturn over the next year.
  
Woolworths regional manager Brad Bolin criticised “illogical barriers to doing business”, referring to trading hours in WA.
  
Mr Bolin said “conservative estimates” showed the group would need to employ another 300 staff in WA if trading hours were extended to 9pm.
  
“During this time of economic uncertainty there are still companies (looking) to hire more people — these efforts shouldn’t be undone by illogical barriers to doing business,” he said.
  
Coles and Kmart have said they expected to employ another 350 workers if 9pm trading was approved.

Source www.thewest.com.au

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THREE Malaysian tourists have been charged for allegedly purchasing more than $90,000 (about RM255,000) worth of jewellery and electrical goods with fake credit cards across Perth.

The two women, aged 21 and 26, and a 31-year-old man, had apparently travelled from the eastern states of Australia to Perth earlier this month and made the Jewellery purchases at various shopping centre stores using altered credit cards and false identification. 

Australian news agencies reported that police major fraud squad detectives apprehended the trio following a probe into the use of the counterfeit cards after shop owners alerted them. They are due to appear in the Perth Magistrate’s Court today.

Detective first class constable Rulan Carr from the Police Fraud Squad told ABC News that the suspects  were  traced to the Perth Airport where they were about to board a plane on Wednesday.

The 21-year-old woman was first to be arrested and was in possession of a suitcase allegedly containing a large quantity of jewellery and laptop computers, estimated worth more than $90,000.

The two others were found by police, also at the airport, and taken into custody on suspicion of being involved in the scam.

Debit cards and other documentary evidence were also discovered.

“The items were seized and the persons were charged with various fraud offences,” said Carr. “Investigations are still continuing into those items.”

Further charges are expected to be laid against the three.

Source  :  http://www.mmail.com.my/content/3-malaysians-nabbed-perth-a90000-fake-credit-card-purchases

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Treasurer Wayne Swan has taken aim at Australia’s biggest home lender, labelling it selfish for lifting its mortgage and business lending rates.  swan_rudd_hand_400

Other banks have refused to rule out following the Commonwealth Bank of Australia’s (CBA’s) surprise decision to lift its home and business loan rates by 10 basis points to offset higher funding costs.

The opposition said the government’s huge debt burden was putting pressure on interest rates, while a prominent market economist said it may force the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) to cut the official rate again to counter any impact from CBA’s move.

CBA said it took Friday’s decision “reluctantly”, but at a standard variable mortgage rate of 5.74 per cent, up from 5.64 per cent, it was still the lowest on the market.

The rate hike will add $18 a month to repayments on a $300,000 home loan over 25 years.

The bank said it had absorbed as much of its additional funding costs for as long as it could.

“Unfortunately, we have seen the bank’s wholesale funding costs remain high and continue to increase as previous long term funding matures and is replaced with new funding at significantly higher cost,” CBA group executive of retail banking services Ross McEwan said in a statement.

Such reasoning drew no sympathy from the treasurer.

There are ups and downs when it comes to those decisions over time, but there are few decisions I can think of that are more selfish than this one,” Mr Swan told reporters in Brisbane.

“I think Australians, rightly, will be furious with the Commonwealth Bank.”

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd echoed those sentiments during a speech to a business lunch in Brisbane.

“We are all in this together – businesses, workers, government and the Reserve Bank – and today’s decision by the Commonwealth Bank runs counter to this nationwide effort,” Mr Rudd said.

The other three major banks – ANZ, National Australia Bank and Westpac – said their rates were constantly under review.

NAB said it had no current plans to raise its home loan rate but noted “all Australian banks” had been incurring significantly higher funding costs for some time.

Opposition treasury spokesman Joe Hockey said the government was putting pressure on interest rates by running up a huge debt.

“Kevin Rudd and Wayne Swan feigned outrage about this interest rate increase, yet they are directly responsible for it,” Mr Hockey told reporters in Sydney.

“This is the beginning. You will end up with higher interest rates directly as a result of the spending binge of the Rudd government and the massive debt they are accruing.”

Home buyers may be enjoying the lowest mortgage rates in 41 years, but have already missed out on about 30 to 40 basis points of the RBA’s total 425 basis points of official rate cuts, with banks refusing to pass on the cuts in full because of the cost of funding.

For small businesses it has been even worse, being short changed by about 140 basis points.

The CBA’s decision comes in a week that saw massive boosts to both consumer and business confidence, as well as data showing sustained growth in home lending – sucked in by low mortgage rates and a more generous first home owners grant.

April mortgage data showed loan demand has grown for seven straight months to a 14-month high, as well as record demand from first home buyers and the strongest interest from investors in nearly two years.

It also showed that the banks have cornered more than 92 per cent of all loans – a 33-year high.

Westpac chief economist Bill Evans said CBA’s decision could well be countered by another cut by the RBA.

“If it does have an impact, particularly on confidence in the housing market, which has been the most encouraging source of recovery in the Australian economy, it may bring a rate cut back on the table at the Reserve Bank,” Mr Evans told Sky News

Source  :  www.thedaily.com.au

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GordonRamsay_Getty_400

 

Chef Gordon Ramsay has cancelled his planned visit to Perth at the end of this month.           

