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Ticket scalpers on notice after first on-the-spot fines issued84602Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statementshtml26/03/2023 4:03:05 AM2023-03-25T16:00:00Z ​Five individuals have become the first to face legal action under the McGowan Government’s new ticket scalping lawsInfringement notices relate to the recent sold-out UFC 284 event in Perth, with further cases still under investigationTicket mark-ups were up to 430 per cent of the original ticket price, exceeding the 10 per cent permittedFooty fans urged to be on the lookout for ticket scalpers ahead of next weekend’s AFL western derby On-the-spot fines of $2,000 each have been issued to five people who allegedly breached the McGowan Government’s new ticket scalping laws by re-selling tickets for more than the permitted 10 per cent mark-up. The infringement notices, related to the recent sold-out UFC 284 event at Perth’s RAC Arena, are the first issued under the tough new measures introduced to protect eventgoers from price gouging. Action was taken by Consumer Protection’s Compliance and Investigation Unit against two scalpers in WA, two in New South Wales and one in Queensland. Mark-ups in these five alleged cases ranged from 24 to 430 per cent. In one case, a WA woman was selling tickets with an original sale price of $1,073 for $4,800 on an online marketplace. Numerous other reports of ticket re-selling violations related to the UFC event are still being investigated by the regulator and further infringement notices are expected to be issued. If any cases go before the courts, individuals could face fines of up to $20,000 if found guilty. The new laws, which were a McGowan Government election commitment, came into effect on 10 September 2021, but only warnings have been issued up until this point as part of an educational transition period. The State Government is encouraging the WA public to be on the lookout for scalpers who may break the law for future concerts and sporting events that are likely to be sold out, such as the AFL Western Derby at Optus Stadium on Sunday April 2. Reports of ticket scalpers selling tickets for more than a 10 per cent mark-up should be lodged with Consumer Protection by emailing or calling 1300 30 40 54. Comments attributed to Commerce Minister Sue Ellery “The massive mark-ups we have seen in some of these alleged cases are not just illegal - they’re immoral, as scalpers clearly seek to exploit WA consumers who are desperate to attend popular events that are sold out. “Following the introduction of the anti-ticket scalping laws, only warnings were issued as part of an educational transition period to increase awareness of their new obligations. “The grace period has now come to an end and action will be taken against individuals and companies who flout the law by exceeding the 10 per cent mark-up permitted. Individuals who try to make a quick buck by re-selling tickets at illegally high prices are at risk of losing that profit and more by paying an infringement notice, or receiving higher penalties if they face court. “Online buying and selling platforms that fail to have a system in place to quickly detect and delete these illegal ads also risk prosecution, as they are equally responsible under the anti-ticket scalping legislation.”
WA’s Great Graze showcases local produce84603Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statementshtml26/03/2023 4:06:58 AM2023-03-25T16:00:00Z ​WA’s Great Grazing Market in Cottesloe today offers a mouth-watering display of local produceThe event caps off a month-long campaign celebrating the State’s farmers, fishers and producers Some of the State’s finest produce is on show for the culmination of WA’s Great Graze, a month-long event celebrating regions involved in bringing delicious food and beverages to the tables of Western Australian consumers. A curated line-up from 30 vendors is on offer in Cottesloe today (26 March), ranging from Manjimup truffles and Mid-West cold pressed canola oil to local stone fruit, grazing boards and regionally distinctive local wines. WA’s Great Graze has highlighted produce from all over the State at events in Perth, Manjimup, Pemberton, the Swan Valley, Margaret River, Busselton and Carnarvon, connecting consumers with local producers, as well as culinary and agri-tourism operators. The March campaign is an initiative supported by the McGowan Government in partnership with Genuinely Southern Forests and the Buy West Eat Best program. WA’s Great Grazing Market will be at the Cottesloe Civic Centre Gardens today, from 9am to 2pm. Comments attributed to Agriculture and Food Minister Jackie Jarvis “WA’s Great Graze celebrates the importance of cross regional collaboration of agriculture and food and encourages all Western Australians to champion our hard working and innovative farmers, fishers and producers. “As a key partner of WA’s Great Graze, the Buy West Eat Best program is raising awareness of the ‘buy local food’ message with consumers, retailers, restaurants and WA companies. “Today’s event provides the opportunity for consumers to have a conversation with a farmer, agri-tourism operator, chef or rural community resident, strengthen those ties between city and country, and build appreciation and awareness of our regional communities.”
Joint media statement - First tracks laid on METRONET Morley-Ellenbrook Line84604Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statementshtml26/03/2023 4:13:14 AM2023-03-25T16:00:00Z ​The first tracks have been laid on the METRONET Morley-Ellenbrook Line, marking a major milestone for the game-changing project in Perth’s northeast - the biggest expansion of the city’s rail network since the Mandurah line. The first section of rail will see approximately 1.5 kilometres of ballast and sleepers installed north of Whiteman Park Station through to the Gnangara Underpass and along Drumpellier Drive. Specialised equipment has been used to undertake the feat, including a ballast box spreader which positions the ballast and an excavator with an ‘octopus’ attachment to position the sleepers. The $1.1 billion project is jointly funded by the Federal and State Governments and is the longest METRONET project. The 21-kilometre Morley-Ellenbrook Train Line also represents the most significant expansion of the Perth rail system since the Mandurah Line opened in 2007. It includes new stations at Morley, Noranda, Malaga, Whiteman Park and Ellenbrook, with patronage expected to reach 18,000 people boarding per day by 2031. The project will support the area’s growth as a major activity centre, while making the most of development opportunities nearby, including for new housing. The journey from Ellenbrook to Perth City will only take 30 minutes once complete, giving those living in the north-eastern suburbs greater transport choice, reduced travel times and new modern stations. Quotes attributable to Federal Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government Catherine King “The start of track laying on the METRONET Morley-Ellenbrook Line project demonstrates our Government’s commitment to delivering vital transport infrastructure for Perth’s growing suburbs, improving amenity and travel times to the city. “This is an exciting next step as we continue to build the infrastructure that commuters in this fast-growing area need and deserve. “This project will drive real short-term employment and economic boost while delivering essential infrastructure that will continue to be beneficial well into the future.” Quotes attributable to Western Australian Premier Mark McGowan “We promised to build the Morley-Ellenbrook line - and my Government is delivering. “This is the biggest milestone to date on a project that will transform our north-eastern suburbs, with works now underway from Ellenbrook right through to Morley and Bayswater.“We are getting on with delivering METRONET right across our suburbs - slashing travel times, improving safety and building strong communities while creating thousands of local jobs and opportunities for local business.” Quotes attributable to Western Australian Minister for Transport; Planning; Ports Rita Saffioti “The METRONET Morley-Ellenbrook Train Line is a game-changer for communities in Perth’s northeast, and seeing the first tracks being laid is another strong indication of our Government getting on with the job. “This is Perth’s biggest public transport project since the Mandurah Line and will support more than 6,500 jobs and help shape vibrant communities. “Once the project is operational, there will be a 50 per cent reduction in public transport times between Ellenbrook and Perth, with only a 30-minute journey to the city. “The two-zone cap will also make travel accessible and affordable for commuters - helping people to save potentially thousands of dollars a year.” Quotes attributable to Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister and Federal Member for Perth Patrick Gorman “This is a city-shaping project which will benefit the people of Perth both now and in the long term, supporting thousands of jobs as well as greater public transport innovation and efficiency in our neck of the woods. “This is yet another example of how the Australian Government is committed to supporting more efficient, resilient and integrated transport solutions for Perth. “The METRONET Morley-Ellenbrook Line project is a welcome expansion to the Perth rail system which will add convenience and reduce travel times to and from the city.” Quotes attributable to Federal Member for Hasluck Tania Lawrence “This work will provide convenient travel options to match the future development of Perth’s north-east, which includes new housing. “Projects like this create jobs as well as business opportunities, which is important as the area continues to grow. “This project will improve connectivity and travel time for commuters, not only for nearby stops but all the way into the city.”
