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Last Updated: Thursday, 12 May 2005, 09:59 GMT 10:59 UK
Red faces over Perth danger alert
Perth (file photo)
Perth is not usually fraught with danger
Australia's foreign ministry has apologised for an e-mailed advisory warning of the dangers of travelling to the Western Australian capital, Perth.

The foreign ministry said the message was mistakenly sent out by an outside contractor, as a test.

Variously described as the "friendly city", "laid back", and the "most isolated city in the world", Perth is not usually known for its risks.

The president of the Tourism Council of Western Australia said he was furious.

"Perth is one of the safest cities in the world at the present time as far as we are concerned. It's quite alarming that [the department of foreign affairs] doesn't have these advisories checked by senior management before they are released to the wider audience," said Ron Buckley.

"It makes Australia look absolutely stupid," he said.

The message was sent out to media, travel agencies, and subscribers to the Australian government's travel warning service.

"This is a message to let you know that Perth is dangerous at this time of year," it read.

The foreign affairs department said it was following up the email with the contractor who sent it.

"The message was in poor taste and showed a clear lack of judgement," a spokesman said.

But the City of Perth Council was less concerned.

"The weather is a bit dodgy," a spokesman commented.

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