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Hoaxes bring the world a little closer

PERTH’S CBD and even a southern suburb have become caught up in the global anthrax scares. Several office buildings, including the Telstra building on Stirling Street, were evacuated after receiving mail suspected of containing the bacterial agent. Fortunately, so far the cases all appear to be hoaxes. With members of the Swanbourne-based elite Special Air Services regiment leaving to join the US-led forces in their campaign against the Taliban in Afghanistan, fears rise that Perth will grow in prominence as a terrorist target. Some executives working in the city’s office towers report taking a far greater interest in jet aircraft flight paths.

THE Federal election campaign is set to hot up in the final two weeks leading up to the November 10 poll. So far the Liberal Party has been underspending on its television advertising compared with Labor. This hints at a media blitz in the final weeks of the campaign. To date Labor has released it plans to rollback the GST and to reduce its effects on small business. The Liberals have released their policy for small business, which includes exempting them from unfair dismissal laws. Among a raft of other business promises are assistance for the venture capital industry and some Capital Gains Tax concessions. Labor’s policies can be found at www.alp.org.au and the Liberal’s promises are at www.liberal.org.au

AND while Labor spent the weekend campaigning, Prime Minister John Howard was at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation group leaders meeting in China, where the subject of terrorism dominated discussions. Although Asia-Pacific leaders were united in their condemnation of the September 11 attacks, they did not endorse the United States attacks on Afghanistan. Mr Howard also took the APEC group leaders meeting as an opportunity to attempt to mend relations with Indonesian president Megawati Sukarnoputri, which have been strained in recent weeks over the issue of asylum seekers. Indonesia has steadfastly refused to take any responsibility for boat people using the country as a stopover to Australia. The overtures from the Prime Minister came at the same time as reports that more than 350 boat people drowned when their boat sank off the cost of Indonesia. The 44 survivors pulled from the sea are being cared for in Java by the International Organi-sation for Migration.

AMONG those overjoyed with the return of favourite son John Worsfold to the West Coast Eagles fold will be WA-based automotive accessory and service chain Marlows. The man once dubbed the smiling assassin has been appointed Eagles coach for the next three seasons. Mr Worsfold has been the corporate face of Marlows for the past several years. Acceptance of an assistant coaching position at Carlton actually worked well for the automotive chain, which had just opened outlets in Victoria. It should not belong before the new Eagles coach is fronting a Marlows advertisement in the Eagles’ colours. To add to the flavour of the successful Eagles of old, Mr Worsfold has managed to lure former Eagles team mate Peter Sumich to act as one of his assistant coaches for the next three seasons.

THE State Government announced the Western Australian Industry and Export Awards. Winners of the export categories will represent WA in the Australian Export Awards later this year. Congratulations to the following companies and organisations: Kailis and France Foods (Premier’s Award for Excellence), Storyteller Productions (Arts and Entertainment Export Award), Geographe Enterprises, Bunbury (CY O’Connor Award For Excellence in Engineering and Technology), Curtin University of Technology (Education Export Award), A V Communications Pty Ltd (Emerging Exporter Award), Lasata Software Pty Ltd (Information, Communications and Technology Export Award), Oceanfast Pty Ltd (Large Manufacturers Export Award), Gold Corporation (Marketing and Design Excellence Award), Portman Limited (Minerals and Energy Industry Export Award), Clough Engineering Limited (Services Export Award), Leeuwin Ocean Adventure Found-ation (Small Business Management Excellence Award), Q-MAC Electronics of Osborne Park (Small to Medium Manufacturers Export Award), Cambinata Yabbies, Kukerin (Best Regional Exporter), Manjimup Syndicate Coolstores Limited (Special Commendation).

THE WA Government also welcomed the Federal Opposition’s election campaign promise to remove the Goods and Services Tax from some products and services, including household electricity and gas, but bemoaned the level of funding ($1 million) promised by the Federal Coalition to look at the feasibility of tidal-powered electricity in the State’s north. Federal Government ministers had previously spoken of a $60 million commitment.

DURING the week the State Government and Japan’s Hyogo Prefecture signed a revised agreement comprising a stronger economic and commercial focus than a former 20-year-old agree-ment.

ONLINE financial services company Sanford Limited reported positive operational cash flow for the first quarter of the new financial year. Wholesale revenue was up by 20 per cent. Sanford will hold its first annual general meeting in late November.

MARINE engineering and con-struction company, Austal Limited, and logistics and training provider, Defence Maritime Services (DMS), announced an agreement to jointly tender for a Royal Australian Navy construction, logistics support and training patrol boat project.

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