Tag Archive | “People”

Family of late state police minister consulted on location and design.

Riverside memorial to John D’Orazio


Bayswater council has been consulting with the family of late mayor and State Police Minister John D’Orazio over the establishment of a memorial to him at the city’s Riverside Garden’s.

The city has allocated a sum of $40,000 to recognise Mr D’Orazio who in 2011 died of a heart attack during surgery.

A pharmacist by profession, Mr D’Orazio was Bayswater mayor from 1983 until 2000. In 2001 he was elected state member for Ballajura in 2001, a position he held until 2008.

Mr D’Orazio briefly served as Minister for Police in the Labor Government of Alan Carpenter, but was dumped in 2006 after it was revealed he had been driving without a licence for two months following an accident in a ministerial car.

But the Solictor-General’s office later paid him $15,000 costs after he proved the Government’s fines enforcement agency had sent notices to the incorrect address.

In August 2006, he was forced to resign from the party due to corruption allegations, and sat as an independent. The Corruption and Crime Commission later cleared him of any misconduct.

While a bronze bust of Mr D’Orazio, and a fountain, are in the mix of memorial options, city officials have recommended that a large, custom-made park bench be erected in his honour instead.

The cost of the bench has been estimated at $35,000.

All family members consulted agreed that Riverside Gardens would be a fitting place for the memorial.

The recommendation to build a memorial bench will be considered by Bayswater’s city councillors at a meeting on Tuesday night.

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Police issue an alert.

Armadale woman missing since Tuesday


Polica are looking for an Armadale woman, 39, who has been missing since Tuesday.

Brenda Avsar (pictured) was last seen about 7pm on Tuesday at a house in Fremantle Road, Gosnells.

She has not made contact with her family or friends since.

Ms Avsar is 175cm tall, with a slim build, black hair, and brown eyes.

It is unknown what she was last wearing.

Ms Avsar may also be in possession of a red Toyota Camry sedan, with a possible registration of 1EEB 556.

Police want anyone who knows where Ms Avsar is to call them on 131 444 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

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Land, sea and air search underway in blustery conditions.

Police comb City Beach for missing woman


5PM UPDATE: A land, sea and air search that took place in windy conditions at City Beach today for a West Leederville woman has been scaled down this afternoon due to weather conditions.

Police spokeswoman Ros Weatherall said the search would resume at first light tomorrow morning.

Early today, Ms Weatherall’s colleague Susan Usher said Robyn Santen, 36, was last seen on Saturday night in West Leederville.

Ms Santen’s car was found about 4pm yesterday at a car park in City Beach but is believed to have been at the car park since the early hours of Sunday morning.

Ms Usher said concerns are held for Ms Santen’s welfare.

Ms Santen is 170cm tall, with a fair complexion, of medium build and short brown hair.

Police want anyone who sees her or knows where she is asked to call 131 444 immediately.

Two water police boats, five volunteer marine rescue craft, four jet skis and two aircraft searched a 35 square nautical mile area off the shoreline of City Beach.

The Bureau of Meteorology issued a strong wind warning for Perth’s local waters today.

Police and State Emergency Service personnel conducted a ground search along the beachfront from the City Beach car park.

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‘Oliver’ WA’s baby name of choice


Oliver was the baby name of choice among Western Australian parents in 2014, with 254 newborns receiving the moniker in a record year for local births.

A total of 35,595 births were registered in the great sandy state last year, the biggest number ever recorded by the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages.

Attorney General Michael Mischin said the baby boom was a significant increase of 847 births from 2013, when 34,748 babies were born in WA.

Mr Mischin said when it came to naming their newborns, WA parents opted to choose traditional names which had been in and around the top five for the past few years.

“For the boys, Oliver was the most popular name in WA, swapping places with 2013’s top name Jack (239 boys),” he said.

“Biblical names were still popular choices for boys, with Noah (216 boys), Lucas (183), Thomas (182), James (175) and Jacob (147) all featuring in the top 10.

“Emily was the favourite name for girls in 2014 (204 girls), beating Ava (199), Charlotte (186) and 2013’s top name Olivia (181).

“We are also seeing more contemporary names like Jaxon (113 babies), Kai (81), Chase (68) and Jai (53) coming through for the boys, and Ivy and Scarlett (both 95), Willow (84) and Aria (56) for the girls.”

Top 10 boys names for 2014 are Oliver, Jack, Noah, William, Lucas, Thomas, James, Ethan, Liam, Jacob.

Top 10 girls names for 2014 are Emily, Ava, Charlotte, Olivia, Amelia and Mia (tied in fifth place), Ella, Isla, Sophie, Chloe, Grace.

Mr Mishcin said a small boost in the number of girls named Elsa could be attributed to animated Disney film Frozen, with the number of babies named after the lead character increasing from three in 2013 to 17 in 2014.

