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One in two West Australians believes there will be greater skills shortages and more pressure on house prices compared with the last mining boom, the latest Westpoll has found.

The results revealed 53 per cent of those surveyed thought there would be more pressure on a housing price bubble and skills shortages than last time, while 32 per cent believed there would be the same level of pressure.

Just 9 per cent of those polled said there would be less pressure.

“There is a clear community expectation that there will be quite severe skills shortages in WA and, perhaps of greater concern, a view that there will be an upward pressure on housing prices,” pollster Keith Patterson said.

“This may lead to significant levels of speculation in housing in the anticipation that values will surge as the resources boom unfolds.”

Australian Manufacturing Workers Union secretary Steve McCartney said the community was right to be concerned about increasing prices.

“I think lower paid members of our community should be concerned because sometimes the benefits of those booms don’t filter down to the low-paid workers,” he said.

Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union spokesman Gary Wood said he did not believe there would be more pressure as the WA economy improved.

“There might be the perception put out by the likes of the employer associations so they can attempt to justify the use of overseas labour but it needs to be fully demonstrated they are not just a propaganda war to bring in overseas labour,” he said.

Opposition Leader Eric Ripper said the Government needed to demonstrate a sense of urgency over labour supply, training issues and housing.

“The experience of the last boom was that house prices rose and rents rose and there were skills shortages which made life difficult for small to medium enterprises,” he said.

“The Government is not ensuring that enough housing lots are released.

“The industry is not building enough houses.

“We are storing up a problem for the future.”

Premier Colin Barnett had previously said there was a need to attract more skilled workers to WA and there needed to be more mobility of workers between States.

Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard said last month that interstate and international migration was needed to help fill future job vacancies. 

Source  :  www.thewest.com.au

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Extreme temperatures over the next two days are expected to bring Western Australia’s most severe bushfire conditions for the season, authorities say.

The Bureau of Meteorology forecasts “very hot” conditions for Monday with temperatures of about 40 degrees in Perth city, paired with east to north-east winds.

“Fire danger ratings of extreme to catastrophic are possible over most of the south-west land division as well as the south-west Goldfields on Tuesday,” said a Fire and Emergency Services Authority statement issued today.

“If you live in an area with a catastrophic fire danger rating you should put your survival first and leave early. That is hours before a fire starts.

“Under no circumstances will it be safe to stay and defend your home.”

FESA suggests that residents from at-risk areas spend Monday “at the beach, shopping in the closest major town or with family and friends away from bushland”.

Total fire bans are yet to be issued but may be later today.

Emergency service crews say they are well prepared for the fire threat.

On Tuesday, Perth is expected to reach 36 degrees, with the chance of a shower.

Temperatures are then forecast to plummet, with showers bringing a maximum of 23 degrees on Wednesday, warming to 26 on Thursday and heading back into the high 20s by next weekend.

Source  :  www.watoday.com.au

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The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) left interest rates on hold at 3 percent as predicted.                                                 reserve_bank_400

A  survey by AAP had expected the RBA to leave the cash rate at the lowest since 1960.

Treasurer Wayne Swan said last weekend that it was obvious that rates will rise, while Minister for Financial Services, Chris Bowen, warned yesterday that rates can’t stay low forever.

Some economists believe the first rate rise could come this year, but the general view is that rates will remain on hold until the middle of next year.

In a statement released after the announcement, governor Glenn Stevens said the risk of “severe contraction” in the Australian economy had abated.

“Economic conditions in Australia have been stronger than expected a few months ago, with both consumer spending and exports notable for their resilience,” the statement says.

“Measures of confidence have recovered a good deal of ground.”

The statement adds: “The board’s judgment is that the present accommodative setting of monetary policy is appropriate given the economy’s circumstances.

“The board will continue to monitor how economic and financial conditions unfold and how they impinge on prospects for sustainable growth in economic activity and achieving the inflation target.”

 

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PREMIER Colin Barnett may ask the Federal Government to relax foreign worker allowances to prevent labour shortages at major WA projects.

