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Ready Check GO Working with Children Check campaign helping to keep kids safe12344Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statementshtml26/06/2022 4:32:52 AM2022-06-26T00:00:00Z ​ Sport and recreation organisations are being reminded to learn about legal obligations around Working with Children Checks Working with Children Checks are a screening process to ensure people who present a risk to children cannot work with them in a paid or unpaid capacity The importance of having a valid Working with Children Check is the focus of the new Ready, Check, GO! campaign being undertaken by the Department of Communities. The Ready, Check, GO! campaign is focused on the sport and recreation sector and encourages organisations, employees, and volunteers to learn about their legal obligations and help them determine when a person needs a Working with Children Check. The campaign is targeting clubs and associations, coaches, trainers, instructors, and officials who work with children, as well as parents with children involved in sporting and recreational activities. The Working with Children Check is a screening process for people undertaking paid or unpaid child-related work in Western Australia. It includes a Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check, as well as ongoing collection and assessment of information that is relevant to determine whether a person may present an unacceptable risk of harm to a child, should a person engage in child-related work. Applications for Working with Children Checks are growing every year. In the 2020-21 financial year, the Department of Communities received more than 145,000 Working with Children Check applications. For employees, volunteers, or organisations who breach their obligations under the Working with Children Act, fines of up to $60,000 and five years can jail apply. Information about the Working with Children Check can be found at Comments from Child Protection Minister Simone McGurk "Children's sport and rec activities are an integral part of any community. Apart from the many children who participate, thousands of people are involved as coaches, club or group leaders, officials and volunteers. "Unfortunately, the easy access to children can make these activities a target for predators, and that is why Working with Children Checks play such an important role in keeping children safe. "In the past when sporting and recreational organisations have been found in breach of their obligations, it has often been due to a lack of understanding of their Working with Children Check requirements. "This campaign is a reminder for everyone involved with children's sport and recreation activities to be aware of their obligations. The safety of children is everyone's responsibility." Comments from Sport and Recreation Minister David Templeman "The Ready, Check, GO! campaign is asking people who work or volunteer with children in sport and recreation to determine if they need a Working with Children Check, and if they do, ensure they get one. "The campaign also encourages parents and caregivers to find out more about who needs a Working with Children Check and shows how they can confirm that people involved with their child's activities are accredited. "Sport and recreation activities are great for kids and great for the community, and it is vital parents can be assured that the people working with their children have been appropriately and suitably screened, and their children are safe." Minister's office - 6552 6600
Perth’s first-ever direct connection with Continental Europe takes off12343Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements3560html25/06/2022 3:41:16 AM2022-06-24T16:00:00Z ​ First direct flight between Perth and Rome takes off this evening New Qantas service strengthens Perth's position as the Western Gateway Supported by the McGowan Government through Tourism WA Western Australia will welcome its first passengers from the new non-stop flight between Perth and Rome tomorrow when the sell-out flight takes off from Perth. To celebrate the launch of the inaugural service, Premier Mark McGowan will join Qantas representatives on the Qantas QF5 Boeing 787-9 which lands at Rome's Leonardo da Vinci Airport tomorrow. The new seasonal flight will run three times per week until October 6, 2022, and is expected to resume service in 2023. Over the two-year period, the route is expected to attract more than 3,700 extra visitors to Perth, generating an approximate additional visitor spend of $7.7 million. The new route is supported by the McGowan Government through Tourism WA, as part of the $75 million Aviation Recovery Fund within the $195 million Reconnect WA package. The service is the first ever non-stop connection between Australia and Continental Europe and further elevates Perth's position as the Western Gateway to Australia. Qantas is looking at other opportunities to utilise the newly established direct service, including working with WA producers to explore transporting local produce and products, such as crayfish, cut flowers and WA minerals, to Rome through the new route. In 2019 nearly 150,000 visitors from Continental Europe spent $408 million in WA, including 11,000 visitors from Italy who spent $29 million in the State. The new route takes to the skies after two new services were announced earlier this week, with direct flights from Perth to Johannesburg and Perth to Jakarta starting later this year. Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan "I am pleased to join Qantas Group Chief Executive Officer Alan Joyce and other representatives on the inaugural Perth to Rome flight, which represents an incredible milestone for Western Australia. "Today's flight launch comes as two new routes were also announced this week – to Johannesburg and Jakarta – as we continue to improve connections with WA and make it even easier for visitors to travel to our beautiful State. "I will be continuing to explore opportunities to strengthen the WA economy as I meet with a number of key partners and businesses in Italy over the coming days, and promote WA as an incredible place to visit, study, invest and work in." Comments attributed to Tourism Minister Roger Cook "This new service marks a historic moment for WA, with our links to Continental Europe getting a huge boost this weekend as the first non-stop flight takes off. "The new service brings with it a whole host of benefits to the WA tourism and hospitality industries, supporting local businesses and helping to reconnect operators with visitors from across Europe. "The State Government proudly supported the start-up of this new route, through Tourism WA, as we continue to make strides in growing Perth's reputation as the Western Gateway."