Overseas trends in which parents were being inspired by popular television shows and films such as Game of Thrones and The Hunger Games were not being replicated in WA, with a few or no newborns assuming the names of characters from these series.

Photo: Phillip Kapper

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Frenchman missing from Fremantle


Police are seeking looking for a missing French national who was last seen in South Fremantle on Saturday, October 18.

Sebastien Versmissen (26, pictured) is a French national, and was last seen about 8:00am at the Fremantle Village on Cockburn Road, South Fremantle.

He is described as 170cm tall, of slim build, with short brown hair and brown eyes.

He was wearing blue jeans, a black hooded jumper with a green and red Quicksilver motif, a light green T-shirt and white trainers.

Concerns are held for his welfare

Anyone who knows where Mr Versmissen is should call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

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City spies on soup kitchen



Prompted by just four complainants*, a Perth city council recently spied on a highly regarded soup kitchen and its disadvantaged clients.

City of Vincent boss John Giorgi today confirmed that some of his staff went incognito at Weld Square to monitor the operations and clients of the Manna Industries soup kitchen.

Since 1996, Manna founders Bev and John Lowe have provided hundreds of thousands of free meals to homeless and disadvantaged people at Weld Square. From that park, which sits opposite the Ellington Jazz Club on Beaufort Street, the elderly couple provides soup, a main meal and desert six nights a week.

In 2008, Mr and Mrs Lowe were each awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia in recognition of their efforts. In 2010, the couple was awarded the John Curtin Medal – the highest non-academic award offered by Curtin University.

In their first eight years at the park, the Lowes cooked soup in their home kitchen and distributed it from their family car. Although Mr and Mrs Lowe have since suffered serious health problems, Manna’s range of services has expanded.

But the once-jaded area around Weld Square is rapidly gentrifying. And since July four complainants have written to the city with complaints about Manna’s clients.


A report by Vincent officials says the complaints pertain to antisocial behaviour, public drunkenness, rubbish and excess noise “that may or may not be related to” Manna’s food service.

In response, the council recently monitored Manna’s operations and clients for a week without their knowledge.

Today, Mrs Lowe (pictured, centre, above) said she was dismayed by the covert surveillance.

“It is unfortunate that they had that mindset when we were only too willing to meet and talk with them,” she said of the officials.

“It’s a little unnerving and embarrassing.

“They would never stand and watch at your dining table or mine.”

The surveillance has led the officials to conclude that due to the rapid increase in apartment blocks around Weld Square, running the soup kitchen there may no longer be appropriate.

“I do realise there’s been a concerted effort by some of the residents to move us along,” Mrs Lowe said.

“We want to remain civil and respectful to the people living in the apartments and the council.

“We’re only at Weld Square for a bit over an hour six nights a week.

“That’s less than 10 hours a week.”


The report says the council is also investigating replacement of the park’s bins with ones where rubbish will not be so easily removed and turned into litter “by birds or people”.

The officials have recommended that Manna be allowed to keep serving meals at Weld Square until May 1 next year with a view to moving somewhere else after that.

Also recommended is that the officials be given power to revoke Manna’s permission to operate at Weld Square if problems occur that are not quickly resolved.

Mrs Lowe told oneperth.com.au the Weld Square location was integral to Manna’s success.

She said the very reason she and Mr Lowe founded Manna was to serve disadvantaged people that had long congregated in the park.

Mrs Lowe said the vast majority of her clients had no private transport, and that many walked to her outdoor soup kitchen.

The officials’ paper acknowledges the social contribution Manna makes, and floats the idea of moving Manna’s operations indoors.

Mrs Lowe said this would be a more dignified way to serve her clients, but that any building would need to be near Weld Square and funded from council or government coffers.

“We receive no government money,” she said.

“The money we raise is all used in feeding people.

“If the council or government could come up with a building, then [that would be] well and good.”

Vincent mayor John Carey, and the city’s councillors, will debate the officials’ recommendations on Tuesday night.

* This story, as originally published, reported “four written complaints”. “Four complainants” is more accurate.

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Missing man missed flight to Bali


Police are concerned for the welfare of a 28-year-old man who went to Perth Airport to catch a flight to Bali but failed to board.

Police spokesman Gerry Cassidy said Mark Conrad James (pictured) had not been seen since he left a house at Menangal Way, Forrestfield about 6.00pm on Sunday.

Sergeant Cassidy said Mr James went to the Perth International Airport on Monday to catch a flight to Bali but left without boarding.

Concerns are held for Mr James’ welfare because he may be in a disturbed state of mind and in need of help.

Mr James is 170cm tall, of slim build, has medium-length brown hair and blue eyes.

He has a rose tattoo down one arm and may be driving his Holden Rodeo registration 1BIE 071.