Marine Rescue Kalbarri officially reopens headquarters84601Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements1270html25/03/2023 7:18:16 AM2023-03-25T06:00:00Z Marine Rescue Kalbarri officially returns home following rebuild of headquarters damaged by Severe Tropical Cyclone Seroja Facility to house radio communications for the group's 31 volunteers Marine Rescue Kalbarri has officially reopened its operational headquarters in a milestone for the Mid-West community. The building was extensively damaged by Severe Tropical Cyclone Seroja in 2021, with volunteers operating from a temporary facility, adjacent to the site, while the building was repaired and refitted. The Marine Rescue volunteer group is now fully operational in familiar surrounds following the rebuild. Mining and Pastoral Region MLC Peter Foster visited Kalbarri on Saturday to mark the occasion, alongside volunteers and Department of Fire and Emergency Services staff. Marine Rescue Kalbarri was established in the 1970s and its members are renowned for the integral role they play in community marine safety in the Mid-West region. Led by long-standing Commander Barry Kennewell, Marine Rescue Kalbarri's 31 volunteers have attended 11 incidents in the past year, contributing more than 78 operational hours. Comments attributed to Acting Emergency Services Minister Sue Ellery "Despite losing access to its headquarters, Marine Rescue Kalbarri continued to keep boaties in the Mid-West community safe operating out of a temporary base organised by DFES. "The group can be incredibly proud that it was able to maintain its high-quality service while the State Government returned its headquarters to its former glory." Comments attributed to Mining and Pastoral Region MLC Peter Foster "Completing this project is an important step forward in Kalbarri's recovery journey. "Marine Rescue Kalbarri provide a crucial service to the local community, and it's great to see them up and running in their rebuilt home." Minister's office - 6552 5870
‘Trayning’ opportunities unlocked for volunteer firefighters84600Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements2260html25/03/2023 7:06:25 AM2023-03-25T04:00:00Z Trayning VFES officially opens its new station and training hub New facility allows all firefighting vehicles to be housed in the same location Trayning Volunteer Fire and Emergency Services (VFES) have a new fire station that will also serve as a modern training hub for firefighters in the Upper Wheatbelt. The $830,000 upgrades were funded by the Emergency Services Levy and an additional $50,000 was contributed from the Shire of Trayning. The facility is equipped with a new meeting and training room, kitchen and office services, and showers complete with Personal Protective Equipment washing amenities. Trayning VFES can now house its four appliances at one centralised location – previously, the tankers had to be kept at several different sites. The large appliance bay at the new station has the room to accommodate the brigade's Light Tanker, 3.4 Urban Tanker and two 2.4 Broadacre Tankers. Volunteers and Department of Fire and Emergency Services staff will be able to take advantage of the upgraded facilities by delivering training courses from the station. This will make Trayning VFES a key location for those in the Upper Wheatbelt who want to upskill or for new members learning the ropes of volunteer firefighting. Trayning VFES was established 20 years ago through the amalgamation of the Trayning State Emergency Service, the Trayning Bush Fire Brigade, Kununoppin BFB and Yelbeni BFB. With 18 active and three support members, the brigade provides support to the Upper Wheatbelt as well as the adjacent Goldfields. Comments attributed to Emergency Services Minister Stephen Dawson "I am pleased to announce the opening of the state-of-the-art fire station for Trayning VFES. "The brigade has served the local community for 20 years and this upgrade will ensure it continues to do so well into the future. "It can now serve as a training hub for those in the Upper Wheatbelt, so this is a significant investment for the region. "These much-needed upgrades were made possible through funding from the Emergency Services Levy and an additional contribution from the Shire of Trayning." Comments attributed to Agricultural Region MLC Darren West "Our volunteer firies provide a vital service to regional communities, and I am proud that our Government continues to offer support with funding for suitable facilities. "Changes to the way the Emergency Services Levy is collected enable these investments in regional WA. "I thank the Minister for this important investment in the Trayning community." Minister's office - 6552 5800
The Aussies brings nation’s best surf lifesavers to Perth beaches84599Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements2250html25/03/2023 6:46:05 AM2023-03-25T02:00:00Z Australian Surf Life Saving Championships kick off on Scarborough and Trigg beaches Nine days of beach and ocean competitions from 25 March to 2 April More than 5,000 entrants to compete in more than 480 events Supported by the McGowan Government through Tourism WA Australia's best surf lifesavers have descended on Scarborough and Trigg beaches today for the start of the Australian Surf Life Saving Championships, known as "The Aussies." Over the next nine days of intense and exhilarating competition, 314 national clubs will compete in more than 480 events at Scarborough and Trigg beaches, showcasing their skills across Youth, Masters and Open categories. Returning to Western Australia for the first time in five years, The Aussies was last held in WA in 2018 with more than 5,100 competitors from local and national clubs. The 2018 event attracted more than 8,500 visitors from outside of WA, generating more than $15 million in visitor spend. More than 5,000 competitors have registered to take part in this year's event, plus over 700 entrants for the Aussies Ocean Swim event, which is open to members of the public. The theme of this year's contest is 'Rescue Ready' - a nod to the origins of the annual competition, which was first held in 1915 to challenge the skills of the nation's surf lifesavers. Scarborough Beach will also host a festival zone for the duration of the competition, which will include a wide range of activities to add to the event experience including festival markets, live music and alfresco dining. The Aussies will be broadcast nationally in two two-hour packages on SBS in May that will incorporate iconic imagery of some of Western Australia's favourite tourism attractions in Perth and surrounds. It will also be live streamed on Surf Life Saving Australia's Facebook page.  Comments attributed to Tourism Minister Roger Cook "The WA Government is delighted to welcome back 'The Aussies' to our State for the first time in five years, along with thousands of visitors from out-of-State who are here in Western Australia for the event. "The festival zone atmosphere at Scarborough Beach invites families and people of all ages to come and witness some of the incredible athleticism on display as part of The Aussies competition, as well as participate in some of the fun activities themselves. "Mass participation events like The Aussies form an important part of WA Government's events strategy to attract thousands of out-of-State visitors to our State." Comments attributed to Sports Minister David Templeman "We're delighted to once again host this fantastic national competition in Perth, which brings some of Australia's top athletes to our shores. "Events such as The Aussies raise the profile of ocean and beach sporting events and promote the important work of Australia's surf lifesavers. "Western Australia's Surf Life Saving Clubs have more than 24,000 members, and we appreciate the efforts of each and every one of them to keep our beaches safe for swimmers." Comments attributed to Scarborough MLA Stuart Aubrey "The Aussies is a fantastic opportunity for Scarborough to showcase to the nation why WA is the dream State." "Alongside the action of The Aussies, Scarborough is activating the area with nine days of markets, including food trucks, alfresco dining, live music and a festival atmosphere. "I encourage the Scarborough community to come down, get amongst the festival atmosphere and support our local clubs of Trigg Island and Scarboro Surf Life Saving clubs. Let's show WA and the nation why we are Perth's premier beachside destination!" Minister's Office – 6552 6018
