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Bright future for WA’s aquaculture industry778337Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statementshtml4/08/2015 3:25:00 AM2015-08-04T03:15:00ZThe State Government will work with industry to support future aquaculture industry growth by establishing a profitable and sustainable industry The State Government today joined with industry to announce a Statement of Commitment for Western Australia's aquaculture industry, recognising it as a legitimate user of the State's land and aquatic resources. Launching the statement in Fremantle today, Premier and Science Minister Colin Barnett and Fisheries Minister Ken Baston said the Government recognised aquaculture as a strategically important industry. "WA has several sustainable competitive advantages for large-scale aquaculture development and significant capacity for growth and investment," the Premier said. "Now is the time to focus on opportunities in aquaculture. The Government is working with industry in several key areas identified in the Statement of Commitment. These include providing certainty of access to aquatic resources; developing investment-ready aquaculture zones; continuing to reduce regulation; providing strong fish health capability; and facilitating investment." Mr Barnett said the State Government's recently released science statement - Growing Western Australia - articulated the fields of science to be prioritised to exploit WA's natural advantages and build on existing areas of expertise to broaden the State's economy. "Both agriculture and food as well as marine science have been identified as priority science areas," he said. "There is no doubt that scientific endeavour and developments will have a big role to play in the future success of this industry." Mr Baston said the Government was committed to establishing aquaculture zones in areas that offered sustainable competitive advantages. "Having established an aquaculture zone at Cone Bay in the Kimberley, the Government will also be expediting the completion of a zone off Geraldton to help boost existing finfish projects in the area," the Minister said. "We will explore opportunities for further aquaculture development on the south coast, where the abalone aquaculture sector is demonstrating strong growth prospects, as well as in the Gascoyne and Pilbara regions. "We are working with industry to identify opportunities for a multi-species mollusc hatchery to support growth in existing and emerging sectors such as mussels, black-lip pearl oysters, edible oysters and scallops." Mr Baston said the Government would continue to improve the efficiency and transparency of regulatory processes, while strengthening the rights of aquaculture licence holders. Fact FileAquaculture is the world's fastest-growing food production sector In 2015, the global aquaculture production of food, fish and algae is estimated to exceed 96 million tonnes, up from more than 90 million tonnes in 2012For more information, visit http// Premier and Science Minister's office - 6552 5000 Fisheries Minister's office - 6552 5400
Boost for Kimberley training and employment778333Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statementshtml4/08/2015 2:51:27 AM2015-08-04T02:45:00Z The Kimberley Land Council (KLC) celebrated its new $14.6 million purpose-built office complex in Broome today, made possible by the State Government's Royalties for Regions program. Regional Development Minister Terry Redman said the Royalties for Regions-funded project would enable greater efficiencies in delivering training and employment opportunities for Aboriginal communities in the Kimberley. "The KLC is one of the biggest employers in the region. This investment will significantly contribute to the social and economic growth of the Kimberley and in turn, regional Western Australia," Mr Redman said. "As demonstrated with this project, regional development is most effective when the public, private and community sectors work together and I look forward to seeing the Kimberley Land Council reach further heights." The two-storey building boasts a total floor area in excess of 1,400sqm and enables all of KLC's Broome-based activities to be housed under one roof. It also includes an office, storage space and amenities catering for up to 120 staff members. The complex has been built using sustainable building materials, refrigerants and insulation and has water efficiencies and solar panels installed to reduce energy consumption. It is the first building outside of Perth to achieve best practice environmental standards after being awarded the 4-star Green Star rating by the Green Building Council of Australia. The building has been named the Sebastian Watson office complex, in honour of founders and cultural advisers John Watson and the late Frank Sebastian. The project was funded with $4.9 million from the Regional Development Australia Fund, $3.9 million from the State Government's Royalties for Regions program, $2 million each from Lotterywest and the Indigenous Land Corporation and $1.8 million from the Kimberley Land Council. For more information on Royalties for Regions projects, visit Bigger Picture - Regions Minister's office - 6552 6700​
Awards showcase high achievers in training778332Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statementshtml4/08/2015 2:26:33 AM2015-08-04T02:15:00Z42 finalists to vie for State's top awards in vocational education and trainingWinners will be announced in September The State Government has recognised the top achievers in the vocational education and training sector, announcing the finalists in this year's WA Training Awards. Training and Workforce Development Minister Liza Harvey said 24 apprentices, trainees, students and trainers were among the finalists, contesting seven individual categories. They join 18 training organisations and employers vying for honours in six categories. Finalists were selected from more than 170 applications. "The WA Training Awards allow us to recognise the endeavours of individuals and organisations that shape our exceptional training system," Mrs Harvey said. "They also increase awareness of the State's VET sector and in turn encourage other West Australians to embrace education and training as the foundation for