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New grants to help drive economic growth in Collie147297Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements226500html18/01/2019 5:01:51 AM2019-01-18T05:00:00Z Second tranche of the Collie Futures Small Grants Program delivers a share of $220,000 to three projects Part of $20 million Collie Futures Fund The McGowan Government continues to invest in Collie's future, announcing today a further $220,000 towards three projects aimed at growing the local economy and creating jobs. Funding through the second tranche of the Collie Futures Small Grants Program will back projects that support efforts to drive long-term economic growth and stimulate job creation. A demonstration marron farm, a tourism feasibility study for Black Diamond Lake and a Noongar landcare employment program are the latest projects to receive funding. The three new small grants recipients are in addition to a further eight that were announced in September, bringing the total funding delivered so far through the program to $898,000. The Collie Futures Small Grants Program is a $2 million fund available over four years, which supports new opportunities for enterprise and industry that will provide long-term benefits for the Collie region. The Collie Futures Small Grants Program is part of the $20 million Collie Future Fund, which will provide financial support and investment while Collie's economy undergoes transition. There will be further opportunities to apply for funding through the small grants program. Organisations with projects that will help unlock economic growth in Collie and that are looking for financial support are encouraged to register their interest with the South West Development Commission at http// Comments attributed to Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan "This funding program is serving as a catalyst for economic growth and jobs creation. "Investing in these projects, alongside the ongoing work to develop an economic development plan, will lead to a stronger future for Collie." Comments attributed to Collie-Preston MLA Mick Murray "There is no bigger believer in Collie's potential than me, and through this program we are working with organisations to tap into growth opportunities. "By backing projects that will diversify and strengthen the economy, we aim to create a broader range of jobs for local people. "I congratulate the recipients on their exciting initiatives and look forward to seeing these projects develop and ultimately diversify Collie's economy." Minister's office - 6552 6200 Collie Futures Small Grants Program recipients - Second tranche Collie River Valley Marketing - $70,000 towards Black Diamond Tourism Feasibility; Leschenault Catchment Council - $75,000 towards Danju-Jobs Together; and Dam Fish - $75,000 towards CRV Demonstration Marron Farm.
Industry encouraged to tap into new Collie funding program supporting job-creating projects147296Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements305900html18/01/2019 4:49:23 AM2019-01-18T04:45:00Z McGowan Government delivering on its commitment to stimulate the diversification of the Collie economy and grow local jobs Collie Futures Industry Development Fund to support industry-led projects that will grow and diversify the economy Up to $2 million available per project to support new and existing industries The McGowan Government has announced a new program that will provide grants of up to $2 million towards industry-led projects capable of growing and diversifying the Collie economy. Applications are now open for the Collie Futures Industry Development Fund, designed to develop new industries and expand existing industries in the Collie region to create more job opportunities for local people. Initiatives from a wide range of sectors that can demonstrate the capacity to make a significant and sustainable impact on the local economy, will be eligible for consideration under the program. Successful applicants will need to match the State Government's funding contribution. The Collie Futures Industry Development Fund is the second funding program delivered through the McGowan Government's $20 million Collie Futures Fund. The Collie Futures Small Grants Program was launched last year, with successful applicants already receiving support to kickstart economy-boosting, job-creating initiatives through the program. For more information and to apply for grants, visit http// Comments attributed to Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan "This is an exciting opportunity to drive economic advancement and create jobs in Collie - we're providing financial support to companies looking to establish or expand operations to help smooth the transition for Collie. "This significant investment will be the key to further unlocking Collie's economic potential, with the funding set to capture new opportunities for the region. "The McGowan Government is working to identify new industry, employment, upskilling and training opportunities through the creation of an economic development plan for Collie and Bunbury." Comments attributed to Collie-Preston MLA Mick Murray "If you are a business looking to establish a new base or expand operations, Collie is well worth considering. "I encourage companies and organisations to take up the opportunity to tap into the millions of dollars in funding on offer through this program and to utilise Collie's strengths to support your endeavours. "No doubt we will see some exciting proposals come through the application process, and I look forward to seeing the transformation that will take place as projects are funded and progressed. "Jobs creation for local residents is a top priority. The program will contribute to securing a strong economic future for the town of Collie and the surrounding region." Minister's office - 6552 6200
