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Thornlie’s tree man Richard Pennicuik has ended his 110 day protest and climbed down from the 20m-high eucalyptus melliodorain on the front verge of his home.

Mr Pennicuik has been living in the tree outside his Hume Road home since early December, including during Monday’s devastating hail storm that swept across Perth and caused more than $200 million damage.

The City of Gosnells wants to remove the tree, claiming it poses a danger.                                                                                                                

Mr Pennicuik claimed he won the moral battle before doing a lap around the tree and heading inside his home to have a shower.

He initially released a four paragraph statement, but re-emerged to speak to reporters, saying he felt great.

“The tree weathered the worst storm to hit Perth ever and it’s in good condition, it has proven itself,” Mr Pennicuik said.

“It is worth it because we have shown the people of Australia they need the constitution, they can’t do without it.

“I think I have (proven my point) I think the tree has.”

City of Gosnells Mayor Olwen Searle today welcomed the Mr Pennicuik’s decision to come down from the tree, but confirmed the council would go ahead with plans to chop it down.

Source  :  www.thewest.com.au

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Migration Agents – Migrant numbers need to increase to support infrastructure projects

The Migration Institute of Australia (MIA) has warned the government that work on infrastructure projects will be difficult to accomplish following the decision to put australian-immigration-construction-workers restrictions on the skilled migration program.

While the MIA welcomed the Australian immigration ministers decision to increase the number of humanitarian and family reunion Australian visas for the 2009/10 Migration Program, they were less than impressed with the decision to remove a number of trade-level occupations from the skilled occupation list.

“The MIA awaits with great interest to see how the Government proposes to administer the new job-readiness criteria for trade occupations. It’s hard to imagine a one-size-fits-all assessment system of employability,” said Maurene Horder, CEO of the Migration Institute of Australia.

The Government reduced the Australian skilled migration program at the turn of 2009, when the recession was starting to take effect. The planning level for the remainder of the 2008-09 financial year was reduced from 133,500 to 115,000 skilled migration visas and the Critical Skills List (CSL) and priority processing order were both introduced so that the Government could target the skills it needed most.

As of the 01 July 2009, the Australian skilled migration planning levels will be further reduced to 108,100 visas, and the CSL and priority processing order will remain as guidelines for the Department of Immigration and Citizenship’s visa processing officers. This means that sponsored visas and independent visas with skills nominated in the health, engineering and IT sectors will constitute a major part of Australian visa approvals during the start of the next financial year.

Fortunately, the Australian skilled migration program remains flexible to the needs of the Australian economy. While states/territories and employers have been given greater power to target the skills they need, the Immigration Minister Chris Evans also has the ability to extend the planning levels for the Australian skilled migration program and amend the CSL so that certain nominated trades can have priority for processing, if the economy needs a boost in skilled workers.

Senator Evans said in a recent statement that the Government is committing itself to “a long-term planning framework for migration as a key component of the current reform agenda” and that their extension of the family migration scheme is testament to its perception of the importance of family.

“We are recognising the importance of family through this boost which will benefit Australians who seek to have their parents, partners or children join them to live here permanently,” Senator Evans added.

The family stream of the Australian migration program has had 2,500 places added to the Spouse and Fiancée Visa program, 1,000 places to the Parent Visa program, and 300 to the Child Visa program.

Source www.gettingdownunder.com

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FOUL-mouthed chef Gordon Ramsay has shocked a public audience by vilifying high profile Australian journalist Tracy Grimshaw in an obscene, sexist rant.

The putrid tirade, which included references to Grimshaw’s looks, sexuality and depictions of her as a pig, shocked audiences who went to see the celebrity chef at the Good Food and Wine Show in Melbourne.

Ramsay told an audience of several thousand people that Grimshaw was “a lesbian”, the Sunday Herald Sun reports.

When the crowd reacted with gasps, he said: “What? I’m not saying she’s a …”

The phrase that Ramsay used was a highly derogatory term often used to describe lesbians.

Ramsay also showed a picture of a woman – who appeared to be naked – on her hands and knees with the features of a pig and multiple breasts. 

Tracy Grimshaw,” he told the audience. “I had an interview with her yesterday – holy crap.

“She needs to see Simon Cowell’s Botox doctor.”

Ramsay – who later dismissed the comments as a joke – went on with more innuendos about Grimshaw’s sexual preference and activities.