success." The Minister said the finalists represented a range of industries and training pathways, including three finalists contesting the coveted WA Apprentice of the Year award. Following in the footsteps of family members, Nathan Perrett has embarked on an apprenticeship in plumbing and gas fitting, and now has his sights set on establishing his own business. Jared Stone was inspired to follow a career as an electrician after studying music for two years. He developed an interest in the technical aspects of sound recording and playback, and the electrical theory associated with the subjects. With a passion for cars, Blake Goold has completed an automotive technician apprenticeship, and is now keen to give something back to the industry. Winners of this year's awards will be announced at a presentation dinner on September 4, 2015, sharing in more than $80,000 in cash and prizes. They may also have the opportunity to represent WA at the Australian Training Awards to be held in Hobart in November. Fact FileThis year's awards sponsors include Apprenticeship Support Australia; Industrial Training Institute; Australian Medical Association Apprenticeship and Traineeship Services; Department of Education Services; The Graham (Polly) Farmer Foundation; Student Edge; The Sunday Times; Training Accreditation Council; Corporate Theatre; and State Training BoardFor more information, visit http// Minister's office - 6552 5900 The 2015 individual finalists are WA Apprentice of the Year Nathan Perrett Blake Goold Jared Stone WA Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year Joanne Khan Debra Blackwood Kahli King Elliott Merika Hastie WA Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Training Award Ni Luh Sriwati Isabelle O'Connor Maureen Guiloy WA School Based Apprentice of the Year Thalia Wilkinson Sarah Brunger Alison Overton WA Trainee of the Year Tyson McEwan Deanna Scorda Sanrda Van Der Graag Emma Grant WA Trainer of the Year Suellen Kelly Vinh Nguyen Danni Grundy WA Vocational Student of the Year Amy Cook Angela Lewis Katherine Haag Kyle Hickman ​
Historic Paddington a Goldfields success story778331Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statementshtml4/08/2015 2:05:45 AM2015-08-04T02:00:00ZPaddington operations mark 30th anniversaryMinister welcomes Chinese investment Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Marmion has hailed Norton Gold Field's Paddington operations a Goldfields success story at a special event to mark 30 years of gold production. "Norton acquired Paddington in 2007, in what was an important milestone in the company's history," Mr Marmion said. "It marked Norton's emergence as a key player in a world-class gold province and revitalised Paddington. "The measure of that success can be seen in last year's record production of more than 178,000 ounces of gold. "This is a world-class mine, with a storied history, and a bright future." The Minister said the event, which coincided with the annual Diggers and Dealers Mining Forum, highlighted the importance of companies such as Norton Gold Fields to the gold mining industry in Western Australia. "It is fortuitous to be able to celebrate an event such as this when the focus of the world's mining industry is squarely on Kalgoorlie-Boulder for Diggers and Dealers," he said. "Paddington's recent success has been driven by Norton's investment, culminating in its recent takeover by China's biggest gold miner, the Zijin Mining Group Company. "I'm particularly pleased to see that Zijin will oversee the relocation of Norton's headquarters to Kalgoorlie later this year." Mr Marmion also praised the organisers of the Diggers and Dealers Mining Forum while visiting the event today. "For 23 years Diggers and Dealers has brought together some of the world's major miners and showcased the opportunities presented in WA - particularly in our Goldfields," he said. "It is an important reminder of Kalgoorlie-Boulder and Western Australia's reputation in the global mining industry." Fact FileNorton reached one million ounces of gold production in mid-2014The Paddington Mill can process up to 3.3 million tonnes of ore per yearGold was first discovered at Paddington in 1896 and mined until 1901The current operation began in 1985 Minister's office - 6552 6800
Improved reliability for Fremantle train line778328Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statementshtml4/08/2015 1:44:32 AM2015-08-04T01:40:00Z$23.8 million upgrade completed for Fremantle train lineNew arrangement allows trains to be turned at City West Greater operational flexibility and resilience into the future A project to improve the reliability of the Fremantle train line for Transperth passengers has been completed by the State Government. The $23.8 million investment involved the installation of a new power supply sub-station and a train crossover facility near City West Station, allowing a train to turn back. Transport Minister Dean Nalder said more than 30,000 boardings were recorded on the Fremantle Line on an average weekday between Perth and the port city. Until now, one main substation at East Perth has provided power to the Midland, Armadale/Thornlie and Fremantle lines. The new substation will mean the Fremantle Line has its own source of power to run trains between Fremantle and City West if there is an unexpected interruption in the city. The new crossover means that, in such an event, trains will be able to use both platforms at City West Station. "Ensuring public transport remains a reliable, affordable, safe and comfortable way of travelling throughout Perth is well worth this kind of investment," Mr Nalder said. "The benefits generated by this kind of project cannot be overstated." Works were completed during night and weekend closures of the Fremantle Line, to minimise passenger disruption. Fact FileMore than eight million passenger boardings on the Fremantle Line in 2014-15For information, visit http// or http// Minister's office - 6552 6400
