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Thousands joins Eid celebrations across the State69617Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements0html26/06/2017 6:31:20 AM2017-06-26T06:30:00Z ​More than 40,000 Western Australian Muslims are celebrating Eid-ul-Fitr and the end of Ramadan The McGowan Government has supported Eid-ul-Fitr events with $25,000 via the Office of Multicultural Interests Thousands of people across Western Australia are celebrating the end of Ramadan and the start of Eid-ul-Fitr - one of the most important times in the Islamic calendar. Eid-ul-Fitr, which translates into 'festival of breaking the fast', is marked by spending time with family and friends and doing charitable deeds. Eid events are now some of the biggest community festivals in this State and are enjoyed by Western Australia's Muslim communities as well as by increasing numbers from the wider community. This year, the McGowan Government is supporting Eid events, via the Office of Multicultural Interests' Community Grants Program, including the Australian Arab Association's Multicultural Eid Carnival with a grant of $12,500; and the Islamic Centre of WA's Eid festivals at Kings Park and Whiteman Park, and Australian Islamic College in Kewdale with a grant of $12,500. These events, together with many others happening across the State, enliven and contribute significantly to Western Australia's rich cultural diversity. For more information, visit http// Comments attributed to Citizenship and Multicultural Interests Minister Paul Papalia "Our cultural diversity - of which Western Australian Muslims are a vital part - creates innovation, energy and momentum that benefits every one of us. "The events happening across the State to celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr are bringing communities together and enabling us to work towards a harmonious and cohesive society. "It's a great pleasure to wish Western Australia's Muslim communities Eid Mubarak during this important and joyful time." Minister's office - 6552 5600
More support to help WA's methamphetamine battle69615Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements0html26/06/2017 12:22:58 AM2017-06-25T23:00:00Z ​WA community leaders to form Methamphetamine Action Plan Taskforce Methamphetamine Action Plan will better support Western Australians impacted by methamphetamine use Specialised taskforce a key aspect to implementing another election commitment The McGowan Labor Government has established a specialised taskforce as it continues to implement its State-wide, co-ordinated and targeted Methamphetamine Action Plan. The plan focuses on three equal pillars of prevention, protection and prosecution, and aims to better support communities and families impacted by the devastating effects and flow-on effects of methamphetamine use. Strategies outlined in the plan also include additional investment in treatment facilities, expansion of specialist drug services, and the introduction of emergency department mental health observation areas. Adopting a cross-government approach, the Methamphetamine Action Plan Taskforce includes drug experts and community leaders in the fields of social and community services, health, education, drug research, and policing. The taskforce is charged with providing advice, identifying opportunities for improvement to programs and cross-sector collaboration, as well as advising on the development of measurable performance indicators relating to the implementation of the Methamphetamine Action Plan. Reporting to the Community Safety and Family Support Cabinet Sub Committee, taskforce members will participate as individuals, rather than as representatives of their organisations, to contribute to discussions based on their own knowledge and experiences. Taskforce members include Ron Alexander (Chair) - Director General, Department of Sport and Recreation Professor Daniel Fatovich - Professor of Emergency Medicine at Royal Perth Hospital and The University of Western Australia; and Head of the Centre for Clinical Research in Emergency Medicine (UWA) Don Punch - Bunbury MLA Professor Colleen Hayward AM - Chair, Alcohol and Other Drugs Advisory Council; Head of Kurongkurl Katitjin (Centre for Indigenous Education and Research) and Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Equity and Indigenous, Edith Cowan University Professor Simon Lenton - Director, National Drug Research Institute Michelle Fyfe APM - Assistant Commissioner, State Crime, WA Police Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan "We have brought together some of the brightest Western Australians, who understand the issue at hand, to develop targeted prevention campaigns and strategies to deal with WA's meth scourge. "We will provide them with the support they need to consult and advise on how this State can battle this devastating drug problem that is tearing families apart "The Methamphetamine Action Plan gives equal emphasis to reducing demand, the harm caused by use, and the supply of the drug crippling this State. "We understand frontline service providers like police, emergency department staff, and paramedics often bear the brunt of drug-fuelled behaviours, and they deserve support from the community and the State. "We've been getting on with the job to deliver real outcomes, unlike the former Liberal National Government, which was too focused on catchy slogans with limited or no strategy." Comments attributed to Health Minister Roger Cook "This taskforce will play an integral role in overseeing the Methamphetamine Action Plan to ensure it is delivered efficiently and effectively to specifically reduce harm, and address supply and demand for methamphetamine in WA. "Western Australia has the highest rate of methamphetamine use across the nation, and this is having a more dramatic and damaging effect on the wider community. "The extreme physical, psychological, and neurological damage done to users is devastating, and creates long-term problems which also impact on the wider community. "We need collaborative and sustained efforts from across the whole of our community if we have any chance of reducing the devastating impact methamphetamine use is having on communities across Western Australia. "The McGowan Labor Government's Methamphetamine Action Plan and taskforce will better direct us on this challenging journey." Premier's office - 6552 5000 Health Minister's office - 6552 6500 METHAMPHETAMINE ACTION PLAN TASKFORCE TERMS OF REFERENCE Membership The Methamphetamine Action Plan Taskforce (the Taskforce) members and Chair will be endorsed by the Community Safety and Family Support Cabinet Sub Committee (the Sub Committee) and approved by State Cabinet. Function The Sub Committee will direct the Taskforce to provide advice and recommendations on specific issues relating to the implementation of the Methamphetamine Action Plan. 1. Respond to Sub Committee requests for advice Provide advice and make recommendations in response to requests from the Sub Committee. Consider the needs of the Western Australian community generally, as well as the specific needs of vulnerable groups (as appropriate), when providing advice on methamphetamine matters. 