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McGowan Government leading the way for gender diversity in sport43415Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements3420html10/12/2018 7:19:42 AM2018-12-10T07:10:00Z WA Government helps secure national target of 50 per cent women in leadership roles at Australia's sports governing bodies Agreement reached at Meeting of Sport and Recreation Ministers in Sydney Federal Government adopts new policy after push from Western Australia and other States The McGowan Government has helped spearhead a push for Australian sports governing bodies to commit to having at least 50 per cent women on their executive boards and committees. The deal was struck at the recent Meeting of Sport and Recreation Ministers in Sydney, which saw the tabling of the draft National Policy Framework for Girls and Women. The 50 per cent target is 10 per cent higher than what was originally proposed, and reflects women's representation in the community. The new target was endorsed by all jurisdictions and is now Federal Government policy which will be enacted nationally. The McGowan Government will work with Western Australia's sport and recreation industry to develop a staged implementation strategy to assist sports with any transition. Comments attributed to Sport and Recreation Minister Mick Murray "I am proud that WA has played a key role in this important national initiative. We advocated strongly for the target to be increased to 50 per cent and this is a good result for equality and the sports industry. "Sport plays such an important role in our culture, so it's vital that the governing bodies are representative of our communities. "Diversity in leadership positions not only better reflects our communities, it has been shown to make good business sense and lead to better decision making outcomes. "The McGowan Government is on track to deliver on its election commitment to increase the representation of women on State Government boards to 50 per cent, and we are pleased the sport and recreation industry are now set to follow. "We will be working closely with the sports industry in WA to improve the gender diversity of boards, as we move towards an outcome more representative of our communities." Comments attributed to Women's Interests Minister Simone McGurk "We know that diversity makes good business sense and delivers benefits to the organisation as a whole. "Decision-making bodies should reflect the diversity of their communities. "There are many skilled and capable women with a great deal of expertise to contribute to the sporting industry, and by not having a gender balance we are missing out on a huge array of talent. "This policy sends a message to the sporting community, and the community at large, that gender equality is important and government has a leadership role in driving the agenda for change." Sport and Recreation Minister's office - 6552 6400 Women's Interests Minister's office - 6552 6600
Funding research projects to support safer school and online communities43421Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements3980html10/12/2018 1:36:15 AM2018-12-09T01:00:00Z Research to prevent and manage bullying in Western Australian schools New development of resources to support safer digital technology use in primary schools Health Minister Roger Cook today announced Telethon Kids Institute will receive funding of $764,776 in Healthway grants to advance research into safer school and online communities. The grants are for two distinct projects; developing safe online practices in primary schools and targeting the problem of school bullying. Led by Professor Donna Cross, a Western Australian team of child health researchers will co-ordinate Telethon Kids' Cyber Friendly Primary Schools project, which aims to support parents and schools to promote positive technology use by primary school aged children. This year, the Office of the eSafety Commissioner reported that a quarter of eight to 12-year-olds report receiving unwanted contact or content from people online. Cyber safety is an issue of particular concern to young people and their families, and this research will help to inform the development of new resources to prevent and reduce risk of harm among WA children and promote their wellbeing through positive and safe use of digital technology. Evidence shows that about one in six students in Australia between seven to 17 years of age are bullied at least once a week. Telethon Kids Institute researcher, Dr Jacinta Francis will lead the Building Out Bullying project to investigate how school policies and environmental factors can influence bullying, social relationships and mental health. The research will contribute to the first set of audit tools designed to objectively measure school-built environment features that influence a student's social and mental health. The research grants are provided under Healthway's Research Fellowship and Health Promotion Research Grants programs, and encourage research into the causes and reasons behind community health issues, as well as exploring ways to prevent harm. Comments attributed to Health Minister Roger Cook "The McGowan Government supports this research to help ensure schools and parents have the right tools to nurture a safer environment for young people when they are online and to help eradicate bullying. "A healthy school community is not only crucial for learning but for a child's mental health and wellbeing. It extends beyond the bricks and mortar to the culture, including the online environment. How young people feel about their school community is important to their sense of place, which we know is connected to positive mental health. "We know that cyber safety is a growing concern for parents, teachers and children so targeting children when they are still at primary school with this new research is timely and important. It will help prevent harm and provide skills for the safe use of digital technology." Minister's office - 6552 6500
Event marks decade of redevelopment on Busselton Foreshore43420Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements3850html10/12/2018 1:29:57 AM2018-12-08T06:00:00Z Restoration of historic Busselton Jetty, development of a central hub for youth and community services, and creation of family friendly spaces including playgrounds among achievements celebrated at Showcase Busselton Foreshore Benefits set to continue flowing with commercial sites set to attract investment and stimulate economic growth Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan will today join stakeholders and members of the community to celebrate the decade-long redevelopment of the Busselton Foreshore. From the restoration of the iconic Busselton Jetty to the construction of a youth precinct, the popular coastal stretch has undergone a spectacular transformation over 10 years that has delivered significant social, economic and cultural benefits. The result is a thriving destination that is enjoyed by locals and visitors alike with a visitor centre and exhibition space, along with a skate park, nautical-themed playground and walking promenades among the long list of features that have added to the appeal