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The Perth Convention Bureau has secured 88 new business events for Western Australia worth an estimated US$66.6 million to the local economy.

Achieved against the backdrop of the global economic crisis, the US$66.6 million, end-of-financial-year result saw the bureau exceed its 2008/09 delegate expenditure target by US$2 million.

The events, which consist of national and international conferences, corporate meetings, and incentive groups, are expected to attract an estimated 35,500 delegates to Western Australia over the next four years.

Bureau managing director Christine McLean described the result as a “fantastic achievement” in what has been an extremely difficult global economic environment.

“This result demonstrates the resilience of the business events sector and why the state government has committed increased funding to attract high-yield visitors,” Ms. McLean said.

“In the short term, the global economic crisis is impacting on our business with reduced delegate numbers at conferences and fewer corporate reward programs being booked, but the long-term prospects for the business events sector look extremely buoyant.                                                                                                             DOT_Scenery_09_Perth_Australia

“In spite of all the global communication options available these days, people still prefer to meet face to face.”

A string of significant medical conferences contributed to this year’s healthy scorecard of conference bid wins.

Among these include the Royal Australian College of Surgeons Annual Scientific Conference in May 2010 (2,800 delegates); the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists Annual Scientific Meeting in May 2012 (2,000 delegates); National Alcoholics Anonymous Convention in April 2011 (1,550 delegates); and the 11th National Rural Health Conference in March
2011 (1,200 delegates).

Ms. McLean said that the events will further Perth’s reputation as a leading center of medical research excellence.

“Perth’s reputation for, and expertise in, hosting major medical and science meetings is growing internationally and will help to position Perth over rival international destinations in the future.”

Given that the bureau’s new business events target has increased to US$81 million this year, it will be critical to position Perth and Western Australia front and center in the minds of event decision-makers around the world.

The expansion of the PCB’s Convention Scholarship Program and the creation of the new Business Events Brand for Western Australia are expected to lead to both an increase in opportunities and exposure for the destination.

“The scholarship program, which has already been hugely successful in unearthing local conference hosts and bidding opportunities through partnerships with Perth universities and the city of Perth, will be expanded to run in conjunction with Perth hospitals.

“Since the program’s inception, an estimated US$46.33 million worth of meetings has been generated on disciplines ranging from environment and education to engineering and resources. By including Perth’s top hospitals in the initiative, we aim to further profile the state’s expertise in the areas of medical research and health sciences.

“Add to this the launch of the business events brand for Perth and Western Australia, which we expect will attract unprecedented international and national exposure as a business events destination, and we are in a strong position to achieve our 2009/10 target.”

The bureau has been responsible for marketing Western Australia as a destination for business events since 1972. The business events industry is the highest-yielding sector of the tourism industry, with international delegates spending six times that of the leisure tourist.

Source  :  www.eturbonews.com

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Two in three West Australian adults are expected to take part in a $20 million splurge on lottery tickets in the hope of scooping Australia’s record $90 million Lotto jackpot next week.
  
Lottery fever has gripped WA and it is estimated five times more tickets than usual will be bought in the State for Tuesday’s Oz Lotto draw.
  
The $90 million prize pool is unprecedented in Australian lottery history and is the culmination of nine weeks of rolled-over Oz Lotto prizes.
  
Lotterywest chief executive Jan Stewart said lottery ticket sales in WA were up 6 per cent on last year and were expected to jump even higher for Tuesday’s bumper draw.
  
“Our experience is that irrespective of the economic climate, people seem to continue to spend the few dollars each week they have been accustomed to spending on a Lotto or scratchie ticket and to find a little more when there is something special on like a big Oz Lotto or Powerball jackpot or a Saturday Lotto Superdraw,” Ms Stewart said. 
  
WA is a lottery-loving State, a fact which could be attributed to the ban on poker machines that has reduced gambling choices in the West.
  
Whether WA is luckier or just plays more, the State is full of Lotto winners. Over the past 12 months, seven of the 12 major (Division One) wins in the Oz Lotto game across Australia have gone to WA.
  
West Australian adults spend an average of $5.98 every week on the lottery and the clamour for tickets for Tuesday’s draw has shown they are spending more than ever.
  
Greg Mills, of Yokine Lottery Centre, said the number of people coming in to buy Lotto tickets had soared from an average of 250 a day to 350 in the run-up to Tuesday’s game.
  
“It’s pumping. People all want a share of this $90 million. It’s creating a lot of interest,” Mr Mills said.
  
Sadly, though, the chances of winning are slim — 45 million to one.
  
To improve your chances, it might be worth taking note of which numbers come up most often. The number 5 has been drawn 14 times over the past 50 Oz Lotto draws, while 45, 35 and 28 have come up 13 times each.
  
At the other end of the scale, the number 38 has emerged only three times in the past 50 draws. Numbers 6, 14, 36 and 39 were almost as unlucky, with four appearances each. 
  
You could also buy your ticket in one of WA’s lottery hotspots. Kalgoorlie has had the most Division One wins over the past five years, with $31.7 million won by eight players.
  