2. Identify opportunities for improvement Provide advice on how programs can be best delivered and targeted to areas of greatest need, including regional areas. Provide advice on how Government can best communicate with the community and vulnerable groups about methamphetamine. Provide insights into the lived experience of community members who have been directly affected by methamphetamine. Provide advice on how research can inform Government initiatives and programs aimed at reducing the harm, supply, and demand for methamphetamine. Review successful interventions from interstate and overseas with potential for adoption in Western Australia. 3. Identify opportunities for cross-sector collaboration Identify opportunities for Government, community and/or business sector collaboration to reduce methamphetamine harm, supply and demand, and make recommendations for Sub Committee consideration. Identify opportunities for the community and business sectors to contribute to reducing methamphetamine harm, supply and demand. 4. Advise the development of measurable performance indicators Advise the development of performance indicators and targets that can be used to measure the success of Methamphetamine Action Plan initiatives, for Sub Committee consideration. Establishment of advisory groups 1. Obtaining advice on specific issues or populations The Taskforce may establish time-limited advisory groups to make recommendations to the Taskforce on specific issues or priority population group and methamphetamine use. The Chair of any advisory group will be a member of the Taskforce. Minutes of meetings and a Chair update must be provided at Taskforce meetings as requested. 2. Consumer, Family and Carer Payments Advisory group members who identify as consumers, family members and/or carers will be offered participation payments and reimbursement for out of pocket expenses. Participation and reimbursement will be in accordance with the Mental Health Commission's Consumer, Family, Carer and Community Paid Partnership Policy, which provides a framework for participation payments to be offered to consumers, families, carers, and community members. Operation 1. Confidentiality Taskforce members may be exposed to information that relates to confidential Cabinet deliberations. Members must keep in confidence such material. 2. Duration The Taskforce will operate for the life of the Sub Committee, unless directed by the Sub Committee to dissolve earlier. 3. Reporting The Taskforce will receive direction from, and report to, the Sub Committee. The Chair of the Taskforce will attend Sub Committee meetings, as required and requested by the Sub Committee Chair. 4. Agenda Setting The agenda will be set by the Taskforce Chair, and will be informed by direction provided by the Sub Committee. All submissions for Taskforce consideration should be addressed to the Chair. 5. Timing of Meetings Quarterly. Additional meetings may be held on an 'as required' basis. 6. Attendance at Meetings Taskforce members are invited as individuals, rather than as representatives of their organisation. Proxies cannot attend Taskforce meetings in place of official members. 7. Secretariat and Departmental Support The Department of the Premier and Cabinet and the Mental Health Commission will co-ordinate secretariat support for the Taskforce. The role of the Secretariat is to provide administrative support to the Taskforce, and act as a conduit between the Sub Committee and the Taskforce.
Local jobs boost with new approach for Swan River Pedestrian Bridge69465Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements6630html25/06/2017 3:24:25 AM2017-06-25T03:00:00Z Swan River Pedestrian Bridge to be built locally, maximising WA jobs New McGowan Government approach will see bridge components built in Perth About 250 local jobs to be created for Western Australians New completion target date of March 2018 set with financial disincentives for delays The McGowan Labor Government will have the Swan River Pedestrian Bridge built locally, creating about 250 local jobs in Western Australia. The steel deck and arch components of the bridge were being fabricated in Malaysia after head contractor, York Rizzani Joint Venture subcontracted the fabrication to a Toyota Tsusho entity. Originally the bridge was due to be completed by the end of 2016, but it was plagued by delays, with the Toyota Tsusho entity repeatedly failing to meet delivery timeframes. None of the arches have yet arrived despite numerous assurances. Following continued disputes, York Rizzani Joint Venture terminated its subcontract with Toyota Tsusho. York Rizzani Joint Venture retains liability for any claims from Toyota Tsusho in respect to that subcontract. The McGowan Government has engaged with the head contractor over a series of meetings late this week, to gain more control over a timely delivery of the project after the previous approach left the State virtually powerless. Under the renegotiated contract, claims arising from contract variations made under the previous Liberal National Government have been settled, a new target completion date of March 2018 will be set, and meaningful financial disincentives for late completion will apply. The new program of steel fabrication works by the intended local subcontractor is being submitted for appropriate due diligence by quantity surveyors and fabrication experts. A revised cost is being set for the entire project comprising of $80.4 million, with an extra $2.6 million payable once the target completion date is met. New site assembly costs will also be incurred. The State Government's new agreement has been negotiated by Main Roads Western Australia with the State Solicitor's Office, in consultation with Treasury's Office of Strategic Projects. Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan "This is a significant win for Western Australia and the best outcome for our local economy. "We're securing new local jobs and have renegotiated a complex contract to give us the best chance to have the bridge delivered in time to coincide with the opening events of the stadium. "My Government was elected to put WA jobs first and that's exactly what's happening here." Comments attributed to Transport Minister Rita Saffioti "The previous contract left the State Government virtually powerless over local jobs, quality and completion time for the bridge. "While this situation we are in is not ideal, we are cautiously optimistic about delivering the bridge in March. "Having the main bridge components built overseas was always the wrong approach for Western Australians, but this is just another example of the mess we have had to clean up. "We're boosting local jobs and implementing a credible plan going forward." Premier's office - 6552 5000 Transport Minister's office - 6552 5500