Keystart continues to open doors and support WA’s housing sector147295Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements369610html18/01/2019 2:00:22 AM2019-01-18T02:00:00Z Scheme supported 1,700 jobs; generated $670 million in economic activity in 2017-18 First home owners make up 85 per cent of Keystart applicants in 2018-19 Keystart has helped more than 102,000 people into their own homes since 1989 Official figures show the State Government's blue ribbon Keystart scheme, which dramatically reduces barriers to home ownership for lower income earners, approved 1,152 loans worth almost $400 million in the six months to December 2018. The figures also reveal that 85 per cent of those applying for Keystart loans in the current financial year were first home owners. Celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, Keystart has approved more than 66,700 loans since it was established as a Labor Government initiative in 1989 and along the way has helped more than 102,000 Western Australians into a home of their own. In 2017-18, Keystart approved 2,789 loans of which 2,169 were for new builds or newly constructed homes. The associated building activity stimulated WA's economy by supporting an estimated 1,700 jobs and generating up to $670 million in economic activity. Access to Keystart is not limited to people on a low income and first home buyers. Eligible singles living in the metropolitan area can earn up to $90,000 a year, couples $115,000 and families up to $135,000. The earning limits are even higher in regional WA and maximum property purchase price limits range from $480,000 to $650,000. In December 2018, the McGowan Government boosted the value of Keystart's loan book to $4.8 billion by extending its lending capacity by almost $421 million - equating to an extra 1,100 home loans. Comments attributed to Housing Minister Peter Tinley "Keystart is the most successful scheme of its kind in Australia. It allows people to stop renting and take that important step towards home ownership. "At a time when the housing construction sector is flat and banks are tightening their lending criteria - partly as a result of the Royal Commission - Keystart has a crucial role in creating jobs and stimulating the economy. "Property is currently the most affordable it has been in six years, making WA the cheapest in the nation to buy property. "Unlike most major lenders, Keystart reduces the barriers to get a home loan, with deposits starting from as low as two per cent and no requirement for Lenders' Mortgage Insurance. This can save clients between $8,000 and $10,000." Minister's office - 6552 5300
Review finds better Local Lobster Program needed for WA147293Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements634580html18/01/2019 12:36:11 AM2019-01-17T22:30:00Z Review finds previous government's Local Lobster Program is too small and too inaccessible McGowan Government proposing to allow Western Australians to have greater access to this iconic seafood A review conducted by the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development into the Local Lobster Program has found it is not delivering this iconic seafood to Western Australians as envisaged. The Local Lobster Program was started by the previous Liberal National Government in 2016, with an aim of providing more lobster for Western Australians. About 95 per cent of Western Australian lobsters are exported, with nearly all of it going to China. This means a very small amount of lobster is available for Western Australian families and tourists to enjoy. The review, which was undertaken in 2018, found that Significant amounts of the lobster were used by fishers themselves rather than sold to the public. In the first two phases of the program, more than a quarter of the seafood was kept by the fishers themselves; Restaurants advised that continuity of supply and purchases from multiple suppliers were problematic; Most sales were from fishers' homes or by off a fishing boat - raising issues of public accessibility; and Facebook pages established to make the lobster available to the public were ineffectual. In early December last year, after weeks of negotiations with the Western Rock Lobster Council, the McGowan Government announced an innovative plan to sustainably increase the annual lobster catch. The plan provides more lobsters for Western Australians to enjoy, creates hundreds of local jobs, supports small businesses and boosts our tourism and hospitality sectors. The plan is currently open for industry consultation until Thursday January 31, 2019. Comments attributed to Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly "More rock lobster for WA means more jobs and opportunities for locals, especially in our tourism and hospitality sectors. "The previous government's Local Lobster Program has not achieved its objectives. "This is because at the time the program was introduced in 2016, no rules were set to ensure everyday Western Australians had the opportunity to access the lobster. "A review found that in the first two years of the program, more than one quarter of the lobsters that were reserved for Western Australians were actually kept by the fishers themselves. "At about 15 tonnes per year, the review found the Local Lobster Program is too small and too inaccessible to the local public or local restaurants. "While the McGowan Government has introduced a number of new rules to ensure the Local Lobster Program was more effective in providing lobsters to Western Australians, we believe more can be done." Minister's office - 6552 6100
WA set to strengthen sporting ties with Asia147294Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements351850html18/01/2019 12:08:29 AM2019-01-17T22:00:00Z $500,000 Asian Sport Strategy to develop closer ties and boost jobs, local events, tourism and international education Swimming WA kicks off program this week, welcoming Japanese swim team to Perth A new $500,000 fund to promote Western Australia as a sports event and training hub for Asia is set to forge stronger tourism and trade ties between the State and our northern neighbours. The Asian Sport Strategy will fund Western Australia's State Sporting Associations to better engage with overseas teams and encourage their use of WA as an offshore base for training and competitions. The program will encourage local sporting associations to forge closer links for the benefit of local athletes and their Asian counterparts. Swimming WA is the program's first successful applicant - this week welcoming the Japanese swim team to Perth - as it kicks off a two-year plan to utilise the State's excellence in the sport to build greater partnerships with Japan, China, Indonesia and India. The Swimming WA program will involve training and development opportunities with the WA Institute of Sport, swimming scholarships for international students, a swimming instructor exchange program and continued delivery of the Indian Ocean All Stars Meet. The funding program will also help strengthen broader ties between WA and Asia by encouraging increased local visitation, stronger engagement in international education and better trade links within the region. Comments attributed to Sport and Recreation Minister Mick Murray "Sport is in WA's DNA and we already have some tremendous relationships within the Asian region. "This program enables us to take that situation one step further by encouraging our Asian neighbours to bring their training camps to WA and participate in local competitions, while sharing our sporting expertise." Comments attributed to Asian Engagement Minister Peter Tinley "WA shares the same time zone as much of Asia and is ideally placed to offer important economic, social and cultural opportunities to many of our most important trading partners. "The Asian Sport Strategy seeks to leverage global interest in sports to boost local jobs, generate increased international tourism and attendance at WA events, and strengthen existing trade ties." Comments attributed to Swimming WA chief executive Darren Beazley "Swimming WA is delighted to be the first sport selected to support the State Government in this wonderful initiative. Western Australians set a very high standard when it comes to swimming and continue to do so. "Our involvement in this program will play a significant role in strengthening the sport here in the West, whilst building a reputation for excellence and building mutually bilateral relationships with swimming federations in the region. We look forward to working with the State Government over the next two years." Sport and Recreation Minister's office - 6552 6400 Asian Engagement Minister's office - 6552 5300