Justice for vulnerable West Australians778327Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statementshtml4/08/2015 1:03:04 AM2015-08-04T01:00:00ZFirst declared place opens for people with disability in the justice systemPeople unable to stand trial because of their disability to benefit Social justice will be delivered to some of Western Australia's most vulnerable people with the opening today of the State's first declared place by Disability Services Minister Helen Morton. Mrs Morton said the Bennett Brook Disability Justice Centre in Caversham would provide the Mentally Impaired Accused Review (MIAR) Board with a real option for the placement of people who cannot plead due to their disability but for whom prison or community release are not the most suitable options. The Minister said it was a milestone for the State Government's justice system and we should feel proud of our commitment to address the issue and do the right thing by some of the most vulnerable members of our society. "The 'declared place' option has always been available to the MIAR board when managing the cases of people who are mentally impaired accused due to disability, but until today one hasn't physically existed. This has meant some people have remained in prison, inappropriately, for lengthy periods," she said. "Today's opening of this state-of-the-art, secure centre changes that and people now have an appropriate, home-like facility where they can receive support and services appropriate to their needs, delivered by skilled staff." The centre will house up to 10 male and/or females aged 16 years and older who will receive tailored assistance and support to manage their daily lives. It will be staffed 24/7 and has a range of security measures in place. Residents will be people with intellectual or cognitive disability, or autism spectrum disorder, who have been charged with an offence but, due to their disability, are deemed unfit to plead and are not able to stand trial. "The opening of this centre is an enormous step forward for Western Australia. We are now able to provide the right environment to support people to live better lives, in a place that is safe and secure," the Minister said. Fact FileNew legislation - the Declared Places (Mentally Impaired Accused) Act 2015 - has authorised the Disability Services Commission to own and operate the centreFor more information, visit http// MIAR Board will make recommendations to the Minister for Disability Services about the suitability of people for placement in the centre. Only people deemed as suitable will be eligible to live in the centreThe centre is located at a property owned by the Disability Service Commission and has been used to support people with disability for more than three decades Minister's office - 6552 6900 ​
Perth Arena ranked number one in Australia778325Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statementshtml3/08/2015 11:40:44 PM2015-08-03T22:05:00ZPerth Arena ranked number one venue in Asia-Pacific region and 25th worldwideMore than 236,000 people have visited Perth Arena since January Perth Arena continues to shine on the world stage after being announced as the number one Australian venue by music industry publication, Pollstar. The magazine's mid-year global chart, which ranks venues according to attendance at entertainment events, places the State Government-owned Perth Arena ahead of any other venue in the Asia-Pacific region and 25th overall in the world. Sport and Recreation Minister Mia Davies said more than 236,000 people had attended Perth Arena for music and entertainment events so far this year. "Perth Arena's ranking shows West Australians have voted with their feet to make it the number one entertainment destination in Australia," Ms Davies said. "Since the arena opened two and a half years ago, more than 2.3 million people have been to one of the 245 concerts or sporting events. The variety and amount of shows at Perth Arena is making a noticeable contribution to building a vibrant and exciting city centre. "For the venue to be achieving such outstanding results on the world stage within its first few years of operation is a credit to the people of WA. I also want to extend my congratulations to venue managers AEG Ogden." The latest ranking comes six months after Billboard Magazine rated Perth Arena the top Australian venue for 2014, and number one worldwide for its size. International artists who contributed to the ranking include Roxette, Drake, Rod Stewart, The Script, Backstreet Boys, Spandau Ballet, Motley Crue, Ricky Martin, Nickelback and two sold-out performances each for the Eagles and Ed Sheeran. High profile Australian artists include 5 Seconds of Summer, Guy Sebastian and Kylie Minogue. Ticket sales for sporting events such as the Perth Wildcats, Hopman Cup, West Coast Fever or ice hockey are not included in the Pollstar ranking. Perth Arena is proudly owned by VenuesWest on behalf of the WA Government and managed by AEG Ogden. Fact FileVenuesWest is WA's provider of premier sports, recreation and entertainment venuesIts portfolio includes the new and world class Perth Arena and the redeveloped nib Stadium as well as the new Perth Stadium to be completed in 2018 Minister's office - 6552 5500
Green light for next stage of Kwinana Freeway widening778318Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements0html4/08/2015 3:02:14 AM2015-08-03T01:50:00Z ​The Australian and Western Australian Governments are steaming ahead with the next stage of the Kwinana Freeway widening project by today announcing the successful tenderer for the southbound section from Armadale Road to Russell Road. Assistant Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Jamie Briggs said Brierty Contractors have been awarded a $13.5 million contract to construct the next stage, which involves adding a third lane for 3.5 kilometres. "More than 52,000 vehicles use this section of the freeway each day and this figure is expected to rise to 75,000 vehicles by 2021," Mr Briggs said. "We are wasting no time delivering the world class infrastructure Perth needs with construction due to begin in September and project completion by mid-2016. "This project along with our other game changing infrastructure investments like the Perth Freight Link, NorthLink WA and Gateway WA will slash travel times for motorists and help unlock Western Australia's economic capacity." The works follow on directly from the freeway widening between Roe Highway and Armadale Road, which will be completed in a few weeks, several months ahead of schedule. Western Australian Transport Minister Dean Nalder said the addition of a third lane would be a significant safety improvement at a critical freeway merge point. "This work will be delivered under budget due to a competitive marketplace for road construction," Mr Nalder said. "It's all part of our plan to provide an integrated transport network for WA and improve traffic flow and safety. "This has allowed us to deliver the benefits of this key infrastructure project earlier than expected as well as provide the best value for taxpayers' money." The Australian Government is contributing $61.9 million to the $77.5 million overall project. Transport Minister's office - 6552 6400
