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New small business service starts today867787Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statementshtml1/07/2015 5:51:51 AM2015-07-01T05:45:00Z​$10.7 million over three years for State-wide business advisory serviceSmall Business Development Corporation initiative Western Australia's 211,658 small businesses have access to a new, more efficient, advisory service with Business Local up and running from today. Small Business Minister Joe Francis said the new service, which replaces the small business centre network, would be delivered by seven organisations to 12 regions covering the State. "The State Government is committed to providing consistent, high-quality advisory services to support a dynamic small business sector. Business Local will have a greater focus on service delivery and long-term client relationships," Mr Francis said. "The new service will be overseen by the Small Business Development Corporation and will provide advice and guidance for owners starting a new enterprise or developing existing businesses. "The new service will be a more structured process including initial assessments for small businesses, with follow-up support through all stages of their business development." The Business Local service is the result of an extensive review carried out in 2014 that recognised the need for more streamlined services, better targeted to the needs of WA small businesses. "We have vast distances to cover to ensure all businesses have access to the service, so various methods of service delivery will be available, from face-to-face and site visits, to phone and online alternatives," the Minister said. The State Government has allocated $10.7 million over three years to provide the Business Local service across all regions of the State and the metropolitan area. Fact File211,658 small businesses in WA (55,203 in regional WA) representing 97 per cent of all businesses in the StateSmall business sector estimated to contribute $44 billion to the WA economySmall and medium-sized businesses provide more than three quarters of all employment Minister's office - 6552 6500 Business Local providers and regions below RegionService providerEast metropolitanBusiness Station Inc.North metropolitanBusiness Station Inc.South metropolitanBusiness Foundations Inc.Peel Business Foundations Inc.Gascoyne RSM Bird CameronGreat SouthernSmall Business Centre, Great SouthernKimberley Kimberley Small Business SupportMid-West RSM Bird CameronSouth-West Small Business Centre, Bunbury-WellingtonWheatbeltRSM Bird CameronGoldfields-Esperance regionKalgoorlie-Boulder Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc.Pilbara regionRSM Bird Cameron
Premier welcomes Woodside's Browse decision867776Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statementshtml1/07/2015 3:32:05 AM2015-07-01T03:25:00Z​Browse JV enters front-end engineering and design phase Premier and State Development Minister Colin Barnett has today welcomed the decision by Woodside Petroleum Ltd to enter the front-end engineering and design (FEED) phase for the proposed floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) development in the Browse basin. "I am very pleased to see the Browse Joint Venture participants take this step into this new phase; it's a positive move in the development of the Browse LNG resource," Mr Barnett said. "This follows the signing of a Key Principles Agreement with the Browse FLNG proponents last week for the provision of domestic gas and a supply chain in Western Australia - the first time the State's domestic gas policy will be applied to an FLNG project. "I would like to thank the joint venture partners for the professional way they have embarked upon all the negotiations around this project. "I am now looking forward to the development and finalisation of a detailed Development Agreement, prior to the joint venture making its final investment decision, which is expected in late 2016. "News that this project is progressing well is excellent for the resources sector in Western Australia and for WA as a whole. "This decision will lift confidence in resources and in the business community." Under the Key Principles Agreement, the joint venture has committed to reserve gas equivalent to 15 per cent of production from the State's share of the Torosa reservoir, one of three gas fields that make up the Browse project. The integrated supply chain in WA will provide port, marine, aviation, storage and transport services over the life of the project. Fact FileThe State's share of Torosa is estimated to be 65 per cent State royalties are estimated at more than $1 billion over the life of the project Premier's office - 6552 5000