New app to help record learner driver logbook hours147289Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements489900html16/01/2019 11:37:31 PM2019-01-16T23:30:00Z Novice driver licensing process improved with release of new logbook app for learners Electronic medical assessments now also available online, saving time and money Latest improvements follow introduction of strengthened driver testing processes in October 2017 A new app to digitally record learner driver logbook hours and trips has been developed to simplify the process of getting a driver's licence in Western Australia. The latest change follows the State Government's introduction of strengthened driver testing processes in October 2017, and is part of ongoing improvements to how Western Australians attain a licence. The new improvements include the development of a Learner Log Book application - Learn&Log - and the continued delivery of an integrated electronic medical assessment tool to streamline the assessment process for drivers with medical conditions. The launch of Learn&Log will enable learner drivers to transition from paper to digital and provides a faster, more convenient way to record and submit supervised driving hours. Designed with safety in mind, the app lets you 'set and forget' - there is no reason for learner drivers or their supervisors to interact with their mobile phone while driving. Learn&Log's public release is planned for early 2019, following the successful completion of a trial with selected learner drivers. Meanwhile, the Department of Transport (DoT) is also addressing practical driving assessment (PDA) wait times by Recruiting an additional six assessors, starting in February; Trialling the use of SMS reminders to combat PDA no-shows (10 per cent of bookings go to waste due to no-shows or attempts to use unregistered/unsafe vehicles); Changing session times to increase the number of assessments conducted; and Trialling extended hours at the new Kelmscott appointment-only centre during the week and on Saturdays. Keeping with the paperless theme, DoT continues to work closely with selected GP clinics in both metropolitan and regional locations to raise their awareness of the electronic medical assessment tool and to encourage doctors to go paperless. The technology improves the speed and quality of information required to confirm fitness to drive which is exchanged between the Department of Transport, health practitioners and drivers - saving all parties time and money. Comments attributed to Transport Minister Rita Saffioti "We encourage novice drivers to get as much driving experience in as many conditions as possible before attempting a practical driving assessment. "This trial is a result of DoT listening to the community regarding the novice driver process and will ensure applicants have greater access and flexibility when learning to drive. "We will continue to enhance and expand digital services in 2018-19 with a focus on introducing e-billing, enhancing fleet management functionality and developing an online vehicle licence fee calculator." Minister's office - 6552 5500
METRONET receives $185m boost from PEXA share sale147288Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements739970html16/01/2019 11:28:33 PM2019-01-16T22:00:00Z WA Government has received $185m from the sale of its shares in PEXA Transaction represents a positive outcome for the State and is a result of prudent, responsible investment by Landgate Money raised will go towards METRONET projects under development The McGowan Government has received $185 million from the sale of its 11.8 per cent shareholding in Property Exchange Australia (PEXA), with the transaction finalised this week. PEXA was formed in 2010 to fulfil the Council of Australian Governments' (COAG) initiative to deliver a single, national electronic conveyancing solution to the Australian property industry. The State of Western Australia, through Landgate, invested in this initiative, along with other State Governments, helping to establish the company and, in doing so, building a market for electronic conveyancing in Western Australia and nationally. The electronic conveyancing market has now matured to a point where new entrants are being established, and other property exchange operators are emerging. With this, it was the view of the Government that the objective of helping to establish the market had been achieved and it was the right time for the State to exit. As foreshadowed in the Mid-Year Review, the money raised will go towards METRONET projects under development such as the Morley-Ellenbrook line. Comments attributed to Treasurer and Lands Minister Ben Wyatt "The completion of this transaction represents a positive outcome for the State and a tremendous boost for our flagship METRONET project. "Given Landgate and the State's investment totals approximately $38.9 million, this is an exceptional outcome for Western Australia. "This decision to invest in METRONET also ensures that the financial discipline and responsibility which has been the hallmark of the McGowan Labor Government continues." Treasurer's office - 6552 5900