New pipeline linking Denmark's dams complete778316Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements60html2/08/2015 11:55:02 PM2015-08-02T22:00:00Z​New pipelines will ease pressure on Denmark's drinking water supply Water to be banked in Quickup Dam ahead of summer Work has finished on a 3.4 kilometre new pipeline between the Denmark River Dam and Quickup Dam and a 700 metre extension to an existing pipeline, as part of the State Government's plans to secure Denmark's drinking water supply. Water Minister Mia Davies said the Water Corporation project would allow more water from Denmark River Dam to be used in times of low rainfall. "Last year Denmark experienced its second driest year on record and current winter rainfall is once again below average, so we are taking steps to ensure residents have a reliable water supply before summer," Ms Davies said. "The Water Corporation plans to use the pipelines straight away as Denmark River Dam is overflowing and salinity levels are low, while Quickup Dam is only at 33 per cent capacity." The Minister said there was now the capability to transfer 2.6 million litres of water each day from Denmark River Dam to Quickup Dam or alternatively to Denmark's drinking water supply. Denmark's current water demand is 0.9 million litres each day, so the remainder will be banked in Quickup Dam for later use. Ms Davies said it would not be necessary to desalinate the water transferred from Denmark River Dam at the moment, as salinity levels were lower than usual. "The Water Corporation is still progressing works to install portable desalination units to ensure they remain an option for future water supply in the event of ongoing low rainfall," she said. "Further analysis of the various options for managing brackish water, which is produced by the desalination process, is continuing." The Minister said options that balanced environmental and social considerations, and the economic cost to customers, would be selected. Ms Davies thanked Denmark residents for their water efficiency efforts and urged customers to continue their good work in reducing their water use. Fact FileLocal suppliers have been engaged to deliver elements of the pipeline projects such as electrical works and earthmoving. The project has employed up to 28 people during constructionBureau of Meteorology data shows the driest year on record in Denmark was 1940, when the town received just 736mm of rainfall. In 2014, the town received only 766.7mm and experienced its driest August on recordFor more information, visit http// Minister's office - 6552 5500
$20 million to support regional aged care778185Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements4520html31/07/2015 4:30:28 AM2015-07-31T04:00:00Z​Royalties for Regions funding to support aged care in WA's southern regionsPart of State Government's Growing our South initiative Residents in Western Australia's southern regions will benefit from the State Government's $20.2 million Royalties for Regions investment for residential and respite aged care and older persons' housing. Acting Regional Development Minister Mia Davies said the investment would address shortfalls identified in the 'Ageing in the Bush' report conducted by the Regional Development Council of Western Australia, and was part of the State Government's Growing our South initiative. "The State's projections show the population of regional WA aged 70 and over will double in size to 100,000 between 2011 and 2026," Ms Davies said. "This rate of growth is expected to be significantly higher in our regions than the metropolitan area. Without adequate facilities and services, older people are forced to leave their communities to access the care they need, resulting in significant adverse personal, social and economic outcomes." The funds will be spent on projects in Narrogin, Harvey, Williams, Dumbleyung, Lake Grace, Wagin, West Arthur, Woodanilling, Kent, Merredin, Kojonup, Mount Barker and Dwellingup. The Minister said the allocation would address the growth in ageing population in the State's southern regions and provide some relief to those services already under pressure. "Investment in aged care infrastructure and services is fundamental to the ongoing viability and development of regional WA, and the State Government will continue to invest Royalties for Regions funds in key community projects that enable regions to grow," she said. The report outlines care models for regional Western Australia to create sustainable aged care services for people to age in their regional communities. Fact FileRoyalties for Regions Growing our South initiative is delivering $600 million over five years to implement projects that will provide more sustainable social and economic outcomes across the Peel, Wheatbelt, South-West and Great Southern regionsFor more information on Royalties for Regions projects, visit Bigger Picture - Regions Regional Development Minister's office - 6552 6700 Growing our South - Ageing in the Bush projects Hocart Lodge, Harvey Royalties for Regions funding of $3.552 million will contribute in the delivery of 60 high care beds in two 30-bed 'pods', each with two 15-bed wings. One of those wings will contain dedicated dementia beds. Dementia specific residential construction and reception upgrade, Narrogin Royalties for Regions funding of $5.137 million will contribute to the construction of a 14-bed dementia specific wing at Narrogin Cottage Homes, Karinya, delivering the only dementia specific designed facility in the Wheatbelt south area and meeting the growing demand for dementia care in the region. 