Bushfire Mitigation Summit hears from key stakeholders on way forward27337Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements3530html24/06/2017 8:41:52 AM2017-06-24T07:55:00Z Some of WA's leading voices on bushfire mitigation gathered in Mandurah First time many attendees had been in the same room to talk about the issues Multi-partisan approach with members of Parliament across political spectrum Issues ranged from rural fire service delivery and science of bushfire mitigation to prescribed burning targets and raising community awareness of bushfire risks Emergency Services Minister Fran Logan has expressed his gratitude to the attendees of yesterday's Bushfire Mitigation Summit for their contribution to the complex task of mitigating Western Australia's bushfire risk. The Bushfire Mitigation Summit, a McGowan Government election commitment, heard from representatives from volunteer associations, government agencies, landowners, local government, pastoralists, commercial enterprises and advocacy groups. A wide range of ideas and issues were discussed, but the common theme was a desire to work together to reach the best possible outcomes to protect communities from bushfires. A rural fire service was also covered and several options about how it could be structured, including as a sub-department within the Department of Fire and Emergency Services, were raised. Practical considerations such as training for volunteers, on-the-ground communication and teaching people how to reduce fuel loads on private property were also discussed. A summary of the summit is now being prepared by the Office of Emergency Management and will be made available. The McGowan Labor Government will be guided by the findings in developing policy to address the increasingly complicated task of managing bushfire risk across Western Australia. Comments attributed to Emergency Services Minister Fran Logan "I would like to thank once more those people who took the time to share their valuable insights and knowledge with the McGowan Labor Government. "Getting those people in the same room, many for the first time, to be able to sit down and really go through the issues was invaluable. "The summit also demonstrated how complex the task is with many of the issues falling under a range of government portfolios including local government, environment, regional development, planning, lands and police. "I also asked the attendees to consider how a rural fire service could operate, and be funded, and there were a variety of options put forward, which the whole of government will now consider along with the other issues and ideas raised." Minister's office - 6552 6300
Charles Street bus bridge to open on Sunday27339Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements4280html24/06/2017 4:30:33 AM2017-06-24T04:30:00Z New bus bridge and busway now complete Revised bus services for northern suburbs in effect from Sunday Peak hour commuters to save up to six minutes each trip The new Charles Street bus bridge and busway will officially open on Sunday, June 25. The new infrastructure will benefit more than 30 northern suburbs bus services, saving up to six minutes on peak hour trips. The $32.1 million project included construction of a 120 metre 'bus only' bridge over the Graham Farmer Freeway and the new Roe Street freeway off-ramp into Northbridge. Additionally, 500 metres of new bus lanes were created on Charles Street between Newcastle Street and Janet Street in West Perth as part of the project. Construction will continue on a bus storage facility off James Street in Northbridge and new accesses from the bus bridge to this facility, both scheduled for completion in August. Transperth has advised passengers in recent weeks of the changes to routes 15, 370, 384, 385, 386, 387, 388, 389, 402, 403, 404, 970 and 990. In addition, changes will occur to routes 81, 82, 83, 84, 85, 340, 341, 342, 343, 345, 349, 365, 372, 376, 377, 378, 379, 390, 450 and 461 as part of Transperth's regular network updates. Comments attributed to Transport Minister Rita Saffioti "Providing dedicated public transport infrastructure is key to increasing the community's use of buses and reducing reliance on private vehicles. "About 16,000 passengers and 1,200 buses will traverse the bridge and busway each day, alleviating traffic on other CBD roads and shaving up to six minutes off peak hour trips. "Improving bus journey times is one thing, but we are also focused on building METRONET to deliver an integrated, world-class public transport system for the whole city. "I thank the local community who contributed to the project through a Stakeholder Reference Group, providing valuable input into features including pedestrian and cyclist access." Minister's office - 6552 5500
Northern suburbs residents to benefit from Joondalup hospital expansion27389Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements4760html24/06/2017 3:00:42 AM2017-06-24T03:00:00Z McGowan Labor Government progresses election commitment to expand Joondalup Health Campus Statement of Intent signed with Ramsay Health Care New Urgent Care Clinic and Medihotel included in expansion plans Healthcare in the northern suburbs will be given a major boost with the McGowan Labor Government's expansion of Joondalup Health Campus. The McGowan Government and Ramsay Health Care today co-signed a Statement of Intent to deliver the expansion, with work to get under way to further develop the plan. The plan will see the State Government honour its $167 million election commitment to provide 90 additional public inpatient beds (on top of the existing 467) and between 25 and 30 new mental health beds (on top of the existing 47). As part of the McGowan Government's commitment to put patients first, an Urgent Care Clinic will be established at Joondalup Health Campus to treat patients who are assessed as non-urgent and help reduce pressure on the emergency department. A Medihotel will also be built to free up more hospital beds and improve patient flow. The expansion will also include eight new operating theatres (up from 12), a six-bed stroke unit established and an expanded emergency department capacity. Visitor and staff parking will also be increased. Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan "We are putting patients first in our northern suburbs, and delivering yet another election commitment, one that will not only provide an enormous benefit for them, but also for the WA Health system overall. "Western Australians can count on this State Government to properly manage our hospitals, and to create a health system where the patient is the priority, providing health care where and when people need it. "The expansion and the introduction of a Medihotel and Urgent Care Clinic will take pressure off the busy emergency department and reduce wait times for patients. These were key initiatives we took to the election and we're getting on with the job. "This State Government will ensure sustainable delivery of health services in WA, and continue to focus on value and efficiency to maintain and improve high-quality services and good health outcomes for the WA community." Comments attributed to Health and Mental Health Minister Roger Cook "Joondalup Health Campus is the cornerstone of health care in Perth's northern suburbs and we need to make sure we continue to expand the services it provides to local families. "Activity at Joondalup Health Campus has increased significantly in recent years and while the hospital continues to perform extremely well, this expansion will allow for an even better health service with extra capacity. "Last year, the Joondalup Health Campus emergency department had close to 100,000 presentations, making it one of the busiest EDs in the nation, a position it has held for some years now. "It also performed around 30,750 surgical procedures last year - a 58 per cent increase over a five-year period. "We have a long standing partnership with Ramsay Health Care and look forward to working with them to further improve services at Joondalup and to meet the growing needs of the local community." Premier's office - 6552 5000 Health and Mental Health Minister's office - 6552 6500
WA tourism board chairman steps down27419Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements12110html23/06/2017 7:30:13 AM2017-06-23T07:30:00Z ​ Tourism Minister Paul Papalia has thanked outgoing Tourism Western Australia Board Chairman Peter Prendiville for his service to the industry. His term began in September 2011 and he became chairman in July 2012. After almost six years on the board, Mr Prendiville has decided to step down from his position. Mr Prendiville has made a valuable contribution to both the board and industry. The State Government wishes him all the best in his future endeavours. A replacement will be announced in the coming weeks. Comments attributed to Tourism Minister Paul Papalia "On behalf of the State Government, I thank Peter Prendiville for his service to the Tourism WA board over the past six years. "I wish him all the best in his future endeavours as I know he'll continue to be an asset to the tourism industry in WA. "A suitable replacement will be announced shortly." Minister's office - 6552 5600
Grants to build food exports to Asia27355Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements7690html23/06/2017 5:03:56 AM2017-06-23T05:00:00Z ​$1.57 million in grants to build premium food trade to Asia, helping to create regional jobs across Western Australia The McGowan Government has announced more than $1.5 million in grant funding to build Western Australian businesses, drive food exports to Asia and create sustainable jobs in the regions. The funding will support WA businesses to export ready-to-eat products for aged-care markets. These products include world-class Pilbara Wagyu beef, WA-branded lamb for high-end markets, premium fresh milk and high-quality fruit, among others. Agriculture and Food Minister Alannah MacTiernan will today visit one of the grant recipients, Manjimup's Fresh Produce Alliance, who will use their funding to commercialise a ready-to-eat product range for aged-care markets in Asia using Western Australian fruit and vegetables that would otherwise be unmarketable. Projects with a focus on value-adding such as Fresh Produce Alliance's product range will help to create long-term jobs for Western Australians in regional areas. More information on the Grants for Asian Market Export, administered by the Department of Agriculture and Food and supported by Royalties for Regions, is available at http// Comments attributed to Agriculture and Food Minister Alannah MacTiernan "To drive long-term jobs in Western Australia, we need to create more value on-shore from the meat, fruit and vegetables that we produce for export. "These projects are focused on processing in WA and developing onshore supply chains to develop high-end products and create jobs for regional people. "Asia's demand for high-quality primary produce is at a record high and these grants will help businesses to capture a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. "These businesses operate across the State, from the Pilbara to the Great Southern, and are themselves making significant investment in accessing and developing high-value sustainable export markets to drive regional WA into the future." Minister's office - 6552 6200 Grants for Asian Market Export - Round Two recipients Fresh Produce Alliance Pty Ltd - $200,000 to develop and commercialise a nutritious, ready-to-eat product range for the aged-care market in Asia. Pardoo Beef Corporation - $200,000 to develop a full marketing plan for exporting quality Pardoo Wagyu beef from the Pilbara to niche Asian markets. Tosum Pty Ltd - $200,000 to upgrade facilities that will enable Tosum to guarantee premium quality and sweetness of fruit for year-round supply to high-end export customers. Harvey Industries Group Pty Ltd - $200,000 will leverage Harvey Beef's brand created by its retail beef range, to develop a WA-branded lamb finished product for high-end Asian markets. Geraldton Fishermen's Co-operative - $200,000 to launch a 'business to consumer' live lobster supply chain in China and develop strategic marketing activities to establish western rock lobster as a premium lobster product. Avena Mills Pty Ltd - $173,822 to transform Avena Mills from a hulled oats and bird seed processor into a rolled-oats processor and exporter into premium Asian markets. Future Fields Pty Ltd (Bannister Downs Dairy) - $200,000 to develop a real-time, web-based quality assurance platform to increase customer confidence and ensure Bannister Downs Dairy products meet stringent export standards of premium Asian markets. Ocean Grown Abalone Pty Ltd - $200,000 to diversify Ocean Grown Abalone's product offering by implementing live export and processing technology, and market development activities in premium Asian markets.