Minister extends consultation for plans to grow WA lobster industry147279Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements561250html16/01/2019 4:31:38 AM2019-01-16T04:20:00Z Proposal aimed at growing the iconic WA lobster industry to make more lobster available in Western Australia 95 per cent of WA lobster is exported, with an overwhelming majority going to China Strong support for plan from tourism and hospitality sectors Submission period for the lobster plan extended to January 31 Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly has today extended consultation on the future management and growth of the Western Rock Lobster Fishery to enable more time for industry to have its say. The Minister was today joined by representatives from the hospitality industry who support the push for more lobster to be available in Western Australia. Currently, nearly all of our WA lobster is exported to China, with WA's own unique premium seafood not readily available in the vast majority of local restaurants. In early December last year, after weeks of negotiations with the Western Rock Lobster Council, the McGowan Government announced an innovative plan to sustainably increase the annual lobster catch. The plan provides more lobsters for Western Australians to enjoy, creates hundreds of local jobs, supports small businesses and boosts our tourism and hospitality sectors. The plan is supported by the Australian Hotels Association, Tourism Council and local government leaders from WA coastal communities. The consultation period closes on Thursday January 31, 2019. For more information, visit http// Comments attributed to Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly "With nearly all of our local lobster going to China, the McGowan Government wants to see more Western Australian lobster made available for Western Australians. "WA's unique lobster should be a staple item on the menu of restaurants across our State. "Western Australians should be able to enjoy our lobster, but we also want to make sure visitors to our State can experience eating our lobster right here in WA. "By growing this industry, we have the opportunity to boost our tourism and hospitality sectors. "We understand there has been a lot of discussion about this plan and that is why we are extending the consultation period until the end of January. "We look forward to hearing what the industry has to say, so we can work together to deliver more lobster for the benefit of all Western Australians." Minister's office - 6552 6100
Fairer pest rates for Carnarvon147278Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements397590html16/01/2019 1:00:51 AM2019-01-16T01:00:00Z Industry comment invited on revised declared pest rates for 2018-19 following local consultation Government reduces cost to growers The State Government has proposed a revised declared pest rate for Carnarvon that is fairer for growers while continuing the fight to eradicate Mediterranean fruit fly (Medfly) from the horticultural district. Agriculture and Food Minister Alannah MacTiernan held a growers' forum last month amid concerns that contributions had increased and were not equitably spread across all horticultural businesses. As a result, a new rate has been proposed for 2018-19. Under the new rating model for 2018-19, the State Government would reduce the total industry contribution by $75,000. A rate will apply to all properties currently engaged in commercial horticultural activities, based on the size of each property rather than the value of the property. The rate will also be extended to the 13 growers whose properties are not zoned rural freehold and who were not previously rated. This will broaden the base and see rates reduced for most growers. The State will cover the additional costs for the handful of growers with increased rates under the proposed model. In total, the State Government would provide $310,000 to fund local Medfly activities in 2018-19, while growers' contribution would be $160,000. Officers from the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development will meet with affected growers over the next month to ensure all growers have the opportunity to provide feedback or seek further information. Comment on the proposed rate is open until February 18, 2019 and submissions can be sent to Comments attributed to Agriculture and Food Minister Alannah MacTiernan "From my discussions, it was evident we needed a fairer way of applying the declared pest rate - which this new proposed model provides. "Like the majority of growers, we remain strongly committed to the eradication of Medfly from Carnarvon and to the funding for this important work being shared by industry and the State Government. "The collective effort of growers and the community over the past three years is working. Medfly numbers are currently at a very low level in the production area, and we are well on the way to getting rid of this destructive pest. "Achieving Medfly-free status will increase the value of horticultural properties right across the district." Minister's office - 6552 6200
Restoration of historic Roebourne landmark complete147254Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements479760html15/01/2019 7:30:28 AM2019-01-15T07:30:00Z Victoria Hotel redevelopment complete Construction delivered major boost for local jobs and training Project partners, local businesses and contractors gathered in Roebourne today to celebrate the completion of the Victoria Hotel redevelopment. The $6 million project restored the heritage building to its former 1900s architectural form, delivering a new asset for the North-West's oldest town that will drive tourism, training and business opportunities in the Pilbara region. An Aboriginal Employment and Training Model was developed for the project to maximise employment opportunities for Aboriginal people and local businesses. That resulted in local business spend making up 70 per cent of construction expenditure and a total of 30 Aboriginal people engaged in employment and training during the project, including two apprentices and eight high school-based trainees. Inmates from Roebourne Regional Prison and students from Roebourne Senior High School were among those to work on the project. Known in the early 1900s as a popular watering hole for gold prospectors, pearlers and local pastoralists, the new Victoria Hotel boasts a contemporary interior featuring office space, a café, community library, and a visitor information and cultural centre. Fit out of the facility will now commence in preparation for the official opening in the first quarter of 2019. The Victoria Hotel redevelopment project was made possible with an equal investment of $2 million from the State Government, the Australian Government's National Stronger Regions Fund, and the Yindjibarndi Capital Trust. Comments attributed to Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan "When we came to government, we immediately switched the project's focus to driving opportunities for the local Aboriginal community - and we have seen real results. "Before opening its doors, the Victoria Hotel has already created a new legacy by providing meaningful employment and training prospects for local Aboriginal people and businesses in Roebourne. "The redevelopment of the Victoria Hotel adds to Roebourne's unique identity as a cultural and heritage hub in the North-West and will be a major drawcard, particularly for self-drive tourists. "The Victoria Hotel is a great example of a powerful partnership between government and community to create real benefits for Aboriginal people and local business." Minister's office - 6552 6200
