Michael Pascoe writes:

You have to admire the creativity of the
people who publish newspapers when it comes to finding excuses for
underperformance. When times are tough, the CEO will say advertising volumes
are down because times are tough. When there’s a boom on, the boss will say
volumes are down because there’s a boom on.

That’s what West Australian Newspaper
chairman Warwick Kent almost said while announcing a lower profit yesterday thanks to
redundancies and writing down printing presses. Reports AAP in The Smage:

WAN chairman Warwick Kent said that, after a slow start to the
calendar year, trading conditions had improved. “The outlook for advertising
revenues is solid without being buoyant,” Mr Kent said. “The company is confident
its diversity of revenues will record solid growth in pre-abnormals profit
again in 2005-06.”

Mr Kent said the strength of demand meant less
real estate and new home advertising volumes in the short term but was a
positive indicator in the future confidence in the state.

See, booms are bad. Meanwhile John Phaceas
has another story of Rio not having much trouble with the WA government:

More than a year after Rio Tinto was ordered to open its
books on the big Mitchell Plateau
bauxite project in the Kimberley to
potential rival developers, the State Government is mulling yet another
extension of the mining giant’s rights to the project.

Rio, which manages the project with
a 65% stake, yesterday confirmed it had sought an extension after a
deadline for development submissions expired in January.

“We have (sought an extension),” a company spokesman told WestBusiness.
“The last deadline was January 31 of this year, and the Government is yet
to respond to us about whether there is a new deadline or not.”

Bet
they’ll get it.