Satellite mapping helps farmers drill down on pastures12342Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements5230html24/06/2022 4:03:06 AM2022-06-24T04:00:00Z Livestock producers can access Pastures from Space online maps to monitor pastures Revamped mapping service connects to almost 20 years of Landgate's historical satellite information at the click of a button Supports farm business resilience and adaptabilityLivestock producers can now zoom in for a closer look at their pastures using satellite data to make the most of their grazing paddocks. The popular Pastures from Space mapping service - a partnership between the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, Landgate and CSIRO - has been upgraded with new features to measure and compare pasture growth across seasons. This latest service covers the State's grainbelt and allows producers to access green feed-on-offer and pasture growth rates for their property to help manage livestock grazing. Users can now view cumulative pasture growth rates as an average across the property and compare this to previous years, dating back to 2004. This can help identify total pasture production, estimate potential stocking rates and examine whole-of-property growth potential for the season. Farmers can zoom in on a pixel (6.25 hectares) and find all historical and current pasture data for that area. The Pastures from Space site can be accessed at https// Comments attributed to Agriculture and Food Minister Alannah MacTiernan "Pastures from Space was a world-first service when it was developed almost 20 years ago to show estimates of pasture production based on satellite data backed up with rigorous paddock ground-truthing. "Farmers are adept at incorporating a range of technologies to get the best from their farming systems, and this upgraded service will help them manage their livestock and be even more adaptable to changing seasons. "The pixel function can focus in on part of a paddock to assess its potential production, and the impact of new practices, fertiliser application and new pasture establishment." Comments attributed to Lands Minister John Carey "The new Pastures from Space web application now opens up nearly two decades worth of Landgate's historical satellite information at a level that farmers and producers have never had access to before, all at the click of a button. "This will allow them to make the most of good growing seasons and be more resilient through a dry season." Agriculture and Food Minister's office - 6552 6200 Lands Minister's office - 6552 5300
Aqwest announces Board Director re-appointments and new appointment12341Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements5360html24/06/2022 3:43:14 AM2022-06-24T03:35:00Z Rhonda Norman and Wendy Giles reappointed to Aqwest Board New Board Director Mick Murray appointed to Aqwest Board Water Minister Dave Kelly today announced the re-appointment of Dr Wendy Giles and Rhonda Norman and the appointment of Mick Murray to the Aqwest Board of Directors. Minister Kelly also acknowledged the service of retiring Deputy Chair Neville Eastman who has served on the Aqwest Board for the past 10 years. Dr Giles is the former Associate Dean of Edith Cowan University in Bunbury, a South Regional TAFE Governing Council member and a City of Bunbury Councillor. Mrs Norman is a proud Noongar Wilman woman and has extensive experience in human resource management, training, stakeholder engagement, strategic planning and policy development. Mr Murray is a former Member of Parliament, having served the Collie-Preston electorate for 20 years before retiring in 2021 and is a passionate supporter of junior hockey and football. Other serving Board Directors are Chair Stan Liaros, Tresslyn Smith and Patricia Scaffidi. Comments attributed to Water Minister Dave Kelly "I would like to congratulate Wendy and Rhonda on their re-appointments and thank them for their ongoing contribution to the Aqwest Board. "Mick has been a champion of the South-West community as a former MP for two decades and brings a wealth of experience to the Board. "Neville has made a significant contribution over 10 years to the Board, holding the roles of Deputy Chair and Chair of the Board's Audit Committee and I thank him for his dedicated service. "The Aqwest Board of Directors bring a diverse range of skills and extensive business experience which ensure they can continue to make informed decisions in the best interest of customers and shareholders - the people of the City of Bunbury." Minister's office - 6552 6100 About Aqwest Aqwest is a government trading enterprise which provides drinking water to about 35,000 people in the City of Bunbury and surrounding areas.
New buildings at Gingin District High School officially open12340Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements2170html24/06/2022 3:30:04 AM2022-06-24T03:30:00Z New classroom buildings officially opened at Gingin District High School following a fire that damaged the school in 2019 Two refurbished buildings and new classrooms among the completed works New classrooms providing local students with modern spaces to learnEducation and Training Minister Sue Ellery today officially opened new classroom buildings at Gingin District High School after a fire damaged the school in 2019. The $2.2 million rebuilding works included the refurbishment of two fire-damaged buildings, demolition of one damaged building, construction of a new building with two classrooms, a toilet refurbishment and soft landscaping. The new buildings provide modern facilities for students at the school to learn in, with the new rooms to be used as multi-purpose classrooms, including for STEM lessons and student interactions with other schools through web conferencing. Hart Architects was the lead consultant for the works, which were carried out in two stages. Stage one, completed in June 2021, involved the restoration of the fire-affected buildings, including four classrooms. Stage two included the construction of a new building, which was completed this year, including two classrooms, toilets, storerooms and covered walkways. A small piece of the fire-damaged classrooms has been retained through the original wooden school lettering that was saved and is now displayed on the outside of the school at the Daw Street entrance. Comments attributed to Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery "It's wonderful to be here today to officially open these modern classrooms for Gingin District High School students to learn and thrive in. "The buildings that were damaged by fire in 2019 were the original classrooms from when the school first opened in 1964. Many local people were educated in those buildings, so the loss to the community was significant. "However, there is still a nod to the original classrooms and their history on site, with the wooden school lettering saved from the fire and displayed on the outside of the school." Comments attributed to Agricultural Region MLC Sandra Carr "It's fantastic to see the rebuilt and new facilities completed, and the Gingin District High School staff and community continuing their great work educating and supporting local students in the modern classrooms. "Many of the school's former students would have felt a sense of loss following the fire, so it is fitting to see that a piece of the former classrooms has been preserved in memory of lessons, experiences and friendships past." Minister's office - 6552 5700
