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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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Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard says WA needs more migrants amid claims hundreds of thousands of extra workers are necessary over the next decade to thwart a labour crisis.

Speaking at a Perth business breakfast hosted by _The West Australian _and Murdoch University, Ms Gillard said both interstate and international migration was needed to help fill future job vacancies.

It comes as employer groups warn labour shortages are set to hit within months.

Ms Gillard said WA also needed to better utilise its youth market, which was suffering a 10 per cent unemployment rate.

She blamed the labour problem partly on the booming resources sector which was drawing workers, infrastructure and services away from rest of the economy.

“That’s why we need to properly analyse and assess all claims about the West’s needs in the decade or so ahead, including claims about the need to attract hundreds of thousands of new workers,” she said.

“There’s no doubt more interstate and overseas migrants will be needed, but we need to look also at how we can achieve better results with the assets that are already available and underused.

“With a youth unemployment rate of almost 10 per cent, there is more work to be done to create the pathways that will give these kids a future.”

The Chamber of Commerce and Industry said labour shortages would hit in the second half of this year, with WA needing an extra 400,000 workers in the decade from 2007. Based on current population trends, there would be 150,000 shortfall.

CCI supports strong migration to alleviate the skills shortage, which threatened to curb WA’s economic growth during the last boom.

The WA Group Training Scheme, which last year sacked some apprentices because of reduced work, said there had been a quick economic turnaround and expectations of boom-level demand this year.

Ms Gillard said an expanded training initiative announced yesterday, creating 11,000 advanced level training places nationally, would help address some of the skills shortage.

Ms Gillard, who heads to the Pilbara today to inspect the $43 billion Gorgon project, warned unions not to engage in unlawful industrial action, singling out the construction union’s Kevin Reynolds and Joe McDonald. “We have got no tolerance for people who seek to break the rules and I am well aware there is a concern in this State over the propensity of some individuals to believe they are beyond the law,” she said.

Mr Reynolds said he was not surprised at being singled out by Ms Gillard over unlawful industrial action, claiming the pair had an adverse relationship. He said migration should be a back-up with the focus on training. 

Ms Gillard said an expanded training initiative announced yesterday, creating 11,000 advanced level training places nationally, would help address some of the skills shortage.

Ms Gillard, who heads to the Pilbara today to inspect the $43 billion Gorgon project, warned unions not to engage in unlawful industrial action, singling out the construction union’s Kevin Reynolds and Joe McDonald. “We have got no tolerance for people who seek to break the rules and I am well aware there is a concern in this State over the propensity of some individuals to believe they are beyond the law,” she said.

Mr Reynolds said he was not surprised at being singled out by Ms Gillard over unlawful industrial action, claiming the pair had an adverse relationship. He said migration should be a back-up with the focus on training.

Source  :  www.thewest.com.au

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Swan Valley winemakers have vowed to boycott the coming Spring in the Valley festival, saying the two-day event has become too unruly and overcrowded.

Little River Winery and John Kosovich Wines said they would have nothing to do with the popular festival when it was staged on October 10 and 11 because it was a “debauch”. Other wineries said they would hold their own separate events to coincide with its running.

It comes as the Swan Valley Tourism Council, which organises the event, confirmed it would introduce a $5 entry fee for the first time in the festival’s history. The fee will apply to all people attending the event, with 40 per cent of proceeds to go to Ticketmaster and the rest to the council. With as many as 70,000 people expected to attend, the fee could net the council $200,000. Swan Valley Tourism Council executive officer Geraldine Riggir said patrons would need to show their tickets at all participating venues.

The cost of the ticket will not entitle patrons to entry into all venues, with many set to charge their own admission prices. Ms Riggir said the council’s $5 fee would help cover the cost of staging the event, while it would also allow organisers to better manage crowds. She defended the festival in the face of criticism from some Swan Valley businesses, arguing it was the best way of showcasing local products to a broad market.

“It’s not a terrible festival, it’s a fantastic festival,” she said. “It’s just a small element of it that is a problem. All the valley is trying to do is showcase the region and what it has to offer.”

Upper Reach Winery owner Laura Pearse said she would sell a limited number of tickets privately to ensure crowd numbers were kept under control. She backed the festival as a going concern, saying it was predominantly a “lovely day out”. But Little River Winery owner Jan de Tastes said she would close her winery in protest because she no longer felt the festival represented the best interests of producers in the valley.

“If it was a quality festival you could be proud of it but at the moment you’ve got the drunkenness taking over to such as degree that the whole thing is a debauch,” she said.

Mrs de Tastes threatened to sue the council and event sponsors if anything happened to her winery during the event.

Source  :  www.thewest.com.au

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