Tag Archive | “Lifestyle”

Swanbourne set for world nude swim record



NOVEMBER 26 UPDATE: Swanbourne world skinny dip record attempt was tonight unanimously approved by local councillors. It’s now up to proprietors of the Naked Fig cafe to bring it on.

Perth’s best known nudist beach is set to have a crack at breaking the world record for the largest number of skinny dippers cavorting in one place at one time.

The bold bid is the idea of the owners of Swanbourne’s Naked Fig cafe who aim to break the record at North Swanbourne Beach to raise cash for the Butterfly Foundation which promotes positive body image in the fight against eating disorders.

If approved by the City of Nedlands – as recommended by that city’s officials – the North Swanbourne world skinny dip record attempt will occur on Sunday, March 30 next year between 9am and 3pm.

The mass skinny dip would be called The Fig Nude Swim, and the goal would be to lure a world record number of nudists into the ocean at the same time.

The current world record for the greatest number of people skinny dipping in one place is 729. This was achieved just a few months ago – on July 21 – at El Playazo Beach in Spain.

Under the officials’ recommendation, organisers will need to demonstrate there is no objection from the Swanbourne Nedlands Surf Life Saving Club, Western Australian Police, or Department of Defence whose crack SAS commandos occupy Campbell Army Barracks behind the beach.

The defence department has already told the council it has no objections to the North Swanbourne world skinny dip record attempt.

The recommended approval will be debated by the City of Nedlands’ Community Development Committee on Tuesday night.

If endorsed by the committee, the full council will decide the skinny dip’s fate on November 26.

Photo: Aitor Méndez, Wikimedia Commons

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Daily life gets half of Perth down


Everyday life gets about half of Perth down, according to results of a glimpse into how Perth people are feeling about their lives.

Murdoch University PhD candidate Jane Genovese said results from 440 online surveys and 30 personal interviews provided a snapshot of modern life in Australia’s fourth-biggest city.

“While similar studies of social wellbeing have been done elsewhere in Australia, this is the first to look at Western Australia,” Ms Genovese said.

“We wanted to get an accurate and broad look at people’s lives, which is why we designed a robust survey of 150 questions and put it online for everyone who wanted to provide input to contribute.”

Main findings include:

  • 50.3 per cent of people say the demands of everyday life get them down;
  • 59.8 per cent feel worried about what other people think of them;
  • 43.8 per cent say maintaining close relationships has been difficult and frustrating;
  • 36.3 per cent often feel lonely because they have few close friends with whom to share their concerns;
  • 33.9 per cent feel people they know have gotten more out of life than they have; and
  • 36.5 per cent do not have a good sense of what they are trying to accomplish in life.

While 87.4 per cent of people felt they were in charge of their lives, 59.8 per cent felt overwhelmed by their responsibilities and 62 per cent agreed there were not enough hours in the day.

“It seems like a paradox that 90 per cent of people felt in charge of their situation in life and yet 60 per cent felt overwhelmed by their responsibilities,” Ms Genovese said.

“It suggests that people are knowingly making decisions to take on too much.

“In the interviews, we got some sense as to why.

“For example, a number of people felt they had to work long hours to give their kids the best start in life and be a good role model, yet felt guilty about being away from them.”

On the upside, roughly 80 per cent of respondents said that when they looked at ‘the story of their lives’ they felt pleased with how things had turned out.

“It wasn’t all doom and gloom, but clearly there are areas where individuals may need to take stock and make some changes,” Ms Genovese said.

Photo: Jiri Hodan, Wikimedia Commons

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Mosman Bay sandcastles

Stairway to the bay


DECEMBER 2 UPDATE: Town of Mosman Park officials have recommended that the stairway be approved. The matter will be debated by a town committee on Tuesday night.

One of Australia’s most exclusive streets is set to get a stairway that will let locals and visitors dip their toes into majestic Mosman Bay.

