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Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard says WA needs more migrants amid claims hundreds of thousands of extra workers are necessary over the next decade to thwart a labour crisis.

Speaking at a Perth business breakfast hosted by _The West Australian _and Murdoch University, Ms Gillard said both interstate and international migration was needed to help fill future job vacancies.

It comes as employer groups warn labour shortages are set to hit within months.

Ms Gillard said WA also needed to better utilise its youth market, which was suffering a 10 per cent unemployment rate.

She blamed the labour problem partly on the booming resources sector which was drawing workers, infrastructure and services away from rest of the economy.

“That’s why we need to properly analyse and assess all claims about the West’s needs in the decade or so ahead, including claims about the need to attract hundreds of thousands of new workers,” she said.

“There’s no doubt more interstate and overseas migrants will be needed, but we need to look also at how we can achieve better results with the assets that are already available and underused.

“With a youth unemployment rate of almost 10 per cent, there is more work to be done to create the pathways that will give these kids a future.”

The Chamber of Commerce and Industry said labour shortages would hit in the second half of this year, with WA needing an extra 400,000 workers in the decade from 2007. Based on current population trends, there would be 150,000 shortfall.

CCI supports strong migration to alleviate the skills shortage, which threatened to curb WA’s economic growth during the last boom.

The WA Group Training Scheme, which last year sacked some apprentices because of reduced work, said there had been a quick economic turnaround and expectations of boom-level demand this year.

Ms Gillard said an expanded training initiative announced yesterday, creating 11,000 advanced level training places nationally, would help address some of the skills shortage.

Ms Gillard, who heads to the Pilbara today to inspect the $43 billion Gorgon project, warned unions not to engage in unlawful industrial action, singling out the construction union’s Kevin Reynolds and Joe McDonald. “We have got no tolerance for people who seek to break the rules and I am well aware there is a concern in this State over the propensity of some individuals to believe they are beyond the law,” she said.

Mr Reynolds said he was not surprised at being singled out by Ms Gillard over unlawful industrial action, claiming the pair had an adverse relationship. He said migration should be a back-up with the focus on training. 

Ms Gillard said an expanded training initiative announced yesterday, creating 11,000 advanced level training places nationally, would help address some of the skills shortage.

Ms Gillard, who heads to the Pilbara today to inspect the $43 billion Gorgon project, warned unions not to engage in unlawful industrial action, singling out the construction union’s Kevin Reynolds and Joe McDonald. “We have got no tolerance for people who seek to break the rules and I am well aware there is a concern in this State over the propensity of some individuals to believe they are beyond the law,” she said.

Mr Reynolds said he was not surprised at being singled out by Ms Gillard over unlawful industrial action, claiming the pair had an adverse relationship. He said migration should be a back-up with the focus on training.

Source  :  www.thewest.com.au

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Morley is set to get a revamp – with the $50 million Coventry Square development now out for public comment.                                      

“This is a great step forward for us,” said Greg Poland, the principal of The Strzelecki Group development company that plans to build the project.

“Once the six-week public consultation period has finished we can then start transforming the old Coventry’s warehouse into the ultimate tourist and shopping precinct.”

As well as being built in the heart of Morley – beside the Centro Galleria shopping mall – Coventry Square will be a major part of the new town centre for the City of Bayswater.

If approved, the development will house more than 200 specialty stores, selling everything from fashion, to local arts and crafts.

Mr Poland said the development would include restaurants, cafes, a microbrewery and a fresh food section dedicated to organic produce.

“At a time when the economy is slowing down, Coventry Square will be a real shot in the arm for Morley and the City of Bayswater by creating hundreds of new small businesses and jobs for about 1000 people,” he said.

The Strzelecki Group hopes to open Coventry Square in April next year.

Source  :   www.watoday.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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