WA faces severe shortages of skilled workers in 2011, when there is expected to be peak activity in WA’s resources sector, Mr Barnett told a media conference in Perth yesterday.

The premier’s comments come as a large Chinese steel maker, Ansteel, contemplates the viability of developing WA’s first steel mill.

Other massive projects planned for the state include Woodside Petroleum Ltd’s Pluto Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) project, Chevron’s Gorgon LNG project, a new deep water port at Oakajee and CITIC Pacific’s Sino Iron project.

“I expect we will face serious skills shortages if these projects go together at the same time,” Mr Barnett said.

“Hopefully,  we can build these projects with Australian labour but I expect there will be skill shortages, in particular trades areas.

“We need to be prepared to bring in some of their (Chinese) workers.”

Source  :  www.news.com.au

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After four dry days, showers are returning to Perth and are likely each day through to the end of next week, bringing 30 to 50 millimetres of  rain.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               rain9-753879

The area from Mandurah to Margaret River should be the wettest with more than 50mm for some.

The wettest days are likely to be today, Saturday and Monday as three cold fronts link up with bands of cloud from the Indian Ocean.

These days are also likely to be the windiest with potential severe gusts of 90kmh or stronger in coastal parts, south of about Perth. Winds of this strength can bring down trees. Gusts in excess of 100kmh cannot be ruled out.

July is traditionally the wettest month of the year for southwest Western Australia and this coming wet spell will take most of the region to about two-thirds of the monthly average. So far, less than half the monthly average rainfall has fallen.

Perth has had 52mm, compared to the average of 149mm.

With this rain to come, this July is still unlikely to be wetter than last year when 179mm fell.

Source  :  www.watoday.com.au

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The latest in a series of destructive cold fronts slammed into WA overnight, causing destructive winds, rain and hail storms.

The Bureau of Meteorology issued a severe weather warning at 6.45am, following similar warnings issued throughout the weekend.

Waves from the Swan River are washing onto the Kwinana Freeway north of Canning Highway citybound. There is also flooding on Beaufort Street in Inglewood heading into the city and on Riverside Drive.

Traffic lights are blacked out at the Great Eastern Highway and Bolton Road intersection in Burswood.

The front is the most severe of a series that have descended on WA over the past few days.

A wind gust of 115kmh was recorded at Rottnest Island about 6am today, and the Bureau is warning people to expect winds up to 100kmh with potentially damaging gusts reaching 125kmh this morning.

Alex Krisman from WeatherZone said Cape Naturaliste (109kmh) and Cape Leeuwin (104kmh) also recorded heavy gusts of wind – which coincided with a line of lightning flashes- at the same time as Rottnest Island.

Winds at Perth Airport hit 83kmh while the Perth metropolitan area clocked speeds up to 72kmh at 5.50am.

Rainfall was heavy, particularly across the south west. So far, Bridgetown has had 32mm from 9am yesterday morning.

Thunderstorms and heavy showers are forecast for today, particularly over the Lower West, South-West and South Coastal districts.

Abnormally high tides are set to cause flooding in low-lying coastal areas.

A gale warning has been issued from Kalbarri right through to the South Australian border.

Surfers are being warned to brace for heavy conditions, which are likely to cause significant beach erosion.

The State Emergency Service has warned people to secure loose objects, move vehicles under cover and stay inside away from windows.

People caught outdoors should find shelter away from trees, powerlines, storm water drains and streams. Boat owners should make sure their boats are securely moored.

Source  :   www.watoday.com.au

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A young Perth cricketer bashed with a brick outside a nightclub in Leeds in England might not be able to fly home for several months because severe head injuries that have left him unable to talk.
  
Chris Thomson, 26, suffered a fractured skull when he was attacked early on Monday.                                                                                                                           WAwa
  
A man hit him in the face with a brick and he fell backwards and struck his head heavily on the footpath. His attacker left in taxi.
  
Thomson, who made his A-grade debut for WACA club Mt Lawley at the end of the summer, was playing for Clayton West in West Yorkshire.
  
Thomson’s mother Jeannette went to England on Wednesday and was greeted with the news that her son was out of intensive care.

Source www.thewest.com.au

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