South-western snake-necked turtle conservation funding boost12339Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements4700html24/06/2022 2:00:12 AM2022-06-24T02:00:00Z South West Corridor Development Foundation receives $131,700 funding Citizen science project supported by Murdoch University Turtle Ecology Team Research partners to provide training for volunteers to become 'turtle trackers' Turtle SAT app to help monitor population of south-western snake-necked turtleA citizen science project aimed at saving the vulnerable south-western snake-necked turtle has received a funding boost towards an innovative conservation scheme. The South West Corridor Development Foundation (SWCDF) has been granted $131,700 in Lotterywest funding for the project, which incorporates community action and traditional owner knowledge, with the backing of university scientists and State and local government. Volunteers will be trained as 'turtle trackers' by ecologists from Murdoch University's Harry Butler Institute and will be able to use the new Turtle SAT app to record and monitor the native species. The Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA) is also supporting this initiative through training, licensing and by promoting the project throughout its network of volunteers. Studies have shown that south-western snake-necked turtle populations are declining, particularly around Perth. A recent Murdoch University study found very few juvenile turtles of this long-lived species in 35 urban wetlands. Predators such as foxes and ravens are a threat to the turtle, along with mortality from road strikes, across the range of this species - from Jurien Bay in the north to the Fitzgerald River National Park in the east and, if left unmanaged, there is concern about potential localised extinction. The SWCDF is an alliance of local councils, including the City of Fremantle, Rockingham and Kwinana, working to achieve positive social and economic outcomes, and the sustainable long-term management of the natural environment since it was established. Comments attributed to Environment Minister Reece Whitby "This is a fantastic initiative bringing together volunteers, community organisations, traditional owners, State and local government, and backing them with lottery funding, to address this conservation challenge. "The project is embracing modern technology, with the Turtle SAT app, enabling and empowering volunteers to provide feedback electronically. "In the short and long-term, these population surveys will contribute to the monitoring, protection and recovery of one of our region's most vulnerable species. "I look forward to hearing positive news from this network of ecologists and volunteers about the health of the south-western snake-necked turtle." Minister's office - 6552 6300
Mental health pilot to boost Aboriginal social and emotional wellbeing12338Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements9870html24/06/2022 1:13:24 AM2022-06-24T01:00:00Z McGowan Government delivers on $17.6 million commitment to pilot culturally secure Social and Emotional Wellbeing Model of Service program Aboriginal Health Council of Western Australia awarded contract to deliver the pilot through Aboriginal community-controlled organisations Designed to improve holistic mental health outcomes for Aboriginal people in the Kimberley, Pilbara, Mid-West, Goldfields and South-West The Aboriginal Health Council of Western Australia has been awarded $17.6 million to deliver a mental health pilot to improve the quality of life for Aboriginal people. The regional Social and Emotional Wellbeing (SEWB) Model of Service pilot program aims to increase access to social and emotional wellbeing and healthcare services for Aboriginal people of all ages in the Kimberley, Pilbara, Mid-West, Goldfields and South-West regions of WA. Local Aboriginal community-controlled organisations will run the program in their communities Bega Garnbirringu Health Service in Kalgoorlie; Derby Aboriginal Health Service in Derby; Wirraka Maya Health Service Aboriginal Corporation in South Hedland; Geraldton Regional Aboriginal Medical Service in Geraldton; and South West Aboriginal Medical Service in Bunbury. Through culturally secure prevention and community development, psychosocial support, targeted interventions and coordinated care by multidisciplinary teams, the pilot is expected to improve quality of life for Aboriginal people. The Mental Health Commission will work with the Aboriginal Health Council of Western Australia to support the governance and evaluation of the pilot. Comments attributed to Mental Health Minister Amber-Jade Sanderson "Improving the health outcomes of Aboriginal Western Australians is a priority and I am pleased to deliver on this commitment which aims to help people achieve and sustain good health. "The Social and Emotional Wellbeing Model of Service pilot program will be delivered by Aboriginal organisations that know their communities and the importance of providing culturally secure and holistic healthcare. "The pilot complements the State Government's work in progressing towards the National Agreement on Closing the Gap, which aims to reduce deaths by suicide and enhance the social and emotional wellbeing of Aboriginal people across Australia." Minister's office - 6552 5900
Millions more free RATs for Western Australians at pop-up locations12337Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements17200html24/06/2022 12:46:06 AM2022-06-24T00:30:00Z Three million more free Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs) will be handed out at pop-up sites across the State over the next month, starting this weekend Pop-up distribution will start with the State of Origin match at Optus Stadium this Sunday (June 26) and expand to train stations, shopping centres and other major events over the next month Supports close contacts with no symptoms fulfil their testing requirements to leave isolation by making free RATs more accessible at more locations All Western Australians urged to take advantage and stock up on free RATs to stay safe during the winter respiratory illness season Three million more free RATs will be available over the next month for the Western Australian community at pop-up distribution sites in metropolitan and regional areas, starting this weekend. Sporting fans attending this weekend's State of Origin game will be able to collect free RATs at Optus Stadium before the game. RATs will also be made available at other major events and festivities over the next few weeks. RATs will be handed out at Perth metropolitan shopping centres in the week commencing Monday June 27, starting in Victoria Park, Rockingham, Warwick and Midland. Other metropolitan shopping centres will also come on-line in the following weeks. Pop-ups at regional shopping centres will start in the week commencing Monday July 11. Commuters will be also able to collect free RATs at train stations on the Mandurah, Joondalup, Fremantle, Thornlie, Midland and Armadale lines over the next month. A list of RAT pop-up locations and dates is available on The list will be updated regularly as more locations become available. Western Australians are encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity and bolster their supply of RATs to stay on top of managing COVID-19 during the cooler months. The additional RAT distribution points also further support close contacts with no symptoms, who can leave their place of isolation provided they undertake a daily RAT, wear a mask when outside the home and avoid high-risk settings. As well as staying up to date with COVID-19 vaccinations, Western Australians are urged to roll up and receive a free flu vaccination for the month of June at State-run vaccination clinics and participating GPs and pharmacies to stay safe over winter. The Australian-first WA Free RAT Program has delivered millions of RATs to the WA community since its launch in February through household deliveries, collection pick-ups, pop-up locations, and through distributions by local organisations, community resource centres and local Members of Parliament. For more information about staying safe during winter, visit On a roll. Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan "We are continuing to support the community and manage COVID-19 like no other State Government, with our WA Free RAT program expanding further to make RATs even more accessible. "I encourage all Western Australians to pick up free RATs at this weekend's State of Origin and when they're out and about in the community or catching public transport. "COVID-19 is not over, so it's important that all Western Australians have access to RATs whenever they need them. "I want to thank Western Australians for continuing to play their part in testing and isolating accordingly." Comments attributed to Health Minister Amber-Jade Sanderson "RATs are the quickest and most convenient way to detect COVID-19 as it happens, leading to more people looking after themselves and isolating to protect others. "We know that frequently purchasing RATs may be tough on the family budget, so we hope that making even more tests available at pop-up sites across the State provides some further financial relief for the community. "WA continues to be well-placed and equipped to manage the ongoing impacts of COVID-19 and we are committed to making sure everyone can continue to access free RATs." Premier's office - 6552 5000 Health Minister's office - 6552 5900