Perth CBD is also a lucky place, with more than $26.4 million shared between 11 Division One ticket holders over the same period.
  
Morley has had the highest number of Division One winners with 12 tickets sharing $9.8 million.
  
The biggest Division One win of all time was $58.7 million, which was won in Victoria in the Powerball game in June 2008.

Source  :   www.thewest.com.au

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HOUSE prices could rise by as much as 22 per cent during the next three years, an economic forecaster says.   house price

”The conditions are ripe for a sustained recovery in residential property prices,” according to BIS Shrapnel’s Residential Property Prospects, 2009 to 2012, report.

”Low interest rates, solid growth in rents and housing shortages are evident in most markets.

”However, the current economic malaise will mean confidence will only recover slowly during 2009/10.”

BIS Shrapnel senior project manager and study author Angie Zigomanis said that, at this stage, all of the action was occurring at the lower-priced end of the market.

This is due to a surge in first-home buyer demand as a result of the federal government’s first home owner boost scheme and low interest rates, he said.

BIS Shrapnel forecasts there will be 180,000 first-home buyers in 2009.

Although first-home buyer demand was expected to ease after the expiry of the government’s boost scheme at the end of 2009, upgraders and investors were expected to take the baton, Mr Zigomanis said.

”We expect rising confidence in the prospects for an economic recovery in 2010, so investors are likely to return in greater numbers, attracted by increased rental returns and low interest rates.”

Among the state capitals, Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide will show the strongest price growth over the next three years, at 19 per cent.

More moderate growth is expected in Brisbane, Hobart, and Canberra, while price growth in Perth and Darwin is expected to be weak as the local economies of these cities are impacted by a decline in investment spending in the resources sector.

BIS Shrapnel estimates Sydney’s median house price at June 2009 to be $530,000, and predicts it will rise by mid-2012 to $630,000. Melbourne’s current median house price is estimated at $425,000, rising to $507,000 by June 2012.

In Adelaide, the median price is estimated at $360,000 and predicted to climb to $430,000 over the three years.

Among other cities around Australia, Newcastle and Wollongong are expected to benefit from the migration of residents from Sydney over the coming years.

The median house price in Newcastle is expected to soar 22 per cent over the three years, while Wollongong is forecast to see growth of 20 per cent in the same period.

In Brisbane, the average house is estimated to cost $391,000 now and is expected to cost $455,000 by mid-2012, an increase of 16 per cent.

Hobart’s median house price is estimated to be $335,000 and will rise by 15 per cent to $385,000 over the three year period.

An average house in Canberra is estimated to cost $440,000, increasing to $515,000 by 2012, a rise of 17 per cent.

In Perth, the estimated median house price is $425,000, expected to reach $475,000 in three years, up 12 per cent.

Darwin’s forecast median house price is $470,000, predicted to show an increase of 11 per cent over the three years.

For the Gold Coast, the Sunshine Coast and Cairns, BIS Shrapnel forecasts prices will increase by 14 per cent, while Townsville prices are expected to grow 13 per cent over the three years.

Source  :  www.news.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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A fire that destroyed a 24m cruiser in the North-West on Wednesday night has been declared not suspicious by FESA.   boat

Kimberley Quest was gutted by fire while on a slipway in Broome, with damage estimated at $3 million.

FESA’s fire investigation officer Kim Maldon and police arson today ruled out arson but said the cause of the fire would remain undetermined.

A small amount of fuel and oil spilt onto the beach as a result of the blaze. It is understood volunteer firefighters and the Broome Port Authority kept the environmental impact to a minimum.

Operated by family business Pearl Sea Coastal Cruises, the vessel is one of two cruisers owned by the company, the other being the luxurious tourist vessel Kimberley Quest II cruising through the Kimberley.

Kimberley Quest was the company’s original tourist cruiser from 2000 until 2005 but is now used solely as a scientific research vessel.

Source www.thewest.com.au

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Hundreds of hotel guests were evacuated from a Perth hotel this morning after a fire broke out in the basement. fire

A FESA spokesman said the fire at the Good Earth Hotel in Adelaide Terrace started just after midnight.

He said about 200 guests were forced outside after smoke began to spread through the hotel’s upper levels.  

Damage has been estimated at $300,000.

ABC radio reports one guest collapsed and was treated for stress.

The arson squad are investigating.

Source  :  www.thewest.com.au

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Prime Minister Kevin Rudd was in Perth yesterday to formally announce the federal  government committing $236 million for the Northbridge Link project.  kevin-rudd

The underground construction is estimated to cost about $470 million, with the sitework set to start later this year.

The  construction will be commencing in approximately a years time.

The transformation of the the city precinct will include commercial, residential and entertainment opportunities, which would transform the city.

Added will be a waterfront development which will be the greatest transformation of the city of Perth.

This will connect the city with Northbridge and will result in a better integration of rail and bus services.  

Mr Rudd said the project would create about 350 job opportunities for the construction and business sectors and attract an additional 600 passengers on the public transport network each day.

Tendering will be concluded  later this year and construction due to commence next year.

This is an important contribution to employment as well.

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