New members sought for Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Council84597Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements5300html24/03/2023 7:30:23 AM2023-03-24T07:30:00Z Four additional Council members sought to oversee new Aboriginal cultural heritage laws Seeking new members with experience in engineering, land management and natural resource management Inaugural Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Council appointed September 2022 Aboriginal Affairs Minister Dr Tony Buti has called for expressions of interest for new members to join the Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Council. Up to four new members with knowledge or experience in Aboriginal cultural heritage and skilled in engineering, land management, natural resource management, anthropology or archaeology will be added to the seven-member Council. The new Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Act 2021 will take effect from 1 July 2023 introducing a modern framework for the protection and management of Aboriginal cultural heritage. The inaugural Council was created in September 2022 and formed by a mixture of members experienced in Aboriginal cultural heritage, environment, planning, law and Government and led by male and female Aboriginal Co-Chairs, Irene Stainton and Dr Mark Bin Bakar. The other Council members are Merle Carter, Kevin Walley, Graham Castledine, Dr Debbie Fletcher, and Belinda Moharich. The Act allows for a total of 11 members on the Council, with majority Aboriginal membership. Since being appointed, the Council has overseen the third and final phase of the co-design process involving consultation required by the Act of key statutory guidelines, before submission to Government for final consideration. The functions of the Council under the new legislative framework are to promote the role of Aboriginal people as the right people to speak for their country and determine activities that may cause harm to their cultural heritage; provide advice to the State Government and Minister for Aboriginal Affairs; designate local Aboriginal cultural heritage services (LACHS); set standards to identify, protect and manage Aboriginal cultural heritage; facilitate negotiations between proponents and Aboriginal parties when agreement cannot be reached; and promote public awareness, understanding and appreciation of Aboriginal cultural heritage in Western Australia. To be eligible for membership, nominees must have knowledge about Aboriginal cultural heritage or have experience in matters relating to Aboriginal cultural heritage. Consideration of knowledge, skills, experience or qualifications in a range of other disciplines/fields will also be taken into account. Nominations are open until 30 April 2023. For more information and application details, visit https// Comments attributed to Aboriginal Affairs Minister Tony Buti "We are well progressed with our plans to implement Western Australia's new Aboriginal cultural heritage laws and I am pleased to call for nominations to expand the membership, knowledge base and experience of the new Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Council. "The inaugural Council was appointed last year and additional members are now being sought to increase the collective level of expertise within the group. "We have a strong, experienced and passionate group of people committed to implementing the new laws and empowering Aboriginal people to be at the forefront of decision making about activities that impact on their cultural heritage. "The Council has an integral role to play as the new laws become operational. We want to maximise the provisions for Council membership to help administer the new system and ensure that the broad range of cultural considerations and land uses is reflected in the collective expertise of members." Minister's office - 6552 6400
Major milestone for reform of Local Government Act84596Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements10710html24/03/2023 5:31:12 AM2023-03-24T05:30:00Z Major local government reform Bill passed by the Legislative Assembly The Bill continues delivery of the most significant changes to local government sector in more than 25 years The Legislative Assembly has passed the Local Government Amendment Bill 2023, which will deliver a range of major reforms to the system of local government across Western Australia. Tranche one of the reforms is progressing to allow for key changes to be implemented for the October 2023 Ordinary Elections. The changes will deliver a range of major benefits for ratepayers, strengthen local democracy and provide greater transparency and accountability by introducing optional preferential voting, bringing local government elections more in line with State and Federal elections; requiring public election of a Mayor or President for all larger councils; abolishing the use of wards for smaller local governments; aligning the size of councils with the size of the population of each local government area; enabling reforms to the owners and occupiers roll to prevent the use of 'sham leases', addressing critical findings of the City of Perth Inquiry; setting State-wide caretaker periods during ordinary council elections; setting standardised council meeting procedures; mandating live streaming and recording of council meetings; establishing mandated communications agreements between council members and the local government administration; enabling reforms to require all local governments to publish information through online registers, including registers that disclose information about local government leases, grants, and goods and services contracts; and introducing new requirements for the publication of performance indicators and results for all local government Chief Executive Officers, with provision for limited exemptions for sensitive matters. Work on the second tranche of additional legislation to deliver further reforms is continuing in consultation with the local government sector. This includes the establishment of the new Local Government Inspector and the introduction of local government monitors for early intervention. The Local Government Amendment Bill 2023 will now be considered by the Legislative Council. Comments attributed to Local Government Minister John Carey "Our reform agenda is clear - we are strengthening the transparency, accountability and efficiency of local governments, and this set of electoral reforms will enable stronger local democracy and community engagement. "The passage of the Bill through the Legislative Assembly is the latest milestone in the continued delivery of the McGowan Government's significant local government reforms. "We have had an extensive history of inquiries, reports and reviews into the sector and the consultation has been extensive with more than 200 submissions received over the three-month consultation period. Now is the time for action and real change across local government. "Our Government is continuing to work with the sector to implement reforms, including election changes to be in effect for the upcoming October 2023 elections." Minister's office - 6552 5300
