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Thursday, June 4, 2009

Perth, Western Australia

Cottesloe Beach
Government House

The new and the old

Perth Concert Hall

The Bell Tower

The Wheel of Perth

The Swan River

Western Australia is blessed with many treasures - gold, iron ore, nickel, alumina, diamonds, mineral sands, coal, oil, natural gas - and Perth is it's capital. They call Australia the Lucky Country, I call Perth the Lucky City. 80% of the mining and energy projects of Australia are controlled by Perth. Called after a town that sits on the banks of the River Tay in Scotland, Perth is a city on the move.

The financial crises caused a slump in the resources sector and has put iron-ore magnate Andrew Forrest, the boss of Fortescue Metals Group Ltd, back to fifth place on Australia's rich list. Mr Forrest's fortune shrank to $US1.65 billion ($A2.19 billion), from almost $US5 billion, as China's demand for iron ore slumped and caused Fortescue's shares to drop by two-thirds.

Rio Tinto subsidiary Hamersley Iron has accepted an average 37 per cent reduction in a huge contract with Japan's Nippon Steele Corporation. It is estimated the new deal will cost Western Australia $135 million in lost royalty revenue.

But none of this really matters, the treasures are still there and will be for a very long time.