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SYDNEY (AFP) — Prime Minister Kevin Rudd officially launched Australia’s bid to host the football World Cup in 2018 or 2022.

Rudd told an official ceremony at Parliament House in the national capital Canberra that Football Federation Australia (FFA) had the full backing of the government to bid for the showpiece event.

“The sheer odds are tough against Australia, eight other countries, but the reason the government had got behind the bid is that we as a nation can rise behind this great bid,” Rudd said.aus_worldcup

The premier said the chance to host a World Cup was a great opportunity for the nation.                               

“The challenges are great, but the prize is much greater,” he said.

“I salute those who have had the courage and the initiative and creativity to bring forth this idea.”

English Premier League stars, national skipper Lucas Neill and goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer, also spoke at the launch, urging Australians to throw their support behind the World Cup bid.

FFA chairman Frank Lowy said it would be an “unparalleled opportunity” for Australia to earn official acceptance as a World Cup host.

“On the world stage, there is no event with the same level of global appeal or audience reach as the FIFA World Cup,” the property billionaire said in a statement.

Lowy said Australia?s “secret weapon” for winning the World Cup bid was the Australian people, and Australia’s desirability as a travel destination.

“People from all over the world want to visit our country and thanks to the performance of the Socceroos at the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany, as well as the many thousands of Australian fans who followed them, the rest of the world has a very positive view of us.”

Lowy also pointed to Australia’s record of hosting successful major sports events such as the 1956 and 2000 Olympic Games.

Australia are among nine bidders, along with Belgium-Netherlands, England, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, Portugal-Spain, Russia and the United States, for the 2018 World Cup.

The same nine bidders are also in the running for the 2022 World Cup, along with Qatar and South Korea.

World football governing body FIFA will announce both the 2018 and 2022 World Cup hosts in December 2010.

Australia have already qualified to play in next year’s World Cup in South Africa.

Source  :  www.google.com

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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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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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