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Improved training infrastructure in the Mid-West867825Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statementshtml2/07/2015 4:05:32 AM2015-07-02T04:00:00Z​New training infrastructure to improve services for students in Mid-West$2m investment through State Government's Royalties for Regions program The State Government has committed to refurbishing the Durack Institute of Technology to improve training infrastructure while creating a new 'heart' of the Geraldton campus. The project will be largely funded through the Royalties for Regions program. Training and Workforce Development Minister Liza Harvey said the Interactive Student Hub would make use of state-of-the-art technology to expand the existing student service areas. Mrs Harvey said the $2.7 million project would include a refurbished library, improved access to the 24-hour computing facility - especially for those with disabilities, wireless internet access, and construction of an enclosed walkway that links the library and cafe. "The hub will be a 'one-stop-shop' for student advisory and support services, course and careers information, library and learning resource services," she said. "It will provide space for private study, small group activities and student/staff interactions in an informal setting. It will also offer opportunities for public access, enabling industry and the broader community to view and experience Durack's contemporary learning environment." Regional Development Minister Terry Redman said the facility would add a new dimension to the learning facilities available in the Mid-West. "It will facilitate the connection between formal learning undertaken in classrooms and the informal, self-directed learning that is increasingly sought by students," Mr Redman said. "The new hub will allow the institute to enhance access to high-quality training and workforce development services that recognise the needs of students and industry. "This ensures local residents are equipped with the skills to get a job in the industries driving our economy." Fact FileDurack Institute of Technology is the major provider of vocational education, training and workforce development in the Mid-West, Murchison and Gascoyne regions Training and Workforce Development Minister's office - 6552 5900
Grant for new wellness centre building867822Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statementshtml2/07/2015 3:42:19 AM2015-07-02T03:30:00Z​$342,500 towards the construction of a new building for the Wellness Centre at the Multicultural Services Centre of WAThe centre has been providing social programs to frail and aged migrants, and refugees for 20 years The construction of a new building for the Wellness Centre at the Multicultural Services Centre of WA (MSCWA) to support and care for people who are frail, aged or have a disability, will become a reality thanks to a Lotterywest grant. Citizenship and Multicultural Interests Minister Mike Nahan said the $342,500 grant for the new building would enable the centre to continue offering a wide range of programs in disability, health, wellbeing, financial and housing services. "For more than 30 years, MSCWA has initiated many activities, services and programs that have assisted migrants to Western Australia," Dr Nahan said. "These programs and services have made a positive and tangible difference to the lives of many West Australians from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. "Thanks to Lotterywest, organisations such as MSCWA will continue to enrich and empower WA communities." The MSCWA is a community service organisation established in 1980 to meet the settlement, welfare, education and training, cultural and related needs of multicultural West Australians. The centre was known as the North Perth Migrant Resource Centre until 2002. The total cost of the project is $1.1 million with other major contributions being provided by the State Government through the Department of Health's Home and Community Care program ($435,000) and the Department of Housing ($200,000). Fact FileWA is the only State where the money raised from lottery products is distributed directly back to the community to support not-for-profit organisations Minister's office - 6552 5700
New centre builds WA’s data science capability867821Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statementshtml2/07/2015 3:13:08 AM2015-07-02T03:00:00Z​Premier launches WA hub of Cisco's Internet of Everything Innovation Centre, AustraliaInitial focus on astronomy and resources Developing capability in data intensive science is a key opportunity identified in the Science Statement for WA Premier and Science Minister Colin Barnett today launched the Western Australian hub of Cisco's Internet of Everything Innovation Centre, Australia, located at Curtin University's Bentley campus. The Premier said the new centre was one of the many exciting projects that were adding to Western Australia's emerging capability in data science. "This centre will be an incubator for new technologies and new entrepreneurs with solutions in digital transformation, predictive data science and enhanced cognition," he said. "Supporting multiple markets, the centre will share solutions between astronomy and radio physics, oil and gas, finance, transport and government." Mr Barnett said currently only two per cent of all things that could be connected were connected. "This represents 13 billion devices, and this number is expected to grow to 50 billion by 2020," he said. "With all these devices producing information, finding innovative solutions to create meaning from and extracting value from them will be a competitive advantage." A focus of the centre will be to create a state-of-the-art 'connected community', bringing teams together in a collaborative space where customers, start-ups, open communities, researchers, entrepreneurs and technology enthusiasts can work together and brainstorm new ideas and technologies. "WA has a great opportunity to continue building on its emerging capability in data intensive science through our involvement in the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) project," the Premier said. "Another great opportunity for WA lies in our remoteness. We are a vast State, with major economic activity occurring in some of the most remote areas. Connectivity, support and service delivery, all critical to the SKA project, are also critical to other WA