Local firm wins Albany student accommodation tender147253Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements542690html15/01/2019 2:00:28 AM2019-01-15T02:00:00Z Local Albany business wins tender for $16 million Stage 2 Affordable Student Housing Accommodation project Stage two of Albany's affordable student accommodation development is set to kick-off, providing a much-needed boost to the local construction industry. Albany-based Wauters Enterprises has won the tender to build the 40-bed accommodation facility following a tender process led by project proponents Advance Housing. In preparation for the new student accommodation, the Albany headmaster's house and the former school buildings have been refurbished. The new accommodation will be built in the parking areas behind the existing buildings, preserving the heritage elements of the site. Stage 2 follows the completion and commissioning of Stage 1 near the UWA Albany Centre in Stirling Terrace, including self-contained units providing accommodation for up to 20 undergraduate and post-graduate tertiary students. Comments attributed to Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan "This construction project will significantly boost the building industry in the region, supported by a $10.997 million investment by the State Government. "Advance Housing has aligned their tender processes with the McGowan Government's commitment to driving local jobs and local procurement on government projects." Comments attributed to Advance Housing chairperson Peter Adams "This $16 million development in the old Albany Primary School precinct in Serpentine Road will complement Advance Housing's first stage project in Stirling Terrace. "Our stage one project has proved popular with students. Stage two will further boost the options for affordable accommodation and contribute to the increasing vibrancy of life in the Albany city centre." Comments attributed to Albany MLA Peter Watson "This is a fantastic boost for local jobs in the building industry in Albany as they are doing it tough at the moment. "Local tradies and suppliers will directly benefit from the project that will also deliver more affordable student housing in the CBD." Minister's office - 6552 6200
$1.2 million airline agreement to increase interstate visitor numbers147252Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements853780html15/01/2019 12:31:32 AM2019-01-15T00:30:00Z Commitment of $600,000 each from Tourism Western Australia and Virgin Australia Joint advertising to promote WA to East Coast markets Two-year agreement expected to deliver significant economic impact The State Government has secured a marketing partnership with Virgin Australia to attract more tourists from the East Coast to Western Australia. The two-year co-operative marketing agreement is the first extended agreement between the airline and Tourism Western Australia, with each party committing $600,000 to the deal. It follows previous successful short-term joint advertising arrangements between the two parties. The current agreement will see Virgin Australia use its substantial marketing assets to increase awareness of WA as a holiday destination. Campaigns will educate consumers about Perth's revitalisation, including the increased choice and availability of affordable and quality accommodation and the extraordinary events calendar. Sale fares and holiday packages promoted through the agreement will also encourage holiday-makers to use Virgin Australia's network to travel to regional areas of the State, including Broome and Kununurra. Co-operative marketing agreements to convert core target audiences to visit WA are a key component of Tourism WA's Two-Year Action Plan, developed to attract more visitors to the State. During 2017-18, co-operative marketing agreements helped deliver 310,000 additional domestic and international visitors to the State and about $446 million in economic impact. Comments attributed to Tourism Minister Paul Papalia "Encouraging travel companies and airlines to partner with the State Government in tourism marketing activities achieves better leverage of Government funding and better outcomes for the tourism industry. "This agreement with Virgin Australia will help us intensify our promotional activity in key target markets on the East Coast. "The total number of interstate visits increased 8.8 per cent to 1.52 million in the year ending September 2018, with 76,000 more interstate holiday-makers compared to September 2017 - an increase of 21.4 per cent. "Co-operative agreements such as this one will only help in furthering this growth in future. "Previous campaigns with Virgin have delivered a strong return on investment. We look forward to this longer term arrangement also proving successful." Comments attributed to Virgin Australia's General Manager Brand & Marketing, Michael Nearhos "The beauty of Western Australia and range of activities on offer make it a very compelling destination for tourists to visit and we're making it easier for Australians to travel to here with more flights, new seasonal services and direct flights from eight cities. "Our partnership with Tourism Western Australia will help us promote the wonders of the West and encourage more visitors to this magnificent part of the world." Minister's office - 6552 5600
New fishing mecca off Esperance in place to attract anglers147238Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements540160html14/01/2019 12:00:46 AM2019-01-14T00:00:00Z More than 120 modules have now been deployed for Esperance artificial reef Reef is designed to provide locals and tourists access to safe fishing experiences The project is the result of community effort and McGowan Government support Local anglers and recfishing tourists will soon benefit from a new safe fishing experience off Esperance, with the State Government's latest artificial reef now fully installed. The 150 tonne reef, made up of 128 concrete modules, has been deployed over an area twice the size of the Ports Football Oval in Esperance. Community volunteers helped construct the modules which are now positioned across more than 11,000 square metres of seabed. Located about five kilometres south-east of Bandy Creek in an area with good access for small craft, it will provide a convenient and safe location for fishers. The artificial reef will create a new ecosystem and marine food web for nearshore, demersal and pelagic finfish species. The project received $595,000 of funding from the State Government through the Recreational Fishing Initiatives Fund and Regional Grants Scheme. Comments attributed to Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly "Like other artificial reef projects around WA, it won't be long before fishers are hooking into the benefits the new Esperance artificial reef are expected to provide. "This will be another chance for Recfishwest's successful 'Reef Vision' citizen science program to monitor how various fish species are using the artificial reef. "Through the program, the