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January 15, 2007 23:03 - Australia Backs PM on Citizenship Tests

Australia Backs PM on Citizenship Tests as a Newspoll in The Australian identified that 86 per cent of Australian Adults agreed with a proposal to amend current citizenship guidelines.

They believe that knowledge of the English language should be a requirement of those wishing to become an Australian citizen.

Changes where proposed by John Howard in September 2006. With the introduction of an exam that will consist of 30 multiple choice questions. The questions will be on Australian society and history and must be answered in English.

John Howard said
"There's overwhelming support in the Australian community for an expectation, indeed a requirement, that people who become Australian citizens have a working knowledge of English."

Source: Newspoll / The Australian
Methodology: Telephone interviews with 1,200 Australian voters, conducted from Dec. 15 to Dec. 17, 2006. Margin of error is 3 per cent

January 15, 2007 22:34 - Do you want to see the brightest comet in Australia's skies for more than 40 years?

If you enjoy looking up at the night sky and look West after sunset (around 9pm) tonight Monday January 15th the brightest comet in 40 years will be visible in the Australian sky.

Astronomers say that it will be brighter than Halley's comet and visible over the week.

Discovered last year the 10km wide comet has been named "The McNaught comet" after the Australian National University astronomer who discovered it.

You will need to find somewhere with a good view of the western horizon and wait until the sun sets. The comet tonight should be seen just above where the sun sets.

Dr Francis says the comet will be at its brilliant best tonight.

"It's going to be its brightest tonight but it's also very close to the sun. It's still going to be sunset in quite a bright sky [so] it makes it a bit hard to see," he said.

"A few days from now it'll be in a darker sky but it won't be as bright. Principally, you'll be able to see it any time in the next week or so." Observers are reminded, because of the comet's closeness to the Sun, never to look directly at the Sun with the naked eye or through an optical instrument.

January 14, 2007 11:19 - The property and commodities boom puts Perth inflation on a high over past two years compared to other Australian Cities.

Australian Bureau of Statistics figures show inflation in Perth was well above other capital cities over Australia.

The property and commodities boom has left Perth residents paying high as prices soar for everyday goods on everything from carpets to a trip to the dentist.

Over the last two years Perth has seen an increase of 9.1 per cent on all goods. This compares to 6.8 per cent in Sydney and 6.6 per cent in Melbourne.

The booming Perth property market explains much of the increase, prices have soared by 32.6 per cent while nationally established properties are up 7.7 per cent.

The knock on effect has also seen:-

  • Rents have climbed 8.4 per cent in Perth
    Nationally the increase is only 5.6 per cent.

  • House repairs and maintenance up 11 per cent in Perth,
    Elsewhere the price of such work has lifted 5.6 per cent.

  • Car repairs increased 10.4 per cent in Perth
    Nationally, it went up 5.4 per cent.

  • Restaurant prices went up 11.7 per cent in Perth
    Increase elsewhere 7.7 per cent.

  • Even buying soft furnishings is more expensive with Perth prices up 8 per cent.
    While in other capital cities, prices increased by less than 5 per cent.

A combination of a growing population, extra money from the commodities boom, and a strong jobs market has seen prices over almost all sectors rise much quicker in Perth.

SHANE WRIGHT
ECONOMICS EDITOR
the west .com.au

January 2007 « 

 

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