economic sectors, from resources projects through to the delivery of Government services." The Premier complimented Cisco and foundation partners Curtin University and Woodside for their foresight and action in delivering the centre. "The centre is a great example of industry and the research community coming together to create genuine partnerships, with the aim of solving real world problems," he said. "Collaboration at the State and national level is crucial if we are to remain competitive and to attract the research and development investment necessary to develop a knowledge-based economy that will deliver highly-skilled jobs." The centre will also play an important role in engaging WA-based small and medium enterprises with large company problems, including access for their ideas, developments and solutions. Fact FileCisco estimates that the potential value at stake to the Australian economy for the Internet of Everything could be more than $74 billion over the next 10 yearsThe centre in Australia is only one of eight Cisco Internet of Everything Innovation Centres throughout the world. The Australian centre will connect with other global centres, building value through a cutting-edge research community The centre's foundation partners, Woodside and Curtin University, together with Cisco, will provide foundation level funding and resources to the value of $30 million over the first five years under the first phase of the centre's planThrough the SKA project, WA is home to one of the largest pools of fundamental science that can drive innovation. The State Government has invested significantly in radioastronomy and supercomputing, including$46 million to the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research over 10 years (2009-19), which has developed into a world-class centre of excellence in astronomical science, engineering and information technologies$54 million in operational funding to the Pawsey Supercomputing Centre (2000-21) Premier's office - 6552 5000
Yellow submarine - your colour choice for MRI867818Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statementshtml2/07/2015 2:41:16 AM2015-07-02T02:30:00Z​$2.46m MRI unit based at King Edward Memorial Hospital for first timeOn-site access for women, children and newborns at KEMH reduces clinical riskSupports MRI service at Princess Margaret Hospital Giving children the chance to choose a colour for their magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan is now possible at King Edward Memorial Hospital (KEMH) thanks to a new technologically-advanced unit, made possible by funding from the State Government, Telethon and Imaging West. Officially opening the MRI department at the hospital today, Health Minister Kim Hames said the new equipment included an option to personalise the scan by colour selection of the lighting, plus a mobile television that played a range of DVDs for children to watch during the examination. "This is an important new service for women, newborns and older children and specialists at King Edward Memorial Hospital will be using the latest technology in scanning equipment, with features that help make the hospital experience less daunting for children," Dr Hames said. "Apart from being able to choose your favourite colour the MRI scanner is a wide-bore system, which is designed to reduce claustrophobia for patients. "The scanner has cutting-edge technology, making it excellent for all kinds of imaging, but it will be of significant benefit for neonatal brains. The improvement in resolution and technology allows specialists to see and identify subtle changes, so it's very exciting." The Minister said having an MRI scanner on-site at KEMH not only made access easier but it would allow patients to have their scans performed earlier, allowing treatment to start sooner, leading to better outcomes for patients. "To avoid transporting babies, particularly those who are very sick or who require respiratory support, is really significant," he said. "It takes pressure off the Neonatal Emergency Transport Service and reduces the risk of babies becoming destabilised." PMH outpatients requiring a MRI will use the KEMH service, which is particularly suited to musculoskeletal and neurological investigations, such as patients with epilepsy or multiple sclerosis. The on-site scanner also means women requiring gynaecological examinations and assessments during pregnancy will have their appointments co-located. Dr Hames said MRI technology was a powerful tool for investigating complex foetal issues and as it was non-ionising, there was no risk to the mother or foetus. Fact FileMRI is a diagnostic imaging scan to investigate and diagnose health conditions/diseases, especially gynaecological cancers and endometriosisMRI department was funded by the State Government ($1.97 million, including for construction works), Telethon ($1.14 million) and Imaging West ($984,793) Minister's office - 6552 5300
New chair for ScreenWest641Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statementshtml2/07/2015 1:13:40 AM2015-07-02T01:00:00Z​Janelle Marr announced as new chair Mrs Marr will replace outgoing chair Peter Rowe Release of the new Indigenous Screen Strategy 2016-2020 Culture and the Arts Minister John Day has announced Janelle Marr as the new Chair of the ScreenWest board. Mrs Marr will succeed outgoing chair Peter Rowe who served on the board for four years. Mr Day said Mrs Marr's experience in strategy, governance and finance would continue to be an asset to ScreenWest and the industry. "Janelle has been a valued member of the ScreenWest board since January 2013 and her experience will ensure there is a seamless transition to the position of chair," the Minister said. The Minister thanked outgoing chair Peter Rowe for his considerable contribution to ScreenWest. "Peter has been a driving force behind ScreenWest's success in attracting unprecedented national and overseas interest in WA filmmakers, productions and the State as a location for film and television production," he said. The new appointment coincides with the release of the Indigenous Screen Strategy 2016-2020 which aims to increase national and international awareness and exposure of Western Australian indigenous stories and talent, and develop skills. Mr Day said the previous 2010-15 strategy had been a resounding success with an investment of $2.2 million generating more than $10 million in indigenous film and TV production in WA. "In the five years since the release of the first strategy, 38 projects have received funding which has resulted in support for 34 indigenous filmmakers and 32 hours of screen time," he said. "This is a great outcome and I am pleased that the strategy will continue under ScreenWest's new chair." Janelle Marr has 20 years' experience in management consulting and is currently the managing director of StepBeyond, a strategy consultancy that provides advisory services to corporate, government and not-for-profit organisations across Australia and Asia. Mrs Marr has also worked at Credit Suisse First, Goldman Sachs, KPMG and Ernst and Young. Fact FileState Government support has contributed to the box-office success of Red Dog, Paper Planes, These Final Hours, The Turning, Prison Songs and The WalerFor more information, visit http//www.screenwest.com.au Minister's office - 6552 6200