of the area. The benefits are set to continue flowing to the community in the years ahead, with State Government investment in the creation of commercial sites helping to lay the groundwork for future projects that will boost the economy and create jobs. Short-stay accommodation developments as well as a family restaurant or brewery are proposed for the foreshore. These will further elevate the appeal of the town, located within the State's most visited regional area. Comments attributed to Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan "Over 10 years, the redevelopment project has enhanced the experience offered on the Busselton Foreshore and offered commercial, retail, hospitality and tourism opportunities. The development will continue to draw additional tourists and investors to the region, and provide economic benefits to the State. "This has been a remarkable transformation and we commend the City of Busselton, along with the community and stakeholders, for delivering a bustling, world-class tourist destination. "We look forward to the future evolution of the precinct through the development of short-stay accommodation and delivery of future works planned for the Busselton Jetty. "The McGowan Government will continue its commitment to supporting growth in regional Western Australia." Minister's office - 6552 6200
Beach safety boost with more BEN signs in place for summer43419Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements3140html10/12/2018 1:19:48 AM2018-12-08T00:40:00Z Over 100 new Beach Emergency Numbers signs to be in place by Christmas At least 250 more signs to follow in the new year Local government shows strong support for program Beach safety will be given a further boost this summer with more than 100 new Beach Emergency Numbers (BEN) signs to be in place by the end of the year. The McGowan Government's BEN sign program commenced in December 2017, as an initiative of Rick Gerring, brother of Ben Gerring who lost his life after a shark bite incident in 2016. At the time, there were concerns about emergency services locating the closest beach access point. Each BEN sign has a unique code to help emergency services pinpoint exact locations and improve crucial response times for a range of potentially serious incidents. This summer BEN signs are to be installed in the cities of Busselton, Mandurah, Joondalup, Bunbury and Nedlands; and the shires of Augusta-Margaret River and Coorow with other local governments to follow. The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development has been working closely with eligible local government authorities and other stakeholders to rollout the program, with the goal to eventually have more than 1,100 signs in place from Geraldton to Esperance. To date, 27 of the 32 eligible local government authorities have been actively working to map sign locations and prepare grant applications. This summer, the State Government is encouraging all Western Australians to bring their sea sense to the beach to help keep them safe. Sea sense means things such as checking the SharkSmart website for shark activity, abiding by beach closures and warnings, finding your nearest patrolled beach, or using a scientifically proven personal shark deterrent if you are a surfer or diver. More information is available at http//www.sharksmart.com.au/shark-activity Comments attributed to Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly "I am pleased to see strong support for this McGowan Government project. It is great to see local government authorities collaborating with the State Government to improve beach safety along our beautiful coastline. "WA has an extensive coastline with many metropolitan beaches and remote and regional locations, at time making beach access locations hard to find. "To have signs in place for this summer in the Capes area, beginning with Augusta-Margaret River, is a boost to beach safety in the area and could be vital in saving lives. "In the event of an emergency, the public can call triple zero and quote the BEN sign number with confidence that emergency services will reach the destination as quickly as possible." Minister's office - 6552 6100
South-West beaches get new shark receivers in time for summer43418Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements3110html10/12/2018 1:09:57 AM2018-12-08T00:30:00Z Shark monitoring network extended to Gracetown for the first time Two satellite-linked receivers installed at Cowaramup Bay and one at Lefthanders McGowan Government is doing more than ever before for shark mitigation in WA Safety for South-West beachgoers will be boosted in time for the summer holidays, with the installation of three new satellite-linked receivers that provide near real-time alerts of tagged sharks detected within the receivers' range. The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development is today commencing the installation of two receivers at Cowaramup Bay and one at Lefthanders, a popular surfing spot south of Gracetown. These acoustic receivers are satellite-linked and will detect any tagged sharks that come within 400 to 500 metres of them. Locations for the receivers were chosen following an online survey conducted by the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development with South-West communities. These latest installations bring the number of satellite-linked receivers in Western Australia's shark monitoring network to 30, with others located throughout the Perth metropolitan area, Bunbury, Busselton, Meelup, Yallingup, Albany and Esperance. The shark monitoring network plays an important role for beachgoers who want to use their sea sense at the beach. Near real-time alerts of sharks detected on the network are posted to the SharkSmart.com.au activity map and the Surf Life Saving WA Twitter feed. This allows beachgoers to make an informed decision before entering the water. WA's shark monitoring network is just one part of the State Government's comprehensive shark mitigation strategy. This strategy includes enhanced beach helicopter and drone patrols; a world-first personal shark deterrent subsidy for divers and surfers; beach enclosures; and a SMART drumline trial off Gracetown to start in early 2019. To learn more about developing your sea sense and the State Government's shark mitigation strategy, visit http//www.sharksmart.com.au Comments attributed to Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly "With summer and the holiday season here, beach safety continues to be a high priority for the McGowan Government. "Since we came to government we have extended the shark monitoring network to Esperance and Gracetown, both locations of previous fatal attacks. I can't understand why the previous Liberal National Government never put receivers in these locations. "Shark detections from these receivers are provided in near real-time to land managers and relevant authorities, who can take the appropriate actions to ensure beach safety, and information is also posted publicly to the SharkSmart activity map and SLSWA Twitter feed. "These receivers are located at popular surfing spots and information provided by the receivers will help people make an informed choice before entering the water. "This summer we are asking every Western Australian to use their sea sense. This includes checking SharkSmart.com.au before heading to the beach, swimming at a patrolled beach, or if surfing or diving, investing in a scientifically proven personal shark deterrent. "It is still important that water users remain vigilant and to alert other people in the area to any shark sightings they make. All shark sightings should be reported to the Water Police on 9442 8600." Minister's office - 6552 6100