WA's extraordinary black truffles on show27417Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements6310html23/06/2017 2:00:22 AM2017-06-23T02:00:00Z ​Truffle Kerfuffle promotes WA's famous black truffles and local produce Regional events provide significant economic, social and cultural benefits Thousands of food lovers are expected to attend this weekend's Truffle Kerfuffle in Manjimup to indulge in and experience Western Australia's finest produce, including the prized black truffle. Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan will officially open the event at Fonty's Pool in Manjimup this evening. The Southern Forests region is synonymous with black truffles. It accounts for more than 70 per cent of the nation's truffle harvest and is the biggest producer in the southern hemisphere. Now in its seventh year, Truffle Kerfuffle celebrates this successful industry and showcases the best of the region's produce to thousands of people across the festival weekend. Highlights include truffle hunts, fresh truffle sales, a gourmet food and wine marketplace, pop-up dining, wine tasting, live music, Chef's Cabin workshops and demonstrations featuring freshly unearthed truffles. The festival has also attracted celebrity chefs including Paul West from River Cottage Australia and Jack Stein, executive chef across the Rick Stein Group in the United Kingdom, as well as some of WA's best chefs. Truffle Kerfuffle is proudly supported by the State Government through Tourism WA's Regional Events Program. For more information, visit http// Comments attributed to Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan "Truffles are emblematic of fine dining; at Truffle Kerfuffle, we are showing off our State's ability to produce the highest calibre of culinary delights. "Truffle Kerfuffle puts our local produce onto the national and international stage, drawing visitors to the Southern Forests region and creating business and job opportunities for the local community." Comments attributed to Tourism Minister Paul Papalia "There is a growing trend towards culinary tourism, with about 400,000 people visiting WA each year because of its food and wine. "Supporting unique events such as Truffle Kerfuffle will help us to further grow this important industry and showcase the State's quality produce, including the black truffle, to the world. "Tourism is a key pillar of the State Government's plan to diversify the economy, create jobs and develop business opportunities, especially in the regions." Regional Development Minister's office - 6552 6200 Tourism Minister's office - 6552 5600
Greater training required for new drivers27356Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements18900html22/06/2017 11:55:12 PM2017-06-22T23:00:00Z New changes to the provisional licence process will ensure better training for novice drivers First change will be the re-sequence of the Hazard Perception Test (HPT) and Practical Driving Assessment (PDA) Drivers now need to undertake at least 50 hours of supervised driving and the HPT before they are eligible to take the PDA Learner drivers will need to accumulate more experience before being eligible to take their Practical Driving Assessment under new reforms to produce safer motorists. From October 9, 2017, the State Government will be introducing changes to the provisional licence process to better prepare applicants and ultimately produce safer drivers. One of the major changes is re-sequencing the Hazard Perception Test to occur before the Practical Driving Assessment. Under the new system, learners need to complete both the Hazard Perception Test and 50 hours of supervised driving before being eligible to attempt the PDA to get their driver's licence. The 50-hour log book also needs to include five hours of supervised night-time driving to ensure greater learner experience prior to attempting the PDA. Changing the sequence will reduce the complexity of the provisional licence process, align Western Australia with other States and streamline the Department of Transport's service delivery. Updated and modernised HPT clips will also be delivered as part of the changes taking place on October 9. The reforms are aimed at developing the necessary skills to drive a vehicle safely and build the experience learner drivers need, to cope with potential hazards and distractions while driving. Existing learner's permit holders will automatically transfer to the new process from October 9, 2017. For more information, visit http// Comments attributed to Transport Minister Rita Saffioti "The State Government has listened to industry and community feedback about the provisional licence process and we will ensure applicants have greater driving experience and cognitive maturity when attempting their driving tests. "The provisional licence process has seen a reduction in road crashes involving novice drivers. "It is hoped that the re-sequence will increase the current practical driving assessment pass rate, resulting in more assessment slots being vacant, which will reduce customer wait times for PDA availability. "Current provisional licence applicants will receive a letter with information explaining these changes in detail." Minister's office - 6552 5500
Esperance receivers online and ready to detect tagged sharks27349Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements6960html22/06/2017 11:48:14 PM2017-06-22T22:30:00Z WA's shark monitoring network has expanded to 27 satellite-linked receivers The receivers have now been installed at Kelp Beds and West beaches Detections and sightings are posted to SharkSmart and SLSWA's Twitter feed Western Australia's shark monitoring network has been bolstered with the installation and activation of two new satellite-linked receivers in Esperance now complete. Kelp Beds and West Beach were chosen as the two locations for the new satellite-linked receivers following consultation with the Esperance community, including stakeholder meetings and an online survey. The receivers enable authorities to detect tagged sharks in the area, and in real-time, upload information regarding the shark to the activity map and the Surf Life Saving WA Twitter feed. Information is simultaneously sent by text to beach managers, such as lifeguards or rangers, so they can close beaches, or erect warning signs if needed. It is still important all water users keep 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. Comments attributed to Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly "The McGowan Labor Government has invested $100,000 in the project to install the two new satellite-linked receivers at locations the Esperance community and stakeholders selected. "These sites are popular surfing beaches for both locals and tourists who visit Esperance. "Following my announcement of the chosen sites on Tuesday, Department of Fisheries staff have been quick to deploy and activate the detectors, with the Kelp Beds receiver going live late on Wednesday and the West Beach receiver coming online yesterday. "These receivers will help people to make an informed choice before entering the water. It is important people consider their personal safety at all times." Minister's office - 6552 6100