4WDL well aged housing project, Wheatbelt and Great Southern Royalties for Regions funding of $5.023 million will contribute to the construction of 14 dedicated independent living units (ILUs) across seven local government areas in the Wheatbelt and the Great Southern (Dumbleyung, Wagin, Lake Grace, Williams, West Arthur, Woodanilling, Kent). This is the last stage of a multi-stage project to deliver 45 ILUs across seven shires in the Wheatbelt and Great Southern. Central Eastern Aged Care Alliance senior housing project (Stage 1), Merredin The scope of this project is to construct 187 ILUs in 11 shires over six years. Royalties for Regions funding of $2.075 million will contribute in the first stage to assemble and service 54 lots. This will enable the construction of the first tranche of at least 50 houses. Kojonup independent living units (Stage 2), Kojonup Royalties for Regions funding of $646,000 will contribute to the construction of an extra three dedicated ILUs for aged people. These units form the second stage of a project to construct six ILUs in Kojonup. The ILUs will allow ageing residents to remain in their community close to family, friends and existing support networks. Collet Barker Court (Stage 3), Mount Barker The project will construct 21 high-quality units for independent living at Collet Barker Court, Mount Barker. Royalties for Regions funding of $1.242 million will contribute in the construction of four of the seven units (including external works) within Stage 3 of the project. Dwellingup Community Village (Stage 2) Royalties for Regions funding of $2.5 million will contribute to the completion of Stage 2 of the village, which involves the design and construction of seven purpose built universal access dwellings for ageing residents. This project will result in increased housing options for Dwellingup residents as they age.
Paddles keen and bright for Avon challenge778184Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements2510html31/07/2015 3:25:37 AM2015-07-31T03:00:00Z​Hundreds of competitors tackle 43rd Avon Descent, starting Saturday, August 1Iconic two-day power boat and paddle time trial eventSupported by the State Government through Tourism WA's Regional Events Program, funded by Royalties for Regions The Avon Descent has gained a reputation as a challenging course for power boats and paddlers alike and this weekend's race will be no different for hundreds of competitors. Acting Tourism Minister John Day said steady rain over the past few days had allowed organisers to run the event over its full 124 kilometre course. "Challenging conditions make the race unique and it has had to contend with fluctuating water levels right through its 43 years, so the event is still expected to provide exciting action for all spectators," Mr Day said. "I'm confident you'll see some top-class technique from competitors as they navigate this year's gruelling two-day time trial. "It's always a great atmosphere for spectators who line the river banks. There's such a mix of activities for all the family and to enjoy a picnic and be part of the crowd cheering on competitors as they pass by, well, that's an incredible feeling." The Avon Descent is proudly supported by the State Government through Tourism WA's $60 million Regional Events Program, funded by Royalties for Regions. Officially starting the race today, Acting Regional Development Minister Mia Davies said investment in regional events was important to the vitality of local communities. "The Avon Descent has been embraced by locals and has grown to be an iconic event on the WA calendar, plus it's an attractive event for international and national competitors," Ms Davies said. "Regional events are vital for tourism and help local economies to grow. In 2014, total visitor spend in the State was $8.6 billion and $3.8 billion of this was spent in regional WA." Fact FileThe 2015 Avon Descent will be held August 1-2, 2015For more information, visit Check river levels at Department of Water and Bureau of MeteorologyFor more information on Royalties for Regions projects, visit Bigger Picture - Regions Tourism Minister's office - 6552 5300 Regional Development's office - 6552 6700
Community grants to strengthen cohesion778183Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements4510html31/07/2015 3:14:55 AM2015-07-31T02:00:00Z​​​​​​$500,000 to strengthen cohesion and support WA's multicultural communitySupports projects that address issues facing multicultural communities and fosters understanding between cultures The State Government has announced $500,000 will be made available for the 2015-16 Office of Multicultural Interests' Community Grant Program. Citizenship and Multicultural Interests Minister Mike Nahan said the program provided an opportunity for culturally and linguistically diverse (CaLD) communities - and the organisations that support them - to access funding for events, projects and programs designed by the community to support social cohesion and community development. "The Community Grants Program is very popular and competitive. It has been structured to focus on a broad range of quality projects, large and small, that promote a sense of community; encourage intercultural understanding; develop leadership skills; and help address issues facing our multicultural society," Dr Nahan said. "Many of the larger events run under this grant program in the past, such as Chinese New Year, the Vietnamese Tet Festival, and the Indian Diwali celebrations, have featured multicultural food stalls and displays, cultural activities and live entertainment. They have been enjoyed by tens of thousands of people from the whole community. "Other funded projects and programs have focused on issues affecting CaLD communities such as men's health, reducing isolation among elderly people and water safety." The grant categories provide a range of funding up to $50,000 for social, economic, cultural and civic activities that promote the benefits of Western Australia's cultural diversity. Categories includeEvents and activities (up to $5,000)Small projects ($5,000-$20,000)Major programs ($20,000-$50,000)Major community celebrations sponsorships (up to $20,000) Fact FileThe September round of the Community Grants Program is now open for applications for events that begin after January 1, 2016A workshop to help potential grant applicants will be held on Thursday, August 13 at 5pm. To RSVP, email more information, visit http// Minister's office - 6552 5700