Minor misconduct provisions to PSC from today867775Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statementshtml1/07/2015 3:17:00 AM2015-07-01T03:10:00Z​Proclamation of remaining provisions of the Corruption, Crime and Misconduct (Amendment) Act 2014 occurs today Premier Colin Barnett has today confirmed that the proclamation of remaining provisions of the Corruption, Crime and Misconduct (Amendment) Act 2014 would occur today. The amendments transfer responsibility for dealing with matters of minor misconduct by public officers and its corruption prevention and education roles from the Corruption and Crime Commission (CCC) to the Public Sector Commission (PSC). "This is a significant step in strengthening the oversight of the WA public sector and enhances the integrity and accountability of public officers by refocusing the Corruption and Crime Commission as the State's pre-eminent corruption-fighting body," Mr Barnett said. "This means the CCC will be able to redirect its powers and resources to dealing with its core responsibilities of overseeing WA police, dealing with more serious misconduct matters and helping to combat corruption." The Premier said the PSC and the CCC had been working together in preparation for the new arrangements and there had been significant consultation with stakeholders. While ongoing refinements will be made over time, Mr Barnett said the State Government was assured that both agencies were working together and would have processes and systems in place along with proper interagency protocols for a smooth transition from today. Attorney General Michael Mischin said the Government was pleased to have a highly skilled and experienced judicial officer and former Director of Public Prosecutions in Commissioner John McKechnie SC at the helm of the CCC. "I would like to thank the two Acting Commissioners for the Corruption and Crime Commission, Neil Douglas and Christopher Shanahan SC, who have ably performed all the functions of the office of Commissioner since the resignation of the previous Commissioner Hon Roger Macknay QC last year," Mr Mischin said. "I acknowledge their considerable efforts to reform the CCC in preparation for Commissioner McKechnie taking up his post." Fact FileA jointly developed information resource setting out a new framework for notification of misconduct allegations will be released soon Premier's office - 6552 5000
EPA chairman stepping down867752Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statementshtml1/07/2015 2:53:50 AM2015-07-01T02:45:00Z ​ Environment Minister Albert Jacob has thanked Environmental Protection Authority chairman Paul Vogel for his long service with the board, following Dr Vogel's announcement today that he is stepping down from the role on November 4, 2015. Mr Jacob said Dr Vogel had made a significant contribution over the past eight years. The State Government was in the process of selecting a new chairman. "Dr Vogel will continue as chairman for his full term, which will assist greatly during this transition period," he said. "I will announce the nomination of a new chairman following the completion of this selection process." Minister's office - 6552 5800
New era for single conservation agency867751Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statementshtml1/07/2015 2:00:17 AM2015-07-01T01:45:00ZExtra expertise and resources to boost the State's rivers conservation effortFremantle Prison now managed by State Heritage Office Environment and Heritage Minister Albert Jacob said today's amalgamation of the Swan River Trust and the Department of Parks and Wildlife honoured a pre-election commitment to create a dedicated parks and conservation agency. Parks and Wildlife's new management responsibilities for the Swan Canning Riverpark will complement its ongoing management of nearby conservation areas, including the Swan Estuary Marine Park and Canning River Regional Park. "There is now one agency responsible for managing national parks, reserves, State forests conservation and marine parks," Mr Jacob said. "The creation of a rivers and estuaries division within this agency will ensure improved protection for the rivers. "The new division, which will work closely with other divisions in Parks and Wildlife, will ensure a focus on the highest priorities in river science, protection, conservation and management. "The merged workforce will bring together scientists, conservation and ecosystems management experts, planners and project managers with experience in delivering significant capital works." The Swan River Trust board will continue as an independent advisory body on river matters to the Minister for Environment and the Parks and Wildlife director general. In another change, management of Fremantle Prison has been transferred from the Department of Finance to the State Heritage Office. The Minister said the State Heritage Office and the Heritage Council of Western Australia were well placed to provide governance that was consistent with the oversight of a World Heritage site. "Fremantle Prison will be able to leverage the State Heritage Office's specialist expertise, best practice and industry connections for the conservation and management of this significant heritage site," Mr Jacob said. Fact FileThe Swan Canning Riverpark includes 72sqkm of public land and adjoining river reserves along the Swan, Canning, Helena and Southern riversFremantle Prison is one of Australia's best preserved convict sitesIn 2014-15, the prison received more than 192,500 visitors - its highest number since it opened to the public in 1992 Minister's office - 6552 5800 ​