Anyone who knows where Mr James might be should call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

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Perthonalities run for office


Australia’s king of communism, a bloke who single-handedly beat a traffic fine in the Supreme Court, the owner of a landmark Maylands cafe, the dumped chief of WA’s police union, and a reporter at the state’s six-day monopoly tabloid, are among 386 candidates vying for a local council position in metropolitan Perth.

Western Australia’s local government polls close on October 19, and 27 of Perth’s 29 local councils have positions up for grabs.


Vinnie Molina

Vinnie Molina

Since 2009, trade unionist Vinnie Molina has been national president of the Communist Party of Australia, not that he mentions that in his candidate profile.

“I am a committed trade unionist with a Beaufort and Lincoln Street property for several years,” says Mr Molina who is jockeying to become a South Ward councillor in the City of Vincent.

“I love the sense of community in Vincent, the cafes, pubs, parks and festivals.

“State Government forced amalgamation of local councils is threatening our urban village.”

Mr Molina says he would like to keep Vincent “as is”, but as a second option would support amalgamation with the City of Perth.

“My Highgate property will be part of Perth but I view it as a loss to lose other parts of Vincent,” he says.

“I oppose splitting our community and I will campaign against it.

“I strongly believe resident consultation should contribute to the decision-making that shapes our future living area.”

Mr Molina says he wants to see “people enjoying what local businesses have to offer” and “local residents and visitors having free Wi-Fi access in public areas”.

“I offer initiative, integrity and hard work for Vincent’s future,” he says.


bret busby

Bret Busby

Last year, Armadale resident Bret Busby personally dragged the police and State Solicitor through WA’s highest court over a $250 traffic fine – and won.

Now, Mr Busby is running to become the councillor for the City of Armadale’s Neerigen Ward.

Mr Busby says he has lived at his current home in the ward for 20 years.

“I have been a candidate in previous Armadale City Council elections, attended public meetings, and written letters to the local newspapers,” says Mr Busby who also comments on oneperth.com.au from time to time.

“I have tried to make Armadale more environmentally friendly, and to get better treatment for residents.

“I have tried to get the roads made safer, and to get footpaths on the roads that lack them, and proper maintenance and facilities for all of the parks and reserves.”


john rifici

John Rifici

John Rifici may not have the self-styled legal nouse of Mr Busby, but he wood fires a mean Margherita pizza at his landmark Rifo’s Cafe on the corner of Eighth Avenue and Guildford Road in Maylands.

“I established this business 14 years ago and during this time I have witnessed the transformation of the suburb,” Mr Rifici says.

“My reason to nominate as a candidate now is that I feel we need to focus on key areas to assist the growth of the shopping village.

“As a married man with three children, I believe returning the parks, streets and amenities to the residents and visitors is a priority, as many areas have become ‘no go zones’.”

Mr Rifici is seeking to become South Ward councillor at the City of Bayswater.


Russell Armstrong

Russell Armstrong

Russell Armstrong, unceremoniously dumped as WA Police Union president after a vote of members last year, obviously has campaigning in his blood.

“I am currently a serving police officer with over 42 years experience in policing and working with the community,” says Mr Armstrong who wants to become North Ward councillor in the leafy western suburbs municipality of Mosman Park.

“I am committed to protecting our Mosman Park heritage [and] environment, and reducing red tape.

“I am against the Government’s forced amalgamation with seven other councils to form the [merged western suburbs] G7 [council], but would work with the community and State Government on a sensible solution for all ratepayers.”


Kent Acott

Kent Acott

Reporter at Perth’s six-day monopoly tabloid, Kent Acott, spices his campaigning up with a bit of bush genealogy.

“Acotts have lived in Midland-Guildford for more than 100 years,” he says.

“I am the latest.

“I am proud that Midland-Guildford is in my blood.”

Mr Acott says Midland-Guildford is where his family works, shops and plays.

“It’s where I was married and where my sons went to school,” he recalls.

“And it’s where I live.

“That’s why I want the best for its residents … the best services, the best facilities, the best infrastructure.”

Mr Acott says he thinks “the best is worth fighting for”.

“I am ready to take up the fight on your behalf,” he says.

“I am seeking your vote to elect me as your Midland-Guildford Ward councillor.

“In doing so, I pledge to do all I can to ensure that every cent of your rates is spent to make your life as comfortable and as safe as possible.”

Mr Acott says he does not belong to a political party.

“My only allegiance will be to you, the resident,” he pledges.

Metropolitan Perth has the most local councils of any capital city in Australia. Premier Colin Barnett argues that his high profile plan to slash the number of Perth councils from 29 to 14 would make the councils more efficient.

Voting in the local elections is not compulsory.

Photos: WA Electoral Commission

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Magnate’s shed riles neighbours


A Colorbond shed at a Jutland Parade mansion has put a multi-millionnaire live sheep exporter on a collision course with his disgruntled Nedlands neighbours.