Boost for WA jobs and local lobster supply from WA’s most iconic fishery43417Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements7110html10/12/2018 12:37:55 AM2018-12-07T23:50:00Z McGowan Government embarks on plan to grow the State's lobster industry for greater community benefit Potential to create up to 500 WA jobs and double the value of the industry WA to establish the first-ever annual international lobster festival in the Asia-Pacific The McGowan Government plans to double the value of Western Australia's acclaimed western rock lobster industry and create up to 500 WA jobs. Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly today announced the Government and the industry's peak body, Western Rock Lobster (Council), have agreed on an innovative industry development package that will substantially grow the industry to provide more benefits to the Western Australian community. The staged plan proposes increasing the commercial catch from 6,300 tonnes to 8,000 tonnes, well within the sustainable limits of the resource. The additional catch will improve revenue to the State Government and increase local lobster supplies. Through this plan, existing western rock lobster licence holders will benefit from an increased catch allocation, with an additional 315 tonnes provided in 2019, and also greater access security. New fishing units will also be created and held by Government for the benefit of the community. This will include the creation of up to 500 WA jobs, increased revenue from the fishery for investment in essential public services, significantly increased local lobster supply for international tourists and Western Australians, and the first-ever international lobster festival in the Asia-Pacific. The State Government will also invest $27.5 million over the next five years to develop the industry, which will include the establishment of a new body corporate and an Institute for Spiny Lobster Research. This institute will support market development and education initiatives; industry innovation, leadership and professional development; and community engagement. The western rock lobster fishery was the first fishery in the world to be certified as ecologically sustainable by the international Marine Stewardship Council. Since then, the fishery has been successfully recertified three times with the last assessment in 2017. Recent scientific studies have confirmed the WA resource is once again in a healthy state. The details of this industry development plan will now go out for consultation. Comments attributed to Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly "This innovative plan will reap huge rewards for the industry and the broader Western Australian community. It has the potential to create up to 500 WA jobs (many in regional areas), double the value of the industry and significantly increase the supply of lobsters into the local market. "It aligns with the Western Rock Lobster (Council)'s vision to grow the industry's gross value of production to more than $1 billion by 2028 and to help build a professional and resilient industry. "Existing operators in the industry fish about 80 per cent of the sustainable catch, leaving 20 per cent of this community-owned resource currently unfished. "I appreciate that the existing fishers would prefer to be granted free ownership of the additional 1,700 tonnes of commercial lobster catch. However, this is a community-owned resource. Sharing the new tonnage - 315 to existing fishers and 1,385 to the State Government on behalf of the Western Australian people - is a fair result. "With this unfished potential, and strong export demand for WA's iconic lobsters, the time is right to ensure that present and future generations of Western Australians enjoy a share in the benefits from this iconic community-owned resource. "The plan also includes creating the Asia Pacific's first-ever international lobster festival. We want to take what we've learnt from the successful Mandurah crab festival and create a unique festival that draws in tourists and gives Western Australians the opportunity to taste our delicious lobster. "We are very pleased to be working alongside this dynamic industry to manage our world class lobster fishery, and ensure future economic contribution of this community resource flows back to Western Australians." Minister's office - 6552 6100 Lobster fact sheet.pdf
Schools earn cash to help reduce waste19639Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements4010html7/12/2018 7:52:08 AM2018-12-07T07:50:00Z $92,925 for Waste Wise Schools across the State Program teaches students the three Rs - reduce, reuse, recycle A total of 30 Western Australian schools have received more than $90,000 for projects that reduce the amount of waste disposed of to landfill. Environment Minister Stephen Dawson today announced the grants to seven regional and 23 metropolitan schools accredited under the Waste Wise Schools program. The money will be spent on a range of sustainable waste projects at schools - from kitchen gardens, worm farms, recycling bins and composters to garden tools and chickens. Lakelands Primary School in Mandurah will receive $11,938 to set up a waste wise outdoor classroom with a shed and mini greenhouse to facilitate composting and growing seedlings. Madeley Primary School will spend its $8,800 grant on its reducing waste to landfill project - setting up an outdoor classroom, recycling station and a trailer to take recyclables to Tamala Park Recycling Centre. They will also buy Green Team vests and signage to make recycling easy. More than 200,000 children attend 454 accredited Waste Wise Schools across WA. The program delivers educational resources aimed at changing behaviour to avoid the generation of waste and encourage diverting waste from landfill. Last year, WA Waste Wise Schools recycled almost 200,000 kilograms of paper and diverted nearly 90,000 kilograms of fruit and vegetable scraps from landfill through worm farming and composting. Accredited schools also recycle batteries, mobile phones, ink cartridges, coffee pods and toothbrushes. The Waste Wise Schools program is funded by the State Government through the Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Account, administered by the Waste Authority. Applications for the next Waste Wise Schools grants round will be open from today (December 7) to March 1, 2019. For more information on the program or to become accredited, visit the Waste Authority website. Comments attributed to Environment Minister Stephen Dawson "Western Australian schoolchildren are setting a fantastic example through their culture of reduce, reuse, recycle. "Students at Waste Wise Schools show an impressive commitment to changing their behaviour to avoid waste and minimise the amount that ends up in landfill. "They then take this sustainable behaviour home and share it with their parents, siblings and friends. "We all have a responsibility to do the right thing and adopt smarter waste management practices at home, at work and at school. "This Government has already committed to a number of strategic waste reforms including banning lightweight plastic bags and introducing a container deposit scheme." Minister's office - 6552 5800