WA takes the lead in national quinoa crop trials778171Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements7130html30/07/2015 6:11:34 AM2015-07-30T06:00:00Z​State Government support for national research on growing quinoa The State Government is leading a national research project to examine the potential to grow commercial crops of the popular health food, quinoa. Agriculture and Food Minister Ken Baston today inspected trials of the popular grain at the Department of Agriculture and Food's (DAFWA) Kununurra research facility. The Minister said previous department trials over the past three years indicated quinoa had the potential to be a highly profitable crop. Mr Baston said the new three-year research project, being led by DAFWA researchers across five States would evaluate the agronomic and economic suitability of growing quinoa under both irrigated and rain-fed systems. "Western Australian trial sites will be established at Merredin, Cunderdin and Kellerberrin, in addition to the existing Kununurra site," he said. "The research will examine several aspects of growing quinoa, from variety selection to sowing rates and dates to herbicide tolerance, as well as seed processing techniques." The State Government has made a funding contribution of $290,000 plus in-kind support towards the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation's national project. The Minister said increasing interest in the health benefits of quinoa had accelerated global demand for the grain in recent years. "Early trials have shown yields of two to three tonnes per hectare," Mr Baston said. "At a price of $1,400-$4,000 per tonne, depending on the type, quinoa has the potential to become a profitable rotation option for Western Australian growers." Fact FileQuinoa is an ancient pseudo-cereal from South America, which is gluten free, has protein with a superior amino balance and a low glycaemic indexMost quinoa available in Australia is imported from Bolivia and Peru, while some organically grown quinoa is produced in TasmaniaThere is currently limited commercial cultivation of quinoa in Western Australia by one commercial growerPreliminary DAFWA trials from 2012-14 at Kununurra have examined several quinoa lines, with encouraging results Minister's office - 6552 5400
WA Chief Scientist's appointment extended778166Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements8920html30/07/2015 12:17:21 AM2015-07-29T22:30:00Z​Professor Peter Klinken's Chief Scientist appointment extended to June 2017Professor Klinken will guide the development of strategies in the State's priorities for scientific research Professor Peter Klinken has been reappointed as Western Australia's Chief Scientist until June 2017. Premier and Science Minister Colin Barnett said Professor Klinken's reappointment reflected the significance of science to Western Australia's future prosperity. "I am pleased Professor Klinken has agreed to continue as Western Australia's Chief Scientist, carrying out his important work across the priority areas announced in WA's Science Statement," Mr Barnett said. The Premier said the next year would be a very busy one for Professor Klinken. As well as continuing with his previous responsibilities, other priorities will include co-chairing the marine science roundtables; providing advice on the Strategic Assessment of Perth-Peel Region; and working with stakeholders to develop a long-term strategy for agricultural research in the State. Mr Barnett said Professor Klinken was a leader in the field of medical research and had been at the forefront of advancing the understanding of genes involved in leukaemia, cancer and anaemia. He played a key role in establishing the State's premier adult medical research institute, the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research. "As Chief Scientist, Professor Klinken has actively worked to raise the profile of science in Western Australia and to advance science, knowledge and innovation in the State," he said. Professor Klinken began his tenure in 2014 and is WA's third Chief Scientist since the role was established in 2003. Professor Klinken said that he was delighted to be reappointed as Chief Scientist of Western Australia. "The past year has been a remarkable whirlwind for me and it has reinforced my passion for science, technology and innovation for the future of our State. I am particularly looking forward to working with the Office of Science to guide the development of science strategies in each of the priority areas of mining and energy, medicine and health, agriculture and food, biodiversity and marine science and radio astronomy," Prof Klinken said. Fact FileThe Chief Scientist of WA provides independent scientific advice to the Minister for Science and GovernmentProfessor Bruce Hobbs AO was the inaugural Chief Scientist (2003-06), followed by Professor Lyn Beazley AO (2006-13)For more information, visit http// Premier's office - 6552 5000
Exciting new oil province opens in the Kimberley778165Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements5120html30/07/2015 12:03:10 AM2015-07-29T22:00:00Z ​The first oil development in the Kimberley in nearly 30 years was officially opened today by Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Marmion, 100 kilometres east of Broome in the Canning Basin. Mr Marmion said the Ungani onshore oilfield, a joint venture between Buru Energy and Mitsubishi Corporation, was expected to provide several economic benefits for the Kimberley region. "This project will generate opportunities and benefits for local people, including traditional owners, local businesses, and for the State in general," the Minister said. "Ungani is an excellent example of how the oil and gas industry can generate positive returns for all sectors of the local community." Mr Marmion said the project would be starting production at a rate of about 199 cubic metres of oil a day, or 1,250 barrels a day, rising to a targeted level of 477 cubic metres or 3,000 barrels a day. "Following on from the success of progressing this project from a new oil field discovery to the current oil production facility, I understand the equal joint venture partners are undertaking an exploration program to expand the oil reserves base, and are confident in the future expansion of the project," he said. The Minister said the project marked a key milestone in the company's strategy to become a major oil and gas producer in Western Australia's Kimberley region. Minister's office - 6552 6800