WA communities to receive more than $9 million in bike path grants84595Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements7500html24/03/2023 4:37:24 AM2023-03-24T04:35:00Z $9.6 million in WA Bicycle Network grants support 47 new active transport projects across the State More than 62 kilometres of paths for people walking and riding to be delivered over two years Inaugural Active Travel Officer category included to support local governments to deliver active travel initiatives Communities across 37 local government areas will benefit from $9.6 million in funding as part of the WA Bicycle Network (WABN) Grants Program. This investment initiative assists local governments with the planning, design and delivery of active transport infrastructure, supporting people of all ages and abilities to walk, wheel and ride as part of their everyday journeys and experiences. The latest round of funding will see 47 new projects delivered over the next two years, comprising of approximately 38 kilometres worth of paths and other infrastructure to improve the safety, connectivity and accessibility of active travel networks across the State. In the metropolitan area $5.2 million has been committed towards 13 new projects, while regional areas will receive a share in $4.4 million to deliver 34 projects. Combined with already committed projects and related initiatives, this brings the total WABN Grants Program commitment to $12.9 million, which includes the delivery of 62km of paths across 63 projects over 2023-24 and 2024-25. The McGowan Labor Government 2022-23 State Budget includes $347 million over the next four years for more cycling and walking infrastructure for Western Australians. The full list of projects to be funded through the latest round of the WABN grants program can be found on the Department of Transport website https// Comments attributed to Transport Minister Rita Saffioti "Today as thousands of students ride, scoot and skate to school for National Ride2School Day, it's clear there continues to be strong demand for safe, connected and accessible paths that contribute to the overall health and wellbeing of Western Australians. "Whether people cycle, scoot, e-ride or walk, it's important that local precincts have accessible and welcoming infrastructure that connects people with where they need to go. "Our WA Bicycle Network Grants facilitate a great partnership between State and local governments and continue to be a major contribution to making active transport safer, convenient and a more attractive option for more people, more often." Minister's office - 6552 5500 Total Program allocation by region (2023-24 and 2024-25) Region # Projects Total Perth 17 $4,541,398 Gascoyne 1 $260,000 Goldfields-Esperance 2 $512,500 Great Southern 9 $1,868,624 Kimberley 2 $107,000 Mid West 4 $425,728 Peel 3 $1,450,000 Pilbara 4 $1,073,020 South West 12 $1,281,129 Wheatbelt 9 $658,406 Related initiatives* NA $766,375 Total 63 $12,944,180
Delivering better outcomes for young children in Armadale West84594Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements4270html24/03/2023 4:31:25 AM2023-03-24T04:30:00Z Early Years Community Plan launched to benefit children and families in Armadale West area Plan focused on improving outcomes in child development, family safety, maternal health and financial wellbeing Plan is part of the Early Years Partnership between the State Government and Minderoo Foundation An Early Years Community Plan (the Plan) has been released for children living in the Armadale West area, as part of the Early Years Partnership (EYP). The EYP is a 10-year agreement between the State Government and Minderoo Foundation to achieve better developmental outcomes and improve school readiness for children aged 0-4 years across four communities, including Armadale West where more than one in four children are considered developmentally vulnerable. The Plan was developed following extensive consultation with the local community and service providers, and identifies four key areas to support child wellbeing and school readiness, they are Child development; Family safety; Maternal health; and Financial wellbeing. The Armadale West community captures the school catchment zones for Challis Community Primary School, Neerigen Brook Primary School and Willandra Primary School, as well as families who use services through the Westfield Park Child and Parent Centre. A local working group which includes representatives from the Department of Communities, Health and Education, City of Armadale, three local primary schools and other local service providers will support the Plan's implementation. Work continues on the remaining three Community Plans for Derby, Central Great Southern (comprising the shires of Katanning, Kojonup, Gnowangerup and Broomehill-Tambellup) and Bidyadanga Aboriginal Community. For more information and to read the EYP Armadale West Community Plan, visit the WA Government website. Comments attributed to Early Childhood Education Minister Sabine Winton "The first five years of a child's life are critical to their development and life outcomes. It's during this time they build the foundation for lifelong learning, health, and wellbeing. "The Early Years Partnership is a unique collaboration between the State Government and Minderoo Foundation that promotes new ways of working to achieve great results for children, families and the wider community. "By consulting widely with the community and taking on their feedback, we're ensuring priorities, resources and solutions are tailored for local families and better support them to achieve positive outcomes for their children." Comments attributed to Armadale MLA Tony Buti "The Early Years Partnership is about listening to local families. We know they are best placed to understand the needs of their children and the community. "It's great to see the Armadale community come together to provide valuable and localised input into this Plan, which will help to identify how services can be improved and how children and families can be better supported. "Importantly, the consultation process also listened to and took on the feedback of Aboriginal and culturally and linguistically diverse families, as children from these backgrounds make up nearly 20 per cent of children in the area." Comments attributed to Minderoo Foundation's 'Thrive by Five' Director Jay Weatherill "We are incredibly proud to work alongside the Western Australian Government in this unique partnership between philanthropy and Government that is designed to do new things in new ways to support the development of children across WA. "Delivering services to children and families is different for every family no matter where they live and so it's crucial that we involve local communities in the design and delivery of those services which goes to the heart of the Early Years Partnership. "This 10-year commitment across four sites in WA showcases how a place-based, community-led and innovative model using the best available research and evidence can demonstrate better ways to support children and families and gives us knowledge to benefit all Western Australian families and communities." Minister's office - 6552 6100