Nippers funding makes a splash19638Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements3540html7/12/2018 6:59:06 AM2018-12-07T06:55:00Z Lotterywest provides $700,000 to Surf Life Saving WA to support nippers program Funding to purchase equipment and safety devices Surf Life Saving WA (SLSWA) has received $700,000 towards equipment and safety devices to support the nippers program, thanks to the State Government and Lotterywest. SLSWA counts 8,000 Western Australian children aged five to 12 in their nippers program, held at 31 of their clubs around the State - with enrolments growing from year to year. The new equipment and safety devices will contribute to a development program that sees nippers taken all the way through the journey from learning water awareness and surf safety to becoming a qualified surf lifesaver. This will add to the already extensive pool of surf lifesavers who provide an invaluable service to the community in patrolling our beaches and keeping Western Australians safe in the surf. Sport and Recreation Minister Mick Murray presented SLSWA with the State Government funding at the Parliament of Western Australia, where he wished the organisation the best in shaping the next generation of strong swimmers and surf lifesavers. Comments attributed to Sport and Recreation Minister Mick Murray "The WA Government, through Lotterywest, is extremely proud to be supporting community programs such as SLSWA's nippers program, which keeps kids active, healthy and safe. "WA is a State of beach lovers and every bit of this grant will go towards ensuring kids are able to safely enjoy our beautiful coast. "This funding will give our next generation of surf lifesavers a strong start, as they follow the thousands of SLSWA volunteers who have saved countless lives patrolling our beaches over the years." Minister's office - 6552 6400
Three new aquatic centres dive into waterwise program19637Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements5860html7/12/2018 3:03:41 AM2018-12-07T03:00:00Z Bayswater Waves, Scarborough Beach Pool and Broome Recreation and Aquatic Centre recognised as Waterwise Aquatic Centres Waterwise Aquatic Centres have saved about 858 million litres of water since 2008 Bayswater Waves, Scarborough Beach Pool and Broome Recreation and Aquatic Centre have been recognised as Waterwise Aquatic Centres. The Waterwise Aquatic Centre Program is a joint initiative of the Water Corporation and the Leisure Institute of WA Aquatics, with 39 centres endorsed across the State. Over the past decade, Waterwise Aquatic Centres have saved about 858 million litres of water - in aquatic centre terms that is 81 Olympic swimming pools of water. Bayswater Waves, which is run by the City of Bayswater, installed sub-meters at their centre and are monitoring their water use to proactively identify leaks. The centre will also carry out a refurbishment of its change rooms which will include water efficient showerheads and push button taps. Scarborough Beach Pool, run by the City of Stirling, opened in January and features waterwise fixtures such as automated shower timers, and water efficient taps and toilets. The pool is also heated using a geothermal system which is estimated to save about 1,800 tonnes of CO2 each year. Broome Recreation and Aquatic Centre, run by the Shire of Broome, installed a 50,000 litre tank to treat and recycle backwash water from the pool, which is then recycled to irrigate its lawn and garden which features waterwise native plants. The centre also has water efficient toilets and showers. The cities of Bayswater and Stirling are also part of the Waterwise Councils Program. For more information about the Waterwise Aquatic Centre Program, visit https//www.watercorporation.com.au/waterwisepools Comments attributed to Water Minister Dave Kelly "Congratulations to the City of Bayswater, City of Stirling and Shire of Broome for your efforts to save water and to have your centres recognised through the Waterwise Aquatic Centre Program. "Through the program, the Water Corporation and Leisure Institute of WA Aquatics provide aquatic centre managers with advice and information to review operational water use and support to promote waterwise practices in their centres. "Climate change in WA is having very real consequences. I encourage other local governments with aquatic centres which aren't yet participating in the program to get involved." Minister's office - 6552 6100
New Department of Education director general appointed19636Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements53160html7/12/2018 12:50:30 AM2018-12-07T00:45:00Z Lisa Rodgers appointed new Director General of the Department of Education Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery has welcomed the appointment of Lisa Rodgers as the new Director General of the Department of Education. Ms Rodgers' appointment follows a formal Public Sector Commission appointment process. She commences in the role on January 28, 2019. Ms Rodgers has held numerous roles in the education sector in Australia and New Zealand, including senior roles in New Zealand's Ministry of Education. Since 2016, Ms Rodgers has been chief executive of the Australian Institute of Teaching and School Leadership. Ms Rodgers will be responsible for leading the Department of Education as it works to equip public school students with the skills they need to achieve academically. The department is focused on lifting student performance in Aboriginal and lower socio-economic groups, and assisting schools to adapt to a shifting social and educational environment. Comments attributed to Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery "I congratulate Ms Rodgers on her appointment. She has extensive experience in the education sector in New Zealand and Australia, and is well-placed to lead the department into the future. "I'd like to celebrate the appointment of another woman in a senior public service position, and I look forward to working with Ms Rodgers. "I'd like to acknowledge the Public Sector Commission's work in carrying out the appointment process which has led to Ms Rodgers' selection." Minister's office - 6552 5700