community will be armed with Baited Remote Underwater Video cameras, similar to what volunteers in the South-West, Mandurah and Exmouth are already using to keep an eye on their artificial reefs. "This project, funded from recreational fishing licence money, will also provide a boost to recfishing tourism in the Esperance region - which will in turn support the local economy." Comments attributed to Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan "This project has helped the Esperance economy, with all construction materials and labour procured locally, and we applaud the spirit of the local volunteers who rolled up their sleeves to pour the concrete to build the reef modules. "The innovative design will attract fish within hours, and by 12 months will also be home to algae and sponges that will colonise the specially designed modules. "Recfishwest and the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development have supported the reef and it's been funded through fishing licence fees and WA's Regional Grants Scheme, with benefits that will not only help the local community but also Esperance tourism." Fisheries Minister's office - 6552 6100 Regional Development Minister's office - 6552 6200
Free late-night Fringe CAT buses revved up for arts festival147237Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements545290html13/01/2019 11:35:45 PM2019-01-13T23:30:00Z State Government to run special late red Fringe CAT buses from January 22 to March 3 Free evening service will operate every 15 minutes from about 7pm to midnight Will provide transport to Girls School venue for A Midnight Visit, and other FRINGE WORLD Festival hubs Special event service part of wider public consultation on CAT services in Perth A special event late-night Fringe CAT will be running between festival venues from January 22 to March 3 to help passengers get to and from FRINGE WORLD Festival entertainment hubs. Transport Minister Rita Saffioti announced the special services today at the Girls School venue in East Perth, where acclaimed performance A Midnight Visit will be staged. The free Fringe Red CAT will run a special route on a 15-minute frequency between Perth Busport and various Fringe Festival venues, including at Girls School. Services will operate from around 7pm to 9.45pm during the week, with extended Fringe CATs running to about midnight on Friday and Saturday nights. Passengers who use the Fringe CAT will be urged to provide their feedback on the extended service as part of a wider ongoing consultation into the Central Area Transit (CAT) bus services. The consultation will help guide the future of the highly popular free CAT services, including any potential future time or route extensions. So far more than 500 people have provided feedback on the CAT services via the My Say Transport website, with eight in 10 passengers saying they were satisfied or very satisfied with the existing services. The survey is open until January 31. For more information on Transperth services or to plan your journey, visit the Transperth website or call the Transperth InfoLine on 13 62 13. Comments attributed to Transport Minister Rita Saffioti "Getting around during FRINGE WORLD Festival will be even easier with the special late-night Fringe CAT services. "Fringe World Festival brings such vibrancy to the city, so providing easy, frequent and late-night access to public transport through the Fringe CAT is a great initiative. "The major Fringe event hubs in Yagan Square, Perth Cultural Centre, Ice Cream Factory and The Woodside Pleasure Garden are all easily accessible by Transperth services, and I'd encourage all attendees to consider making public transport part of their event plan." Comments attributed to Perth MLA John Carey "One of the most popular ideas to come out of the Perth City Summit and other community meetings has been to extend the CAT bus service into the evenings. "This is all about supporting more vibrancy, activity and nightlife in the Perth CBD - and this partnership with Fringe is a fantastic example of that. "We know the CAT bus services are a much-loved part of Perth's transport system, and I'm looking forward to finding out what passengers think we can do to make them even better through our review of the CAT bus system." Comments attributed to Fringe Festival director Amber Hasler "Part of the magic of Fringe Festival is opening up unique parts of the city for people to explore and enjoy. "Special services like the Fringe CAT - along with regular public transport services - are a great way to get to both the major Fringe hubs, and the venues like Girls School which are on the fringes of the festival." Minister's office - 6552 5500
Joint media statement - Construction starts on Perth's first Smart Freeway147236Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements897400html13/01/2019 11:26:37 PM2019-01-13T03:30:00Z Work is now underway to build Western Australia's first Smart Freeway and deliver faster and more reliable commuting times between Perth CBD and the southern suburbs. Federal Minister for Cities, Urban Infrastructure and Population Alan Tudge said the upgrade on the Kwinana Freeway would create an additional traffic lane and use technology such as variable speed limits, coordinated ramp signals, CCTV and lane use management to optimise traffic flow. "The project covers 13km of the Kwinana Freeway northbound between Farrington Road and the Narrows Bridge, which includes the additional traffic lane from Canning Highway to the Narrows Bridge to boost jobs and bust congestion," Mr Tudge said. "A lane use management system, similar to that used for the Northbridge Tunnel, creates an additional lane between Canning Highway and Narrows Bridge by safely opening the emergency stopping lane on the freeway to all traffic. "There will be increased signage to display open and closed traffic lanes, as well as the provision of new emergency stopping bays in case of crashes and breakdowns." The upgrade was one of 17 major road projects being undertaken as part of the Australian and Western Australian governments' $2.3 billion infrastructure package, which is boosting jobs and busting congestion. Western Australian Transport and Planning Minister Rita Saffioti said the project was the latest in a series of upgrades to both the Kwinana Freeway and the Mitchell Freeway. "Through technology, we can ensure we get the most out of Perth's existing infrastructure and road space to save time for commuters," Ms Saffioti said. "This technology can apply variable speed limits, inform of traffic conditions ahead and adjust on-ramp flow so we can have far greater control over the productivity of the freeway. "Seven major road projects are in the works in Perth's southern suburbs - together these will add more than 22km of new freeway capacity between Russell Road and the Narrows Bridge, as well as