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It may be 50 minutes out of Perth but Rockingham beach has been awarded the state’s cleanest beach for 2010.

Its dive trails and interaction with its naval history made it a popular spot for visitors, while installation of big underground filter tanks helped protect the ocean from storm water pollutants, according to environment minister Donna Faragher.

“In addition to this, rehabilitation works have been integrated into the dune system to protect the foreshore against the heavy storm surges that occur in winter,” ” Ms Faragher said.

Rockingham Beach also won the Resource Management and Friendly Beach awards for making use of its assets and hosting community festivals.

Port Hedland’s Pretty Pool and Cemetery beaches picked up the Community Action award for the efforts of local business and residents to reduce litter and for a turtle monitoring program.

Gnaraloo Station, north of Carnarvon, earned the Environment Protection award for its efforts in looking after Gnaraloo Beach and its flora and fauna, including loggerhead and green turtles.

The Litter Prevention award went to Bill’s Bay at the Ningaloo Marine Park.

Rockingham Beach will represent WA in the 2011 national Clean Beaches Awards to be held in Perth in March next year.

Source  :  www.watoday.com.au

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Perth will sprawl further than New York City, be clogged with cars and people will live in each other’s pockets as the city groans under the weight of an extra two million residents over the next 40 years. 

An analysis of how Perth is growing and will grow as more people call the city home also warns that more desalination plants, thousands of kilometres of roads and hundreds of schools will have to be built to cope with the surge in residents. 

The Australian Bureau of Statistics is forecasting Perth’s population to hit 3.8 million from its current 1.7 million by 2050.

For the first time the bureau has looked at what that will mean to Perth residents – and the picture is dominated by sprawling suburbs and long journeys to work.

Already the city covers 5423sq km but statistician Phil Smythe found that if the population reached 3.8 million, and even if housing density increased, Perth would sprawl over 12,000sq km.

New York City, home to 17.8 million people, covers 8700sq km.

Perth would stretch from the coastal hamlet of Lancelin in the north to the Lakes turn-off in the Perth Hills and south to a point midway between Mandurah and Bunbury.

The population density of Perth would increase to 710 people for every square kilometre, up from 319.

Mr Smythe said the number of vehicles would swell from 900,000 to almost two million.

Thousands of kilometres of roads would have to be built to cope with the extra traffic, and the use of public transport would have to increase dramatically.

Mr Smythe said fewer than 10 per cent of Perth residents used public transport now but that would have to increase to avoid serious congestion.

More desalination plants would be necessary to cope with the increased demand for water, and power generation would have to more than double to supply the energy demands.

There would be challenges for the city’s education system, with the number of schools likely to more than double to 2300 with 600,000 students.

“This may mean stiff competition for school names,” he said. “Already there are 73 schools named after saints, including 12 after St Joseph and nine after St Mary.”

Professor of sustainability at Curtin University, Peter Newman, said the attitudes of Perth residents would change, as they were already in the US, with more people moving back towards the city centre rather than out to the suburban fringes.

He said there were huge costs associated with suburban growth, from transport to health, and it meant more people were now looking to higher density or inner-city life.

“You’ll see places like Mandurah, Kwinana, Rockingham, Karrinyup and Morley fill up, especially as younger people start giving up their cars,” he said.

Treasurer Wayne Swan said yesterday that people who demanded a cap on Australia’s population were too narrowly focused in their complaints.

“It is all too easy to speak of the costs of an increased population, and forget the benefits,” he said. “This is a mistake too often made.” “You’ll see places like Mandurah, Kwinana, Rockingham, Karrinyup and Morley fill up, especially as younger people start giving up their cars,” he said.

Treasurer Wayne Swan said yesterday that people who demanded a cap on Australia’s population were too narrowly focused in their complaints.

“It is all too easy to speak of the costs of an increased population, and forget the benefits,” he said. “This is a mistake too often made.”Source  :  www.thewest.com.au

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A BUSHFIRE is threatening homes near the WA Kimberly coast town of Broome and residents have been told to head for the beach.

The blaze has so far blackened some 15,000 hectares and houses in Coconut Wells, about 18km from Broome, are now at risk, says the Fire and Emergency Services Authority (FESA) says.

Residents who abandoned their homes were advised to go to the beach as the blaze has also begun to close in on Morrel Park and Lullfitz.

“It may be hours before it is safe to return home so take water, food and sun protection,” FESA said in a statement.

