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'Superior' budget performance reinstates WA’s AAA credit rating12350Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statementshtml27/06/2022 6:11:53 AM2022-06-27T06:10:00Z S&P Global upgrades WA's credit rating to AAA stable for the first time in nine years Upgrade reflects the McGowan Government's 'superior' budget performance WA's AAA credit rating restored after it was lost by the Liberals and Nationals in 2013 S&P Global Ratings has commended the McGowan Government's stable and responsible budget management and upgraded Western Australia's credit rating to AAA for the first time in nine years. S&P Global upgraded the State's credit rating from AA+ 'positive' outlook to AAA 'stable' outlook due to "Western Australia's continued budgetary outperformance compared with its domestic and global peers". WA was stripped of its AAA credit rating under the previous Liberal National Government in September 2013, with multiple downgrades from the credit rating agencies due to the State's rapidly deteriorating financial position and the previous government's 'lack of political will' to make difficult decisions. In a report released today, S&P Global state the ratings upgrade was "supported by Western Australia's track record of robust financial management, a very high-income economy, and exceptional liquidity". Importantly, the global ratings agency highlighted that these strengths "help counterbalance risks associated with dependence on the resources sector". S&P's report also assessed "Western Australia's financial management to be very strong" and that "the current government has displayed a track record of robust cost control." Comments attributed to Premier and Treasurer Mark McGowan "WA's financial reputation has been restored after five years of hard work to repair the State's finances. "Our State's reputation took a battering under the previous Liberal National Government, which was responsible for multiple credit rating downgrades due to poor financial management. "Almost a decade on, I'm pleased that my Government has helped our finances turn a corner and we are back to where we should be - the State's finances in surplus and a AAA credit rating. "The restoration of our AAA credit rating enables my Government to provide stability to Western Australians and fund important projects for the State's future. "It will also ensure that the State will pay less interest on its future borrowings and highlights that Western Australia is a safe investment destination." Premier and Treasurer's office - 6552 5000
New chair appointed to Racing and Wagering WA12349Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statementshtml27/06/2022 5:30:26 AM2022-06-27T05:30:00Z Karen Farley SC appointed as new chair of RWWA Outgoing chair Jeff Ovens thanked for his 11 years on the board Peak body for thoroughbred, harness and greyhound racing in WA Racing and Gaming Minister Tony Buti has welcomed Karen Farley SC as the new chair of Racing and Wagering Western Australia (RWWA). Ms Farley is the first woman to be appointed as chair of the State's peak body for thoroughbred, harness and greyhound racing in the board's 20-year history. In addition to an extensive career in law and academia, Ms Farley has more than 30 years of experience serving on government and non-government boards and committees. Ms Farley has been appointed for a term of three years starting on August 1, 2022. She has been on the panel of the Racing Penalties Appeal Tribunal since 1997, and chair since 2018 - a position she will resign before starting on the RWWA board. As the new board welcomes Ms Farley, it farewells retiring chair Jeff Ovens, who has served as chair of RWWA since 2013 following his appointment to the board in 2012. Mr Ovens' tenure has navigated immense industry change, including the transformation of the wagering sector, animal welfare improvements and adapting through the COVID-19 pandemic. During his tenure, the strong performance of the WATAB and creation of wider revenue streams has ensured a resilient local racing sector. The RWWA board has eight members who oversee development and integrity of the racing industry in Western Australia. Comments attributed to Racing and Gaming Minister Tony Buti "I extend a warm congratulations to Karen Farley on her appointment as chair at an exciting time for the local racing industry. "Ms Farley has an impressive wealth of experience and knowledge that will be hugely valuable to the work of the board and industry. "I also want to express my sincere gratitude to Jeff Ovens, who has made immense contributions during his time on the RWWA board. "During his tenure, the strong performance of the WATAB and creation of wider revenue streams has led to a robust and successful racing sector in WA." Minister's office - 6552 6400
Three-bin FOGO service rolling out to Cottesloe residents12348Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statementshtml27/06/2022 2:01:01 AM2022-06-27T02:00:00Z More WA households to get food organics and garden organics (FOGO) recycling Town of Cottesloe delivers better practice waste management to reduce landfill waste The Town of Cottesloe is the first of the Western Metropolitan Regional Council members to transition to FOGO Cottesloe residents can now recycle their food organics and garden organics (FOGO) waste. The Town of Cottesloe began transitioning to the three-bin FOGO system earlier this month, which included implementing a garden organics bin into kerbside collection services. Eligible households now have a kitchen caddy for food scraps, two rolls of compostable liners and a 'How to FOGO' pamphlet. FOGO information sessions have also been hosted by the Town of Cottesloe to prepare residents for the new system. The State Government has committed $20 million to support local governments with transitioning to three-bin FOGO services through the Better Bins Plus Go FOGO program. Under this program, $45,302 of funding has been committed to the Town of Cottesloe. Three-bin FOGO services can make the single biggest contribution to achieving Western Australia's material recovery targets for municipal solid waste. These systems recover organic materials that are recycled into valuable products, including compost and soil conditioner. The three-bin FOGO kerbside collection service consists of a red-lid bin for general waste, a yellow-lid bin for co-mingled recycling, and a green-lid bin for FOGO. For more information on FOGO, visit https//www.wasteauthority.wa.gov.au Comments attributed to Environment Minister Reece Whitby "Organic waste recovery is important. The disposal of organic materials to landfill is a waste of resources and a contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. This program helps ensure household food and garden waste is being turned into compost for farms, parks and gardens. "I congratulate the Town of Cottesloe for being the first council in the western suburbs to introduce FOGO collection. Many households are good recyclers and this latest rollout gives Cottesloe residents the opportunity to recycle compostable waste." Minister's office - 6552 6300