WA to establish investment and trade office in Frankfurt12336Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements8740html24/06/2022 12:33:57 AM2022-06-23T22:30:00Z WA Government to open new investment and trade office in Frankfurt Announcement made by Deputy Premier Roger Cook at an Invest and Trade WA showcase in Frankfurt New office recognises growing opportunities between WA and Germany The McGowan Government has announced Frankfurt as the newest location in its network of international offices. This announcement was made by Deputy Premier Roger Cook at an Invest and Trade Western Australia showcase held in Frankfurt this week. The Deputy Premier is visiting Frankfurt as part of an Invest and Trade WA mission to the United Kingdom and Germany to promote investment and trade opportunities, and showcase WA's industry capabilities. Frankfurt will be the first spoke office established within the United Kingdom/Europe Hub of the Western Australian International Investment and Trade Office Network. Expected to be open from January 1, 2023, the setup and operations of the Frankfurt office will be overseen by WA Agent General Mr John Langoulant AO, who is based in London. Frankfurt is one of four new spoke offices to be established by the WA Government in 2022-23 to strengthen investment and grow opportunities within the State's key markets. The network currently has offices located in London, Singapore, Jakarta, Shanghai, Mumbai, Dubai, Tokyo and Seoul. Establishing an office in Frankfurt reflects Germany's importance as a source of foreign direct investment in Australia (valued at AUD $20.177 billion in 2021), with growing opportunities for WA in a range of sectors such as clean energy (with a focus on renewable hydrogen), batteries and critical minerals. Frankfurt is also an ideal location to leverage opportunities in other industry sectors such as the creative industries, information technology, telecommunications, biotechnology and life sciences. Germany is WA's 13th largest trading partner, with AUD $3.1 billion of goods traded in 2021. Last year, WA accounted for 17 per cent of Australia's total trade in goods with Germany. Operating as the 'front door' to WA for overseas investors, Invest and Trade WA works to attract investment into the State and foster mutually beneficial trading relationships. For further information, https// Comments attributed to Deputy Premier and State Development, Jobs and Trade Minister Roger Cook "I am pleased to announce that Frankfurt will be the newest location in the Western Australian Government's network of international investment and trade offices. "As a global financial and technology hub, Frankfurt is a gateway to exciting investment and trade opportunities for Western Australian companies. "The Western Australian Government is committed to growing the strong relationship between our State and Germany, which is underpinned by common values, strong people-to-people connections, and substantial trade and investment links." Deputy Premier's office - 6552 6500
Two new direct flights set to soar as WA reconnects with the world12335Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements15040html24/06/2022 12:23:47 AM2022-06-23T21:00:00Z Qantas to reconnect Perth and Johannesburg from November 1 New Qantas non-stop route to Jakarta commences from November 30, 2022 Supported by the McGowan Government's $195 million Reconnect WA package Western Australia continues to reconnect with the world with two new international routes to take flight later this year as part of the McGowan Government's plans to diversify the economy. New 11 hour non-stop flights to South Africa will launch from November 1, with Qantas to operate three return flights per week from Perth to Johannesburg on its Airbus A330 - reconnecting South Africa to WA with a direct route for the first time since 2020. The Johannesburg route will be the only direct connection between WA and South Africa, and is expected to be highly sought after as it removes any transit via Sydney, Singapore or the Middle East, which travellers currently have to contend with. Direct flights between Perth and Jakarta will start from November 30, with Qantas to offer three flights per week on its Boeing 737 aircraft. The four and a half hour new route will help build important economic relationships between WA and Indonesia, an important trading partner. Fares for both routes go on sale today with Perth-Jakarta flights starting from $870 return and Perth-Johannesburg fares from $1,800 return. Each new route is a first for Qantas and both have been supported by the State Government's $195 million Reconnect WA package through Tourism WA. In 2019, Indonesia was WA's seventh largest international market by number of visitors, with 38,800 visitors spending an estimated $81 million in the State. That same year, South Africa was the State's 14th largest international market by number of visitors, with 20,000 visitors spending an estimated $32 million in WA. Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan "These two flights prove that our message is being heard loud and clear - WA is safe, open and reconnected with the world. "These two flights are a vote of confidence in our State and are important aviation connections that will improve international access to WA, which is vital in diversifying our economy. "Having direct connections to both Jakarta and Johannesburg will drive visitors to WA and increase business, investment and study opportunities from Indonesia and South Africa to Western Australia. "They will get to experience our wonderful State, which is known for its iconic beaches, natural landscapes and world-class food and wine destinations, engage with our incredible tourism industry, and do business or study in WA - injecting millions into our economy and creating jobs for Western Australians. "The State Government is committed to increasing WA's aviation capacity and securing new routes like these Jakarta and Johannesburg services, through the $195 million Reconnect WA package, and ensure these flights could be made a reality. "We've worked with Qantas and Perth Airport to help make these routes a reality, and I want to acknowledge both Perth Airport and Qantas, for their co-operative approach to deliver these flights." Comments attributed to Tourism Minister Roger Cook "The launch of these two important routes on top of the new direct flights to the UK and Continental Europe firmly establishes Perth as the western gateway to Australia. "I know from my recent mission to East Java that the demand for both tourism and trade with Western Australia is only going to keep increasing, so it is vital we make it easy for both travel and air freight. "Java's population of about 150 million is almost six times the size of Australia, while Jakarta alone has almost 11 million people. "So that gives you an idea of the opportunity ahead for WA by having closer ties with Jakarta. "We strongly encourage Indonesians and South Africans, particularly those with friends and family in our State, to take advantage of these fantastic new flights and visit your loved ones in Western Australia." Premier's office - 6552 5000 Tourism Minister's office - 6552 6500