State accepts Commonwealth's $121m offer on remote communities19635Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements10910html6/12/2018 11:41:40 PM2018-12-06T23:00:00Z McGowan Government reserves right to negotiate future funding deals Commonwealth still intent on ending involvement in remote housing in WA Support for remote communities will continue to be a financial challenge The State Government has agreed to a $121 million deal with the Commonwealth to help fund remote communities in Western Australia. The deal ends months of uncertainty after the previous 10-year, $1.1 billion National Partnership Agreement on Remote Housing expired on June 30, 2018. WA had argued the Commonwealth has historic and moral obligations to provide ongoing funding support, while the Commonwealth's position was to completely axe ongoing, long-term funding and make the State fully responsible for remote housing. Negotiations broke down following an initial offer of $60 million over three years, for the Commonwealth to walk away from any further funding commitment. Under the new $121 million deal for 2018-19, the Commonwealth holds the view that this will be a final funding contribution before the State Government takes over complete responsibility for WA's remote housing. While acknowledging this position, the State Government reserves its right to negotiate with any future Federal Government and strike long-term, funding arrangements that provide for the advancement and interests of people living in remote communities. WA currently spends about $90 million annually supporting housing and essential services such as power, water and waste management in about 165 remote communities across the State. The State Government will continue to collaborate with Aboriginal Western Australians to improve life outcomes, including in housing, and will engage with the Commonwealth to consider other priorities for the Closing the Gap Refresh. Comments attributed to Housing Minister Peter Tinley "The State Government has consistently argued the Commonwealth's initial offer of $60 million over three years to exit any ongoing funding agreement to support remote communities was unacceptable. "This $121 million offer demonstrates the Commonwealth agrees with that fundamental position. "But although the State Government has accepted this deal, we remain disappointed the Commonwealth still intends to walk away from ongoing long-term funding support for remote housing. "An ongoing shortfall from the Commonwealth - estimated at approximately $100 million annually - will obviously create difficulties for the State Government. "So I look forward to revisiting this issue and reopening joint funding discussions with any future Federal Government." Comments attributed to Aboriginal Affairs Minister Ben Wyatt "While the McGowan Government accepts the Commonwealth's offer as a short-term fix to the highly complex issue of providing remote communities in WA with housing, we do not approve of its plan to walk away from its responsibilities for Aboriginal people in remote WA. "The McGowan Government is strongly committed to the long-term intergovernmental principle that supporting remote communities is a shared responsibility. "We will continue to work with the Commonwealth to ensure this principle is upheld for the long-term sustainability of remote Aboriginal communities in WA. "If the Commonwealth persists in walking away and closes the door on indigenous Australians, it will be almost impossible to make real progress on the Closing the Gap targets." Housing Minister's office - 6552 5300 Aboriginal Affairs Minister's office - 6552 5900
Extraordinary Western Australians honoured at Volunteer Service Awards19614Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements4190html6/12/2018 9:26:44 AM2018-12-06T09:25:00Z Awards recognise volunteers who have provided 25 years or more of voluntary service to one organisation Volunteering Minister Mick Murray has congratulated the recipients of this year's Volunteer Service Awards. This year's Volunteer Service Awards, presented by the Governor of Western Australia, Hon Kim Beazley AC, recognise 53 long-serving volunteers, including some who have dedicated more than 50 years of service to one organisation. The ceremony coincided with International Volunteer Day, held around the world annually yesterday (December 5). The theme for International Volunteer Day 2018 is 'Volunteers build resilient communities', and focuses on local volunteers who work to make their communities more resilient against natural disasters, economic stresses and other crises. The 53 winners were drawn from across Western Australia - with metropolitan award winners coming from local government areas including Rockingham, Stirling, Bassendean, Vincent, Joondalup, Wanneroo, Cambridge, Cockburn, Swan, East Fremantle, Canning and Mosman Park. In the regions, winners hailed from Harvey, Plantagenet, Bunbury, Collie, Port Hedland, Pingelly, Yalgoo and York. Comments attributed to Volunteering Minister Mick Murray "The Volunteer Service Awards is an important means of thanking our volunteers for their efforts in building resilient and connected communities. "International Volunteer Day is an opportunity to recognise and raise awareness of the outstanding contribution made by volunteers across our State. "The actions of volunteers make a difference to so many, so often, and can influence and benefit a community for a long time." Minister's office - 6552 6400
Keystart gets $421 million boost to assist housing sector19628Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements8700html6/12/2018 5:36:57 AM2018-12-06T05:30:00Z Expanded lending capability aims to create and retain jobs, stimulate WA economy Keystart accounts for more than a third of all first homebuyer loans in 2017-18 financial year WA has highest percentage of first homebuyers in the nation The McGowan Government will extend the loan book of the State's highly successful Keystart scheme by $420.9 million, as part of a suite of measures to improve housing affordability for Western Australians. Premier Mark McGowan announced the extension today ahead of the State Government's Mid-Year Review scheduled for later this month. The extension for Keystart - on top of the $500 million already approved since the McGowan Government came to power - will help more Western Australians into home ownership at a time when property prices are more affordable. Of the 2,789 loans approved in total by Keystart in 2017-18, 2,169 were for construction or newly constructed homes - building activity that stimulated the State's economy by supporting an estimated 1,700 jobs and generating up to $670 million in economic activity. As the housing market stabilises, the McGowan Government has developed a suite of responses to support the residential construction sector and provide more people with the chance to achieve home ownership - including boosting Keystart's lending capacity to $4.8 billion. Based on the median value of loans, the extension potentially equates to an extra 1,100 home loans. Comments attributed to Housing Minister Peter Tinley "Extending Keystart's lending capacity is expected to put more homebuyers in front of the building companies, thereby supporting the industry's chances of retaining and creating jobs and stimulating the State's economy. "At the direction of the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority, banks have tightened credit controls in the past three to four years. The Banking Royal Commission appears to have accelerated this tightening process. "As a result, loan applicants' expenses are under closer scrutiny. For example, the number of expense categories assessed by banks has