New era for Narrogin778158Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements7400html29/07/2015 7:35:31 AM2015-07-29T07:30:00ZTwo councils servicing fewer than 5,500 residents to be reduced to oneReduced duplication and greater efficiencies to be achieved The Shire of Narrogin and the Town of Narrogin will merge next year to form one local government authority, Local Government Minister Tony Simpson announced today. The merger on July 1, 2016 will see the boundary of the Town of Narrogin adjusted to include the existing shire, forming a new and expanded Shire of Narrogin. Mr Simpson said council staff and elected members from both authorities had worked closely with their communities to pave the way for the future amalgamation. "The Shire and Town of Narrogin have recognised the long-term benefits of amalgamation and have been committed to the local government reform process for the past five years," he said. The existing Shire of Narrogin spans an area of 1,600 square kilometres and has a population of less than 900 residents, while more than 4,300 residents live in the Town of Narrogin with a land area of 12.6 square kilometres. "The merger will enable the new Shire of Narrogin to better plan for the future by delivering more sustainable services and infrastructure," the Minister said. "Both councils have been very supportive of change and I commend them for the way in which they have managed the reform process." The new shire will comprise one rural ward and one urban ward and each ward will have four councillors. An extraordinary election will be held in 2016 to elect the Shire of Narrogin council. Fact FileNarrogin is in the Wheatbelt region of WA, 192 kilometres from PerthThe Minister accepted a recommendation by the Local Government Advisory Board that the Narrogin merger takes place Minister's office - 6552 6600
West Kimberley bores confirm water potential778154Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements4270html29/07/2015 5:30:58 AM2015-07-29T05:30:00ZMonitoring bores installed to confirm water for agricultural development in La Grange district Sustainable agricultural development in the West Kimberley has taken a step forward, with the start of a program to confirm the availability of suitable water in the La Grange district. Agriculture and Food Minister Ken Baston today inspected works to establish monitoring bores at Roebuck Plains station, near Broome. A total of 12 bores will be installed over six sites during the first phase of the works across the north and south of the district. The Minister said the Department of Agriculture and Food had liaised closely with station owners and traditional owners from the Yawuru and the Nyangumarta country to progress the first phase of the installation of the monitoring bores. "Previous work by the State Government has identified at least 50 gigalitres of water from the Broome sandstone aquifer that could be used to irrigate horticulture crops or feed for livestock," Mr Baston said. "These monitoring bores will enable the local people to understand and measure the health and quality of the water, as well as recharge rates and how the aquifer responds to water use for future generations. "This data could also be used to support any future investment opportunities, by providing confidence in site selection and the ongoing security of the water resource." Negotiations to establish additional monitoring bores in the central La Grange district are continuing with the traditional owners of the Karajarri country. "I commend the consultation and collaboration in this project, which has engaged with seven pastoral stations, two existing horticulture businesses and traditional owners across an area that takes in four native title determinations," Mr Baston said. Acting Regional Development Minister Mia Davies said the works were part of the Regional Economic Development Water Opportunities project, which included a $6.4 million investment through the State Government's Royalties for Regions program. "This is another example of Royalties for Regions supporting the delivery of key economic infrastructure to facilitate economic development in regional WA," Ms Davies said. Fact FileThe La Grange district stretches across 60,000 square kilometres, from Mandora station in the south to Roebuck Plains station in the north Agriculture and Food Minister's office - 6552 5400 Regional Development Minister's office - 6552 6700
Boost for agricultural skills development778153Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements6260html29/07/2015 5:18:25 AM2015-07-29T05:10:00ZEducation and training programs will develop agricultural skills in WA$10 million investment through Royalties for Regions The State Government's Royalties for Regions program will invest $10 million to further support agricultural skills development at Muresk Institute and strengthen the capacity of Western Australia's agrifood industry. Training and Workforce Development Minister Liza Harvey said funding would support the continued development and delivery of the agricultural skills development pathway and degree programs. "Through short-course training options and higher education programs, we are building a skilled workforce which has the knowledge and technical expertise to meet the industry's needs," Mrs Harvey said. "These courses will help bridge the gap between existing skills in the agriculture industry and the skills required to capitalise on existing and future opportunities, with graduates from higher education and training programs in short supply." The agricultural skills development pathway and degree programs form part of Muresk's integrated education and training pathway model. Fundamental to this are partnerships with the University of Queensland, CY O'Connor Institute and Charles Sturt University to deliver diploma and degree level programs. Private and public training providers also deliver a range of agricultural skills sets and industry