New regulations extend transitional arrangements84598Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements11620html24/03/2023 9:38:57 AM2023-03-24T02:10:00Z Changes to the Work Health and Safety Regulations will be gazetted today Some of the transitional arrangements in the regulations are being extended to allow industry more time to comply with the WHS laws WorkSafe will continue to take a supportive and educative approach to low-risk contraventions of the Work Health and Safety Act 2020A year after the introduction of harmonised laws, the State Government has decided to extend the transitional arrangements for specific regulations in the Work Health and Safety Act 2020. The McGowan Government has recognised that by introducing the new regulations some specific workplaces would need time to adjust to the new regime. At the end of this month, the transitional arrangements for some specific work requirements will be extended, with revised regulations for these extensions gazetted today. WorkSafe has been taking a supportive and educative approach to low-risk contraventions of the new laws while still taking enforcement action in cases of serious risk or harm. New requirements under regulations covering training of asbestos removal workers, asbestos clearance inspection and air monitoring for asbestos will be delayed until 31 March 2024. Transitional arrangement regulations covering requirements to reduce the risk of falls, along with those covering reach stackers will be extended until 30 March 2025. Similar arrangements covering material hoists and concrete placing booms will be extended until 30 March 2024. Comments attributed to Industrial Relations Minister Bill Johnston "We have always recognised that some workplaces would need time to adapt to the new regime, so WorkSafe has continued to take a supportive and educative approach in workplaces. "We also appreciate that some areas need even more time to adapt to the new requirements, so the regulation changes being gazetted today have provided industry with extra time to ensure they can provide safer workplaces for their workers. "Now that we have been working with the new laws for almost a year, we would expect the level of compliance to be high." Minister's office - 6552 6700
Community input develops vision for Beaconsfield TAFE site84591Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements5360html24/03/2023 2:06:05 AM2023-03-24T02:05:00Z Feedback from local community and key stakeholders has helped shape plans to redevelop Beaconsfield TAFE site Redevelopment will comprise an exciting medium density, climate-responsive residential development, incorporating landscaped public open space Detailed planning is under way to deliver up to 150 new homes at the former Beaconsfield TAFE site near Fremantle, with vital input from the local community helping shape the final vision. A community consultation process undertaken by DevelopmentWA resulted in more than 100 submissions over a three-week period. Consideration was also given to the City of Fremantle's 'The Heart of Beaconsfield' masterplan, which outlines a vision for the broader Beaconsfield area. Community aspirations for the 3.8ha site included a focus on sustainability, new public open space, retention of mature trees and improved security and safety in the area. It's expected the redevelopment will deliver a medium density precinct comprising a mix of climate-responsive dwelling types, including low and mid-rise apartments and townhouses. Social and affordable housing will be incorporated into the redevelopment, contributing to the State Government's target to deliver 3,300 social dwellings over a four-year period, as part of the McGowan Government's $2.4 billion investment in social housing and homeless measures. Public open spaces will focus on mature tree retention where possible, a playground, and a network of pathways featuring waterwise landscaping. A draft Concept Plan has been developed, informed by feedback from the community consultation, which will form the basis for the Local Structure Plan to be lodged with the City of Fremantle in May this year. For more information and to receive direct updates please visit http// Comments attributed to Housing and Lands Minister John Carey "As Housing and Lands Minister I'm using every lever I can to boost social housing throughout Western Australia including through making land available and a number of innovative housing delivery reform programs. "The redevelopment of the former Beaconsfield TAFE site will transform and breathe new life into the local community, while bolstering the supply of social and affordable housing in the area. "We have listened to the local community and have taken on board their input and feedback as we develop the final vision for this important urban regeneration project. "The community's preference for green space and links, public open and play spaces, and the retention of trees has been included in the draft concept plan. "The State Government, through DevelopmentWA, will continue to update all stakeholders on the progress of the redevelopment, including timing of construction commencement and sales releases." Comments attributed to Fremantle MLA Simone McGurk "Our goal is to create a space that's not just functional but enhances the quality of life for those who live in the Beaconsfield area. "Beaconsfield TAFE was established in 1968 and ceased operating in 2017, with the redeveloped site to become one of the centrepieces of the Heart of Beaconsfield Masterplan. "We want the Beaconsfield TAFE site to become a true reflection of our community and its needs, which is why we took time to carefully consider and respond to local community feedback." Minister's office - 6552 5300
New investment and trade hub to be established in Texas84592Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements12790html24/03/2023 2:03:26 AM2023-03-24T02:00:00Z Invest and Trade WA Hub in Austin, Texas funded in 2023-24 State Budget New office to support McGowan Government push to further diversify WA's economy, attract new industries and create jobs of the future Americas hub will be the sixth in the Invest and Trade WA global network, joining ASEAN, Greater China, India-Gulf, North East Asia and the United Kingdom/Europe Western Australia's trade and investment relationship with the Americas region will be boosted by the establishment of a new Invest and Trade WA office in Austin, Texas. The new office is part of the McGowan Government's economic diversification strategy to attract new industries to WA, create a pipeline of work across the State supporting local jobs and local businesses, and set up WA's long-term future. The 2023-24 State Budget will provide $10.1 million to establish the Americas hub in Austin, which is expected to be operational from early 2024. The new funding will be used for staffing, office accommodation, office setup and operating costs. An Investment and Trade Commissioner recruited from Western Australia will lead the hub, with support from five locally engaged staff. The Americas hub will enable the State Government, through Invest and Trade Western Australia, to better service investment and trade leads, facilitate more targeted engagement with industry and government, and respond to new and emerging market and industry opportunities in the region. The hub will reinforce the McGowan Government's WA Jobs Plan to create new jobs for the future by building a skilled workforce with the capacity for long-term growth. This involves attracting and maximising investment opportunities while positioning WA as the destination of choice for business investment, trade, international education and tourism. The United States is Australia's largest source of foreign direct investment, with $185 billion in 2021. Canada is the fourth largest source, contributing $58 billion in 2021. Austin, the capital of Texas, has been selected as the location for the Americas hub as it presents significant investment and trade opportunities for WA across a range of industry areas, including advanced manufacturing, renewable energy, health and medical life sciences, space industries, and creative and digital media technology. Western Australia and Texas have an existing relationship in the oil and gas industry, as well as similarities in the economic structure and economic development priorities between the two states. The Americas hub will be the sixth regional hub in the WA Government's global Invest and Trade WA network, joining ASEAN, Greater China, India-Gulf, North East Asia and the United Kingdom/Europe. For more information on Invest and Trade WA, visit https// Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan "They say 