30/07/2009 - 00:00

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30/07/2009 - 00:00

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Barnett seeks more foreign workers

 Premier Colin Barnett has warned that restrictions on foreign guest workers will have to be eased if Western Australia is to avoid another major skills shortage within two years. Mr Barnett attributed the looming shortage to several major projects, such as the Gorgon LNG project and the Oakajee deepwater port, all going forward at the same time.

Northgate cuts Dioro acquisition talks

 Dioro Exploration's defence against Avoca Resources' hostile takeover bid has collapsed after its white knight, Northgate Minerals Corporation, terminated talks over the proposed acquisition of Dioro's stake in a key gold asset.

Woodside quarterly revenue drops 36%

 LOWER oil prices have affected Woodside Petroleum's second quarter revenues, outweighing higher sales volumes, but the company has reaffirmed its full-year production target. Revenue for the three months to June 30 this year totalled $938 million, down 36 per cent on the corresponding period in 2008, in part due to a stronger Australian dollar.

Alcoa in court over Wagerup charge

 ALUMINIUM giant Alcoa has pleaded not guilty to a charge of causing pollution at its Wagerup refinery near communities whose residents claim to have been sickened by emissions. Alcoa's counsel, environment lawyer Brad Wylynko, told Perth Magistrates Court that Alcoa would fight charges of causing pollution with criminal negligence at the refinery, about 130 kilometres south of Perth.

Anderson loses $50m WA Inc appeal

 PERTH businessman Warren Anderson has lost an appeal in the Supreme Court to recoup $50 million, plus interest, that his private company sunk into a WA Inc deal. Three appeal judges unanimously decided to dismiss the appeal, which was lodged in 2006 when a judge had dismissed Mr Anderson's legal action.

Appointments 20

Petersen DomGas Alliance chair

Domgas Alliance has elected Tony Petersen (pictured) as its new chairman and spokesperson. Mr Petersen has almost 30 years' experience in the mining and energy sector in Western Australia. He is also WA director for ERM Power/New Gen Power, a member of the alliance.

Pizzey's new Iluka role

John Pizzey (pictured) has been appointed deputy chairman of the board of Iluka. Mr Pizzey's appointment as results from the intention of Bob Every, the current chairman, to step down from this position immediately after the May 2010 annual general meeting. Mr Every, who is currently chairman of Wesfarmers, plans to take the chairman's role at building products company Boral.

WA entrepreneurs eye national award

Six Western Australian entrepreneurs will compete in the national Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year awards in November after winning western region awards in Perth. Fertiliser tycoon Pankaj Oswal won the young entrepreneur category, while Betts Group's Danny Breckler won in the products category. Sadleirs Transport's Ian Cook won in the services category, Paladin Energy's John Borshoff won the listed category, Divex's Doug Austin won the emerging industries category, and AnaeCo's Tom Rudas won the clean technology category.

Humphreys to chair SRA

Planning Minister John Day has appointed three new board members to the Subiaco Redevelopment Authority (SRA). The new appointments are Subiaco councillors Loren White and Stan Lauder and planner Mike Day of Roberts Day. Current deputy chairperson Don Humphreys has been confirmed as chairperson and architect Sharni Howe also remains on the board.

Moot point

THE Note is pretty conservative about what gets thrown in our sunroom, preferring pebbles rather than rocks, just to be on the safe side.

Nevertheless, every now and then a target looms so large that we throw caution to the wind and grab the nearest boondie to hurl - windows be damned.

Take for instance this missive from the office of will-she-stay-won't-she-stay state opposition player, Alannah MacTiernan.

"Premier Colin Barnett must reveal whether he plans to subsidise the muted development of a steel mill in the Mid West," Ms MacTiernan said in an announcement this week.

While many see the irony of talking steel mills in the Mid West, Mr Barnett has certainly not been quiet about this one, trumpeting the idea as if it were a spoil of victory from his recent invasion of the Chinese hinterland.

Perhaps it's a technology thing - factories that go silent with the press of a button? Or is Ms MacTiernan talking about the colour scheme - a touch of Geraldton wax, maybe?

A tough sell

THE Note has never, except maybe in 2007-08, envied the job of real estate agents.

With those heady days well past us, we can only sympathise again with agents who have found themselves back in a buyers' market. That is especially the case when a building has something special about it - say burnt-out car bodies next door, or it's known to be haunted.

So spare a thought for the leasing agents of 16 Parliament Place in West Perth, the former digs of failed timber group Great Southern.

The 3,120 square metre premises is up for lease, but any business taking this space would have to be thick skinned when it comes to omens.

Great Southern's predecessor in the building was none other than Sons of Gwalia, yet another spectacular failure of this decade. The Note wonders if the specks of blood from this double murder are still visible in the right light?

It would have to be the commercial leasing equivalent of selling the old Birnie pad in Willagee.

 

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