Recfishing licence fees increase to benefit recreational fishing27401Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements11160html23/06/2017 6:33:53 AM2017-06-22T07:15:00Z ​Recreational fishing licence fees will increase for the first time in seven years All fishing licence fees in WA are re-invested into the recreational fishing sector It will provide an additional $1 million annually for management and initiatives As part of the State Government's review of fees and charges, recreational fishing licence fees will go up by $5 from July 8, 2017. The review noted that recreational fishing licence fees have not increased since 2010 and, importantly, they contribute to the total cost of managing recreational fishing in WA. Licences are required in recreational fishing for rock lobster, abalone and marron, when fishing with a net or from a boat, and also for fresh water angling in the South-West. The new fee for each of those licences will be $45. Fishing from a boat licence will cost $35. Fresh water angling licences are not required for under 16s. Of the revenue raised, 15 per cent will be provided to Recfishwest, 25 per cent will be placed in the Recreational Fishing Initiatives Fund, and the rest will go to fisheries management. This will provide about an extra $150,000 to Recfishwest and about $250,000 to the Recreational Fishing Initiatives Fund, lifting the annual contribution it receives through licence fees to more than $2.1 million. Comments attributed to Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly "We have inherited record debt and deficits from the Liberals and to fix this mess everyone must play their part. "As part of a review of fees and charges, recreational fishing licence fees will go up by $5 from July 8. "The last time recreational fishing licences were increased was seven years ago. "Every cent from licence fees goes towards improving recreational fishing opportunities by providing increased funding to Recfishwest, the Recreational Fishing Initiatives Fund, and to fisheries management, which all work to ensure our recreational fishing industry remains sustainable and safe for fishers. "Fifty per cent discounts will still apply to fishing licences for under 16s, pensioners and seniors. Line fishing from beaches and jetties will still be free so families can still enjoy a great weekend and holiday experience along the WA coast." Minister's office - 6552 6100
Five-year release for petroleum exploration acreage introduced27351Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements7830html22/06/2017 6:50:22 AM2017-06-22T06:40:00Z ​Strategic approach provides greater transparency and fairer process Acreage release schedule will be updated at least once a year The McGowan Government will introduce a strategic five-year release of petroleum exploration areas across the Canning and Perth Basins, which minimises environmental, cultural and land use constraints. New maps revealed today highlight future acreage release areas that will open for competitive bidding rounds for oil and gas prospectors from 2018 to 2021. The maps will also advise stakeholders of areas that are not available for Special Prospecting Authority with an Acreage Option applications. Competitive bidding is encouraged and is the Department of Mines and Petroleum's preferred mechanism for industry to acquire an exploration title for petroleum. Acreage release schedules will be updated at least once a year and when significant amounts of new prospectivity data or acreage becomes available to warrant a review. Industry is encouraged to nominate specific areas for acreage release, which will be considered the year it is nominated. For more information, visit Comments attributed to Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Johnston "The five-year approach provides greater transparency to the oil and gas industry, particularly targeting gas to improve energy security in the long term. "A moratorium on fracking may limit prospectors' interest in bidding, however the release doesn't conflict with the Government's policy, pending the findings of a scientific inquiry. "There may be potential for gas development without the need for fracking." Minister's office - 6552 6700
New plantings to create industry growth and a healthy catchment27388Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements9000html22/06/2017 6:17:05 AM2017-06-22T06:10:00Z ​$8.7 million project to plant 3,500 ha of pine in the Wellington catchment under way The forest industry in Western Australia is worth more than $1 billion annually Water and Forestry Minister Dave Kelly today announced work had begun to rejuvenate the Wellington catchment, increase Western Australia's softwood estate, create jobs and improve the quality of water in the Wellington reservoir. The collaboration between the Department of Water and Forest Products Commission will see the harvesting of eucalypt plantings converted to a commercial softwood pine plantation over the next four years. The pine plantation will use more water than the current eucalypt plantation, preventing the rise of salt levels in groundwater. The pine plantings are part of a $21 million State Government strategy to expand the softwood estate to maintain a vibrant timber manufacturing and processing hub in the South-West. Comments attributed to Water and Forestry Minister Dave Kelly "Re-planting in the Wellington catchment will assist in the reduction of salinity levels and improve the water quality. "Preventing salinity levels from rising underpins future development in the area and is part of the broader strategy to rejuvenate the entire catchment. "An estimated 4.4 million pine seedlings will be planted over the next four years in Collie covering 3,500 hectares, supplying over one million tonnes of timber to the softwood industry in the State's South-West. "Forestry is an economic driver for regional Western Australia. In 2015-16, $71 million was spent in regional areas supporting employment and services, and providing forest products to industry. "The South-West community places a high value on the Wellington catchment and enjoys the social amenity it provides." Minister's office - 6552 6100
Tariffs, fees and charges to assist in budget repair27412Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements31090html22/06/2017 6:04:53 AM2017-06-22T05:25:00Z ​McGowan Government announces changes to household fees and charges Concession programs improved to minimise the impact on those in most need Annual Energy Assistance Payment increased to $300, a $66 increase from 2016-17 Increased funding for the Hardship Utility Grant Scheme and financial counselling No new changes to WA Seniors Card eligibility, with improved targeting of some payments to improve the State's financial position by $84 million across the forward estimates Every Western Australian will need to share the burden of repairing the State Budget, with increases to household fees and charges announced today. The charges form part of the 2017-18 Budget, with the changes taking effect from July 1, 2017. Since taking office, the McGowan Government has embarked on a significant budget repair program to bring the State's finances back under control and to fix the mess left behind by the Liberal National Government. Householders will also need to contribute to budget repair in 2017-18 with increases in the representative basket of household fees and charges of 7.7 per cent - an increase that could not be avoided given the increases already built into the Budget by the previous government. The changes include An increase of $169 to the fixed charge component of electricity bills, or 10.9 per cent for the 'representative household'; A six per cent increase in water, sewerage and drainage charges; Changes to public transport fares, which include a 1.8 per cent increase in public transport standard fares (rounded to the nearest 10 cents), student fares increasing to 70 cents (from 60 cents), and a five per cent reduction in the discount offered to SmartRider fares (to 20 per cent for Autoload and 10 per cent for other re-load); Vehicle licence charges will increase by 5.5 per cent, an increase of 2.8 per cent for motor injury insurance, and a 1.7 per cent increase for a driver's licence; and A 3.35 per cent increase in the emergency services levy. The McGowan Government also recognises that it needs to support those in most need, which is why it has made some important reforms to the concessions framework. Firstly, the Government will increase the Energy Assistance Payment (EAP) to $300 in 2017-18 (an increase of $66 or 28 per cent from 2016-17). This concession is paid annually to about 200,000 households who hold Commonwealth concession cards. The Government will also overhaul the Hardship Utility Grant Scheme (HUGS) after it was underfunded by the former Liberal National Government. The McGowan Government will add an additional $16.3 million into the program over two years