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Diving with great white sharks and discovering shipwrecks is considered a “good day at the office” for Hugh Edwards.    great white                 
 
The self-proclaimed adrenalin junkie took a giant leap of faith when, at the age of 35, he threw in his job as a journalist and pursued a life-long dream to dive deep underwater and document his adventures.
 
Now 76 and with no plans to slow down, Mr Edwards, of Swanbourne, has been awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) as part of the Queen’s Birthday honours.
 
His research over the past 50 years has been instrumental in the discovery of several historical wrecks.
 
He has also filmed underwater documentaries and worked alongside the late crocodile hunter, Steve Irwin, saying he was “a thoroughly nice person”.
 
An award-winning author, Mr Edwards has penned more than 30 novels plus a number of historical books on his home state.

“Adventure is as addictive as any drug and you don’t realise that until you look back how one thing has led to another,” Mr Edwards said

“It’s a great thrill to be acknowledged for something I enjoy doing.”
 
Mr Edwards said he was most proud of his contribution to the discovery of the Dutch ship Batavia, and uncovering one of Australia’s darkest stories of mutiny after its sinking in 1629.
 
The father of three and grandfather of five plans to release a new book next year.

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The controversial Smiths Beach tourism development in Yallingup, which has been dogged by scandal in its 10-year history, is set to enter the spotlight again with new plans to be released today.
  
Shire of Busselton planners will release a report on yet-to-be revealed modified plans for the Smiths Beach project, after rejecting previous proposals.  beach plan 
  
Councillors will debate the plan next Monday.
  
The new plan will be released just days before developer Canal Rocks and the Shire of Busselton go before the State Administrative Tribunal on June 11 for a 12-day hearing into the multi-million dollar development.
  
Canal Rocks wants to build 272 tourist units, 104 homes, two 50-bed hotels, a 60-bed backpacker lodge and about 50 camping sites on 21ha at the southern end of Smiths Beach. 
   
Busselton shire rejected a modified proposal to the plan last December.
  
The Environmental Protection Authority rejected the project in April and said it would affect views of the coastline.
  
But EPA chairman Paul Vogel said a smaller development might be acceptable.
  
Canal Rocks would not comment on the new proposal.
  
The developer has never commented on the EPA’s rejection of its plan. 

 Source : www.thewest.com.au

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lending moneyTHE Rudd Government will give the $21 billion margin lending industry three weeks to digest a proposed overhaul of the regulatory and legislative regime.
The Minister for Corporate Law Nick Sherry will today release a draft copy of the legislation with a view to introducing it into parliament next month.

The legislation includes new national laws to regulate margin lending under a standard national regime, reports The Australian.

Margin lending is not currently regulated in Australia and is considered to have been one of the main destroyers of investor wealth as the stockmarket collapsed last year.

It cost some investors their homes as their margin lending accounts blew up, triggering margin calls many couldn’t afford to pay.

Mr Sherry said yesterday taking out equity on a family home was a key area of interest to the Government.

“One area where we have had a high level of concern has been where people have been advised to take equity out of their family home and then to use this debt to leverage into buying shares through a margin loan.

“This double-debt trap, with a home as security, is of serious concern,” he said.

“Under our new responsible margin lending laws the lender will be required to assess a person’s true loan-to-value ratio

“This means the lender can no longer assume the money brought to the table is not itself debt, a major new improvement” that would reduce the risk of people losing their homes.

Properly geared margin lending, backed by full disclosure, had a place, but the Rudd Government would not tolerate ordinary Australians being misled into grossly inappropriate margin loans that could cost a family everything they owned, including their home, he said.

Under the new laws, lenders will be regulated by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission and be required to hold an Australian Financial Services Licence, be members of low-cost external dispute bodies, clearly disclose fees and commissions before lending, and lend under a tailored margin-lending-specific set of responsible lending obligations.

Between June last year and December 30, the number of margin calls received by 205,000 Australians with margin loans increased 458 per cent, as the share market dropped 40 per cent.

http://www.news.com.au/perthnow/money/story/0,26926,25441887-5015860,00.html

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