More new recruits join record number of police on the street12333Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements3680html23/06/2022 12:16:38 PM2022-06-23T11:45:00Z 54 new police officers join the WA Police force McGowan Government delivering record number of police on our streets New recruits from a diverse range of backgrounds Police Minister Paul Papalia and Commissioner Chris Dawson have welcomed 54 new officers into the Western Australian Police. Family, friends and loved ones assembled to cheer on 41 men and 18 women from Red and White Squads as they graduated training at the Joondalup academy. The reinforcement to the ranks marks another milestone in the McGowan Government's commitment to put more police on WA streets than ever before. 570 people have already joined the blue family as a result of the State Government's commitment to enlist 950 new officers to the force over four years. The recruits, who celebrated the completion of their 28-week intensive foundation training course, continue to come from a range of backgrounds with a variety of life experience. The youngest graduate was just 19 years old - the oldest, 50 years old. Two of the officers are Aboriginal, six originate from culturally and linguistically diverse communities and six can speak another language. Comments attributed to Police Minister Paul Papalia "The McGowan Government is committed to continuing our record police recruitment drive and making WA safer for our community. We already have more officers on our streets than ever before, and they are better resourced than ever before. "These new recruits have joined a world class police force, where they will have the opportunity to pursue meaningful, exciting, and diverse careers. They will have the guidance and mentorship of officers who have helped keep WA safe through a time of unprecedented challenge. "They will get to make their own mark during an exciting time in law enforcement, as we continue to invest in cutting edge technology and deliver our State the police force of tomorrow, today." Minister's office - 6552 5600
COVID-19 testing clinic changes to reflect demand12332Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements22620html23/06/2022 7:17:50 AM2022-06-23T07:15:00Z Four public metropolitan COVID-19 testing clinics to close from July 15, 2022 Free PCR testing will continue to be available at more than 60 sites across the State Adjustments will boost staffing at hospitals by 121 full-time equivalent staff Rapid Antigen Testing being used more often than PCR tests to identify COVID-19 thanks to the success of the McGowan Government's WA Free RAT program Following a review of public demand, four metropolitan PCR testing clinics will be wound down from July 15, 2022 as Western Australia continues its soft landing through the Omicron COVID-19 outbreak. Public clinics at Fiona Stanley Hospital, Armadale Health Service, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital and St John of God Midland Public Hospital will close from July 15, with free PCR testing continuing to be available at other sites across WA, with other local facilities still available at nearby locations. Testing clinics at Royal Perth Hospital, Joondalup Health Campus, Rockingham Hospital and the PathWest public drive through facility in Murdoch (alongside Fiona Stanley Hospital) will continue to operate between 8am and 8pm on weekdays and from 8am to 4pm on weekends. Free PCR testing also continues to be available through private pathology clinics. PCR testing arrangements in regional areas remains unchanged. To find a COVID-19 testing clinic near you visit, The change will return 121 full-time equivalent staff, more than half of whom are nurses, back to hospitals. COVID-19 cases continue to decline in WA and Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs) are being used more often than PCR tests to identify the virus thanks to the success of the WA Free RAT program. Between May 1, 2022 and June 22, 2022, 303,249 COVID-19 cases were identified in WA using RATs, compared to 178,617 cased identified via PCR testing. Since its inception, the WA Free RAT program has distributed more than 12.9 million RATs to people across the State. WA is the only State to provide free RATs to residents. Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan "With WA's COVID-19 cases at stable levels and the demand for PCR testing significantly reducing, some staffing resources can be moved from testing clinics back to hospital settings. "This reasonable and basic adjustment can be made thanks to WA's successful soft landing and rapid uptake of the WA Free RAT Program. "These adjustments are modest and as a result will return more health workers back to their primary roles. "We'll keep monitoring this and if there are further adjustments that need to be made to benefit Western Australians, keeps them safe, and put patients first, that's what we'll do. "I want to thank our health workers, people front of house or back of house at COVID-19 testing and vaccination clinics for their contribution and efforts in keeping WA safe. "PCR testing will continue to be available across the State for those who want it at both public and private clinics." Comments attributed to Health Minister Amber-Jade Sanderson "This timely change will return 121 FTE staff, including nurses, back to hospitals where we need them the most. "I'd like to thank all our testing clinic staff who have been, and continue to be, an important part of our COVID-19 frontline since the start of the pandemic. "The quick establishment of these clinics was unprecedented in the State and an extraordinary effort that has been vital to our management of the virus since the beginning." Premier's office - 6552 5000 Health Minister's office - 6552 5900
Architect appointed for Illawarra Primary School upgrade12330Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements3420html23/06/2022 2:30:25 AM2022-06-23T02:30:00Z Zuideveld Marchant Hur Architects to design upgrade at Illawarra Primary School $2 million project includes a new kindergarten/pre-primary building, kitchen and storage spaces Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery today announced Perth-based firm Zuideveld Marchant Hur Architects has been appointed to design new facilities for Illawarra Primary School. The $2 million election commitment includes a two-classroom kindergarten and pre-primary building with kitchen facilities, toilets and storage spaces. The new building will provide a modern learning space for students that will replace the existing transportable classrooms. Other works include new landscape design within the Early Childhood outdoor area. An assisted access toilet is also planned for the new kindergarten and pre-primary building. Planning for the new facilities at the school is underway, with works expected to be completed late in 2024. Comments attributed to Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery "This is an exciting project for the Illawarra Primary School community, so I am pleased to announce that we have secured an architect to design the new kindergarten and pre-primary building. "Staff at the school do fantastic work with its youngest students to help them reach their potential, and these modern teaching facilities will enable them to continue providing them with the best foundation for years to come." Comments attributed to West Swan MLA Rita Saffioti "At the 2021 State election I committed $2 million towards a kindergarten and pre-primary building at Illawarra Primary School - I am so pleased to see planning is already underway. "This is an important milestone for the latest upgrades to Illawarra Primary School, which are part of the McGowan Government's ongoing work to improve infrastructure of local schools. "The new kindergarten and pre-primary building and improvements to the early childhood outdoor area are key to support the development of students who are in their crucial early years, and I am confident they will be welcomed by local families. "I am looking forward to visiting the state-of-the-art facilities once complete." Minister's office - 6552 5700