including $5.1 million in 2016-17 and $11.2 million in 2017-18. This will meet both an increase in demand for the program and increase the annual HUGS grant limit from $538 to $581, and $891 to $962 for those living above the 26th Parallel. The financial counselling program, which was scrapped by the former Liberal National Government will also be reinstated with $5.6 million allocated to the program across the forward estimates period. This is in addition to the Government's election commitment to provide additional financial counselling services for victims of domestic violence. This Government recognises that since the financial councillors program was cut the number of people accessing the HUGS program has more than doubled. In an effort to repair the Budget, the Government will focus its concessions to those Western Australians that need them the most. For seniors' households with Commonwealth concessions cards, the Government will continue to provide the 50 per cent rebates for water service charges capped at $600 and local government rates capped at $750, and a 50 per cent rebate on the underground electricity connection charge. However, as of July 1, 2017, for households with only a WA Seniors Card, these rebates will be capped at $100 each. This measure will save an estimated $84 million across the forward estimates period. All other rebates are unchanged and WA Seniors Card holders can continue to access a range of other benefits and discounts, including the Cost of Living Rebate and free off-peak public transport. The changes to the household fees and charges and concessions are expected to improve the State's net debt position by about $238 million over the forward estimates period. In addition to these changes, the Government will review the effectiveness of existing concession programs that will inform 2018-19 Budget considerations. Comments attributed to Treasurer Ben Wyatt "Over the last three months, we have embarked on a program of budget repair that is fair. "The previous government left behind a Budget with increases in household fees and charges, and given the state of finances there is no way the State can afford to stop them. "We have had to make tough decisions to help get the Budget under control and unfortunately the burden of those decisions need to be shared across the community. "These changes to household charges have not been taken lightly by this Government, but we have no choice but to fix the mess left behind by the previous Liberal National Government. "This Government takes the State's financial challenge very seriously, with the State heading to more than $42 billion in debt by 2020, and an operating deficit of about $3 billion in 2016-17 - all the legacy of the Liberals and Nationals. "With our GST share at ridiculously low levels and Treasury forecasting a further $2.6 billion revenue write down since we were elected, fixing the mess we inherited will take time." Treasurer's office - 6552 5900
WA Police sign on to Facebook AMBER Alert system27416Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements10250html22/06/2017 2:03:54 AM2017-06-22T02:00:00Z ​National launch of emergency child abduction alert system Police Minister Michelle Roberts today announced the introduction of the Facebook AMBER Alert system in Western Australia. The alert system which is being rolled out nationally, enables WA Police to issue an immediate, 24-hour alert on Facebook to people in the area where a child has been abducted from. Key information about the missing child will appear as the second post in the news feed section of all Facebook users within a 160 kilometre radius of where the child was last seen. Details including a photograph, name, description and circumstances surrounding the disappearance are posted. With millions of Australians active on social media, the Facebook AMBER Alert gives police access to an immediate, 24-hour broadcast response when a child is abducted. The AMBER Alert originated in the United States of America and a similar system has been operating in Queensland for several years. Commissioners of Police from all States and Territories have adopted the AMBER Alert system as part of a national agreement. Comments attributed to Police Minister Michelle Roberts "The first hours after a child abduction are crucial and one of the most valuable things police can do is get information out to the public quickly. "Thankfully child abduction in Western Australia is rare, but this gives police a critical platform to reach masses of people in the immediate hours after a child's disappearance. "Anything which can give police the best chance of safely recovering and returning a child to their family is strongly supported by the McGowan Labor Government." Minister's office - 6552 6900
West Kimberley communities to benefit from $50,000 in grants27422Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements8410html22/06/2017 12:09:24 AM2017-06-22T00:00:00Z ​$50,226 in funding provided to projects across the West Kimberley Communities in One Arm Point, Beagle Bay, Fitzroy Crossing and Broome to benefit Projects to improve Aboriginal employment, health and wellbeing, and protect wildlife have all received funding through the Water Corporation's West Kimberley Community Grants Scheme. A total of $50,226 in grants has been given to nine not-for-profit groups and schools across the West Kimberley. Funds are raised through the sale of Rhodes grass hay produced by the Broome North Wastewater Treatment Plant as an environmentally sustainable means of recycling wastewater. The community grants scheme aims to empower communities to identify solutions to issues at a grassroots level. This is the second round of the grants scheme. Last year, community projects received $30,895 in funding. For more information, visit http// Comments attributed to Water Minister Dave Kelly "This grants scheme is a win-win situation for both the environment and the community. "The environment benefits from the re-use of recycled wastewater to irrigate the Rhodes grass hay, which is then sold to provide funds for the grants scheme. "This year, the community will benefit by receiving $50,226 in funds for projects to improve Aboriginal employment, health and wellbeing, education and culture. Funds will also help local wildlife programs that care for sick and injured animals." Minister's office - 6552 6100 Projects supported by round 2 of the West Kimberley Community Grants Scheme Group and location Grant Initiative Cluster Aboriginal Education Network (Broome)$10,000Towards a program to promote the use and awareness of Aboriginal language in Broome's schools.Nyamba Buru Yawuru(Broome)$6,481Towards a program to help young Aboriginal adults overcome barriers in the transition to tertiary education and employment.Sacred Heart School (Beagle Bay)$6,745Towards fitness equipment to facilitate an overall program to improve community health and wellbeing. One Arm Point Remote Community School(One Arm Point) $6,000For an aquaculture learning centre to provide students with the opportunity for practical experience and education in an important industry for the area. The Society for Kimberley Indigenous Plants and Animals(Broome)$5,000To showcase the diverse range of bush foods and native plants endemic to the area at an educational community event in Broome.Native Animal Rescue Broome(Broome, Derby) $5,000For a new rescue vehicle to allow them to more efficiently respond to community requests and provide care for sick and injured wildlife.Madjulla Association(Fitzroy Crossing)$5,000To carry out sessions to celebrate and preserve the culture and knowledge of Mardoowarra (Fitzroy River) women, and support their continued leadership and contribution to the management of the Fitzroy River. Chelonia Wildlife Rehabilitation and Release(Broome) $4,000Towards a turtle rehabilitation centre to allow them to continue to carry out the rescue and care of injured turtles. Marnja Jarndu Women's Refuge(Broome)$2,000For equipment to facilitate yoga and other wellness activities for their clients and employees.