increased and credit is harder to obtain. "But Keystart offers an attractive alternative. As the most successful scheme of its kind in Australia, Keystart reduces financial barriers for Western Australians entering the property market. "First homebuyers engaging a traditional lender generally require a deposit of at least 20 per cent of the property value in order to avoid paying Lenders' Mortgage Insurance, but under Keystart the deposit for first homebuyers is as low as two per cent of the purchase price. "Because Keystart also does not charge Lenders' Mortgage Insurance, the total upfront costs are substantially lower than those charged by a traditional lender. "Since its establishment as a Labor Government initiative in 1989, Keystart has approved more than 66,700 loans - enabling more than 102,000 Western Australians to own their own homes. "The McGowan Government's continued support for first homebuyers through the $10,000 first home owner grant is a critical source of funds for customers in meeting Keystart's deposit requirements. "In 2017-18, Keystart approved 2,474 loans eligible for the first home owners grant - 34 per cent of all first home owner grants approved in WA this year. "Keystart is one of the main reasons why WA has the highest percentage of first homebuyers in the nation and extending its loan book is an important way to deliver more home ownership for WA households." Minister's office - 6552 5300
Sideffect website boosts fight against synthetic and illicit drugs19626Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements4360html6/12/2018 4:40:05 AM2018-12-06T04:35:00Z Lotterywest grant of $89,500 to help educate youth, families about substance abuse Early intervention plays a critical role in facilitating informed decisions that can save lives Youth Minister Peter Tinley presented not-for-profit organisation Sideffect with an $89,500 cheque today to develop a new website aimed at educating young people and boosting wider discussion about synthetic and illicit drugs. The new website will highlight the impact of substance abuse and empower young people to make informed decisions about their individual health, wellbeing and relationships. It will also facilitate discussion between young people, parents, teachers and the broader community, and provide resources to help parents who struggle with discussing drugs with their children. Lotterywest remains the only lottery in Australia that is State Government owned and operated, with most of the money spent on tickets going back to Western Australians through prizes and grants. Rodney Bridge founded Sideffect in 2015 following the death of his 16-year-old son Preston. Comments attributed to Youth Minister Peter Tinley "The McGowan Government firmly believes in the benefits of early intervention when dealing with drug addiction and substance abuse. "This is why education is a key plank in the State's Methamphetamine Action Plan and why we support Sideffect's efforts to empower young people to make informed decisions about drug use - decisions which can potentially save lives. "It is critical that conversations with young people about drugs happen early and in an honest way, and that parents, teachers and others in the community have the necessary tools to help them in that discussion." Minister's office - 6552 5300
Extra drug and alcohol rehab beds to open in the South-West19625Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements6550html6/12/2018 4:33:14 AM2018-12-06T04:30:00Z 19 new beds to treat drug and alcohol dependency to open in the South-West A further 15 specialist treatment beds expected to be operational by March Election commitment fast-tracked to deliver services earlier than expected The Minister for Mental Health visited the Palmerston Association in Brunswick Junction today to announce the organisation has been awarded a tender and funding of $1,104,580 per annum to operate 19 new beds for alcohol and drug rehabilitation from January 1, 2019. The announcement means the McGowan Government is on track to deliver early on its election commitment to provide 33 new residential rehabilitation and withdrawal beds in the South-West region. Negotiations are continuing with another service provider to purchase an additional 12 residential rehabilitation beds and three withdrawal beds. It is anticipated these beds will become operational by March 2019, bringing the total number of extra beds to 34. Methamphetamine use is highest in regional Western Australia, and the recently released Methamphetamine Action Plan Taskforce report highlighted a need to prioritise funding of alcohol and other drug treatment services to address immediate and unmet demand. In the 2018-19 Budget, the State Government fast-tracked the delivery of specialist alcohol and drug rehab services through an improved service delivery approach. This has enabled the additional treatment beds to be made available two years earlier than previously promised with the shift from a capital build also allowing greater flexibility. As we create greater awareness and reduce stigma, more people are seeking treatment. It is essential that when people seek help, the right services are available close to individuals' home and personal supports. For free help, call the Alcohol and Drug Support Line - (08) 9442 5000 or 1800 198 024 (Country), or visit your closest Community Alcohol and Drug Service. Comments attributed to Mental Health Minister Roger Cook "These new residential beds will provide vital support for people who need help and for their families who also live with the devastating impact of drug and alcohol abuse. "We've listened to the community and they've been telling us more services in the South-West are needed to help treat alcohol and drug issues. These services will ensure individuals have more access to treatment, closer to where they live. "Tackling alcohol and other drug, and associated harms, is a complex issue. We will continue to work with the community, non-government organisations and those on the ground, who experience the effects firsthand, to address this issue." Minister's office - 6552 6500
WA Police Force officers shine in excellence awards19627Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements4680html6/12/2018 5:26:52 AM2018-12-06T01:15:00Z 175 nominations received Recognising outstanding commitment and contribution to the WA community A police officer who headed up the search effort for missing Perth grandfather Ian Collett has taken out the individual category at this year's Nine News WA Police Excellence Awards. Mundijong Police officer-in-charge Darryl Brandis was announced as the winner of the individual police officer category at an awards breakfast at Crown Perth this morning. Senior Sergeant Brandis co-ordinated the massive search operation to find Mr Collett, who lived with dementia and disappeared from his home on May 19. The search ran for weeks and involved hundreds of police, SES volunteers and community members. Sadly, the body of the 65-year-old grandfather was found after the official search ended. Mr Collett's family themselves, nominated Senior Sergeant Brandis as part of their appreciation for his efforts. The Mental Health Police Co-Response