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New Housing Minister Bill Marmion has shocked the property market by saying he wants to flood WA with housing lots to cut home prices.

In a speech to Parliament that has set alarm bells ringing throughout the real estate industry, Mr Marmion said the Barnett Government’s aim was to “bring house prices down”.

“The Department of Land is looking at this issue very closely,” he said.

“It owns land and it is looking at its land stocks and will release as much land as possible.

“That will reduce the pressure on housing supplies. Our aim is to bring the median house price down and to have it lower than the median house price in other States.”

Mr Marmion, who took over the job last month after Troy Buswell was sacked, said the only thing the Government could do to achieve its aim was “release more land and houses”. He refused to elaborate on his comments yesterday.

March quarter figures from RP Data put the median house price in Perth at $480,000, equal to Darwin, but behind Sydney ($500,000) and nation-leading Canberra ($510,800).

Hobart had the cheapest prices in Australia at $323,750.

The State Government established an Office of Land and Housing Supply in Thursday’s Budget and is reviewing available government land which Premier Colin Barnett said would “achieve a comprehensive and co-ordinated approach to housing affordability issues”.

Shadow housing minister Mark McGowan warned the policy could result in houses being worth less than what people paid for them.

“If people go into negative equity with their house, that’s the worst possible outcome,” he said.

Real Estate Institute of WA chief executive Anne Arnold said Australians stored their wealth in the family home and it would be “politically unwise for any government to go down that path”.

But the plan won support from developer Nigel Satterley, who said land needed to become more affordable.

But he said the policy would not cut the price of existing houses.

“We’re on the cusp of a block shortage and whatever the Government can do should be encouraged,” Mr Satterley said.

Analysts at RP Data found in April that houses in Perth’s cheapest suburbs cost at least $60,000 more than those in the most affordable areas in the other major Australian cities.

Hillman was named the cheapest suburb in Perth, with a median house price of $280,000 – higher than the cheapest suburb in Adelaide ($200,000), Brisbane ($205,000), Melbourne ($218,000) and Sydney ($219,000).

Perth had less than 10 per cent of its 259 suburbs with a median house price under $350,000, compared with more than 20 per cent in all other big cities.

Blocks of land in Perth were the most expensive in Australia, according to a recent analysis by RP Data and the Housing Industry Association, with a single square metre of “prime earth” now costing an average of $521.

Source  :  www.thewest.com.au

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AN Australian family who met Michael Jackson more than 20 years ago and became lifelong friends was devastated by the pop star’s surprise death.

Joy Robson, mother of choreographer Wade Robson, said her family could not come to terms with the news the King of Pop was dead.          Michael_Jackson_1971_got_to_be_there

”We are all in shock right now,” Ms Robson, sobbing heavily, said.

”We’re devastated.”

A Los Angeles County Coroner’s office spokesman has confirmed Jackson had died.

Lieutenant Fred Corral told CNN Jackson, 50, was pronounced dead at 2:26pm (0726 AEST) local time after reportedly suffering a cardiac arrest.

The Robsons, formerly of Brisbane, befriended Jackson when Wade, at the age of five, won a dance competition in Australia where first prize was a meeting with the star.

When Jackson toured Australia in 1987 the pop star invited Wade to perform at his Brisbane concert.

Robsons, formerly of Brisbane, befriended Jackson when Wade, at the age of five, won a dance competition in Australia where first prize was a meeting with the star.When Jackson toured Australia in 1987

Two years later, with the help of Jackson, the Robsons moved to the US so Wade could pursue his dancing career.

Wade appeared in three of Jackson’s music videos, Black or White, Jam and Heal the World and today, at the age of 26, is one of the world’s most renowned choreographers, hosting his own MTV series The Wade Robson Project, working with Britney Spears and N’SYNC and winning two Emmy Awards.

Wade, Ms Robson and her daughter, Chantal, were called as witnesses at Jackson’s 2005 molestation trial in California.

Jackson was eventually acquitted.

The Robsons spent many nights at Jackson’s Neverland Ranch. After Jackson’s acquittal in 2005, the Robsons were again in tears, but back then it was tears of happiness.

”I’ve never questioned Michael,” Ms Robson said in 2005.

”That’s the bottom line. I’ve never ever had a second of a concern.

”I don’t care what people say of me.

”You have to know Michael to understand.

”I’ve always said to Michael I wished the world could know the Michael we do.

”He’s not what the media makes him out to be.”

Jackson, aged 50, died in Los Angeles today, although a cause of death is yet to be officially announced.

Jackson was not breathing when Los Angeles Fire Department paramedics responded to a call at Jackson’s $US100,000 ($A124,378.11) a month rented mansion in the exclusive LA suburb of Holmby Hills, just after midday.

He was taken to the nearby UCLA Medical Centre but was pronounced dead.

RIP

Source  :  www.news.com.au

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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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