New alignment for Lloyd Street Bridge to be examined12329Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements12730html23/06/2022 2:25:48 AM2022-06-23T02:25:00Z Traditional Owners and conservation groups submit new proposed alignment for Lloyd Street Bridge State Government to examine options with Traditional Owners and City of Swan Project to be delayed while proposal examined, discussions with contractors underway Transport Minister Rita Saffioti has asked Main Roads to enter discussions with Traditional Owners to explore the viability of a new alignment for the Lloyd Street Bridge as part of the mediation process under Section 10 of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Heritage Protection Act. Traditional Owners and local conservation groups have put forward a new alignment for consideration. The new proposal moves the bridge further west, to a narrower crossing of the Helena River, loosely following the footprint of the old Whiteman Road bridge that was demolished in 2002. The proposed re-alignment is less imposing on local registered Aboriginal heritage sites' native vegetation, nearby wetlands and on the river flood plain. An ancient rock shelter, which Traditional Owners have raised concerns about, will continue to be protected under a new alignment. The State Government is committed to exploring a mediated outcome which addresses the concerns of Traditional Owners and other local groups, while meeting road network efficiency and connectivity requirements. The Lloyd Street Bridge project is being delivered by Main Roads on behalf of the City of Swan, who delivered the northern and southern sections, and is co-funded by State and Federal Governments. The proposed new alignment will be a significant diversion from the original proposal. The project will create a new southern entry to Midland, providing improved access to St John of God Hospital, the Curtin University campus and an emerging entertainment precinct. The project will reduce traffic on Military Road in Midland and on the section of Clayton Street between Military Road and Lloyd Street. City of Swan modelling also indicates the project will reduce traffic volumes through Guildford by around 15 per cent. Comments attributed to Transport Minister Rita Saffioti "I appreciate the fact that the Traditional Owners and local conservation groups have put forward a new alignment of the Lloyd Street Bridge for consideration. "I originally supported the first proposed alignment because it was put forward by the City of Swan and connected the northern and southern approaches of Lloyd Street, which Council only completed in mid-2020. "However, as the local Traditional Owners and groups have suggested the new proposal I am happy for us to examine this and see how it may work. "We took on this project on behalf of the City of Swan, and we will continue to work to make this project happen. "While we undertake these discussions, the project will be placed on hold. Discussions with the contractors are underway." Minister's office - 6552 5500
New renewably-powered desalination plant planned for Alkimos12328Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements26890html23/06/2022 2:01:04 AM2022-06-23T02:00:00Z A new 100 billion litres-a-year desalination plant proposed for Alkimos Alkimos plant and Perth's two existing desalination plants to be renewably-powered, supporting the new 2030 State Government emissions target Water Corporation target towards net zero emissions across all operations by 2035 $1.4 billion already set aside as a down payment for the new desalination plantAlkimos has been selected as the preferred location for the State's next major water source - a renewably-powered seawater desalination plant that will provide safe, secure drinking water to millions of Western Australians. Proposed on Water Corporation land north-east of Alkimos Beach and subject to environmental approval, the plant will be capable of delivering 100 billion litres of drinking water annually to support the Integrated Water Supply Scheme (IWSS). The plant will be delivered in two stages, with the first 50 billion-litre stage expected by 2028. Water Corporation will also secure up to 400 megawatts of additional renewable wind energy which will enable all three desalination plants, including the existing desalination plants at Kwinana and Binningup, to be powered with renewable energy. The additional 400MW of renewable energy was included in the Government's estimated $3.8 billion investment in renewable power generation and storage announced last week. This will support the utility to meet the new Government emission target of 80 per cent below 2020 emission levels by 2030. In addition to this, Water Corporation is also committing to a new, earlier net zero greenhouse gas target across all operations by 2035. The new plant's design has been carefully considered to protect the surrounding environment, cultural heritage and meet community expectations. It will be sunken behind large vegetated sand dunes to shield it from view and buffer noise, while a special tunnel boring technique will limit seabed and beach disturbance during construction. A detailed Environmental Review Document for the Alkimos Seawater Desalination Plant is currently with the WA Environmental Protection Authority for assessment. The McGowan Government has already allocated $1.4 billion towards a significant down payment on the project. The IWSS currently provides drinking water to around 2.5 million Western Australians across Perth, Peel, some parts of the South-West and as far east as Kalgoorlie-Boulder. For more information, visit https// Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan "The new renewably-powered desalination plant continues my Government's investments in climate action to support WA's long-term future. "Across southern WA, the long-term impact of climate change on traditional water sources is profound. "A new plant will cater for the growing drinking water needs of Perth, Peel, parts of the South-West and Kalgoorlie-Boulder, and support future economic development. "Importantly, the new desalination plant will be renewably-powered, and with the existing initiatives, will support the new 2030 Government emissions target. "This target sets an example for industry throughout WA and will set the State up for a low carbon, reliable and affordable renewable energy future." Comments attributed to Water Minister Dave Kelly "In 2006, a WA Labor Government delivered Australia's first large-scale desalination plant in Kwinana. Today, we are continuing to ensure Western Australians enjoy secure water supply by investing in a new major source to support our growing city. "Not only will the Alkimos Seawater Desalination Plant provide an eventual 100 billion litres of drinking water annually, it will also reduce reliance on precious groundwater to help protect our lakes, wetlands, bushland and parks. "Desalination is energy intensive, that's why it's significant that Water Corporation has set itself a target of net zero by 2035, which will include having all three desalination plants powered by renewable energy. "New water sources are just one element in a much larger and more complex supply planning process. It's absolutely vital we all remain as waterwise as possible to help protect WA's most precious resource." Premier's office - 6552 5000 Water Minister's office - 6552 6100
Funding boost to help Community Languages Program grow12327Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements5430html23/06/2022 1:35:15 AM2022-06-23T01:30:00Z 59 community languages schools will have their administration and operations supported Nearly $800,000 to support more than 17,000 students learn languages across WA Funding awarded through the Office of Multicultural Interests The McGowan Government is investing nearly $800,000 in Western Australia's community language schools, helping children connect with their cultures and learn another language. Funding of $784,000, awarded through the Office of Multicultural Interests, will be used to support 59 community language schools across WA. The language schools, which are not-for-profit associations run by volunteers, teach more than 37 languages including Mandarin, Kiswahili, Greek, Hindi, Vietnamese, Hungarian, Korean and Dari. The funding will go to 51 existing schools, while eight associations have also received grants to support the administrative costs of setting up new community language schools. Community language schools receiving funds support students from kindergarten through to Year 12, as well as those enrolled in Western Australian Certificate of Education (WACE) language courses. The Community Languages Program also incorporates the Italian Language In-School Insertion Program run by the Italo-Australian Welfare and Cultural Centre. More than 10,000 students are currently accessing this program. This funding enables the teaching of the Italian language and culture in 39 primary schools across WA. Comments attributed to Citizenship and Multicultural Interests Minister Tony Buti "The McGowan Government is committed to enhancing language and cultural learning in the community languages sector. "Giving children the opportunity to speak more than one language is a great gift, enhancing social and family bonds. "Community language schools give children the ability to fully connect to their cultures and to embrace their heritage." Minister's office - 6552 6400