team took out the team category at the awards. The Australian-first initiative involves WA Police Force officers and mental health practitioners working together to co-respond to calls for assistance, where mental health illness is identified as a possible factor. Now in its fifth year, the Nine News WA Police Excellence Awards recognise the outstanding commitment and dedication of police officers to keep the community of Western Australia safe. This year a total of 175 nominations were received from community members, sporting groups, schools, local government, family members and colleagues. The winners of the individual and team awards receive a $5,000 prize and the two finalists each receive a $1,000 prize. The sponsors of the awards are Channel Nine Perth, Crown Perth, P&N Bank and 882 6PR. Comments attributed to Police Minister Michelle Roberts "These awards celebrate the very best of our WA Police Force. "Police officers across the State do an extraordinary job in often challenging circumstances. "Nominations like the ones received for these awards, show the contribution of police officers to keeping Western Australia safe, is very much appreciated by the community. "I congratulate all of those who were nominated and I particularly commend the winners." Minister's office - 6552 6900
Broome Port dredging to begin mid-201919624Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements7690html6/12/2018 1:40:30 AM2018-12-06T01:00:00Z Broome Port channel optimisation project to create 24-hour cruise ship access $8 million funding boost for more rock removal from navigational channel and ease ship access to Broome Port Delivering election commitment to boost cruise tourism and create jobs in WA A McGowan Government commitment to upgrade Broome Port, improving cruise ship access and boosting local tourism, will be ready for the 2019 cruise season in October. Work to dredge the port channel will allow round-the-clock access for cruise ships, which currently need to dock at irregular hours due to the port's navigational hazards. The State Government has committed an extra $8 million to the Channel Optimisation Project in Broome following recent geotechnical assessments that showed a higher density and volume of rock would need to be dredged. Attracting more cruise ships to Western Australia is a key component of the McGowan Labor Government's tourism strategy. As part of plans for Broome, the McGowan Labor Government will work with the cruise ship industry to develop more landside destination options for passengers visiting Broome, to generate additional visitor spend and more jobs for locals. The McGowan Government's commitment to fix Broome Port prompted Carnival Australia to re-commit to home berthing its P&O ships in WA in October last year, saving the regional port town being removed from cruise itineraries. The dredging is scheduled to take place in mid-2019 as an outcome of negotiations with the dredge contractor and to coincide with the mobilisation of dredging equipment for a project in Port Hedland. Meanwhile, the Kimberley Ports Authority has received the outcome of an independent report into the viability of below deck cruise passenger access at the Port of Broome wharf. The report rules out a below deck gangway as an option for the Broome wharf due to risk to passenger safety by being placed in the crush zone and the slope of the gangway being non-compliant with Australian Standards. The State Government and Kimberley Ports Authority are committed to improving the cruise passenger experience and will proceed with an above deck gangway design that will better accommodate and speed up disembarkation for the majority of cruise vessel passengers. Comments attributed to Transport Minister Rita Saffioti "The original funding commitment has been increased to ensure the best possible outcome for shipping accessibility arising from the dredging project in Broome. "Providing unrestricted cruise ship access to Broome, along with the creation of cheaper airfares from Perth to Broome, is creating real opportunities for more people to visit the Kimberley. "Cruise liners are eager to include Broome on their itineraries and the local benefits are obvious - Carnival alone contributes about $32 million in economic benefits by visiting places like Broome, Albany, Busselton and Geraldton." Comments attributed to Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan "Cruise ship tourism provides a real economic boost to regional communities, bringing new visitors to towns and supporting local businesses. "Broome is the pearl of WA's north, and our Government is running at every opportunity to drive tourism to the town. "Alongside projects like the Chinatown revitalisation, our support for unrestricted cruise ship access to Broome Port will open up new opportunities for Broome tourism." Comments attributed to Tourism Minister Paul Papalia "The cruise sector is a vital part of the tourism industry and helps an increasing number of visitors enjoy our extraordinary State. "When Carnival stopped homeporting in Western Australia because of some port issues, we acted swiftly to rectify the problems at Geraldton and Fremantle ports and, most importantly, dredge the Broome port in time for the 2019 cruise season. "Princess Cruises responded with the biggest investment a cruise brand has ever made in this State, announcing it would homeport the Sun Princess superliner in Fremantle for a record 141 days in 2019-20. "The cruise industry employs around 1,400 full-time jobs and injects $276 million to the Western Australian economy annually." Transport Minister's office - 6552 5500 Regional Development Minister's office - 6552 6200 Tourism Minister's office - 6552 5600
Parliament passes tough parole laws for WA’s worst killers19623Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements5310html5/12/2018 11:48:57 PM2018-12-05T23:45:00Z Sentence Administration Amendment (Multiple Murderers) Act 2018 passes through WA State Parliament Attorney General will be able to direct that mass murderers and serial killers must not be considered for parole or re-socialisation during their term of appointment Key election commitment intended to limit trauma to survivors, family and friends of murder victims The McGowan Labor Government has delivered on yet another key law and order election commitment, with tough laws dealing with parole for Western Australia's worst killers passing through the State Parliament. Under the new laws, the Attorney General will be able to instruct the Prisoners Review Board to suspend the assessment, consideration or reporting for parole or a re-socialisation program for mass murderers and serial killers for up to six years at a time. The reforms will alleviate the trauma and suffering that survivors and secondary victims of homicide must endure every three years under the existing parole regime. Mass murderers and serial killers are defined as those who commit three or more murders on the same day or two or more murders on separate days, respectively. Comments attributed to Attorney General John Quigley "In 2017, WA Labor went to the election seeking a specific mandate for tougher parole laws for serial killers and mass