Plans ready to be released for public comment show an enhanced, 220-metre long beach running north from the proposed stairs which would be at the corner of Mosman Terrace and Johnson Parade in the leafy western suburb of Mosman Park.

The beach, and a 165-metre long limestone-brick wall stretching south from the stairs to Mosman’s Restaurant, are part of the euphemistically-dubbed Mosman Bay Sandcastles Project.

The project aims to stabilise a stretch of river bank that has long suffered erosion. The erosion is threatening the foundations of Johnson Parade and has all but obliterated the original beach.

Despite the stabilisation, the Town of Mosman Park’s would need to fork out $5000 a year to replenish the sand at the new beach. The new river wall would also cost about $5000 a year to maintain.

The plans will be debated by town councillors on Tuesday night, and if endorsed, go out for public comment until November 2.

If not savaged by locals during the consultation period, the $1.2 million project would bring the beach back to a width of seven metres.

If approved, the beach will run past the empty 3345 sqm Mosman Park plot now being sold by Mrs Mac’s pies heir Robert Macgregor and Multiplex heiress Denby whose marriage recently ended.

At the peak of the last Perth property boom the block was Australia’s most expensive residential plot. The block was recently elevated with the addition of tonnes of dirt and levelled out, ready for development.

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Rebels without a pause


DECEMBER 2 UPDATE: They’re back.

Rebels bikies recently had a bid to legitimate their Clarkson clubhouse refused by Wanneroo City Council.

But the Rebels are not taking that decision lying down.

Instead, in the face of local objections, the Rebels have lodged a new application for a bigger club to house more members.

At a meeting on August 21 the city’s elected officials rejected an application to approve the Rebels’ existing club at a warehouse at 2/19 Caloundra Road.

This was despite an earlier revelation by oneperth.com.au that the city’s planners had given the application their thumbs’ up.

Five local objections had been received to the clubhouse.

In a briefing paper to their political masters, the planners alleged the warehouse was being used as a club without planning approval.

However, the planners reasoned that activities inside the club would not be visible outside.

In a new paper, the planners have reiterated that the clubhouse should be approved when the council next meets on December 11.

The Rebels’ new application proposes a larger mezzanine level for the club than under the rejected application.

Instead of a maximum 10 people on site at any one time as per the failed application, the bikies has now applied for 12.

The Rebels have enlisted the help of a new planning consultant, Malaga-based Urban & Regional Perspectives, after several attempts by one of WA’s best-known private planners Greg Rowe & Associates failed to secure approval for the club.

The bikies’ club activities are planned to occur twice a week, on weekdays outside normal business hours, for about two hours each.

Special club events are also proposed every three months on a Saturday or Sunday for no longer than three hours per event.

The council planners have recommended that on weekdays the club be permitted to operate between the night and early morning hours of 7pm and 7am.

On Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays the club would be allowed to operate four times a year for a maximum duration of three hours.

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Ocean pool plan for Bathers Beach


Historic Bathers Beach would get an ocean swimming pool under embryonic plans being discussed by Fremantle council, Fremantle Ports and Swimming WA.

In a paper to a council committee, Fremantle mayor Brad Pettitt has urged in-principle support for the project.

Dr Pettitt believes such a move will help Swimming WA garner funding for the ocean pool.

The paper reveals that in 2011 council officers met with Swimming WA and other people keen to build the pool on the south side of South Mole near Bathers Beach.

A further meeting gleaned Fremantle Ports’ support to explore the concept further, while acknowledging it was not high on the Ports’ priority list.

Dr Pettitt believes the pool would attract residents and tourists to West End of Fremantle – which is pretty, but devoid of the life it once possessed.

Perth has no ocean pools, but such facilities have been mooted recently for the Cottesloe and Scarborough beaches.

Secluded Bather’s Beach was the first beach in the Swan River Colony where people swam recreationally.