New creative edge at West Leederville school867729Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statementshtml1/07/2015 1:55:24 AM2015-07-01T01:35:00ZNew two-storey building and play areas opened at West Leederville PS $5.4 million upgrade includes new facilities for students and staff A nature playground designed around an iconic Moreton Bay fig tree, and a two-storey classroom building are part of a new look at historic West Leederville Primary School. Education Minister Peter Collier officially opened the $5.4 million upgrade today, which included new classrooms for students in pre-primary and years 1 and 2. "The classrooms provide the very best in early childhood learning for the growing number of students in these years," Mr Collier said. The new building includes three early childhood learning areas, four general learning areas, activity spaces, a staff study and a lift to assist students with disabilities. "A large sandpit, nature playground, outdoor amphitheatre and bike paths are providing stimulating play opportunities for students," the Minister said. The school community designed an artwork to complement the school environment and new facilities. "Close to 500 students drew pictures of native flora that are incorporated into a lace wire fence spanning eight metres along the new playing courts and classroom block," Mr Collier said. "It's a wonderful example of a community coming together and taking great pride in their school." Fact FileWest Leederville Primary School was built in 1898 and currently has 490 students enrolledThe State Government is investing $1.16 billion over the next four years to build new schools and improve and extend existing schoolsFor more information, visit http// Minister's office - 6552 6300
MercyCare’s new central office officially opens8419Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statementshtml1/07/2015 1:49:54 AM2015-07-01T01:30:00ZLotterywest grants of $7 million supported the building's purchase and fit-out Central office will improve the delivery of MercyCare's aged care, family, health and community services Premier Colin Barnett has opened community service provider MercyCare's new office in West Perth, a high visibility site supported with $7 million in Lotterywest grants. MercyCare delivers services to those who are most vulnerable, significantly disadvantaged and in need in the Western Australian community delivering services across three main streams - aged care services, family and youth services and health and community services The Ord Street premises will accommodate about 140 staff and volunteers, improve efficiencies and give clients, including those in youth and aged care, access to quality services in a central location. Mr Barnett said MercyCare, officially constituted in 2002 following the amalgamation of seven smaller uniting church community services, did very valuable work in the community. "MercyCare employs 700 staff and 150 volunteers who deliver vital community services to improve the lives of disadvantaged West Australians from over 30 locations in WA," he said. MercyCare's former offices in Wembley will remain a key service site in the continued delivery of child care and aged care services. The Premier acknowledged the large scale of MercyCare's work and the wide ranging impact the new office will have. "The benefits stemming from this central office location are significant including the opportunity for greater knowledge sharing amongst staff, improved community access and the opportunity for future expansion," he said. The State Government, through two Lotterywest grants, supported the purchase and fit-out of the central office which comprises 1,580 square meters of office space over two levels. Fact FileThe total cost of MercyCare's central office is $15 million with MercyCare contributing the balanceSince 1998, MercyCare has received an additional 24 Lotterywest grants totalling $2,668,362In 2013-14, Lotterywest raised $271.2 million for beneficiaries including WA's hospitals, arts, and sport and recreational groupsFor a full list of grants recommended by the Lotterywest board and approved by the Premier, visit http// Premier's office - 6552 5000
South-West blueprint sets strategy for growth8418Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statementshtml1/07/2015 1:40:54 AM2015-07-01T01:05:00Z A strategy designed to guide growth and development of the South-West region over the coming decades was launched in Bunbury today by Regional Development Minister Terry Redman. At the South West Focus conference this morning, Mr Redman officially unveiled the South West Regional Blueprint and said transformational projects identified in the blueprint were already making the leap from paper to reality. "The South-West blueprint - the second of the State Government's Regional Investment Blueprints - will facilitate economic development and job creation to support the region's growth and lead to developing modern, vibrant places to live," he said. "The recently announced $59.7 million expansion of the Busselton Regional Airport, which is identified as a priority project in the South-West blueprint, is a priority project for the region to open up new tourism and business opportunities, create jobs and drive economic growth. "I congratulate the South West Development Commission and Regional Development Australia - South West for coming together to produce this economic and social strategy that will position the region well for a bright future. "Projects highlighted in the document are aimed at helping to grow jobs, services and facilities so they keep pace with population growth and ensure that residents continue to enjoy prosperity and quality of life." Each of the nine regional development commissions across Western Australia have been tasked with putting together a Regional Investment Blueprint based on their development aspirations and forecast population growth. The Regional Investment Blueprint initiative is supported by $362 million of Royalties for Regions funding. For more information about the South West Regional Blueprint or to download a copy, visit http// The South West Focus conference is taking place over July 1 and 2 and is aimed at giving attendees an idea of what might be in the South-West's future and what opportunities people may be able to tap in to. For more information, visit http// Minister's office - 6552 6700