The crude remarks did not impress Channel Nine chief executive David Gyngell, who phoned Ramsay to tell him they were inappropriate and that he had gone too far.

Just a year ago, the celebrity chef had been lauded as the network’s saviour, with his programs Hell’s Kitchen and Kitchen Nightmares rating highly.

Mandy Saunders was at the food expo with her two children and elderly mother.                                          gorden

“I couldn’t believe what I was seeing and hearing – it was disgusting,” Ms Saunders said.

“The show is meant for families. That was way out of order.”

Anthony Kavroulas was also in the audience at Ramsay’s performance.

“What can I say? It was totally sexist,” Mr Kavroulas said.

Women’s groups also expressed their disgust, saying it was wrong that Ramsay was making money by comparing women with animals.

Melinda Tankard Reist, from Women’s Forum Australia, said Ramsay’s sponsors should dump him and he should leave Australia.

“Ramsay’s sexist and demeaning actions are offensive to every Australian woman,” Ms Reist said.
“Why should he get paid for depicting a woman as an animal and publicly deriding her looks?

“He shouldn’t be making money through the verbal abuse of women.

“Gordon Ramsay is no longer welcome here. The sponsors of his trip should immediately remove their support and send him packing.”

LG, a major sponsor of the Good Food and Wine Show, said it did not want to comment on the incident.

Ramsay appeared on Nine’s A Current Affair and was interviewed by Tracy Grimshaw on Friday night.

During the interview, he commented on Grimshaw’s facial mole, asking: “Is that a wart? It looks like your little sister’s on your lip.”

Grimshaw appeared to take that remark well.

But A Current Affair executive producer Grant Williams said yesterday the chef had gone too far and should stick to cooking and lay off the comedy.

“We know Gordon Ramsay sets out to shock, but if what we’re being told is true, we’re very surprised,” Williams said.

“Frankly, although it’s plainly a joke, it’s out of order.

“Gordon has proved here that he doesn’t need to be in the kitchen to create a nightmare.

“As a comedian, he makes a pretty good cook. Maybe he’d be better off at The Chaser.”

A spokeswoman for Ramsay said the stunt was just a joke and should have been taken as one.

“He really respects Tracy Grimshaw as a journalist. It was just a joke,” Sarah Armstrong said.

“She interviews him every time he comes to Australia. They have a great relationship.”

Source www.news.com.au

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In a welcome move, the Australian Government has said it will legislate to extend the validity period of subclass 410 Retirement visas to 10 years, and remove the working restriction on these visas.

Subclass 410 Retirement visas ceased to be available to new applicants at the end of June 2005, but there are nevertheless some 8,700 410 visaholders in Australia at the moment.

The 410 visa is a long term temporary residency visa, with an initial validity period of 4 years. Initially renewals of this visa were required every 2 years, and there was a no work condition attaching.

Work rights were relaxed in 2003, and relaxations to the health requirements upon renewal of 410 visas were announced later that year.

In 2005 the rollover period for 410 visas was extended from 2 years to 4 years.

Successive Immigration Ministers appear to be sympathetic to the position in which Retirement visaholders find themselves. Many 410 visaholders are now long standing members of Australian communities, and granting permanent residency is a natural next step – the present Minister appears willing to listen to representatives of the 410 cohort, and in extending the renewal period to 10 years is (we would submit) providing quasi-permanent residency to affected individuals.

Full access to Medicare appears to be the main issue with this visa category, together with an ongoing requirement to maintain private health insurance.Indeed, with temporary visaholders being able to structure their personal tax affairs such that overseas source income (including UK source pensions) are not subject to tax in Australia, some would contend that 410 visaholders are in a good place visa and tax wise.If you are a subclass 410 visaholder and would like to discuss your personal tax and financial position please contact us at our Perth or Geelong office. Go Matilda Accounting and Tax is one of the few firms of advisors that have consultants with knowledge across the UK and Australian jurisdictions, and are therefore ideally placed to assist with the preparation and lodgment of UK and Australian Tax Returns, and to provide strategic advice on personal tax planning.

We also recommend that Retirement visaholders visit the internet discussion group that lobbies for the interests of individuals holding subclass 410 visas – British Expat Retirees In Australia, or BERIA: see the weblink below.

  http://groups.yahoo.com/group/BERIA/  Source : www.gomatilda.com 

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