Members sought for inaugural Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Council12326Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements11350html23/06/2022 1:14:27 AM2022-06-23T01:05:00Z Nominations open to join the new Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Council Council will be the State's peak strategic body on Aboriginal cultural heritage matters Council underpins historic laws to improve protection of Aboriginal cultural heritage The McGowan Government is seeking members for the inaugural Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Council. The council will be the State Government's peak strategic body for Aboriginal cultural heritage matters, as Western Australia moves towards stronger protections under the new Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Act 2021. There will be two Aboriginal chairpersons and up to nine members on the council, with a requirement for the majority to be Aboriginal people. The call for nominations follows the recent proclamation of some sections of the new Act that will enable the council to be established in time to consider approval of the final Regulations and guidance documents. Members are required to have knowledge or experience in Aboriginal cultural heritage. Other areas of expertise that may be considered include archaeology, anthropology, engineering, and urban and regional planning. The council will provide advice to the Aboriginal Affairs Minister on Aboriginal cultural heritage matters, designate local Aboriginal cultural heritage services, and approve Aboriginal cultural heritage permits and management plans. It will also support users of the new system in agreement making and will have a role in promoting the value of Aboriginal cultural heritage among the broader WA community. The call for nominations opens today (June 23) and will close at 5pm on Friday July 22, 2022. To nominate or to find out more, visit https// or call (08) 6551 8002. Comments attributed to Aboriginal Affairs Minister Dr Tony Buti "As Western Australia transitions to stronger Aboriginal cultural heritage laws, we are setting up the body that will ensure the voices of Traditional Owners are heard. "This new council will play an important role in facilitating agreement making with Traditional Owners to ensure the cultural heritage of one of the oldest continuous living cultures in the world is protected, celebrated and conserved. "The council will have two Aboriginal chairpersons, one male and one female, to allow for the respectful consideration of men's and women's business and will have a majority of Aboriginal representation across its members. "It is incredibly important that council membership also reflects the diversity of the community, and as such, we have legislated for an appropriate gender balance. "I invite anyone who is interested in becoming a council member to nominate for this unique opportunity to contribute to the recognition, protection, conservation, preservation and management of Aboriginal cultural heritage." Minister's office - 6552 6400
$40 million redevelopment of Balga TAFE taking shape12325Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements5080html23/06/2022 1:10:32 AM2022-06-23T01:00:00Z Design finalised for major upgrade to North Metropolitan TAFE's Balga campus Tender advertised for $40 million project's construction New multi-storey facility to provide world-class learning in the northern suburbs Expanding construction trades training The $40 million upgrade of North Metropolitan TAFE's Balga campus is taking shape, with the project's design finalised and tender advertised for its construction. The redevelopment includes a new three-storey training facility to provide a world-class learning environment, replacing 22 rundown transportable classrooms at the northern suburbs campus, which was originally built in the 1970s. The new facility will be used to deliver training across building and construction, community services, general education and other areas, as well as provide enhanced student services and staff amenities with student breakout spaces, meeting rooms, conference rooms and additional parking. There will be a mix of modern learning spaces, including an interactive student learning hub (contemporary library), contemporary and technology enabled classrooms, computer laboratories and a large future trades training workshop to accommodate 'smart building' and emerging construction technologies. The new building will also accommodate the Balga Jobs and Skills Centre, a free, one-stop shop for the local community to access professional advice on careers, training and employment opportunities. Perth architecture studio Hassell designed the new Balga facility, which is one of 14 major capital works projects taking place at TAFE colleges across the State as part of the McGowan Government's $215.8 million investment in upgrading essential infrastructure. Tenders for the project close on July 12, 2022. Construction is expected to be completed mid-2024. Comments attributed to Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery "We are investing heavily in training infrastructure across Western Australia to support building a skilled local workforce for now and into the future "North Metropolitan TAFE's Balga campus is one of the leading facilities for training apprentices in the building and construction sector, which is a priority for the State Government. "Once completed, the modern new facilities will support the State's construction industry by training the next generation of workers at a critical time. "This is also a significant project for the northern suburbs, creating a first-class learning facility for students across a range of areas, as well as numerous WA jobs through its construction." Comments attributed to Mirrabooka MLA Meredith Hammat "This project is a huge investment in our local community. Quality training facilities will help people find quality jobs, so it's fantastic to have a range of opportunities, in state-of-the-art facilities, on our doorstep. "It's exciting to see the McGowan Government's vision for the upgraded Balga campus becoming a reality, and I look forward to it welcoming its first students following completion." Minister's office - 6552 5700
Innovation investment to build resilient children and confident young people12331Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements14220html23/06/2022 3:02:04 AM2022-06-23T00:00:00Z McGowan Government prioritising mental health solutions Promoting mental health innovation so children and young adults can thrive New apps and initiatives to bridge the gap of mental health support Western Australian children and young adults are set to benefit from 11 new innovative solutions aimed at strengthening mental health and building resilience and confidence. The Innovation Challenge 2021 Child and Youth Mental Health is supporting some of WA's brightest minds to find new ways to meet the needs of children and young people experiencing poor mental health. Competing for up to $1.5 million to fully develop and implement their concepts, 11 applicants have been awarded up to $50,000 each to undertake feasibility studies or build prototypes to progress their ideas. The 11 successful proposals include better screening, interactive apps delivered in real time, digital solutions to engage teenagers, and a "safe haven café" for young people experiencing mental health issues in the Peel region. The Innovation Challenge program of the WA Future Health Research and Innovation (FHRI) Fund provides a secure source of funding to drive health and medical research, innovation and commercialisation. More information about the Innovation Challenge can be found on the FHRI Fund website. Comments attributed to Medical Research Minister Stephen Dawson "The McGowan Government is pleased our Future Health Research and Innovation Fund will deliver this program. "Innovation is essential to improving health promotion, treatment and care in our health system and we have a responsibility to do all we can to create a community where children and young adults can thrive. "There are some exciting initiatives that have been presented as progressive solutions for child and youth mental health. "The adoption of artificial intelligence and technology is going from strength to strength in health care, and early screening and detection is key in managing mental health." Comments