WA This Week - 10 Years ago

Bankwest floats BANKWEST was seemingly on the road to a public float this week 10 years ago. The float, which was predicted to lie in the range of $800 million and $1 billion in value, would be the fourth largest in Australian history. The BankWest Bill, which would enable the privatisation process to begin, was before parliament at the time, however the bank was already in talks with stockbrokers with a view to appoint a lead manager for the float, according to reports. The announcement came at a time when the bank posted a 25 per cent jump in net profit to $49.7 million for the half-year to March 31. In state politics, Premier Richard Court threatened to call a judicial inquiry into the continuing Easton affair, unless more former State Labor ministers spoke out against Federal Health Minister, Carmen Lawrence. The allegations were based around Dr Lawrence’s role in a Labor backbencher’s tabling of a petition related to a Family Court action that alleged Mr Court had released confidential Government documents. The woman who was the subject of the petition, Penny Easton, committed suicide four days after it was tabled. Singapore and Australia should combine their strengths to seize and develop opportunities in the world’s fastest growing region, Singaporean President Ong Teng Cheong reportedly said. The president pointed to expanding defence ties between the two countries, using the Singaporean Air Force training school at Pearce Base in Western Australia as an example. The WA mining and energy industry was on the verge of a new phase of growth, according to an industry report. Although the state’s minerals and energy production rose by a modest four per cent in value to just under $13 billion during the previous year, the report’s authors said that 1994 would be seen as a turning point in which the State’s industry would take a major leap forward. The Chamber of Mines and Energy’s ‘Bedrock of the Economy 1995’ report was compiled by mining economists John MacLeod and Steven Gerhardy. “I think 1995 looks like one of the best years we’ve seen for a long, long time,” Mr MacLeod told the media. The report also predicted that the oil and gas sector would soon become the state’s biggest export earner. Meanwhile, the weather continued to be a source of concern as there was no sign of a break in the drought enveloping the country with another dry month recorded across the state, the Bureau of Meteorology said. According to the bureau, the damaging weather was due to an El Nino pattern. And Broome’s famous Cable Beach Club Resort was bought by US developer G. Ware Travelstead from British Conservative Party treasurer Lord McAlpine for more than $100 million.

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