Port fees to assist with Budget repair task27396Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements14130html21/06/2017 11:59:49 PM2017-06-21T22:00:00Z ​Increase in shipping fees for major companies to raise $95 million in revenue Fee increase equates to between three and four cents per tonne Discount in port charges for junior miners using the Utah Point Bulk Handling Facility to continue Port fees for the State's biggest companies will increase as part of the State's Budget repair program. The changes to Pilbara Ports Authority's fees would be limited to a 17 per cent increase in shipping fees levied on a vessel's gross register tonnage at the ports of Dampier and Port Hedland only. The increase equates to between three and four cents per tonne and would be implemented no later than October 1, 2017. Over the forward estimates, the changes to fees and charges would generate about $95 million in revenue. Meanwhile, the discount in port charges for junior miners using the Utah Point Bulk Handling Facility will continue. The extension of the discount is intended to provide certainty to junior miners using the Utah facility in the current climate and will be applied to iron ore exports from July 1, 2017. The Government has also endorsed other Port Authority board recommendations for increases to port authority fees and charges on vessels and cargo. Fremantle Port's fees and charges will increase by an average of 2.5 per cent; the ports of Albany, Bunbury and Esperance will rise 0.5 per cent; while the Port of Broome's fees increase by two per cent. Meanwhile, the Mid West Ports Authority will oversee a three per cent increase at Geraldton. Comments attributed to Transport Minister Rita Saffioti "This is a decision we have had to make to fix the Budget mess left behind by the Liberal National Government. "Everyone will share the burden to help pay for the Liberals and Nationals' out of control spending. "Fixing the mess we have inherited will take time, but we will do everything possible to minimise the impact. "That's why we have extended the discount for junior miners, giving them confidence going forward." Minister's office - 6552 5500
Rockingham Technopole: New player for defence in WA16394Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements8480html21/06/2017 6:29:55 AM2017-06-21T06:20:00Z ​Proposal to develop high-tech hub to capitalise on national shipbuilding plan Defence Issues Minister Paul Papalia has welcomed the City of Rockingham's proposal to establish a technopole with French industry, in a bid to capitalise on the national future submarine project. Business France, the French Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and French submarine builders DCNS have expressed support for a high-tech hub to be developed at the former Murdoch University Rockingham campus. A technopole is a dedicated centre of high-tech manufacturing and information-based industry sectors. Rockingham's Renaissance Technopole will be used to transfer French intellectual property to Australian industry - a Federal Government requirement when undertaking work for the national shipbuilding plan. The establishment of the technopole provides a further opportunity to develop a mine counter-measures hub in Western Australia, a proposal which Mr Papalia put forward to the Federal Defence Industry Minister Christopher Pyne during his recent trip to Canberra. HMAS Stirling, the Kwinana Industrial Area and Australian Marine Complex are all in close proximity to the City of Rockingham, making it an ideal location to become the centre of WA's high technology industrial development. Comments attributed to Defence Issues Minister Paul Papalia "The McGowan Government is committed to working collaboratively with the City of Rockingham and private business to create a vibrant defence industry and grow jobs. "WA boasts an experienced and internationally competitive industry which is ready to participate in Australian and foreign shipbuilding programs." Minister's office - 6552 5600
McGowan Government delivers commitment to prioritise WA workers3168Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements74550html21/06/2017 1:00:54 AM2017-06-21T01:00:00Z ​The McGowan Government has replaced the Western Australian Skilled Migration Occupation List As promised, the list was ripped up on the first day of the McGowan Government New list only contains occupations where there is a genuine need to attract overseas workers Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull agrees to remove Perth from Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme The McGowan Government has delivered its election commitment to keep Western Australian jobs in WA. During the State election campaign, WA Labor promised to tear up the list of occupations that fast-tracked overseas workers to WA. The 2016 Western Australian Skilled Migration Occupation List (WASMOL) included 178 occupations such as engineers, bricklayers and nurses. These workers could be sought from overseas despite WA's soaring unemployment and, in many cases, local workers who are capable of carrying out the work. Premier Mark McGowan announced today that a new list has been developed that contained 18 occupations where there is a genuine need to attract overseas workers. In areas such as health, where there is an unmet demand for workers, these occupations will still be eligible for State nomination based on the new WASMOL. The McGowan Government has also delivered its election commitment to remove Perth from the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS), paving the way for more jobs for Western Australians. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull wrote to the Premier confirming that the Federal Government had agreed to Mr McGowan's request to have Perth removed from the RSMS. Since it was added to the RSMS during the height of the mining boom in 2011, Perth has been classified as a 'region', providing an additional pathway to obtain a visa to work in Western Australia. Given the change in the State's economic circumstances and with widespread unemployment, it is no longer suitable for Perth to be included in the RSMS. Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan "In the current economic climate, it's more important than ever that we maximise employment opportunities for Western Australians. "On day one in office, we ripped up the out-dated skilled migration list and delivered our commitment to keep WA jobs in WA. "One of my first acts as Premier of Western Australia was to write to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to request that Perth be removed from the RSMS. This is an important election commitment that we've moved quickly to deliver. "Our policy will ensure that, whenever possible, Western Australians will be given first preference on WA jobs. It doesn't make sense to fast-track workers from overseas when there are unemployed Western Australians who are capable of doing the work. "Our economy has changed dramatically since the height of the mining boom and we need to do everything we can to get Western Australians back to work." Premier's office - 6552 5000