Home / World News / Inside Cover: Convention Centre’s ‘paper thin’ argument, a royal visit to Perth and Help for Heroes

Inside Cover: Convention Centre’s ‘paper thin’ argument, a royal visit to Perth and Help for Heroes

We live in an era when good deeds are often accompanied with self-congratulatory backslapping, or so-called virtue-signalling.

We’ll leave it up to you to decide if that is what’s happening in the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre’s dunnies.

An Inside Cover reader drew our attention to the loos recently, in particular a sign that can be found where the paper towel dispensers used to be.

The sign about paper towels at the Perth Exhibition and Convention CentreThe sign about paper towels at the Perth Exhibition and Convention Centre
Camera IconThe sign about paper towels at the Perth Exhibition and Convention CentrePicture: supplied

“Save our planet,” the sign urges.

“Dear guest, we are trying to help the environment to save trees by not using paper towels — save paper, save trees, save Earth.”

Dean Alston cartoon. Virtue signalling.Dean Alston cartoon. Virtue signalling.
Camera IconDean Alston cartoon. Virtue signalling.Picture: Dean Alston

A nice sentiment, certainly, but our reader wasn’t impressed, mostly because he happened to be Forest Industries Federation WA acting chief executive Matt Granger.

“Last time I checked, we actually grow trees to make paper,” Mr Granger told IC.

“And in WA, growing and processing those trees is worth nearly $600 million per annum, plus lots of local jobs.”

Mr Granger said PCEC was entitled to offer whatever hand-drying option it wished in its loos but removing paper towels to save trees was a “rubbish argument”, if you’ll excuse the pun.

The whole saga reminds us of a bumper sticker we saw once, affixed to the ute of a Manjimup lumberjack…

bumper sticker about paperbumper sticker about paper
Camera Iconbumper sticker about paper

Royal visitor

When we heard the king of Malaysia checked in to a fairly modest hotel in the CBD yesterday, we thought it had all the hallmarks of a wild-goose chase.

Luckily, chasing wild geese is right up our alley. Turns out it wasn’t Sultan Abdullah of Pahang, who got the top gig earlier this year after his predecessor abdicated to marry a Russian beauty queen.

The Sunset hospital site on Birdwood Pde, Dalkeith will be sold for $8.5m. The buyer is Sultan of Johor ( Sultan Ibrahim Ismail of Johor)The Sunset hospital site on Birdwood Pde, Dalkeith will be sold for $8.5m. The buyer is Sultan of Johor ( Sultan Ibrahim Ismail of Johor)
Camera IconThe Sunset hospital site on Birdwood Pde, Dalkeith will be sold for $8.5m. The buyer is Sultan of Johor ( Sultan Ibrahim Ismail of Johor)Picture: Supplied

We hear the mystery Malaysian is actually Sultan Ibrahim, Sultan of Johor, pictured, here in a private capacity.

So, what is the Sultan doing in our part of the world?

Well, our colleague Kim Macdonald reported last month he was building a holiday home/mansion at the end of Jutland Parade in Dalkeith, which suggests he is probably here to take a look at its progress.

Keen readers might recall the Barnett Government sold the 1993sqm freehold component of the Sunset Hospital site in 2015 to the Malaysian billionaire for $8.5 million, $1.5 million less than Andrew and Nicola Forrest’s Minderoo Foundation was willing to put up.

That might seem like a lot of cash but we are talking about a bloke who reportedly dropped nearly $180,000 on a personalised licence plate.

We’ve also read the Sultan, who is famous for his gold-coloured Boeing 737, has a passion for sport, so we hope he takes in a game of footy while he’s in town.

Help for heroes

Consider this: more Australian ex-servicemen and women have taken their own lives since 2001 than the total of those killed in battle in recent Middle East conflicts.

And it’s a problem that seems to be getting worse, with the veteran suicide rate doubling between 2010 and 2015.

On Saturday, the WA branch of the RSL is doing something to address this problem.

Veteran groups and generous types from WA’s corporate ranks will gather at a gala charity ball to launch RSLWA’s Help Our Heroes campaign.

The aim? To fund the completion of the ground-breaking Veteran Central facility in the CBD, as well as direct money into other veteran wellbeing efforts.

RSLWA chief executive John McCourt said public support for the campaign would help ensure people did not fall through the cracks in the Department of Veteran Affairs’ occasionally over-bureaucratic processes.

“The men and women who have honourably served Australia with distinction should always receive the help they were promised,” McCourt said.

Tickets are available for Saturday’s gala, and you can secure one by calling 9287 3799.

Got a story? Tell us for a chance to see Event Innaloo’s In The House screening of The Princess Bride on June 24.

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