adding capacity to arterial roads." Federal Member for Swan Steve Irons said the technology would ensure commuters get the most out of Perth's existing infrastructure, leading to travel time-savings. "The Smart Freeway technology has proven effective in other states and overseas, and will make a big difference to the daily lives of commuters in the southern suburbs," Mr Irons said. "This is a smart way of adding capacity to our freeway." The project is being jointly funded by the Australian ($37.6 million) and Western Australian ($9.4 million) governments. The new Smart Freeway is earmarked for operation by early 2020. From this week, road users will notice changes to Kwinana Freeway between Farrington Road and the Narrows Bridge, which will include on-ramp and lane closures, and speed limit reductions. Most of the disruptive works will be undertaken at night. Temporary barriers will also be installed in stages along the edge line of the left lane between Canning Highway and the Narrows Bridge to facilitate closure of the northbound emergency lane through this section. In addition, a temporary closure of the shared path between Cale Street and the Narrows Bridge will come into effect from February. BMD Constructions Pty Limited, Ventia Pty Limited and Arup Pty Ltd will work with Main Roads, under the SmartWays Alliance, to create an additional lane from Canning Highway to the Narrows Bridge, using smart technology to safely implement an 'All Lane Running' environment. Transport and Planning Minister's office - 6552 5500
New mental health service in the South-West a step closer76043Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements608280html11/01/2019 4:02:10 AM2019-01-11T04:00:00Z Groundwork begins for a Bunbury community mental health step up/step down service The residential mental health service is expected to open early next year Work has started on the new community mental health step up/step down service for people in the South-West region. The 10-bed service located on Vittoria Road in Glen Iris (Bunbury) aims to support people with their mental health in a residential style setting, close to support from their family and friends. Community mental health step up/step down services are a State Government initiative to provide vital short-term residential support and individualised care. They can reduce hospital admissions by providing help to people experiencing a mental health episode in the community, and they also serve as a transition for people being discharged from hospital. The South-West community mental health step up/step down service is expected to be operational by early 2020, with the State Government providing $4.56 million in capital funding from Royalties for Regions. The McGowan Government is investing more than $21 million in capital funding over the next three years in community mental health step up/step downs to establish services in Broome, Bunbury, Geraldton, Kalgoorlie and Karratha. This funding is in addition to almost $6 million in 2018-19 provided for the existing step up/step down services in Joondalup, Rockingham and Albany. One in five Australians will be affected by a mental health issue each year and the vast majority of those people receive their care while living and working in their community, among their family and friends. For support, call beyondblue on 1300 224 636 for 24/7 free counselling or in a crisis situation call Lifeline on 13 11 14, the Mental Health Emergency Response Line on 1300 555 788 (metro) or 1800 676 822 (Peel) or Rurallink on 1800 552 002. For more information on community mental health step up/step down services or to watch videos about the existing services, visit http// Comments attributed to Mental Health Minister Roger Cook "This service will provide the people in the South-West region with a new option for mental health treatment and care in their community. Offering appropriate community mental health services is vital to ensure people who need help get the best possible treatment, it also frees up beds in our hospitals. "Providing communities with the support they need to address mental health, close to where they live is vitally important and is part of the McGowan Government's commitment to putting patients first." Comments attributed to Bunbury MLA Don Punch "As the local MP for Bunbury, I am pleased to see works begin on this election commitment. I have been calling for more mental health services for our community and the McGowan Government is delivering. "People in the South-West will soon have access to services when they need them, close to their homes and personal support network. This will result in better treatment outcomes." Minister's office - 6552 6500
First female chief executive officer for Western Australian Treasury Corporation76042Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements2116010html11/01/2019 2:23:36 AM2019-01-11T02:00:00Z Kaylene Gulich appointed new Chief Executive Officer of the Western Australian Treasury Corporation Ms Gulich will be the first female CEO in the organisation's history Treasurer Ben Wyatt has announced the appointment of Kaylene Gulich as the new Chief Executive Officer of the Western Australian Treasury Corporation (WATC) for a term of five years, commencing on February 4, 2019. Through a nationwide recruitment process led by the WATC Board, Ms Gulich was selected as the best person to lead the Corporation in support of the McGowan Government's focus on strong financial management. Ms Gulich has worked in a number of senior executive roles within the Western Australian Department of Treasury, and has previously held the position of deputy chairperson of the WATC Board. She has also served on the board of the Gold Corporation. Ms Gulich will take over from John Collins who has held the CEO position since 2009. WATC is the State's central borrowing authority, and also provides investment management and financial advisory services for the benefit of the Western Australian public sector. Comments attributed to Treasurer Ben Wyatt "I congratulate Ms Gulich on her appointment. She will bring extensive experience in commercial transactions, financial management of the Western Australian public sector and oversight of the State's economy, and is well-placed to lead WATC into the future. "I also thank Mr Collins for his long and successful tenure as CEO, having helped guide WATC through a period of significant change. I wish him well in his future endeavours." Treasurer's office - 6552 5900
