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Police steal PM’s spotlight

WHILE much attention has been drawn to the recent disturbance involving police and the media during a visit by the Prime Minister John Howard, little or no attention has been paid to the event which Mr Howard was attending at the time.

Mr Howard visited 180 Hay Street in East Perth to mark the opening of the new $12 million Chamber of Com-merce and Industry of WA building.

The CCI, possibly to draw attention to the real story of the day, issued a statement to the media, who were heavily represented at the opening, headed PM opens new headquarters of CCI.

However even this failed to get the media’s attention.

CCI chief executive Lyndon Rowe said the building was purpose-designed with members’ needs in mind.

“It will clear the way for the Chamber to further develop its services to the business community, he said.

“The range of facilities for meeting and functions which we now have

in-house means we can also expect more personal contact with members.

Mr Howard said the CCI and its forebears had been determined advocates of economic and labour relations reform over the years, more so than any other state-based employer body in Australia.

Mr Howard said he viewed with concern the industrial strife occurring in Victoria in recent weeks.

He said the productivity gains during the past few years were hard fought for and worrying signs were starting to emerge of a weakening, although everyone was entitled to take a part of the credit.

Mr Howard also used the opportunity to reiterate calls for a ‘social coalition’ which stemmed from a partnership between business, government and the community to provide for those who are less fortunate.

“We must all contribute what we can to provide assistance to those who need help,” he said.

“I’m not asking that business give more, but that more businesses give.”

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