Confidence vote for industry-led biosecurity8417Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statementshtml1/07/2015 1:28:07 AM2015-07-01T01:00:00ZWA's agriculture sector protected through continuation of industry-led funding schemes Agriculture industries in Western Australia have supported the continuation of three industry funding schemes that allow them to raise funds and target biosecurity threats. Agriculture and Food Minister Ken Baston declared continuation of the schemes after receiving across-the-board agreement from stakeholders. The schemes covercattlegrains, seeds and haysheep and goat industry. Cattle producers fund surveillance programs for bovine tuberculosis, bovine Johne's disease and enzootic bovine leucosis, while sheep and goat producers fund virulent footrot control. Grain, seed and hay producers have programs to control skeleton weed and eradicate three-horned bedstraw. "Feedback from stakeholders was overwhelmingly positive on the biosecurity benefits of the schemes," Mr Baston said. "They appreciate the schemes are industry-led, driven and controlled and believe they reduce red tape, improve collaboration and provide a clear demonstration of industry taking responsibility for biosecurity. "Funding schemes enable co-ordinated, whole-of-industry biosecurity programs and improve risk mitigation by facilitating timely responses to issues that threaten agricultural industries. "Industry-led and funded biosecurity schemes are in addition to the programs already provided by the Department of Agriculture and Food. "Biosecurity is everyone's responsibility - we all need to work together to protect the State's $7 billion agriculture industry." Fact FileBiosecurity is vital in protecting the State's economy, environment and community The schemes were established in 2010 and an extension will apply from July 1, 2015For more information, visit http// Minister's office - 6552 5400
Defence joins fight for more affordable housing8416Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statementshtml1/07/2015 1:17:56 AM2015-07-01T00:00:00ZUp to 55 new affordable homes to be delivered across Claremont and InnalooProviding a mix of affordable, social and Defence housing as well as full-market sales An innovative partnership between the State Government and Defence Housing Australia (DHA) will deliver up to 55 new affordable homes on two vacant sites in Perth. Housing Minister Colin Holt said the Department of Housing signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with DHA for development of the sites in Claremont and Innaloo, close to transport and employment. "In line with the Affordable Housing Strategy 2020 and Directions 2031 and Beyond, the Government is actively seeking strategic partnerships to finance, develop and deliver quality and appropriate affordable housing solutions for West Australians," Mr Holt said. "This MOU is a prime example of such a partnership." The partnership means the State-Government-owned land, zoned for medium density residential development, will be used to provide a mix of affordable, social and Defence personnel housing as well as some full-market sales. DHA managing director Peter Howman described the MOU as a great opportunity for both the State Government and DHA to advance their objectives. "The Government has suitable land and DHA needs housing close to its bases," Mr Howman said. He said the DHA would work in partnership with the Government to determine the best design for the two vacant sites and seek planning approvals. Fact FileThe Government's Affordable Housing Strategy has delivered more than 19,000 opportunities to date against a target of 20,000 by 2020Through the 2015-16 State Budget, the Government will invest $560 million to deliver an additional 1,500 housing opportunities, including 1,000 social housing dwellings during 2015-16 and 2016-17 Minister's office - 6552 6100
Western Australia's pastoral leases renewed8415Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statementshtml1/07/2015 1:11:45 AM2015-06-30T23:30:00ZJuly 1, 2015 marks historic renewal of State's pastoral leasesAll but two of 437 eligible stations have been renewed Today marks the historic renewal of Western Australia's pastoral leases, bringing security to hundreds of pastoralists across the State, Lands Minister Terry Redman announced. Mr Redman said all but two of the State's 437 eligible stations would have their pastoral lease renewed, bringing to an end two years of intensive consultation to ensure as many lessees as possible met compliance requirements. "Today is an historic moment in the State's history and is the first time in Western Australia every eligible pastoral lease has been renewed on the same date. This will likely never happen again," he said. "The State Government embarked on the huge task of renewing the leases of every single eligible pastoral station 20 years ago and I'm pleased that 99.5 per cent of eligible stations have had their leases renewed today. "This success reflects the high level of compliance among pastoral lessees, with nearly all lessees eligible for renewal meeting the renewal conditions." The Minister praised the hard work of those involved in the State Government's lease renewal process. "It has been a collaborative effort and I thank all those who have been a part of the renewal process including lessees, the Department of Lands and Landgate, Pastoralists and Graziers Association, Pastoral Lands Board, representatives from the banking and insurance sectors, other government agencies and many other pastoral stakeholders," Mr Redman said. "For the small number of lessees who were not renewed, decisions will be made regarding their future on an individual basis." The former Land Act required that the State Government begin the lease renewal process 20 years before the leases expired and all stations were notified in 1995 of this requirement. Fact FileAll of Western Australia's pastoral leases expired on June 30, 2015Of the 507 pastoral leases across 437 pastoral stations, 435 stations had their leases renewedLeases not renewed become unallocated Crown land, administered by the Department of LandsBefore July 1, 2015, 37 per cent of Western Australia was unallocated Crown land Minister's office - 6552 6700