Co-Funding Partnerships Program provides opportunity for increased impact through collaboration12347Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statementshtml27/06/2022 1:06:59 AM2022-06-27T01:00:00Z McGowan Government's Co-Funding Partnership Program to increase support for local researchers and innovators to improve health outcomes for Western Australians State Government investment will leverage matching investments from non-government partners for new research and innovation funding opportunities New collaborative partnership programs include projects, fellowships or infrastructure based on synergies between State Government and partner interests and objectives The McGowan Government has today announced an innovative program aimed to provide an avenue for individuals or organisations to co-fund health and medical research and innovation programs that will contribute to the health and wellbeing of Western Australians. The Co-Funding Partnerships Program (Co-FPP), an initiative of the McGowan Government's Future Health Research and Innovation (FHRI) Fund, provides financial assistance to support health and medical research and innovation projects. The Co-FPP is continuously open so that new partnerships can be established at any time. Potential co-funding partners can submit a proposal which requests FHRI Fund contributions between $500,000 and $1,000,000 per annum where the FHRI Fund contribution will be at least matched by the funding partner. The program provides the opportunity for collaboration so that State Government funding can be combined with non-government funding, where there is a shared vision and goal, to increase financial investment to build the WA research and innovation sector. A key aim of the program is to build and foster a culture that supports co-operation and interconnectedness between parties that have a drive to increase the capacity and capability of WA health and medical researchers and innovators, resulting in improvements in community health and wellbeing and sustainability of the health system. Funding programs generated from a co-funding partnership could result in investment in a range of opportunities for researchers and innovators, including fellowships, research projects, innovation activities or infrastructure. Funding partners wishing to submit a proposal must be non-government, a charitable organisation or from the private sector. The funding must be genuinely new funding and there must be no direct financial benefit to the partner. Successful applicants will be given a unique opportunity to make an investment that has increased impact due to matched funding, to obtain reputational benefits from being associated with the FHRI Fund and to make a difference in an area that will benefit the WA community. More information is available online Future Health Research and Innovation Fund Comments attributed to Medical Research and Innovation and ICT Minister Stephen Dawson "We are looking to form strategic funding partnerships to help drive positive health outcomes for the Western Australian community. "The program has been designed to provide a mechanism for funding partners to co-fund FHRI Fund research and innovation activities that are working toward common goals. "The Co-Funding Partnership Program will increase the funding available for health and medical research and innovation of benefit to WA by enabling collaboration between partners with a shared vision." Minister's office - 6552 5800
Threatened species breeding boom at Perth Zoo12351Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statementshtml27/06/2022 7:38:15 AM2022-06-27T00:30:00Z New western swamp tortoise hatchlings thriving WA fauna emblem numbat celebrates 13 joeys Dozens of dibbler joeys born Population numbers for the numbat, western swamp tortoise and dibbler are set to rise thanks to a recent 'baby boom' at Perth Zoo. This new generation of endangered and critically endangered native icons is being raised behind the scenes at Perth Zoo as part of the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attraction's Biodiversity and Conservation Science program. This season, 67 critically endangered western swamp tortoises have hatched in the Zoo's specialised breeding facility. Once matured, these tortoises will be released into safe Western Australian wild habitat to support fragile populations. Thirteen small numbat joeys have been recorded in pouches and burrows. Perth Zoo remains the only zoological institution in the world to breed numbats, and since 1993 more than 283 have been bred and released into the wild. Staff also complete regular pouch checks with the nine breeding dibblers - four individuals are boasting a rare, full pouch with each individual carrying eight joeys. Plans for a wild release are currently in progress for all three species, in preparation for when the newborns have matured. The breeding program works to safeguard some of WA's most vulnerable native species, bringing them back from the brink of extinction. More than 5,236 Perth Zoo-bred animals from 11 different species have been released back into the wild to bolster populations. Perth Zoo science staff work with conservation managers in DBCA and with other partners such as the Australian Wildlife Conservancy and interstate organisations to release zoo-born animals into safe wild habitat. Comments attributed to Environment Minister Reece Whitby "This is a really outstanding result for conservation efforts in our State. "This native baby boom is certainly one to be celebrated. With many native species facing threats in the wild, each individual born makes a significant impact on the future of the species. "I'd like to extend my thanks and congratulations to all the scientists and animal carers at Perth Zoo and DBCA who work to conserve our iconic native animals. "It's still very early days in the lives of these native newborns, but I look forward to the coming months when experts are able to release them into safe wild habitats." Minister's office - 6552 6300
