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The Reserve Bank has raised its key interest rate, making Australia the first developed nation to reverse the cycle of cuts triggered by the global financial crisis. Analysts say more increases are on the way.

Today’s 25-basis-point rise pushes the central bank’s cash rate to 3.25 per cent in a move that will add $40 to the average monthly payment for a typical $300,000 mortgage if it is passed on by commercial banks. The extra cost may stretch household budgets at a time when unemployment remains on the rise.

All four of the big banks – Commonwealth Bank, Westpac, National Australia Bank and ANZ – said they have placed their variable interest rates under review.

Source  :  www.watoday.com.au

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The professional association representing migration agents, the Migration Institute of Australia, is concerned about allegations raised on tonight’s Four Corners program on migration and education scams.

“Unfortunately, hearing reports about international students and visa applicants falling prey to unscrupulous operators is not a new issue”, says Maurene Horder, CEO of the Migration Institute of Australia.

In May 2008, the MIA reported 60 rogue agents from Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane to the Department of Immigration and Citizenship and is unaware if any of these were prosecuted.

Any unethical or illegal behaviour by registered migration agents is not tolerated by the Institute and should be cracked down on by the Department.

“We’ve been asking government to sort out problems with education agents and illegal or unscrupulous operators for an extended period of time. The announcement that education agents will have a register is a first step but doesn’t go far enough in reforming the sector,” says Ms Horder.

A recent independent report, entitled Changing Together, confirms the nature of some of the problems which affects the profession – that the bad behaviour of a minority of unscrupulous operators’ impacts negatively on the entire migration advice profession.

“Following the report’s release, the MIA is acting on a comprehensive range of reforms to strengthen standards and ethics of migration agents.” says Ms Horder. These include:

• Comprehensive reform to the education and training of agents
• Requiring current Registered Migration Agents to requalify to a higher standard of English language and professional competence
• Introduce a tiered system of registration to protect consumers
• Formation of an independent complaints body with the power to review fees

Responsibility for change should be shared by education providers, the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations and the Department of Immigration and Citizenship.

“I wait with interest to see tonight’s Four Corners episode and hope that it will provide an added impetus for the key stakeholders to come together and develop appropriate policies to meet Australia’s educational and immigration interests without anyone being exploited.”

  • Source  :  www.mia.org.au
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    West Australian anglers who fish from a boat anywhere in the Sate, including those on charter boats will need a $30.00 licence as from October 2009.2%20feet%20at%20rear%20of%20boat%20fishing%20rod

    The licence will apply to any form of fishing where a boat is used.  There is also an additional licence for anglers who wish to target demersal scale fish such as dhufish, at a cost of $20.00 a day, $60.00 a fortnight or $150.00 annually.

    Much of the revenue raised from the new licensing system will be used on researching ways to replenish dwindling fish stocks.

    People fishing from beaches or jetties will not need a licence except where existing licences apply.

    More information visit  :  www.fish.wa.gov.au

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    I know if Jane were here today, she would have been so happy to see that so many Australian women and their families are being helped by the work the McGrath Foundation is doing each day.

    Executive Director of the Foundation TracyBevan                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

    Memorial services will be held across the nation today to honour breast cancer victims including Jane McGrath, one year after her death.

    The McGrath Foundation, led by her husband and former cricketer Glenn McGrath has raised more than $5.5 million for cancer research.jane McGrath

    Jane and Glenn co-founded the McGrath Foundation in 2002, to raise money for breast cancer nurses and to raise awareness about the disease.

    The cancer campaigner lost her own battle with cancer on June 22 last year, sparking an outpouring of grief.

    Today memorials will be held in the Art Gallery of NSW and at other sites across Sydney, as well as in Newcastle, Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane, Perth and Canberra.

    Executive Director of the Foundation Tracy Bevan says it’s a significant day.

    “Today is a hard day for us, but it’s also a very proud day. I know if Jane were here today, she would have been so happy to see that so many Australian women and their families are being helped by the work the McGrath Foundation is doing each day.”

    The foundation currently has 45 McGrath Breast Care Nurses working in health care facilities across the country, with another eight to be placed in coming months.

    Source  www.livenews.com.au

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    Perth has a new millionaire after a woman won $1.8 million from the weekend’s Lotto Superdraw.  lottery

    The winner recalls the words uttered by the staff member who sold her the winning Slikpik 50 ticket in the Superdraw: “Good luck dear, I hope you win.”

    Looking forward to celebrating the good news with family this weekend, the woman said an overseas holiday with family and clearing debts were first on her to-do list.

    A 14-member syndicate claimed WA’s second Superdraw Division One winning ticket this afternoon.

    Strong sales in Saturday’s $20 million Superdraw translated into a huge win for community groups around the State with approximately $3.6 million raised from the draw to go back to WA hospitals, sports, the arts and not-for-profit organisations.

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    WESTERN Areas NL has successfully raised $35.35 million through it’s institutional share placement.

    Seven million shares were issued at a discount of 3.6 per cent at $5.05 each.

    The placement was significantly oversubscribed, with strong demand from both domestic and international institutions, most of which were existing shareholders.

    Western Areas’ managing director Julian Hanna said: “The success of this placement will support Western Areas’ rapidly expanding nickel production and help underpin the Company’s growth strategy to achieve its goal to become Australia’s second largest and lowest cost nickel miner.”

    Western Areas shares last traded down 44 cents, or 8.4 per cent, at $4.80.

    www.news.com.au

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