Mauro Balzarini is chairman of the Wellard Group which, among other activities, exports live sheep from the Port of Fremantle.

Last year, the Wellard Group paid $3649 (as per the pictured receipt) to have the shed built at the house of Mr Balzarini and his wife Giovanna Boventi at 20 Jutland Parade.

receiptA report prepared by City of Nedlands town planners says the shed was erected without council approval, and has attracted objections from three of the mansion’s neighbours.

On March 12, a retrospecive application for the shed’s approval was lodged. The city’s planners have recommended the belated application be refused because the shed’s 20-centimetre setback from the Jutland Parade property boundary is inadequate.

Jutland Parade has long been Western Australia’s premier old-money street. Other property owners in the area have had to observe a nine-metre setback that has been mandated by the council to preserve the leafy character of Nedlands.

As an olive branch to the objectors, Mr Balzarini and Ms Boventi have offered to reduce the height of the 2.35 metre high shed by 19 centimetres.

In 2006, the couple bought the mansion and its 2673 block for $12.25 million.

In 2011, when Perth houses were worth less than they are now, the couple tried to offload the six-bedroom house for $20 million.

Aside from the controversial shed, the mansion has seven bathrooms, a 12-metre pool and cabana.

The house was once owned by Alan Bond’s former offsider Peter Beckwith. It was then bought in 1996 by Perth Wildcats owner Jack Bendat for $8.5 million.

A Nedlands city committee will debate the recommended shed refusal on Tuesday.

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Missing Silver Sands children found


SATURDAY 1.15PM UPDATE: A young brother and sister missing from their Mandurah home since yesterday after leaving a note saying they were going for a bike ride have returned home.

A few minutes ago, police spokeswoman Ros Weatherall said the brother and sister had returned home safe and well a short while ago.

The two had last been seen by their mother when she left home in the suburb of Silver Sands about 10am yesterday.

The mother had returned soon after to find a note from the children saying they were going for a bike ride.

But they did not return home.

Pillows and clothes were missing from their bedrooms.

The previously missing girl, Kaitline Maree Thompson (pictured, left) is 12 years old.

Her brother, Corbyn Jay Thompson (pictured, right) is 10 years old.

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Missing Kallaroo man found


EASTER SUNDAY UPDATE: A 56-year-old Kallaroo man last seen yesterday morning in Mullaloo has been found.

Murray Oakley – who suffers short term memory loss – had been missing for most of Easter Saturday.

However, police spokeswoman Susan Usher said he was found last night at 11pm.

Mr Oakley had last been seen by his wife about 9:15am when he went to a public toilet on Mullaloo Beach near the Mullaloo Beach Hotel.

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Wills and Kate message rebuffed


Officials have thrown a wet blanket on a sentimental message drafted by a Town of Cambridge councillor to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (AKA Wills and Kate).

Councillor Rod Bradley (inset) has advised that at the town council’s final meeting of the year on Tuesday night he will move that Mayor Simon Withers, on behalf of the town’s councillors and bureaucrats, write to the duke and duchess to convey:

“The sincere congratulations for their recently announced expectancy, the heartfelt concerns over the illness experienced by the duchess, and the hopes and prayers that the pregnancy continues without any further complications.”

In response, town bureaucrats have advised only that: “Section 3.13 of the Standing Orders Local Law states that ‘a notice of motion is to directly relate to the good government or welfare of persons in the district’.”

Background photo: Pat Pilon, Wikimedia Commons

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Man, 90, found ‘safe but hungry’


A 90-year-old man was found safe but a bit hungry last night after a search and rescue operation was launched to find him.

Police spokeman Samuel Dinnison said that about 1:30pm yesterday police were called to find the missing man, who had last been seen about 10:00am at a house in Scarborough.

Mr Dinnison said the man had gone for a regular short walk and had not returned.

His daughter went looking for him but was unable to find him on any of his regular routes.

About 10:00pm, Public Transport Authority staff found the man on a train, and organised for police to meet them at Clarkson train station.

The man was taken home to his family.

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‘Injured’ man sought


Police have concerns for a 55-year-old man who they believe may have been wounded in the stomach at Dwellingup last night.

Police spokeswoman Ros Weatherall said Robert John Bryant (pictured) was wanted to help with inquiries as part of an investigation into an “incident” in the town, southeast of Mandurah.

Ms Weatherall said it was believed Mr Bryant may be suffering a wound to his abdomen received during the incident.

Anyone who sees Mr Bryant should not to approach him but instead call police on 131 444.

He is more than two metres tall, has tanned to olive skin, and tattoos – including a large tattoo on his leg.

Mr Bryant was last seen wearing light-coloured shorts and a singlet, and carrying a bag.

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