'everything is bigger in Texas' and we are confident that establishing our Americas hub in Austin will lead to bigger and better investment and trade opportunities for Western Australia. "In 2022, the US was Western Australia's six largest trading partner, with total trade worth around $8.7 billion. "The new hub will tap into this significant potential to grow our relationship across a range of sectors, and explore opportunities in other markets across the region, outside of the US." Comments attributed to State Development, Jobs and Trade Minister Roger Cook "This is another leap forward in WA's diversification strategy to attract new investment while creating the jobs of the future. "The US is already a significant investor in Western Australia's resources sector, in particular, oil and gas projects. "Both in the US and other markets in the region, we know there are further opportunities for trade and investment, especially in our priority sectors to support economic diversification. "A prime example is critical minerals. In 2021, the US Government expanded its list of 'critical minerals' from 35 to 50 commodities. Western Australia has an abundance of these critical minerals, including 24 per cent of the world's lithium, 20 per cent of the world's nickel, and 13 per cent of the world's cobalt and vanadium. "Through the new Americas hub, the WA Government will be better placed to facilitate and support opportunities to increase production of these commodities. This will help to diversify the State's production and fiscal base, and provide an opening for further downstream processing and involvement in global supply chains." Premier's office -6552 5000 State Development, Jobs and Trade Minister's office - 6552 6500
New online platform to promote investment ready projects in WA84593Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements13210html24/03/2023 2:17:37 AM2023-03-24T01:45:00Z McGowan Government partners with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry WA to launch WA Investments WA Investments is a live digital 'investment dealbook' that showcases investment-ready commercial projects in WA above $10 million Platform complements the existing investment attraction and trade promotion activities undertaken by Invest and Trade Western Australia The McGowan Government, through Invest and Trade Western Australia, is partnering with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry WA (CCIWA) to boost WA's reputation as an investment destination, launching a new online platform that promotes investment-ready projects with a value above $10 million. Launching with more than 35 projects that have a combined value of approximately $6 billion, WA Investments provides global audiences easy access to the huge investment opportunities available in WA. Investors from around the world will be guided to the type of opportunities they are interested in and supported to contact investment proponents. The online platform highlights WA's strengths as an investment destination, including its advanced industries, abundant resources, robust consumer economy and State finances. WA Investments is a collaborative partnership between CCIWA and Invest and Trade Western Australia. Through this partnership, CCIWA's International Trade and Investment Centre will develop, implement and maintain the digital platform while Invest and Trade Western Australia will continue to service requests from investors seeking information and support on investment opportunities. In addition to projects in advanced manufacturing and infrastructure, WA Investments focuses on the eight priority sectors outlined in the WA Government's economic development framework, Diversify WA - energy; tourism, events and creative industries; international education; defence industries; mining and mining equipment, technology and services; space industries; health and medical life sciences; and primary industries. WA Investments will be promoted offshore through our Invest and Trade Western Australia global network and trusted global partners. Visit WA Investments at http//   Comments attributed to State Development, Jobs and Trade Minister Roger Cook "Through the establishment of Invest and Trade Western Australia in 2019, the Government has taken a very proactive approach to attracting investment and promoting trade opportunities in our State. "WA Investments will complement the work of Invest and Trade Western Australia, which includes an extensive network of global offices, to further promote and highlight investment-ready projects aligned to the State's priority sectors. "We know how important international investment is to Western Australia's ongoing prosperity. It creates and sustains new jobs and drives economic growth and diversification. "Launching an online platform like WA Investments is not possible without industry engagement. We look forward to continuing to partner with CCIWA to promote investment opportunities from across the State." Comments attributed to CCIWA CEO Chris Rodwell "WA is in the box seat to draw in capital from around the world. We want to ensure our State is on the front foot to strengthen and diversify its economy, whether it's in critical minerals, hydrogen, advanced manufacturing, life sciences or some other emerging industry. "WA Investments brings to life some of the opportunities we can shop around the world, whether that's in places where there are recent or continuing trade negotiations such as India, the EU and the UK, in near markets across Asia, or with our long term strategic partner, the US. "Importantly, this puts us at the front of the pack of Australian states in marketing investment opportunities to the world." Minister's office - 6552 6500
West Perth heritage social housing gets a makeover84590Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements7810html24/03/2023 1:31:00 AM2023-03-24T01:30:00Z $27.8 million allocated to refurbish multiple older public housing complexes Inclusive of the Heritage-listed complex completed in 1958 for seniors The historic West Perth housing complex Graham Flats will be refurbished and upgraded as part of the McGowan Government's program to extend the life of the State's public housing stock. The State Government will invest $27.8 million to deliver remedial refurbishment works to the Graham Flats and other complexes. The heritage-listed Graham Flats was built in the post-war International Style and opened as public housing primarily for seniors in 1958. The three-storey Hay Street complex is comprised of 70 one-bedroom apartments and is managed by the Department of Communities. Communities is currently working with tenants who will be relocated in stages prior to refurbishments commencing. Refurbishments will address identified concrete and building compliance issues and include new plumbing and upgrades to laundry facilities, with works expected to be completed in late 2024. Comments attributed to Housing Minister John Carey "This Government has not only been driving reforms to accelerate the delivery of social housing across Western Australia, but has also been working to retain ageing existing social housing properties wherever possible, so they don't fall out of the system. "Programs like this are critical in allowing us to improve existing homes and ensure they remain in the system and continue to house some of the most vulnerable members of our community. "In December last year, we announced the establishment of a State-wide Housing Construction and Refurbishment Builders Panel to accelerate the State Government's social housing delivery and refurbishments. "The establishment of the panel means new construction projects, like this one, can now be contracted, to smaller, local builders, as building companies appointed to the new panel are pre-approved to build and refurbish social housing. "This is all part of the McGowan Government's $2.4 billion investment in housing and homelessness services in WA - including the delivery of around 3,300 social housing dwellings, as well as refurbishments and maintenance work to many thousands more." Comments attributed to Nedlands MLA Dr Katrina Stratton "The Graham Flats are an important and integrated part of the West Perth landscape. "Their refurbishment will guarantee the sustainability of our important public housing assets while also ensuring these heritage-listed buildings are protected and remain a part of the unique West Perth amenity." Minister's office - 6552 5300
