A bumper year for news
Last week, we focused on the stories that were making the news in the Telegraph from January to June. Here is what made news from July to December.
JULY Joy at return of HMAS Arunta
There were tears of joy and smiles all round at HMAS Stirling in July, when the 191 crew members aboard HMAS Arunta returned home after a ninemonth deployment.
Departing in November 2016 on Operation Manitou, HMAS Arunta’s crew were greeted by family and friends as they stepped back on Australian soil.
During deployment, HMAS Arunta intercepted more than 1310kg of drugs with a street value of more than $186 million, according to Australian Crime Commission figures.
Services combat meth rise
The Palmerston Association, which aims to prevent and reduce the harmful effects of drugs, confirmed a 2 per cent increase in clients with methamphetamine problems this year.
Palmerston Metropolitan Community Services manager Bram Dickens said demand for the organisation’s services was consistently high, with methamphetamine, alcohol and cannabis the top three problem drugs. A meth clinic at the Rockingham office was rolled out in May in collaboration with government partner Next Step to provide intensive support.
AUGUST Lithium recharge for the area
As lithium prices continued to soar, major industry players looked to Kwinana for their next refinery projects in promising signs for the future.
Kwinana was one of three locations short-listed by Kidman/ SQM for a multimillion-dollar refinery and emerged as the likely candidate because of its export potential and proximity to the Greenbushes mine in the South West.
SEPTEMBER Marriage survey ‘offensive’
More than 200 people from the Rockingham area turned out in support of same-sex marriage ahead of the national postal survey, which fuelled debate on the issue locally.
The rally was organised by Equal Love WA and local group Marriage Equality Rockingham, with residents in support of the “yes” vote gathering at Churchill Park on September 2.
OCTOBER Cities back veteran mayors
Local government elections put those in public office under scrutiny during October, with some high-profile mayors losing their roles across the metropolitan area and the State.
However, the long-serving mayors of Rockingham and Kwinana were given a vote of confidence by the public and their peers, with Barry Sammels and Carol Adams reinstated for the next two years.
NOVEMBER Community honours fallen soldiers
Remembrance Day services were held at the Rockingham Cenotaph at Flinders Memorial Park, Veterans Memorial Park in Port Kennedy and the City of Kwinana War Memorial on Pace Road in Medina.
Cup a tourism boost
A huge crowd of 50,000 flocked to Churchill Park on November 10 to 12 for the second annual White Lakes Brewing Rockingham Beach Cup.
Organised by the Rotary Club of Palm Beach, the charity event was heralded as a major tourism boost for the city.
DECEMBER Chinese tourism increases
The trend of Chinese tourists coming to Rockingham to enjoy nature-based activities continued to underpin the region’s tourism market, with Premier Mark McGowan saying the growing number of Asian visitors provided a significant business opportunity.
International visitor survey statistics released by Tourism Research Australia earlier in December showed that for the first time Chinese tourists were spending more in WA than visitors from any other country.
Riders in the Rockingham Beach Cup celebrate.
Chef Simone MacDonald returns home.