Visitor numbers on Rottnest smash previous records76038Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements605200html10/01/2019 2:00:39 AM2019-01-10T02:00:00Z Almost 770,000 people visited Rottnest in 2018 Increase of 15 per cent on 2017's record visitation Increased visitation a boon for the WA economy and job creation on the island New figures show that Rottnest Island continues to attract a record numbers of visitors to its shores with 769,000 people arriving via ferry, boat or aircraft in 2018. The 15 per cent record increase in visitor numbers can be attributed to extra ferry services, successful marketing campaigns, celebrity visitors and quokka selfies. Visitation is expected to trend upwards with the completion of Discovery Rottnest Island at Pinky Beach in February. Discounted admission fees for day return travellers catching a ferry after midday through January and February will also provide a further boost to visitor numbers. This summer there has never been more activities for visitors with eight new recreational offerings available, ranging from water activities, boat cruising or grabbing a bite to eat at Wadjemup Lighthouse. Comments attributed to Tourism Minister Paul Papalia "The McGowan Government's drive to diversify the recreational offerings and approve developments on Rottnest has led to the island's biggest boom period in both visitors and in new investments. "This year will see the opening of Discovery Rottnest Island, which will provide an eco-friendly and unique accommodation option, while construction on the Hotel Rottnest will significantly increase accommodation options. "The new resorts coupled with existing accommodation options and the expansion of attractions on the island ensure Rottnest's appeal will continue into the future." Minister's office - 6552 5600
Construction starts on Fremantle Line bike path extension76017Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements1508350html9/01/2019 7:30:17 AM2019-01-09T07:30:00Z Work to extend the Fremantle Line Principal Shared Path from Grant Street Station to Victoria Street Station has now started Project will fix the notorious Grant Street dead end in Cottesloe Part of McGowan Government's $134 million investment in cycling infrastructure over the next four years State Government brought project funding forward to start project early Work has started on the extension of one of Perth's most highly anticipated sections of Principal Shared Path (PSP) along the Fremantle railway line. The contract to build the project from Grant Street to Victoria Street was awarded to family owned, Perth-based company Keslake Group Pty Ltd. The construction of the 2.8 kilometre section of PSP will be part of a completely off-road continuous connection from the Perth central business district to Fremantle, catering to not only Town of Cottesloe residents but the wider Perth community and visitors to the State. The project will also feature a bicycle counter, new lighting, wayfinding signs, pavement markings and landscaping to complement the four-metre-wide PSP, which will provide ample space for all path users to enjoy a safe and comfortable journey. Following completion of this PSP in mid-2019, the design and construction of the remaining sections between Victoria Street Station and North Fremantle Station will be progressed. Comments attributed to Transport Minister Rita Saffioti "This section of the Perth to Fremantle path, which comes to a dead end in Cottesloe, has been an issue for more than a decade and the McGowan Government has made its extension a priority. "We recognised the connectivity and safety benefits of extending the Fremantle Railway PSP, and we made sure the funds were available earlier to get it moving. "The start of construction on this site marks the beginning of what will be a continuous link between Perth and Fremantle - making the route quicker, safer and more direct for people walking and cycling. "The project is just one of many planned as part of our record investment which will see $134 million spent on cycling infrastructure in the next four years." Minister's office - 6552 5500
More than 3,000 Western Australian surfers and divers boost their personal protection76016Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements517360html9/01/2019 12:41:26 AM2019-01-08T22:00:00Z Surfers and divers take personal responsibility through McGowan Government's world-first program Just under 500 more shark deterrent device rebates now available There are two scientifically proven devices available through the program More than 3,000 Western Australian surfers and divers now have better protection at WA beaches thanks to the McGowan Government's world-first personal shark deterrent device subsidy. The McGowan Government's personal shark deterrent program, which began in May 2017, has enabled Western Australians to access a $200 rebate on scientifically proven devices through registered retail outlets. At the start of the program, one device qualified for the subsidy - this was the FREEDOM7™. A second device, the FREEDOM+ Surf, was added to the program a year later (May 2018) after university testing showed it significantly reduced the risk of an encounter with a shark. Last month, the shark deterrent subsidies were extended by a further 500 with $100,000 committed as part of the McGowan Government's comprehensive shark mitigation strategy. In the lead up to Christmas, demand grew with 375 devices purchased over the festive period. Of the 3,000 devices claimed so far about 400 devices have been purchased by surfers, while divers have snapped up the rest of the subsidised devices. Personal deterrents for surfers and divers help Western Australians bring their sea sense to the beach and stay safe. The Sea Sense campaign, aims to inform ocean users how best they can use the strategies that are in place to help stay safe and enjoy the beach with confidence. SharkSmart's shark activity map has been improved as part of the campaign. This is the place for water users to get information about shark sightings, tagged shark detections, alerts and safety features at WA beaches. Water users are urged to help each other by reporting shark sightings to the Water Police on 9442 8600. This ensures that SharkSmart and the Surf Life Saving WA Twitter service can alert the community, and beach managers can close beaches if necessary. Comments attributed to Acting Fisheries Minister Roger Cook "It is fantastic to see more than 3,000 Western Australian surfers and divers taking greater personal responsibility for their safety by purchasing a scientifically proven device. "These devices can be used anywhere, anytime to significantly improve a surfer or diver's personal safety. "This is why we encourage anyone who has not yet bought a device to consider purchasing one, with a little under 500 subsidies remaining in the program. "Personal shark deterrents are just one way that ocean users can use their sea sense to keep safe at the beach. Swimming between the flags and checking the website before heading to the beach are some other practical things we can all do to keep WA beaches safe. "This summer use your sea sense to have a great time at our beautiful beaches." Minister's office - 6552 6100