Gas regulations support community confidence337Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statementshtml1/07/2015 12:55:00 AM2015-06-30T23:05:00ZNew rules to safeguard environmentMandatory well plans and water monitoring New regulations for the petroleum and geothermal industries come into effect today, giving Western Australia one of the most stringent well integrity and resource management regimes in the nation. Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Marmion said the changes would ensure strong oversight for the emerging shale and tight gas industry. "While production of natural gas from shale and tight rocks is still in the early stages, with significant commercial projects likely to be five to 10 years away, it is important that the legislative framework is place," Mr Marmion said. "The State Government wants to reassure all West Australians there is strong regulation to ensure best practices are implemented." The regulations stipulate mandatory well and field management plans, including baseline water quality monitoring before drilling and continued monitoring during and after completion. "These comprehensive regulations will minimise any risk of aquifer contamination and should help maximise community confidence in the responsible development of the gas industry," the Minister said. Before drilling programs are approved, the Department of Mines and Petroleum (DMP) assesses applications to ensure they comply with State laws protecting public health, the environment and water resources. Any application which is likely to have a significant impact on the environment must be referred to the Environmental Protection Authority for further assessment. All companies proposing to conduct hydraulic fracturing must submit a complete list of chemicals to be used, for publication on the DMP website. "The department will assess all projects on a site-by-site, project-by-project basis with safety and environment auditors conducting inspections to check compliance," Mr Marmion said. "I am confident West Australians will benefit from the shale gas industry, with jobs and local community opportunities flowing from the production of this lower-carbon energy source." Fact FileThe new regulations follow a review of WA gas industry regulation by Bond University petroleum specialist Dr Tina HunterA multi-agency framework including the departments of Water, Health, Environment Regulation, Agriculture and Food, Parks and Wildlife and State Development is being developed to assist industry with the legislative changesFor more information and regulation details, visit http// Minister's office - 6552 6800 ​
Agency to tackle drug issues and mental health336Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statementshtml1/07/2015 12:49:08 AM2015-06-30T23:00:00ZBetter integration of the State's mental health, drug and alcohol services Improved delivery of holistic care for people with co-occurring problems The merger today of the Mental Health Commission and the Drug and Alcohol Office aims to improve services for West Australians with mental health, drug and alcohol or co-occurring problems. Mental Health Minister Helen Morton said the amalgamation was driven by the fact that in up to half of cases, drug and alcohol problems co-existed with mental health issues. "Combining the functions of both agencies will provide a more holistic approach to care for people experiencing challenges with their mental health, alcohol or drug use, or both," Mrs Morton said. "The new Mental Health Commission will steer transformation and growth across both sectors consistent with the directions outlined in the Mental Health, Alcohol and Other Drug Services Plan 2015-2025." The Minister said the amalgamation would improve the State-wide delivery of prevention and treatment services and professional education, research and training activities across the drug and alcohol and mental health sectors. "This is a major step forward in the provision of better government services and will streamline processes," she said. The formation of the new agency was finalised today following the formal commencement of the Alcohol and Drug Authority Amendment Act 2015. The Act dissolves the Drug and Alcohol Office and gives responsibility for its functions to the Mental Health Commissioner. Mrs Morton acknowledged outgoing Drug and Alcohol Office executive director Neil Guard. She said Mr Guard had made a significant contribution not only to Western Australia, but also on a national level, to the prevention and awareness of drug and alcohol use and its associated harm. The Minister said the important role of the alcohol and drug sector would be recognised by the establishment of a new statutory advisory board. The Alcohol and Other Drugs Advisory Board will provide expert advice to the Mental Health Commissioner and work in collaboration with the existing Mental Health Advisory Council to assist the Mental Health Commission in achieving a co-ordinated focus on alcohol and other drug use and mental illness. Fact FileStudies estimate that at least 30 to 50 per cent of people with mental health or alcohol or other drug problems, have problems with both This is a change endorsed by State Cabinet in April 2013 Minister's office - 6552 6900 ​
