Shoppers go back to the village… WA tops pay figures… Tips on Muslim workplaces… Next G goes prepaid…

 Village shopping all the rage

Australians are increasingly choosing to shop closer to home. A study by food giant Parmalat, which owns the Pauls dairy brand, has found that the village shopping centre has regained popularity among Australians.

Up to 80% of Australians shop at least once a week in their local “village economy”, and local shopping centres are believed to be influencing choices of location for housing, reports the Australian Financial Review.

Monash University’s Michael Morrison says individuals may fulfil their cravings for community connections by visiting nearby, family run shops. However, it is thought that consumers also generally like to be located near large shopping centres, which provide choice and convenience.

Golden west

Western Australia tops the state salary rankings, according to the latest data on salary movements by the Hay Group human resources consultancy firm.

Why? The main reasons are the resources boom and skilled labour shortage, with mining engineers, for instance, earning $122,000 in WA but only $111,000 in Victoria. Including bonuses, the gap is greater: $124,000 compared to $114,000.

Overall, according to the survey, WA employees are earning on average 3% more than those in Victoria, 4% more than New South Wales and 10% above South Australia.

Bosses pick up tips on the business of being Muslim

A new training course helps employers to develop better work environments for Muslim employees, reports the Sydney Morning Herald. The course, conducted by the Australian Homeland Security Research Centre, allows companies to manage risk through a clear understanding of Islam and discussion on what may constitute discrimination.

Lawyer Irfan Yusuf told the paper it is difficult to manage employees when the religious observances may vary between members of the same religion. It is these difficulties, Yusuf says, that the course is meant to explain.

Telstra Next G goes prepaid

Telstra is going to offer Next G to prepaid mobile phone customers. On 24 May it will launch two prepaid handsets that will give customers access to its Next G service. It wants to expand its share of the prepaid market, which is slightly larger than the post-paid one, according to a report in the Australian Financial Review.

The Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association has compiled new data on the use of pre-paid services showing that 9.7 million of the 19.3 million mobile handsets used in Australia are connected on a pre-paid plan.


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