murderers and we were elected overwhelmingly on that mandate. "These reforms amend the Sentence Administration Act 2003 (WA) so that an Attorney General may direct that mass murderers and serial killers not be periodically considered for parole every three years, but to defer consideration for six years with the capacity for further deferrals every six years. "The new laws are designed to reduce the trauma suffered by survivors and secondary victims of mass and serial murder. In no other State of Australia can the Attorney General direct the Prisoners Review Board not to consider parole. "In framing this extreme measure, we confined it to mass murderers and serial killers in line with our election commitment. "I will be writing to the Prisoners Review Board to defer Catherine Birnie's parole consideration, which is due on February 1, 2019, for six years. At the expiration of the six years, whoever is Attorney General can defer it for a further six years if he or she thinks it's appropriate. "I am pleased that the McGowan Government has delivered this important election commitment which has received widespread support from the WA community." Attorney General's office - 6552 6800
Streamline WA: Making it easier to do business in Western Australia19615Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements15020html5/12/2018 11:36:28 PM2018-12-05T22:00:00Z Streamline WA is a new initiative to encourage more investment in Western Australia The new initiative will improve how government interacts with private and community sectors, and develop best practice principles for creating and applying regulation Steering committee to be established and will work with agency and department representatives and leaders from industry and community groups The McGowan Government is committed to delivering a whole of sector approach to deliver real outcomes for Western Australians Premier Mark McGowan today launched Streamline WA, an initiative to encourage more investment in Western Australia by changing the way government interacts with private and community sectors and creating better ways of applying regulation. The initiative is an innovative whole of sector approach to develop best practice principles for making and applying regulation. Streamline WA will assess referrals and prioritise areas of reform against set criteria throughout the year to provide accountability and avoid time and effort being spent on ambit issues, before they are allocated to agencies for action. It will be a one-stop-shop for business, industry and the community to refer regulatory issues, and will also be provided with advice from independent bodies including the Office of the Auditor General and the Economic Regulation Authority. Streamline WA will be led by a steering committee and working groups with representatives from the Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Department of Treasury, regulatory and economic development agencies, and leaders from industry and community groups. Public sector agencies will report annually on their reform activities, which will be presented as an annual Economic Reform Statement by the Treasurer to State Parliament. The McGowan Government was elected on the platform of driving reform and change across the public service to deliver real outcomes for Western Australians. The Service Priority Review, a key election commitment, found significant economic, environmental and social opportunities could be enhanced through better regulation and regulatory practices. Streamline WA will complement these initiatives, making it easier for businesses to invest in WA, help diversify the economy and create more jobs for Western Australians. Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan "Two of our key election commitments were to create more local jobs for Western Australians and to ensure the public service and government were delivering real outcomes for our community. "Streamline WA will help deliver on both commitments, freeing the Western Australian economy more to reach its full potential. "Our Service Priority Review found there were significant economic, environmental and social opportunities available through better regulation and regulatory practices. "It's not about removing regulation altogether - but rather about liberating business and industry from barriers, costs and complexity of ineffective regulation and bureaucracy, and bringing us into the modern era. "Streamline WA will complement the Service Priority Review and the Machinery of Government changes, making it easier for businesses to invest in WA, diversify the economy and create more jobs for Western Australians." Premier's office - 6552 5000
Church bells toll for Toodyay heritage listing49542Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements5440html5/12/2018 6:53:45 AM2018-12-05T06:50:00Z Church buildings - including a former house locals call 'The Ship' - heritage listed Buildings purchased in 1902 for use as Sisters of Mercy boarding school Toodyay's Roman Catholic Church group has been recognised as an important historical and religious landmark and today joins the State Register of Heritage Places. The group of buildings has been used for various religious purposes over the years and to this day remains a strong architectural presence on Toodyay's main street. It includes what is known locally as 'The Ship', a two-storey Victorian Georgian style brick and shingle house built in the 1860s by Toodyay's resident Medical Officer, Colonial Surgeon Dr Arthur Growse. In 1902, the Roman Catholic Bishop of Perth purchased 'The Ship' and a neighbouring property for use as a girl's boarding school by the Sisters of Mercy, Australia's first religious order dedicated to teaching. The convent building, Mercy House was built in 1903 and additional boarding facilities were constructed in the 1920s to meet growing demand. This included a boy's combined school and dormitory building, St Aloysius House, and an additional girl's dormitory, O'Connor House. The Sisters of Mercy occupied the place until 1983 as their convent residence; place of worship and school, and as a base for religious education programs and school camps. From 1997 to 2017, the buildings were home to a small number of Franciscan friars known as Franciscans of the Immaculate. Comments attributed to Heritage Minister David Templeman "Beyond its physical heritage importance, Toodyay's Roman Catholic Church Group has helped the town develop a strong sense of community. "It is greatly valued by Toodyay and the wider community as an historical landmark and a long-term religious and educational institution, as a place of prayer and spiritual guidance for parishioners, and by generations of former boarders and their families. "I am thrilled that its historical importance has been formally recognised with its listing on the State Register of Heritage Places." Comments attributed to Agricultural Region MLC Darren West "The heritage listing of this beautiful and remarkable group of buildings will ensure that these landmarks are enjoyed into perpetuity. "People travel to visit and view Toodyay's historic buildings so this listing will help boost tourism to the town." Minister's office - 6552 5400