driven short courses Acting Regional Development Minister Mia Davies said the programs would address issues in the sector such as an ageing workforce, a lack of agricultural education and training pathways, low levels of post-secondary education, and changing technology. "The programs will support the continued revitalisation of Muresk Institute, solidifying its role as a brokering hub for agricultural training and higher education," Ms Davies said. "It also supports and promotes the development of the agricultural industry and sustainable rural communities by improving access to vocational education and training programs and higher education opportunities in regional WA. This commitment builds on the Government's unprecedented investment in the agricultural sector under the Seizing the Opportunity Agriculture initiative." Fact FileSeizing the Opportunity Agriculture is a $300 million initiative made possible by the State Government's Royalties for Regions programFor more information on Royalties for Regions projects, visit Bigger Picture - Regions Training and Workforce Development Minister's office - 6552 5900 Regional Development Minister's office - 6552 6700
Partnership provides agricultural opportunities778152Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements4200html29/07/2015 5:11:43 AM2015-07-29T05:00:00ZNew partnership at Muresk Institute provides training opportunities in agricultureDiversifying Muresk's livestock streams will support training initiatives The State Government has expanded agricultural training opportunities after launching a new sheep breeding partnership at the Muresk Institute. Training and Workforce Development Minister Liza Harvey said the partnership with the Western Australian Dohne Breeders Association would provide a unique learning experience for students studying a range of training programs at the institute in Northam. "The WA Dohne Breeders Association has donated 200 commercial Dohne ewes to Muresk's existing sheep flock. This will not only expose students to the breed, but they can also record and measure the performance of the flock, and conduct trials and assessments of the sheep," Mrs Harvey said. "The partnership will also provide work experience and employment opportunities for students on breeders' properties, while Dohne breeders will have the chance to provide their expertise and advice to students through training, workshops and seminars. "This is an ideal chance for both organisations to work together to help build the capacity of WA's agricultural and agribusiness industries." The alliance will also complement existing partnerships Muresk has developed under the State Government's Seizing the Opportunity - Agriculture initiative made possible by a significant contribution from the Government's Royalties for Regions program. The Minister said through these partnerships, the institute was helping to transform agriculture and agribusiness in WA. "Demand for skilled workers in the industry will increase in the next few years, particularly for careers such as an agricultural engineer, agricultural scientist, agricultural and horticultural mobile plant operator, and agricultural technician," she said. "Muresk will continue to play a key role in providing job ready graduates who have the technical knowledge and skills to meet current and future priorities for the agricultural industry." Fact FileThe WA Dohne Breeders Association was established in Katanning in 2000. There are about 220 registered Dohne breeders across AustraliaMuresk Institute has been developed as a multi-tenanted, multi-use training and education precinct. For more information, visit http// Minister's office - 6552 5900
Lotterywest supports new digs for Dogs’ Refuge778149Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements8390html29/07/2015 2:30:19 AM2015-07-29T02:30:00Z$1.1 million grant supports construction of new administration building at Dogs' Refuge Home in Shenton ParkBuilding will increase volunteering capacity and include an education centreCompleted and operational by December 2015 The Dogs' Refuge Home in Shenton Park will construct a new administration building with the support of a $1.1 million Lotterywest grant announced today by Premier Colin Barnett. The refuge home cares for up to 150 unwanted and abandoned dogs at any time and works to re-home the dogs, carefully matching them to new owners. Mr Barnett said the new building would replace current cramped accommodation which was falling into disrepair and included an education centre to promote responsible pet ownership. "The new building will allow the organisation to properly accommodate staff and volunteers, while the education centre will become another part of the solution to dog abandonment; educating people on how to properly care for their animals," he said. The education centre would also be made available to other animal care groups such as the RSPCA and the nearby Cat Haven. The Premier said the State Government was pleased to provide funding to the Dogs' Refuge which has received $75,000 a year since 2012. Local Government Minister Tony Simpson recently announced an extension of this funding for two years beyond 2015-16. "The Dogs' Refuge operates seven days a week and is very reliant on donations," Mr Barnett said. "The commitment to the welfare of these animals means the organisation spends every spare cent on them. While it had made provision for new kennels and a quarantine area, it could not fund the administration building. "We're delighted that this Lotterywest support will mean more of the organisation's 300 volunteers, can be accommodated to help with running the refuge." The new administration building will be built off-site to minimise potential disruptions in care provided to the dogs and is expected to be operational by December 2015. Fact FileThe refuge cares for 150 dogs at any one time and re-houses 1,000 dogs annually2015 is the refuge's 80th year of rescuing and rehoming Perth's lost and abandoned dogsWA is the only State where money raised from lottery products is distributed directly back to the community to support not-for-profit organisationsLast financial year, Lotterywest raised $283 million to support the WA communityFor more about Lotterywest grants, visit http// Premier's office - 6552 5000