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‘Noisy’ party ‘threatened’ with gun


A neighbour who allegedly tried to break up a party last night by pulling a gun has been charged with several offences.

Police spokeswoman Naomi Smith said that at 10.50pm her colleagues were called to a home in Birdland Lane, Ballajura, where a soiree was in full swing.

Acting Sergeant Smith said the 28-year-old neighbour allegedly became involved in a fight with the home’s occupants and guests over noise from the party.

The man allegedly threatened the occupants with a gun before returning to his home.

Police searched the man’s home where they allegedly found the gun and several cannabis plants.

The man was charged with being armed in a way that may cause fear, aggravated possession of a firearm, possessing an unlicensed firearm, possessing unlicensed ammunition and possessing prohibited drugs.

He will appear in Midland Magistrates Court on February 10.

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Barnett backs Australia Day flags


Premier Colin Barnett today came out in full support of people who stick ‘Australia Day’ flags to the sides of cars.

“The celebration of Australia Day means different things to different people,” Mr Barnett said today.

“Whether it is going to tonight’s Australia Day Skyworks, flying a flag from your car, enjoying a family barbecue, a day at the beach, a street party or watching tennis and cricket on TV, just have a great day.”

On Monday, oneperth.com.au revealed that University of Western Australia professor Farida Fozdar had found Skyworks attendees who stuck Australian flags to their cars were more likely to be racist.

Professor Fozdar alongside a flag-waving jalopy.

The story went viral and ignited debate between Emu Bitter drinkers and chardonnay sippers around the nation.

Mr Barnett today noted Australia Day marked the anniversary of the first British Settlement at Sydney Cove in 1788.

He quickly added that the day was “much more than that”.

“It is a national day for everyone, a day to celebrate our past achievements, our freedoms and way of life, and our shared aspirations for the future,” Mr Barnett said.

“I ask every West [sic] Australian to pause for a moment to think about what it is to be Australian and how you can help maintain a cohesive, tolerant and safe community.”

Mr Barnett said Australia Day was very special for the 2100 Western Australians taking up Australian citizenship.

“One in four West [sic] Australians have been born overseas,” Mr Barnett said.

“They have played a major role in building the state and its prosperity.

“I thank all new citizens for choosing Australia and congratulate them on their Australian citizenship.”

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‘Australia Day flag drivers racist’



People who fly Australian flags on their cars in the leadup to Australia Day express more racist attitudes than others without flags, University of Western Australia research has found.

UWA sociologist and anthropologist Farida Fozdar and a team of assistants surveyed 513 people at last year’s Australia Day Skyworks extravaganza on Perth’s Swan River foreshore.

One in five fireworks fans said they had attached flags to their cars to celebrate Australia Day.


Professor Fozdar said 43 per cent of people with car flags believed the long-abandoned White Australia Policy had saved Australia from many problems experienced by other countries.

Only 25 per cent of Skyworks goers who did not adorn their cars with flags thought the same way.

A total of 56 per cent of people with car flags feared their culture and its most important values were in danger, compared with 34 per cent of non-flaggers.

And 35 per cent of flaggers felt that people had to be born in Australia to be truly Australian, while 23 per cent believed true Australians had to be Christian.

This compared with 22 per cent and 18 per cent respectively for non-flaggers.

Australia Day flag

Professor Fozdar beside a flag-waving car.


Professor Fozdar said there were clear differences in how people with car flags felt toward minority groups.

Only 39 per cent of flaggers expressed a positive view toward Aboriginal people compared with 47 per cent of non-flaggers.

And 19 per cent of flaggers felt positive towards Muslim Australians compared to 26 per cent of non-flaggers.

Just seven per cent of flaggers were positive towards asylum seekers compared to 24 per cent of non-flaggers.

And 27 per cent with flags felt positive towards Asian Australians compared to 48 per cent of non-flaggers.

Three survey questions sought views on Australian cultural diversity: 64 per cent of people with car flags agreed that it was good for people from different ethnic, religious and racial groups to live in Australia, compared to 75 per cent of non-flaggers.


