Terrorist attacks hits several US targets

SCENES reminiscent of a Hollywood disaster movie greeted US citizens as they awoke on Tuesday morning. Terrorists flew four hijacked planes into the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Washington. Within an hour extrordinary pictures beemed live from CNN showed first one, then both towers of the 110 storey, WTC collapsing, with many of the 50,000 workers still reportedly inside. Airports were closed down, tunnels and bridges blocked, and all State and Federal buildings around the two cities evacuate as the country was put in a state of seige. Security around Prime Minister John Howard, in Washignton at the time, was substantially increased, while security around former president Bill Clinton visiting QLD were upgraded. President George Bush addressing school children in Florida was quickly escorted away to Airforce One before the news had completely sunk in around the world.

WESFARMERS this week is celebrating a double victory at Australia’s Most Admired Company Awards. In a national survey commissioned by Pricewater-houseCoopers and Business Review Weekly, Wesfarmers was voted Most Admired Company and managing director Michael Chaney was voted Most Admired Business Leader.

KIMBERLEY Diamond Company has struck a deal with Argyle Diamond Mines to buy the Ellendale diamond field for $23.25 million. The purchase will be funded out of cashflow and Kimberley will keep the right to market diamond production.

AUSTRALIA’S third largest base metals producer Western Metals reported a net after-tax loss of $1.8 million for the 2000-01 financial year after a $4.4 million loss in the second half. This compares favourably with the previous year’s $29.7 million loss. Western Metals is planning a rights issue to raise around $23 million to provide working capital to take the company through the current period of cyclically low base metals prices and help it to meet its ongoing commitments.

GERALDTON-BASED dentist Fiona Kelly was flashing her pearly whites earlier this week when she was named WA Business Woman of the Year. Dr Kelly was recognised at the Telstra WA Business Women’s Awards for her success in establishing and growing her Mid West surgery, which services more than 1000 patients. Dr Kelly set up the Dr Fiona Kelly Dental Surgery in 1995 and, since 1998, has more than doubled the surgery’s earning capacity through a focus on innovative dentistry, ongoing staff training and customer service. Dr Kelly, who also won the Westpac Group Business Owner Award, will now represent WA at the National Business Women’s Awards. Marketing and quality director for Aquatechnics, Lynley Papineau, won the Commonwealth Government Private Sector Award, AlphaWest group human resources manager Ann-Marie Docherty won the Ansett Australia Private and Corporate Sector Award, and Murdoch University Professor Kateryna Longley won the Shell Community and Government Award. The Alcatel Young Business Women’s Award went to Vanessa Elliott for her work as a Halls Creek community development officer.

LOCAL internet service provider iiNet has welcomed the ACCC decision to further open up Telstra’s high-speed Internet network.

iiNet claims the decision will make highs speed internet access a reality for a far larger group of Australians.

The high price and limited functionality of Telstra’s high speed service has hampered efforts to roll out a mainstream residential service, according to iiNet.

iiNet foresees the decision will help its discussions with Telstra and enable the company to introduce more competitive services to consumers.

WESTRALIA Airports Corpor-ation declared an EBITA of $49.57 million for the 2000-01 financial year, up 12.53 per cent.

Increased revenue was supported by a 5.2 per cent rise in domestic passengers and a 4 per cent increase in international passengers, with the total number of passengers exceeding a record five million.

CLOUGH Limited’s after-tax profits jumped 7 per cent to $26.9 million despite one of the toughest markets the company has faced. Its profit came from revenues that jumped 32.7 per cent to a record high from all Clough activities of $718.2 million. Operating profit before tax was $43.9 million. Turnover from Clough’s overseas operations was up 64.1 per cent on the same period last year to $437.6 million. In Australia its turnover for the year was $280.6 million – up 2.2 per cent.

Oil and gas was the stand out performer across all business sectors with group revenues up 71 per cent to $320.6 million.

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