Spacecubed to activate $7.5 million refurbished Bentley Tech Park84589Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements9700html24/03/2023 1:10:56 AM2023-03-24T01:05:00Z Spacecubed selected to oversee operations, activation and management of 'The Hub' co-working and event space Appointment follows State Government investment to create a state-of-the-art innovation and co-working hub for WA's fast-growing technology and science industries The McGowan Government's $7.5 million refurbishment of Bentley Technology Park is now complete with renowned events and co-working space leaders Spacecubed set to activate the Hub in a major boost to Western Australia's growing digital innovation industries. The $7.5 million funding has delivered major upgrades to Bentley Technology Park. The Hub, an innovative and co-working space within Bentley Technology Park, will be run by Spacecubed, to manage and promote the facility to Perth's growing technology and science communities. The facility offers the WA technology innovators and start-up community co-working, conference, meeting, and presentation spaces with state-of-the-art AV and digital communications, and is fast becoming the venue of choice for local innovation and technology events. Spacecubed will be responsible for operations, activation on site, and business development and facilities management. They will also focus on building support and collaboration between universities, tenants of Bentley Technology Park and Perth's fast-growing technology sector. For further information visit Bentley Technology Park - Overview - DevelopmentWA - Shaping our State's future Comments attributed to Lands Minister John Carey "In 2020, the 12.6 hectare Technology Park land and assets were moved under DevelopmentWA's Industrial Lands Authority, as part of the McGowan Government's election commitment to remove barriers to investment and drive development. "The transformation of the Brodie Hall Function Centre into a future-focused, innovative co-working space, will further drive collaboration and learning, creating new business communities right here in Perth. "Our Government is committed to supporting businesses and driving innovation to unlock and diversify Western Australia's economy." Comments attributed to Innovation and the Digital Economy Minister Stephen Dawson "This latest milestone will ensure The Hub co-working and event space is activated and utilised to its full potential for the benefit of Western Australia's fast-growing digital technology and science-based industries. "Spacecubed is playing a vital role in giving our local innovation sector the support and guidance they need to succeed." Lands Minister's office - 6552 5300 Innovation and the Digital Economy Minister's office - 6552 5800
New support for family violence survivors to transition out of refuges84588Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements5800html24/03/2023 1:00:37 AM2023-03-24T01:00:00Z Zonta House Refuge Association appointed to deliver a Rapid Rehousing Pilot for women and children $2.16 million pilot program will assist women and children to leave refuges by helping them secure private rentals Part of McGowan Government's $29.5 million election commitment for the Safe Home, Safe Family package to respond to family and domestic violence Zonta House Refuge Association has been appointed to run one of the McGowan Government's Rapid Rehousing Pilots to help family violence survivors leave refuges and secure a home in the private rental market. The two-year pilot will support up to 40 eligible women a year, and any children with them, across two initiatives with bond and a rental subsidy. A second Rapid Rehousing Pilot, which is expected to roll out later this year, is dedicated specifically for Aboriginal women who experience family and domestic violence at significantly higher rates. Together, the $4.3 million pilots will support up to 80 eligible women a year. The Rapid Rehousing initiative delivers on a McGowan Government election commitment under the $29.5 million Safe Home, Safe Family package of new responses to family and domestic violence. The McGowan Government has made addressing family and domestic violence a priority since being elected, with more than $160 million of new funding committed for family and domestic violence services. Comments attributed to Prevention of Family and Domestic Minister Violence Sabine Winton "It takes enormous courage for women to escape violence and seek out a better life for themselves and their children. "We're supporting these women and their children to secure their own home and build an independent and stable life. This is the next crucial step after making the initial decision to seek help and escape the violence. "Importantly, transitioning women and children out of emergency accommodation also assists these refuges and services to support other victim-survivors who need crisis-accommodation." Minister's office - 6552 6100
Perth hosts nation’s top rowers for championship event84587Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements6780html24/03/2023 12:02:27 AM2023-03-24T00:00:00Z Perth is hosting thousands of athletes, supporters and fans for the Australian Rowing Championships Week-long event kicking off on 27 March, set to inject millions into the WA economy First time in 11 years this elite event has been held in Perth Perth is set to welcome thousands of visitors and competitors when it hosts the nation's premier rowing event next week. The Australian Rowing Championships is taking place from 27 March to 2 April at the Champion Lakes Regatta Centre, one of only two purpose-built water sport centres of its kind in Australia. The week-long event is supported by the McGowan Government, through Tourism WA, and includes the Australian Open Rowing Championships, the Australian Open Schools Rowing Championships and the King's Cup Interstate Regatta and Queen's Cup Interstate Regatta. The event will significantly lift the profile of the State in the rowing community while also attracting thousands of visitors to Western Australia, including about 1,500 interstate competitors. The Australian Rowing Championships is the largest rowing event in Australia and is taking place in Perth for the first time in 11 years. The Championships have been held in WA five times between 1975 and 2012, at the Canning River, Wellington Dam, and most recently at Champion Lakes. Read more on the Australian Rowing Championships website Comments attributed to Tourism Minister Roger Cook "Events such as the Australian Rowing Championships provide a fantastic opportunity to showcase our State to thousands of visitors. "Securing mass participation events for WA is a priority for the WA Government, as these events support the growth of tourism in our State and provide a clear economic benefit for local tourism and hospitality businesses. "This championship event will attract thousands of competitors and visitors to WA, providing a multimillion-dollar boost to the economy and supporting local jobs. "The Championships are a great example of a mass participation event that raises the profile of WA as a sporting capital and meets tourism objectives to increase visitor numbers to the State." Comments attributed to Sport and Recreation Minister David Templeman "This is a fantastic national event that will showcase the exciting sport of rowing to thousands and thousands of people, including young children who will no doubt be inspired by seeing the best of the best. "I will be heading out to Champion Lakes to take a look at the event and encourage others to do the same and cheer our athletes on." Tourism Minister's office - 6552 6500 Sport and Recreation Minister's office – 6552 5400