Water grants build resilience in regional WA5Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statementshtml1/07/2015 12:43:37 AM2015-06-30T22:30:00ZGrants to build water supplies in areas with less than 600mm average rainfallBoosting regional water capacity through strategic supply developmentWorking with local governments to drought proof communities Eleven local governments across the Mid-West, Wheatbelt and the Great Southern will receive $888,097 in State Government funding to improve emergency water supplies and reduce use of scheme water for non-potable needs, Water Minister Mia Davies said today. Announcing the Department of Water 2015 Community Water Supply Program grants, Ms Davies said the projects were jointly funded with the shires of Beverley, Coorow, Goomalling, Jerramungup, Kulin, Lake Grace, Merredin, Mount Marshall, Plantagenet, Wagin and Woodanilling. "With funding contributions from the shires, this will see more than $1.7 million invested in projects that will harvest and store additional sources of water such as stormwater," she said. "This water will supplement emergency water supplies, help drought proof communities and save local government ratepayers tens of thousands of dollars in annual expenditure on scheme water." The Minister said the 11 shires - like many others in Western Australia - faced challenges as a result of the drying climate in the south-west of the State and years of low rainfall. "Secure water supplies are vitally important for regional communities, and these projects demonstrate innovation in water efficiency, storage and harvesting, reducing pressure on scheme water supplies with non-potable sources wherever possible," she said. "All of these initiatives help reduce the reliance on costly scheme water and provide water supplies for emergency stock watering, firefighting and irrigation of ovals and streetscapes." Ms Davies said the projects were good examples of how the rural water planning program delivered by the Department of Water was working in partnership with local governments and dryland communities. Fact FileSince 1996 more than $4.7 million has been allocated to 99 projects through the Community Water Supply Program Minister's office - 6552 5500
Incentives to boost farm water supplies4Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statementshtml1/07/2015 12:32:15 AM2015-06-30T22:05:00Z$950,433 worth of rebates paid in the 2014-15 year Tax advantages for the cost of water infrastructure State rebates and Federal tax incentives are providing support to farmers whose water supplies are at risk from low rainfall, Water Minister Mia Davies announced today. "New Federal tax incentives complement our farm water rebates schemes which provide rebates to help farmers in areas receiving less than 600 millimetres a year to build on-farm water infrastructure," Ms Davies said. "This is a great time for farmers to upgrade their on-farm water supplies as they may be able to claim a tax deduction of up to $20,000 of their cash contribution under new incentives announced in the 2015 Federal Budget," she said. Farmers should contact the Australian Taxation Office for further detail. The Minister said the tax incentive was one more reason farmers should take advantage of the State rebates scheme. "I encourage farmers to assess their water storage and supply systems to make the most of what rainfall they do receive to prepare for potential dry seasons ahead," she said. Under the Farm Water Supply Planning Scheme (FWSPS) farmers can claim 50 per cent of the cost of water supply audits and call-backs, up to a maximum value of $750. Farmers can then apply to the Farm Water Rebate Scheme (FWRS) for up to 50 per cent of the cost of a range of infrastructure improvements such as dams and catchments, tanks, pipes and pumping systems including solar energy, identified by the audit under the Farm Water Supply Planning Scheme up to a maximum value of $15,000. Fact File$4 million in rebates from the State Government paid since 2009 including $177,378 through the FWSPS and $3,864,756 to 470 farmers through the FWRSDryland farming areas are those areas receiving an average of less than 600mm of rainfall a yearFor more information, visit http// Details of the ATO accelerated depreciation program are at https// Minister's office - 6552 5500
