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Perth fair-lovers have taken advantage of the city’s trains being back on schedule, with thousands turning out to the Perth Royal Show this morning. 

The show’s organisers have reported strong crowds so far on the opening day of the Show and, with the day expected to stay sunny and topping 26C, between 50,0000 to 60,000 are expected to flow through the gates. 

“It was fantastic that the trains were running on schedule and we’ve had a lot of people entering through the train entrance, so they are obviously taking advantage of the public transport,” Royal Show spokeswoman Maryanne Shaddick said. 

A pay dispute between train drivers and the Public Transport Authority threatened public transport to the Show when drivers called in sick in their masses yesterday, drastically reducing train services. 

However, a deal was reached last night when drivers agreed to an interim wage rise of 5 per cent on the condition that the industrial action stopped immediately.

 The show runs until October 2 but more than half of all show-goers attend over the long weekend, with Monday traditionally the busiest day. 

The weather is expected to stay mostly sunny tomorrow, with a maximum of 23C, and a partly cloudy 25C on Monday. Those attending the Show today will be treated to a shearing and wool-handling competition.

Source  :   www.thewest.com.au

 

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 Seal on Floreat Beach

Dog walkers on Floreat Beach had the pleasure of sharing the sand with a sleeping seal this morning.

An early morning walker reported the seal was taking a nap on the beach about 8.30am when she came across the discovery.

Last month, several migrating sub-Antarctic fur seals were sighted at beaches in Hillarys, Fremantle and Jurien

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A woman from Melbourne has said she has no connection with missing British toddler Madeleine McCann after a friend in Sydney reported her to police.rt_maddy_mccann_090501_mn

The search for Madeleine swept across Australia with a string of sightings after private detectives revealed they were looking for a Victoria Beckham lookalike.

A picture of the woman was released by British police.

Ms Aron, who actually lives in Madeline Street, the Melbourne suburb of Glen Iris.

She has said she was shocked that anybody may have thought that I have some connection to this case. I can’t understand how it may have happened. I can honestly say I have no connection to the little girl.

She also announced that she has not been out of  Australia since 2000.

A neighbour said she thought the link might have been made because Ms Aron spoke Spanish and had a fair-haired child.

An elderly Sydney woman went into Burwood police station and filed a report claiming that a friend she had met in Spain, and travelled with in Portugal, was the woman in the identikit.

NSW Police said: ”NSW Police Force detectives have received information about a woman who is similar in description to the woman being sought by private investigators investigating the disappearance of British child Madeleine McCann.

An Australian-registered cruiser that was in Port Olimpic marina in Barcelona at the time the mystery woman was asking the new witness if he had brought her new daughter.

Reporters from London yesterday speculated that it was a $12 million powerboat belonging to a wealthy West Australian family. A spokesman for the family said: ”This is the most ridiculous speculation I have ever heard. It’s ludicrous.”

Investigators working for the McCanns said they had received more than 600 emails after issuing the Posh Spice lookalike appeal.

A spokesman for the family said most of those responses had come from Australia.

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Last night’s tsunami warning for south-eastern Australia, may have come to nothing, but it did demonstrate the worth of the motsunaminitoring system, says one expert.

The warning was announced soon after an earthquake, measuring 7.8 on the Richter scale, occurred off the south coast of New Zealand’s South Island.

Chief Meteorologist Dr Chris Ryan, of the Joint Australian Tsunami Warning Centre, says the epicentre was located in the closest earthquake source zone to Australia, a region known as the Puysegur seduction zone.

He says, despite being close to Australia, the region is far enough away that a tsunami would take more two hours to reach the coast.

Ryan says the tsunami that followed only warranted a ‘marine threat’ warning with waves rising 30 centimetres at Port Kembla, near Wollongong and no significant damage has been reported.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

Seismologist David Jepsen, of Geoscience Australia, says it took two hours for waves from New Zealand to get to Tasmania.

He says the Puysegur seduction zone is a region where Australia’s tectonic plate pushes underneath the Pacific plate.

Although the Australian tsunami warning system is one of the best in the world, the system is still pretty new.