A spokeswoman for the Perth Convention Exhibition Centre which is hosting the $1000-a-head dinner and a $125-a-head motivational breakfast with the star,

said it had received an email from event management company Diablo Events saying Ramsay would not appear at the two events at the convention centre.

Source  :  www.thewest.com.au

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Colin Barnett is on the brink of caving in to worried Liberal backbenchers and accepting an 8pm closing for weeknight shopping rather than the 9pm time he took to the election last year.
  
The Premier has been softening the public up for an 8pm closing time in recent days and again said yesterday that it was an acceptable alternative. 
  
The West Australian understands that most Liberals don’t want 9pm and would prefer a 7pm closing time but are prepared to accept 8pm to save the Premier the embarrassment of being rolled by his own party.
  
Mr Barnett has been canvassing his MPs one-on-one in recent days and knows that 9pm is beyond his reach.

The Nationals say they will not support changes to shopping hours, which they fear would deliver a crucial blow to WA producers because it would increase the market share of big supermarkets
   
The Government will rely on Labor to get legislation on later weeknight shopping hours through Parliament but the ALP took a position of 7pm to the election and is not guaranteed to support a later closing time. A Labor spokeswoman said yesterday that shadow Cabinet and caucus would discuss the party’s position once the Government’s preference was known.
 
Cabinet discussed the shopping hours issue last Monday and Mr Barnett is expected to take his preferred position to the party room on Tuesday, but the Upper House is not sitting, and the meeting will be only for Assembly MPs, meaning that a vote on the issue will probably be delayed a week.
  
Mr Barnett said yesterday that most people in the retail industry, including the unions, favoured a 9pm closing time from Monday to Friday to bring all weeknights into line with existing late-night shopping.
  
“That’s a position I think is logical, however a number of people are saying 8pm might be better. I don’t think there’s a big difference between the two,” he said.
  
“To simply extend it to 7pm would be pointless.
  
“So, 8pm, yeah that’s OK, 9pm might be better but at least either of those would be a significant extension to weeknight shopping.”

But backbenchers are under pressure from small businesses to wind back the closing time, believing that the later hour is supported only by Coles and Woolworths.
  
Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief James Pearson urged politicians from both sides to “stand up to vested interest groups, which are determined to deny West Australians more choice and lower prices when they shop”.  

ROBERT TAYLOR, PETER KERR and AMANDA BANKS

Source www.thewest.com.au

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Cocaine Energy Drink launched in Australia

A CONTROVERSIAL energy drink called ‘Cocaine’ and billed overseas as being more than three times stronger than Red Bull has gone on sale in Australia.

While the drink does not contain any actual cocaine, the US and UK versions have 280mg of caffeine for every 250ml can – a concentration that is illegal in Australia and New Zealand.

Local distributors say Cocaine Energy Drink is being targeted at young people in a marketing ploy that has been roundly condemned overseas. cocaine drink

“Cocaine is synonymous with energy,” John Mancini from Wize Distributors told news.com.au.

“People over 30 or 40 have got a different view (of the word), but to anyone between 16 and 30, they go ‘I’ll try that’.”

But Paul Dillon from Drug and Alcohol Research and Training Australia said it was abhorrent that people were trading on such a controversial name.

“I find it despicable that people are importing these sorts of products,” Mr Dillon said

“I think what the public have to realise is that these people are all about making a quick buck.

“Something like this that is out there attracting attention is going to be more appealing for a certain group.”

Over the past fortnight, several shipments of the drink – originally advertised as a legal alternative to drug of the same name – have arrived from New Zealand and cans are being sold across Sydney’s western suburbs.

The Australian version of the drink contains just 80mg of caffeine per can to comply with regulations.

A spokeswoman for Food Standards Australia said that as long as the amount of caffeine in Cocaine adhered to regulations and the cans contained correct labelling, the product was legal.

The spokeswoman for Food Standards Australia said that as long as the amount of caffeine in Cocaine adhered to regulations and the cans contained correct labelling, the product was legal..

At the time New York, a city councillor called for a boycott of the drink.

“There are only two reasons that you would seek to use this infamous and insidious name to market your so-called energy drink,” councillor James Sanders said. “Either you are woefully ignorant of the horrors of cocaine addiction, or your god is the dollar bill.”

David Raynes from the UK National Drug Prevention Alliance also criticised the manufacturer soon after the launch.

“It is people exploiting drugs,” Mr Raynes said. “It is a pretty cynical tactic exploiting illegal drugs for their own benefit.

“The fact is that subliminally, it is making the image of drug use cool and that’s what kids what to be, cool.”

The drink was temporarily pulled from shelves in the US after complaints, but has since returned to sale.

www.news.com.au

My Comment :

What ever next !

I would like to see the government take it off the market.

The Distributors  are saying   ” Don’t do the drug – Do the drink ”

I say Don’t do either

What a bloody ridiculous name for a drink.

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