New era for road safety body3Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statementshtml1/07/2015 12:17:12 AM2015-06-30T22:00:00ZThe Road Safety Commission comes into effect todayThe commission is a stand-alone departmentThe Government has advertised for a permanent Road Safety Commissioner The State Government has further confirmed its commitment to reducing road trauma in Western Australia by today launching the Road Safety Commission. Road Safety Minister Liza Harvey said the commission replaced the Office of Road Safety and moved it out of Main Roads to become a stand-alone department. The Road Safety Commission is responsible for guiding and implementing Government policy to help reduce road trauma and managing the Road Trauma Trust Account. "This elevates the commission's status and reaffirms the Liberal National Government's priority to address road trauma in Western Australia," Mrs Harvey said. The Minister said creating the stand-alone department was the key recommendation of the Browne Review into road safety governance in WA. "The position of Road Safety Commissioner will now be the equivalent of the other heads of departments that the commissioner will be dealing with on road safety issues," she said. Mrs Harvey said the Government had now embarked on an extensive executive search for a permanent Road Safety Commissioner. "We have appointed Kim Papalia, who has more than three decades experience with WA Police, as acting commissioner," she said. "Mr Papalia is currently restructuring the former Office of Road Safety to create the Road Safety Commission and working to implement the recommendations of the Browne Review." The main focus of the Browne Review was on the governance and administration of the former Office of Road Safety. The Minister said although the rate of fatalities had dropped about 25 per cent since the introduction of the Government's Towards Zero road safety strategy in 2008, the Liberal National Government would remain relentless in further reducing road trauma through safer roads, enforcement and education. Fact FileThe Browne Review contained 56 recommendations Minister's office - 6552 5900
Free Transperth travel for seniors extended2Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statementshtml1/07/2015 12:11:06 AM2015-06-30T21:00:00ZExtended free travel for WA Seniors Card holders and carers begins todaySeniors can now travel free after 7pm and before 6am weekdaysTravel already free from 9am to 3.30pm weekdays, weekends and public holidays WA Seniors Card holders, pensioners and carers can now enjoy free public transport for most of the day, with free travel on Transperth services expanded from today. Seniors SmartRider holders were previously eligible for free travel between 9am and 3.30pm on weekdays, and all day on weekends and public holidays. These passengers can now also travel without charge between 7pm and 6am on weekdays. Seniors and Volunteering Minister Tony Simpson said expanded free travel during off-peak times would make it easier for seniors and carers to remain involved in the community. "Public transport is a vital service for Western Australian seniors, providing a safe, accessible, comfortable and affordable way to travel throughout Perth and regional areas," Mr Simpson said. "Seniors make a significant contribution to creating vibrant communities in many ways, whether it be through volunteering and part-time work, helping raise their grandchildren, patronage of the arts and culture or supporting local businesses." From 2009 to March 2015, free off-peak travel has generated 48.4 million free boardings, representing a total saving of more than $32 million for eligible travellers. For more information, call the Transperth InfoLine on 13 62 13 or click here Fact FileSeniors can apply for a SmartRider in person at the WA Seniors Card Centre, obtain an application form from most banks, or online at http// Seniors SmartRiders are free, but passengers who wish to travel on a concession rate outside of free periods must load a minimum of $10 on to their cardIn 20 years, the number of seniors in WA is expected to rise from 458,000 to 865,000 Minister's office - 6552 6600
Vehicle supports caring for country programs867716Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements0html30/06/2015 7:30:58 AM2015-06-30T07:30:00ZLotterywest grant of $52,580 to the Goldfields Land and Sea Council Aboriginal Corporation Towards a new four-wheel drive vehicle to support the activities of the Ngadju landcare ranger program Premier Colin Barnett today presented the Goldfields Land and Sea Council Aboriginal Corporation (GLSC) with a Lotterywest grant of $52,580 towards a new four-wheel drive to support the Ngadju ranger program. Supported by GLSC, the ranger program sees 16 rangers carry out land management projects throughout Norseman and the greater Goldfields region. The program combines contemporary landcare practices with traditional land management regimes including land management training, commercial seed collecting, cultural awareness training to non-Aboriginal audiences and flora and fauna surveys. The Premier acknowledged the far-reaching benefits of the ranger program. "This program does more than just care for land - it enables the transfer of traditional environmental knowledge to younger generations and provides training and employment opportunities for Ngadju people," Mr Barnett said. "The availability of a suitable vehicle solely for the use of the Ngadju landcare rangers will allow their valuable work to continue and expand." It will mean more rangers, their equipment and materials can be safely transported to remote locations throughout Norseman and the Goldfields. The current ranger team has provided more than 240 days of paid employment for more than 10 Ngadju men in the past two years and has created strong social, cultural and health outcomes for the participants. "I look forward to seeing this program continue to grow and provide more training and work opportunities through land management projects into the future," the Premier said. Fact FileGLSC represents the collective interest of Aboriginal people of the Goldfields Esperance region on matters of land, waters, governance, social and economic development, heritage and justiceWA is the only Australian State where money raised from lottery products is distributed directly back to the communityIn 2013-14, Lotterywest distributed a total of $274.5 million to beneficiariesThe full list of grants is available at http// Premier's office - 6552 5000