An overwhelming 91 per cent of people with car flags agreed that people who move to Australia should adopt Australian values, compared to 76 per cent of non-flaggers.

A total of 55 per cent of flaggers believed migrants should leave their old ways behind, compared with 30 per cent of non-flaggers.

However, majorities of both groups − 60 per cent of flaggers and 73 per cent of non-flaggers − also felt it was best to respect and learn from each other’s cultural differences.

Professor Fozdar said there was no clear link between flag flying and education, gender, ethnicity, citizenship, voting pattern or income.

However, her survey showed a slightly higher likelihood of younger rather than older people adopting the practice.


In terms of nationalism, 88 per cent of those with Australian flags on their cars said they thought it showed they were proud to be Australian, while only 52 per cent of those without flags thought so.

Some thought the increased popularity of flying Australian car flags was due to increased patriotism.

Others said it was simply peer pressure to follow the trend or avoid seeming unpatriotic.

Many said the phenomenon was caused by marketing and the cheap availability of car flags.

Others thought it was a response to loss of culture due to multiculturalism, immigration, invasion and terrorism.

“What I found interesting is that many people didn’t really have much to say about why they chose to fly car flags or not,” Professor Fozdar said.

“Many felt strongly patriotic about it − and for some, this was quite a racist or exclusionary type of patriotism − but it wasn’t a particularly conscious thing for many.

“Very clear statistical differences in attitudes to diversity between those who fly car flags and those who don’t show that flag waving − while not inherently exclusionary – is linked in this instance to negative attitudes about those who do not fit the ‘mainstream’ stereotype.”

Fewer people − one in five − reported flying Australian flags from their cars in 2011 compared to 2010 when it was one in four.



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Safety markers for Garden Island


The Department of Transport has completed an urgent installation of navigation markers at the entrance to Herring Bay at Garden Island.

Departmental spokesman Ray Buchholz said the project was fast-tracked after members of the local boating community raised safety concerns following the removal of unofficial markers in October.

The department paid Transfield Services $80,000 to install new markers on the north western end of the island to guide boats through the outer reef into Herring Bay.

“Herring Bay is a popular spot for recreational boating,” Mr Bucholz said.

“However, the same extensive reef system that shelters the bay also makes it extremely challenging for skippers to navigate in the area.

“The new markers are located in waters controlled by the Department of Defence which gave approval for the installation.”

The markers will be maintained by the department.

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Ecstasy explored as cancer cure


Redesigning the illicit recreational drug ecstasy to treat blood cancers is being explored by a team of researchers from the University of Western Australia and the University of Birmingham.

Recent papers by a team led by UWA medicinal chemist Matthew Piggott show that compounds similar to ecstasy kill cell-lines derived from blood cancers such as lymphoma, myeloma and leukaemia.

Compounds similar to ecstasy have been modified to eliminate the drug’s abilty to deliver a high.

At the same time, the compounds’ potency against cancer cells has been boosted 100-fold.

In 2005, Professor John Gordon and his team from the University of Birmingham published a paper describing the ability of ecstasy to kill lymphoma cells.

At about the same time, Associate Professor Piggott and his group were modifying ecstasy for Parkinson’s disease drug discovery.

The researchers teamed up to tackle blood cancers.

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Northbridge Festival dead


The annual Northbridge Festival will be scrapped in favour of events throughout the year.

A council document seen by oneperth.com.au reveals the organising Business Improvement Group Northbridge agrees with City of Perth officials that the popular event should be wound up.

The Northbridge Festival was run by the city for some years until the Business Improvement Group Northbridge took over in 2009 and 2010.

However, the Business Improvement Group Northbridge – which gets most of its money from council and government coffers – says it no longer has the resources to deliver the event.

The last, and probably final, Northbridge Festival occurred from November 14 to 21 last year. Held later in the year than usual – due to clashes with other events – the festival was dogged by extreme heat and some rain.