“People who have decided to stay and defend their home should prepare for the fire.”

Residents have been told to close all doors and windows and turn off evaporative airconditioners.

The FESA says 25 volunteer fire and rescue service and bushfire service firefighters from two brigades are involved in the operation.

They saved six homes yesterday and extra crews are being flown in.

Road closures are in place and motorists have been urged to drive slowly.

Source  :  www.news.com.au

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Sprinklers will be permanently switched off during winter from next year after the State Government today to retain this year’s trial sprinkler ban.

Yesterday’s decision follows a two-month trial ban during July and August, which Water Minister Graham Jacobs said saved about 2.2 billion litres of water, equivalent to filling 880 Olympic-sized pools and enough to supply towns the size of Manjimup or Collie for a year.

The permanent ban will apply from June 1 to August 31.

 The trial ban – for most scheme users south of Kalbarri – was introduced after water usage earlier this winter was running at 800 million litres a day, 300 million litres above average.

Dr Jacobs said today that the ban saved 50 million litres a day, while an independent survey last month indicated 93 per cent of residents supported the move.

“This is an outstanding community achievement because while there has been reasonably consistent rain, we are still well below the long-term annual rainfall average,” Dr Jacobs said

Dams were now at 45.5 per cent of capacity, their second-highest level this decade. They are holding 19 per cent more water than the same time last year.

Water Corporation figures show rainfall in all but one of the catchments for dams supplying Perth are below their historical averages for the year-to-date.

Dr Jacobs said the exact area of the permanent ban, and any adverse impact for industry and local government users would still have to be worked out.

This would occur “soon”, and some areas that took part in the trial ban – which ran from Kalbarri to Esperance and east to Kalgoorlie-Boulder – could have a case to be excluded.

These users were asked to voluntarily stop using bores during the two-month ban period, while garden bore users were allowed to turn them on for maintenance reasons.

“A lot of people say garden bores are not pulling on the scheme, but we all realise our underground water resources are all related,” Dr Jacobs said last month.

Source  :  www.watoday.com.au

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Peter McDonald,  Director of the Australian Demographic and Social Research Institute at the Australian National University, has said that specific immigration policies are shaping the nation’s size.

Answering points raised in the McCrindle report – which said Australia’s population is set to hit 22 million before the end of the year- Professor McDonald talked about how migration to Australia is bringing about colossal social and demographic change.

“Migration to Australia has changed. You know people think about migrants coming to Australia as those coming on the classic government permanent residents program. That’s the skilled migration, family reunion, refugees,” he said.

“Only 30 per cent of the population increase through migration comes through those sources, the rest of it is from people coming in on temporary visas to Australia and the biggest group is the overseas students and overseas students coming in.

“We’re desperately trying to keep them coming at the moment in case they get frightened away because it is a big export earner for Australia.”

Professor McDonald says as the population ages, the birth rate will fall, and Australia’s population growth in 20 years will entirely rely on migration.

You can find out more about migrating to Australia at our Down Under Live show – coming to Birmingham on the 19th & 20th September.

Source  :  www.australiamagazine.co.uk

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storm-main-pic-236x289South west WA residents have been warned to brace for a destructive storm bringing gales of up to 125 kmh tomorrow morning.

The Bureau of Meteorology says the winds will come along with a cold front over the state’s south west. Residents between Jurien Bay and Albany would be worst affected.

The worst of the front is likely to hit Augusta just after midnight, and Perth by sunrise, bringing heavy rain and winds that could damage homes and make travel dangerous.

There would be “locally destructive gusts” of up to 125 kmh, the Bureau said.

Source  :  www.watoday.com.au

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WA property tycoon Nigel Satterley has vowed to defend legal action against the Satterley Property Group by a group of Secret Harbour families who claim thenigel Satterley company mislead them over the location of the Mandurah road and rail. 

The group of nine families lodged their writs in the Federal Court this morning claiming they were the victims of a breach of the Federal Trade Practices Act and a breach of contract.

The families claim they were not told about the realignment of the Mandurah road when they purchased their blocks.

They claim the omission resulted in the busy road being metres from their doorsteps, and that they were misled about the close proximity of the Mandurah railway.

The residents are being represented by high-profile lawyer John Hammond.

Mr Satterley said the allegations against Satterley Property Group would be strongly defended.

Source www.thewest.com.au

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