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Retailers are boosting staff numbers in anticipation of an improvement in consumer spending, according to the Australian Retailers Association.                 retail

The industry group’s executive director, Richard Evans, said surveys of association members showed a 12 per cent jump in employment for small and medium-sized retailers this month, painting a much more positive picture than figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics earlier this month.

The number of people employed in the retail sector fell by less than 0.1 per cent last month compared with February, on a seasonally adjusted basis, but the ABS also reported an increase in underutilisation—the proportion of the workforce that is either unemployed or not working as many hours as it would like.

The rate of underutilisation among female workers was 9.1per cent last month, compared with 6.4 per cent for men, which the ABS attributed to the larger proportion of women working in industries with high levels of casual employment, such as retail.

However, Mr Evans said most retailers were holding on to skilled staff in preparation for rising demand, with 68 per cent reporting no change in employment levels in the past quarter.

“A further 16 per cent of retailers actually increased their number of staff during the same period,” he said.

“Retailing works in cycles, and although the sector has experienced a downturn, good retailers are doing their best to hold on to skilled staff as consumer confidence continues to grow and a new type of consumer emerges.”

The same trend was in play among the bigger retailers, with David Jones boosting staffing levels around the Mother’s Day shopping period after the delivery of the federal government’s fiscal stimulus package in April led to a sharp rebound in sales.

Mr Evans said the stimulus package and lower interest rates meant most consumers had more cash available to spend, but “negative and fear-filled commentary” had fuelled a tendency among consumers to cut discretionary spending in favour of saving or paying off debt.

This meant shoppers would be in a better position to spend when confidence picks up again—with the ARA forecasting an improvement as soon as the September quarter.

Source  :  www.careerone.com.au

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THE Rudd Government has dumped one of its key election promises, the Grocery Choice price monitoring website, after supermarkets failed to provide enough information to make the site reliable.

After a meeting today with major supermarkets, Competition Minister Craig Emerson announced that the measure – an election promise that was aimed at keeping grocery prices low – would not proceed, The Australian reported.

“Upon close examination of the data requirements for reliable price information, I have formed the view that it is not feasible to generate that information in a timely manner, “ Dr Emerson said.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    website cost of living in oz

The scheme had been due to be up and running next week.

The dumping of Grocery Choice comes after the Government last year abandoned FuelWatch after it was defeated in the Senate.

Mr Rudd campaigned heavily prior to the election on easing the cost-of-living pressures on working families and increasing competition in the petrol and grocery sectors.

Both FuelWatch and Grocery Choice were criticised for not putting downward pressure on prices.

Earlier this month it emerged that the consumer advocate Choice would be forced to go it alone on the website as the major supermarket chains continued to drag their feet over supplying price data.

Choice took over the running of the website from the Rudd Government, which launched it after campaigning on easing cost-of-living pressures before the election.

The $13 million site, which originally launched last August, was heavily criticised for displaying information that was too general and outdated to be useful.

Source  :  www.news.com.au

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THREE Malaysian tourists have been charged for allegedly purchasing more than $90,000 (about RM255,000) worth of jewellery and electrical goods with fake credit cards across Perth.

The two women, aged 21 and 26, and a 31-year-old man, had apparently travelled from the eastern states of Australia to Perth earlier this month and made the Jewellery purchases at various shopping centre stores using altered credit cards and false identification. 

Australian news agencies reported that police major fraud squad detectives apprehended the trio following a probe into the use of the counterfeit cards after shop owners alerted them. They are due to appear in the Perth Magistrate’s Court today.

Detective first class constable Rulan Carr from the Police Fraud Squad told ABC News that the suspects  were  traced to the Perth Airport where they were about to board a plane on Wednesday.

The 21-year-old woman was first to be arrested and was in possession of a suitcase allegedly containing a large quantity of jewellery and laptop computers, estimated worth more than $90,000.

The two others were found by police, also at the airport, and taken into custody on suspicion of being involved in the scam.

Debit cards and other documentary evidence were also discovered.

“The items were seized and the persons were charged with various fraud offences,” said Carr. “Investigations are still continuing into those items.”

Further charges are expected to be laid against the three.

Source  :  http://www.mmail.com.my/content/3-malaysians-nabbed-perth-a90000-fake-credit-card-purchases

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