Celebrating WA small businesses on Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises Day 202212346Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statementshtml27/06/2022 12:16:25 AM2022-06-27T00:00:00Z Monday June 27, 2022 marks the United Nations' Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises Day WA small businesses recognised and celebrated for their contribution to the State's economy and social fabric On Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises Day 2022 (MSME Day), celebrated today by nations across the world, the McGowan Government acknowledges the important contributions made by more than 220,000 small and family businesses in Western Australia. WA small businesses make up 97 per cent of all businesses State-wide, employing 38 per cent of the WA workforce and contributing more than $54 billion to private sector economic activity around the State. The small business sector plays an essential role in diversifying WA's economy, recognised through investment by the McGowan Government in programs and grants such as $1.7 billion to support WA businesses experiencing impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic; the Access Asia Business Grants program to help SMEs grow their export capability to key Asian markets; a $2 million Local Capability Fund (LCF) to assist local businesses to improve their capacity to supply goods, services and works to the State Government, major projects and other important markets; and the ongoing free and low-cost advice and support for small businesses around the State delivered through the Small Business Development Corporation. WA consumers are encouraged to join the McGowan Government in thanking small and family businesses on MSME Day by shopping with them and acknowledging their contribution to jobs, the economy and our communities. Comments attributed to Small Business Minister Don Punch "Supporting and recognising small business is vitally important, as they contribute so much to our economy, society and local communities. "Today on MSME Day, I want to personally say 'thank you' to all WA micro, small and family businesses. "Small business is the backbone of our economy and the heart of our local communities, and MSME Day provides an opportunity to celebrate the difference the sector makes to our State." Minister's office - 6552 6900
First Clean Energy Future Fund project now operational12345Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statementshtml26/06/2022 11:55:42 PM2022-06-26T23:00:00Z Five megawatts of re-deployable solar installed at Carosue Dam gold mine The project pioneers the use of re-deployable solar at mine sites System generating more energy than modelled Supported by $1 million from the Clean Energy Future Fund Nomadic Energy's five megawatts of solar installation at Northern Star's Carosue Dam gold mine near Kalgoorlie is complete, generating clean energy for the mine and reducing emissions by displacing diesel and natural gas use. The project was a recipient of $1 million in the first round of the State Government's Clean Energy Future Fund, which supports innovative clean energy projects and technologies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Nomadic Energy used the funding to employ an innovative Maverick mounting system from Australian company 5B which sees solar panels deployed in a concertina pattern that creates alternating east and west facing panels. The resulting structure is quicker and more cost effective to deploy. During the final phase of installation, Nomadic Energy installed and commissioned two megawatts of generating capacity in under three weeks. This included a record 600 kilowatt of solar capacity deployed in a single day by a team of just four people. The project also uses an innovative business model, where Nomadic Energy retains ownership of the solar system and contracts to supply energy to Northern Star. This reduces complexity and risk for mine operators and facilitates redeployment. The flexibility to redeploy the solar panels removes a key barrier to using green energy at mine sites, where a mine may cease operating before the cost of the solar panels has been recovered. The $19 million Clean Energy Future Fund is administered by the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation, with support from Energy Policy WA. Two rounds of funding have been awarded since its launch in April 2020, providing $14 million to nine innovative projects across Western Australia. The seven Round 2 projects are expected to create hundreds of jobs and avoid over two million tonnes of carbon emissions over their working lives, rising to over 120 million tonnes if the two pilot projects result in commercial scale deployment. More information on the Clean Energy Future Fund and a form to subscribe for email updates can be found at www.wa.gov.au/ceff. Comments attributed to Climate Action Minister Reece Whitby "To meet the State's net zero by 2050 target, we need projects like this that address challenging emissions sources with technologies having strong potential for wider adoption. "Each year, the Nomadic Energy project will displace 5,621 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent, equivalent to taking 1,800 cars off the road. "The State Government's Clean Energy Future Fund is achieving its goals of supporting innovative clean energy projects and technologies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions." Comments attributed to Energy Minister Bill Johnston "The Nomadic Energy project will generate more than 8,800 megawatt hours of energy each year, which is enough to power 1,700 Western Australian homes. "I'm impressed that the number of clean energy generation projects is becoming an increasing trend at mine sites and Nomadic Energy should be congratulated on setting a new standard for industry." Climate Action Minister's office - 6552 6300 Energy Minister's office - 6552 6700
Ready Check GO Working with Children Check campaign helping to keep kids safe12344Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements3230html26/06/2022 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 www.workingwithchildren.wa.gov.au 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 Statements4930html25/06/2022 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 Statements5590html24/06/2022 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//pasturesfromspace.dpird.wa.gov.au 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 Statements5710html24/06/2022 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 Statements2310html24/06/2022 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 Statements5130html24/06/2022 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 Statements10610html24/06/2022 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 Statements21110html24/06/2022 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 WA.gov.au. 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 Statements10070html24/06/2022 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//www.investandtrade.wa.gov.au 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 Statements15710html24/06/2022 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 Statements4090html23/06/2022 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 Statements24440html23/06/2022 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, healthywa.wa.gov.au 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 Statements3790html23/06/2022 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