It’s Hammer time as major EPL clubs revealed for Perth84586Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements17700html23/03/2023 3:04:00 AM2023-03-23T03:00:00Z Australian exclusive English Premier League (EPL) matches announced for Perth EPL giants and traditional London rivals Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United will play at Optus Stadium on 18 July 2023 West Ham will also play Perth Glory at Optus Stadium on 15 July. There will be seven matches involving 11 different international teams in just 20 days in Perth, including the EPL matches and FIFA Women's World Cup 2023 Western Australia will be the home of football in July, when English Premier League giants Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United showcase century-old rivalry at Optus Stadium. The Australian exclusive match will take place on 18 July and marks the first London Derby to be played in Australia between the Premier League opponents. West Ham will also take on home heroes Perth Glory at Optus Stadium 15 July. The blockbuster games will be played at highly awarded Optus Stadium, which has been voted Australia's best stadium for a third year in a row. Both EPL matches are expected to attract interstate and international visitors, support local hospitality and tourism businesses, and see millions of dollars generated for the WA economy. The must-see matches occur just before the FIFA Women's World Cup 2023 descends on Perth, with five matches to be held between 22 July - 3 August at Perth Rectangular Stadium. Perth will host seven major football matches involving international teams in just 20 days. Last year, four EPL teams - Manchester United, Aston Villa, Leeds United and Crystal Palace - played at Optus Stadium, generating an economic impact of $77 million, including 4,700 out-of-State visitors to Perth. Tottenham Hotspur, who are currently in fourth position in the EPL, and West Ham are two of the world's best known football clubs, both with a rich history and tradition. Tickets to the matches go on sale next week, with Club presales beginning on 24 March to allow international fans and Australian members to get their hands on tickets first. General Public tickets go on sale on 28 March, with all tickets available at http// Comments attributed to Tourism Minister Roger Cook "Western Australia will once again become Australia's home of international football when these English Premier League superstars descend on Perth later this year. "Perth is the only place in Australia where you can see English Premier League clubs in action in 2023. "I am also looking forward to our own Perth Glory matching it with some of the best players in the world. "The two blockbuster events have been locked in ahead of the highly anticipated FIFA Women's World Cup 2023, when Perth hosts five spectacular matches as part of the world's biggest women's sporting event. "We know these high-profile sporting matches have a strong economic impact and I'm pleased the WA Government, through Tourism WA and its partners, have continued to secure these major sporting events. "Hosting these top teams from across the globe attracts more visitors to our State, which means more hotels are filled and more dollars are spent in our excellent restaurants, bars, cafes and local businesses, and firms up our reputation as one of the sporting capitals of the Southern Hemisphere." Comments to be attributed to Sport and Recreation Minister David Templeman "These matches are exclusive to Western Australia and will serve as a fantastic entrée to the FIFA Women's World Cup. "Hosting such prestigious football events is great for the grassroots game - kids will be inspired and spurred on to give the game a go themselves. "I am so pleased that Western Australia is supporting these matches in addition to the FIFA Women's World Cup and look forward to watching them play with thousands of fans." Tourism Minister's office - 6552 6500 Sport and Recreation Minister's office - 6552 5400
Water Corporation employer of choice for people with disability84585Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements9650html23/03/2023 2:07:03 AM2023-03-23T02:00:00Z Water Corporation becomes the first Australian water utility accredited as a Disability Confident Recruiter Improved recruitment process helps prospective employees find and retain work Reflects the utility's commitment to diversity and inclusion in the workplace A further four school-aged trainees with a disability to join Water Corporation this month Water Corporation is making it easier for people with disability to join its workforce thanks to an improved recruitment process which has been recognised by the Australian Network on Disability. The utility has become one of just 27 organisations nationally - and the first water service provider in Australia - to be accredited as a Disability Confident Recruiter. Announced by Water Minister Simone McGurk today, accreditation recognises Water Corporation's work to identify and remove common recruitment barriers for people with disability. This includes improving language in job advertisements, providing more accessible locations for job interviews, and helping applicants access a support person or interpreter. Water Corporation's commitment to improving employment outcomes for people with disability is stated in its Disability Access Inclusion Plan, which supports a diverse and inclusive workforce. Under the plan, Water Corporation works closely with disability employment providers to promote job opportunities, particularly through career entry and graduate programs. One such initiative, undertaken with disability employment provider Edge, has seen three high school-aged students complete traineeships and go on to obtain permanent employment with the utility. A further four school-aged trainees with disabilities will join the program in March. More information on becoming a Disability Confident Recruiter is available at http// Comments attributed to Water Minister Simone McGurk "Applying for a job can be a difficult and sometimes stressful process, but hidden recruitment barriers make it even tougher for people with disability. "By removing some of these barriers, Water Corporation is helping provide people with disability equal opportunity to find and enjoy a fulfilling career. "It's fantastic to see government enterprises leading from the front in taking meaningful action to promote inclusion and diversity in the workplace. "I'm also pleased by the success of Water Corporation's traineeship program for students with disabilities, that will soon provide another four young people with an opportunity to shape their future at WA's principal water provider." Comments attributed to Disability Services Minister Don Punch "Employment is so much more than just income, it can help people become more independent and have more control over their lives, which is why we're committed to getting as many people into the workforce as possible. "As WA's largest employer, it is important that the State Government leads by example in ensuring that people with disability have the same opportunities to participate in employment and live their best lives. "Making it easier for Western Australians with a disability to obtain meaningful employment doesn't just support the individuals, it also benefits their families and the wider community, while helping create diverse and inclusive workplaces." Water Minister's office - 6552 6600 Disability Services Minister's office - 6552 6900