The festival was well attended but failed to attract families which was one of the main aims.

Council bureaucrats have recommended the shindig be replaced with rolling events through the year, and that $20,000 be spent on a consultant to propose a program.

A city committee will consider the recommendation on Tuesday night.


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Rockingham but not as we know it



Public comment on a planned 500 boat pen, 652 parking bay, marina north of the main beach at Rockingham closes on Tuesday.

The Port Rockingham project would see a pier extend from the end of the Wanliss Street carpark about 200 metres into Cockburn Sound.

Northeast from the end of the pier would dogleg a 770-metre breakwater running parallel to the shoreline.

The marina would have 500 boat pens, 4000 sqm of commercial floorspace, and 652 new parking bays on the land side of the project.

Rockingham local ‘Misskirstyl’ today said she wished authorities would leave the low-key beach alone.

“Maybe update the shop frontages and surrounds, to bring more people to the area,” Misskirstyl suggested.

“We really dont need [an] ugly looking marina.”

In contrast, a Rockingham man (pictured top, left) said it was “about time” the marina – which received the Environmental Protection Authority green light in February last year – pushed ahead.

For the planning leg of the approvals process, expressions of support or opposition close on Tuesday.

The City of Rockingham will bundle the submissions off to the WA Planning Commission for final assessment.

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4am trains breakthrough


The government has relented and will trial free 4am weekend train services on all lines for revellers travelling home in the early hours of Saturday and Sunday mornings.

Transport Minister Troy Buswell said it was put to him that thousands of Western Australians wanted later train services on the weekend.

“As a result, Transperth will trial a 4am train on Saturday and Sunday mornings from November until April on all train lines, when we’ll evaluate its success and make a decision on future services,” Mr Buswell said.

He said the trial was supported by the WA Nightclubs Association, which has long pursued the extension, as well as the WA Taxi Council.

For some years now, inner-Perth police have advocated the measure as a panacea to late night violence around Northbridge.

“This is all about providing options for those people who wish to travel after 2am, and undoubtedly a lot of these people will be heading home from pubs and nightclubs in Northbridge or other popular nightspots,” Mr Buswell said.

“In particular, I hope the 4am service will be used by people who may otherwise resort to measures like sleeping in Northbridge or the illegal and incredibly dangerous option of drink driving.”

He said the current latest train service at 2.15am would run at 2am after the 4am service was introduced.

“Currently the 2.15am trains are free of charge, and during the trial both the 2am and 4am services will be free,” Mr Buswell said.

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New Beatty Park pool for Summer



The Beatty Park pool built for the 1962 Empire Games will be widened by the end of next year if revised plans are approved by an extraordinary meeting of Vincent councillors tomorrow night.

The planned $16.5 million aquatic centre overhaul has been scaled back from one that was to have cost more than $20 million.

In September last year, Town of Vincent bureaucrats recommended the cheaper, staged redevelopment, blaming the federal government for failing to fund the project.

Council staff have presented their political masters with no less than 10 reports on the revamp since it was first mooted in March 2006.

Under the latest plans, the 50-metre pool – the jewel of the jaded aquatic complex – would be demolished and widened from its current eight lanes to 10 lanes.

The adjacent diving pool would be made shallower and its diving boards ripped out forever – for safety reasons. A learner pool and $2.7 million-plus geothermal pool-heating system would be installed.

A new gym, change rooms, creche, swim shop and grand entry to the complex are also included.

Building would start in July this year and end in December 2012.

Subsequent stages would see a new car park, new spas, renovations to existing gyms, replacement of existing water slides and refurbishment of the De Stijl-style heritage grandstand.

All work is slated for completion by July 2015 – provided the town’s councillors agree tomorrow night.

The revamp is also dependant on $5 million, promised last September as part of the state government’s takeover of Perth Oval, which is yet to materialise.

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