attributed to Mental Health Minister Amber-Jade Sanderson "The McGowan Government is committed to improving mental health outcomes for children and young adults. "Early childhood is a critical time for brain development and functioning. Childhood experiences build the foundations of life-long resilience, social and emotional wellbeing, and self-esteem. "Early interventions have the potential to change the trajectory of a young person's life and I congratulate all recipients on their innovative apps." Medical Research Minister's office - 6552 5800 Mental Health Minister's office - 6552 5900 Gene S - Innovation lead Dr Svetlana Baltic Youth Mind Kit is a genetic test to improve the mental health of young people by better medication management. The test will enable doctors to prescribe the right medication at the right dose every time when treating a child/youth with a mental health condition. Community Champions - Innovation lead Michael Black Community Champions is artificial intelligence for personal resilience. This research team is working with communities and families to co-design tools and processes to promote inclusion, as well as learn positive ways to express emotions and explore identity formation. Growing Minds Australia - Innovation lead Mark Dadds A service model that improves access and engagement with evidence-based interventions, this project will train clinicians in evidence-based interventions and introduce outcome monitoring that is transparent and empowering for families. This project is based on the highly successful UK model, Improving Access to Psychological Therapies. Identify and Act - Innovation lead Dr Amy Finlay-Jones Identify and Act is a universal electronic screening and support system that aims to provide a critical starting point for the prevention and early intervention of emerging mental health difficulties in infants and young children. This novel solution aims to provide care not currently available to families, such as the capacity to remotely assess early childhood mental health advice, provide real-time feedback and guidance, and link families to more specialised care if needed. Early identification and intervention for children with ADHD - Innovation lead Dr Rona Kelly Estimates suggest that more than 7 per cent of children aged 4 to 17 years have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) with long-term outcomes including a range of mental health conditions that persist into adulthood. This project aims to pilot an innovative approach including consumer engagement and co-design of an online ADHD resource portal, for earlier identification and intervention for children presenting with attention and concentration difficulties. Closing the gap on Aboriginal child and youth mental health with ear disease and hearing-loss - Innovation lead Professor Christopher Lawrence There are currently no co-designed, culturally sensitive digital health solutions providing hearing and mental health services in Aboriginal communities in WA. This project will leverage existing digital health technologies to target Aboriginal young people with ear disease and hearing loss to support their mental health and wellbeing. Through co-design and consultation, this project will support and improve access and reach of mental health services to Aboriginal children and young people with hearing loss. Youth Safe-Haven Café - Innovation lead Associate Professor Ashleigh Lin The Peel region has a youth suicide rate more than double the national average and an alternative model of care is needed. Youth Safe Haven-Café is an alternative to the emergency department for youth at risk of suicide in the Peel region. The approach provides temporary practical and emotional peer support in a non-clinical, non-stigmatising setting. The pilot café will be located in the Peel Health Hub and will be co-designed with young people and their carers. An artificial therapist to support youth mental health - Innovation lead Professor Warren Mansell This project involves a smartphone app called Manage Your Life, which will deliver self-help for teenagers through real-time conversations. The project aims to support young people and guide them through issues by sharing coping techniques, and encourage users to express, explore and resolve their problems. A mental health care app - Innovation Lead Dr Louise Metcalf This project features an artificial intelligence-enhanced app and aims to improve outcomes for children with anxiety by providing access to a collaborative, measurement-based, dynamic care system for children with diverse backgrounds. The idea is to co-create a counsellor/therapist portal that can be adapted to diverse communities. My Vital Cycles app - Innovation lead Felicity Roux Currently there are no apps for young people to track their menstrual cycle and their mental health in one place. My Vital Cycles app will link mental health and menstruation. Previous research by the team has indicated a demand for a mental and menstrual health app which is supported by teachers and school health teams. Following an established and effective protocol, this team will actively engage girls, schools, and specialists in mental and menstrual health to inform the development of the My Vital Cycles app. A digital solution for improving youth mental health and wellbeing - Innovation lead Dr Kevin Wernli The platform digitally connects young people with their health professionals and support team to create a collaborative, person-centred care environment. It also provides individualised evidence-based resources, health tracking, goal­setting, and peer-support capabilities to complement their health-professionals' service.
New Rail Access Code ready for consultation12324Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements12170html23/06/2022 1:06:03 AM2022-06-22T23:00:00Z The McGowan Government is implementing the recommendations of a review of WA's Rail Access Regime Regulatory changes have been drafted to ensure the Regime works more effectively, while maintaining flexibility for the diverse railways in our State The Treasurer now invites feedback on the draft amendments to the Railways (Access) Code 2000 Following a review of Western Australia's Rail Access Regime and extensive consultation with stakeholders, the McGowan Government is now implementing significant changes to Western Australia's Rail Access Regime. The Western Australian Rail Access Regime (the Regime) provides a regulated pathway for parties to gain access to pre-determined privately-owned railways. Amendments to the Railways (Access) Code 2000 have now been drafted to make the Regime a more effective alternative when commercial negotiations stall, speed up access negotiations and ensure railway access arrangements are fair for all parties. A copy of the draft amendments will be available for feedback from June 23, 2022 at https//, or by emailing Interested parties can provide feedback on the draft amendments during the 30-day consultation period, with submissions due by 5pm on July 23, 2022. Written submissions can be made to the Treasurer, C/o Alistair Jones Assistant Under Treasurer Economic Department of Treasury Locked Bag 11 Cloisters Square, WA 6850 Or via email Comments attributed to Premier and Treasurer Mark McGowan "These are important reforms that contribute to ensuring businesses can more easily use the rail network to efficiently move their products across our vast State. "The contribution of railway owners and access seekers has been instrumental in developing these reforms and ensuring the Rail Access Regime works well for all parties. "I now invite all interested parties to consider the drafted regulatory amendments and provide their feedback." Comments attributed to Transport Minister Rita Saffioti "This is a chance for rail users, owners and the like to have their say on the draft changes to legislation. "We are investing a record amount in rail and want to create a fairer access regime. "Ensuring fair and efficient access to railways in WA is essential to supporting the sustained economic growth of our regions and the critical industries of agriculture, mining and energy. "These necessary reforms will go a long way in ensuring Western Australians benefit from how rail is operated and accessed in our State." Premier's office - 6552 5000 Transport Minister's office - 6552 5500