Feedback sought on future of sandalwood867703Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements0html30/06/2015 5:25:45 AM2015-06-30T05:10:00ZState Government to consult with stakeholders on future of sandalwood industryFeedback will form part of sales and marketing arrangements for wild sandalwood The State Government is calling for stakeholder submissions on the future of the wild Western Australian sandalwood industry. Forestry Minister Mia Davies said the existing industry structure had been in place since 1998, and with current contracts coming to an end, it was timely to review the sales and marketing arrangements. "Wild Western Australian sandalwood has been earning export income for the State since 1844 and it now accounts for more than 60 per cent of the world's supply of sandalwood products," Ms Davies said. "With new contracts for sandalwood starting in 2016 we want to get the right structure for the industry going forward. We will be consulting with stakeholders to get a wide range of views on the options available. "While financial return to the State is important because it provides funds to invest in land management, regeneration and enforcement programs, weighting should also be given to other priorities such as Aboriginal employment and regional economic development." The Minister said the introduction of plantation sandalwood into the market over the next 10 years meant the industry needed to be carefully managed to protect the high value wild sandalwood markets. "Our primary focus for consultation is the next 10-year period, when the industry will be based on wild Western Australian sandalwood," she said. "However, we need to be mindful that the plantation resource will start to become available during this time and we want to ensure that the structure we create could also support private growers and the introduction of this wood into the marketplace." An independent consultant will be seeking submissions from stakeholders during July 2015. There will be public notices on where and how to make a submission. Fact FileWild Western Australian sandalwood is mainly harvested in the pastoral regionsPart proceeds from the harvest and sale of wild WA sandalwood are invested in regeneration of this resourceThere are more than 20,000 hectares of plantation WA sandalwood across the StateFor more information, visit http// Minister's office - 6552 5500
$1.6m research project backs gold sector jobs867704Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements0html30/06/2015 5:02:01 AM2015-06-30T05:00:00ZScientists target new wealth from old groundState, Commonwealth and industry joint venture The State Government has today joined forces with key gold industry players and the CSIRO in a $1.685 million quest to extend the life of major mines and reveal sites for new operations. Launching Pathways To High-Grade Ore 3D Gradient Mapping Of Mineral Systems at Kalgoorlie-Boulder's historic Kanowna Belle gold mine, Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Marmion said the intensive, 12-month research project had a significant upside for mining industry jobs. "This is an ideal time to build on current gold sector activity, by using our world-leading science to target known gold-rich zones," Mr Marmion said. "Mining companies are helping sponsor the project because prolonging the life of proven operations is very cost-effective, especially when it comes to job security." The Pathways project will analyse the earth's crust to develop 3D modelling of gold-bearing systems centred on important Eastern Goldfields geological faults, which host major existing and potential mine sites. The State Government's Minerals Research Institute of Western Australia (MRIWA) is contributing $395,000, the main cash component of the project. Five gold producers are also contributing, with Kanowna Belle owner Northern Star Resources the major industry sponsor. "These 3D models will guide exploration and mine expansion at sponsors' sites," the Minister said. "While we wish industry sponsors like Northern Star a bright future, this research will also help point the way to new discoveries in promising greenfields areas such as the Yamarna greenstone belt, east of Laverton." Dr John Walshe and Dr Adam Bath of the CSIRO's Mineral Resources Flagship will lead the research, building on their four previous Goldfields projects, which also received State Government funding. "The Pathways project will start immediately and highlights the State Government's commitment to WA business and employment," Mr Marmion said. "Extending gold discoveries in the legendary Yilgarn Craton will help sustain our vital Goldfields communities." Fact FileThe Pathways To High-Grade Ore 3D Gradient Mapping Of Mineral Systems project is funded by MRIWA $395,000; Northern Star Resources $110,000; La Mancha Resources $40,000; Saracen Mineral Holdings Ltd $15,000; Excelsior Gold Ltd $10,000; Ramelius Resources $10,000The CSIRO will provide $1.105m in-kind funding, including sample preparation and analysis, data processing, scanning electron microscope analytics and 3D modellingMRIWA is a statutory research funding body supported by $15m in State Government funding Minister's office - 6552 6800