Bruce Rock to benefit from wastewater scheme638Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statementshtml2/07/2015 12:17:59 AM2015-07-01T22:00:00Z The State Government will deliver a new Septic Tank Effluent Disposal (STED) scheme to Bruce Rock at a cost of $6 million. Water Minister Mia Davies explained the scheme and the number of benefits it would deliver for the local community. "Bruce Rock's STED scheme will take wastewater that has already been partially treated in household septic tanks through a pipeline system, which is then pumped to an evaporation and infiltration disposal pond system, located outside of town," Ms Davies said. "The scheme reduces potential health and environmental impacts linked with the use of septic tanks and their associated leach drains. It will also provide social and environmental benefits for the community." The Water Corporation will construct the scheme as part of the State Government's Infill Sewerage Program, with work on the ground expected to start in mid-2016 once engineering works have been finalised. The project, which is expected to be completed around mid-2017, will enable 250 residential lots to connect to the public system. The Minister said the Government had revised the STED policy to remove the onus of a financial contribution from local government for the project. There was also extensive community consultation carried out to ensure the project was supported. Hyden was the first WA town to benefit from a STED scheme, with 130 lots successfully connecting in June 2014 as part of the Infill Sewerage Program. "A STED scheme is a practical and affordable wastewater system which is expected to be a long-term solution for wastewater management in regional areas with shallow groundwater, rock or clay soils," Ms Davies said. "The Bruce Rock community will continue to benefit from this improved infrastructure and it reinforces the State Government's commitment to growing and maintaining regional areas." Fact FileThe Bruce Rock STED scheme forms part of the Infill Sewerage Program. To date, this program has enabled more than 93,000 households in metropolitan and regional WA access to central wastewater systemsThe 250 residential lots are bound by Mitchell, Butcher and Johnson streets and Noonajin RoadFor more information, visit http//www.watercorporation.com.au Minister's office - 6552 5500
New small business service starts today867787Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements0html1/07/2015 5:51:51 AM2015-07-01T05:45:00Z​$10.7 million over three years for State-wide business advisory serviceSmall Business Development Corporation initiative Western Australia's 211,658 small businesses have access to a new, more efficient, advisory service with Business Local up and running from today. Small Business Minister Joe Francis said the new service, which replaces the small business centre network, would be delivered by seven organisations to 12 regions covering the State. "The State Government is committed to providing consistent, high-quality advisory services to support a dynamic small business sector. Business Local will have a greater focus on service delivery and long-term client relationships," Mr Francis said. "The new service will be overseen by the Small Business Development Corporation and will provide advice and guidance for owners starting a new enterprise or developing existing businesses. "The new service will be a more structured process including initial assessments for small businesses, with follow-up support through all stages of their business development." The Business Local service is the result of an extensive review carried out in 2014 that recognised the need for more streamlined services, better targeted to the needs of WA small businesses. "We have vast distances to cover to ensure all businesses have access to the service, so various methods of service delivery will be available, from face-to-face and site visits, to phone and online alternatives," the Minister said. The State Government has allocated $10.7 million over three years to provide the Business Local service across all regions of the State and the metropolitan area. Fact File211,658 small businesses in WA (55,203 in regional WA) representing 97 per cent of all businesses in the StateSmall business sector estimated to contribute $44 billion to the WA economySmall and medium-sized businesses provide more than three quarters of all employment Minister's office - 6552 6500 Business Local providers and regions below RegionService providerEast metropolitanBusiness Station Inc.North metropolitanBusiness Station Inc.South metropolitanBusiness Foundations Inc.Peel Business Foundations Inc.Gascoyne RSM Bird CameronGreat SouthernSmall Business Centre, Great SouthernKimberley Kimberley Small Business SupportMid-West RSM Bird CameronSouth-West Small Business Centre, Bunbury-WellingtonWheatbeltRSM Bird CameronGoldfields-Esperance regionKalgoorlie-Boulder Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc.Pilbara regionRSM Bird Cameron
Premier welcomes Woodside's Browse decision867776Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements0html1/07/2015 3:32:05 AM2015-07-01T03:25:00Z​Browse JV enters front-end engineering and design phase Premier and State Development Minister Colin Barnett has today welcomed the decision by Woodside Petroleum Ltd to enter the front-end engineering and design (FEED) phase for the proposed floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) development in the Browse basin. "I am very pleased to see the Browse Joint Venture participants take this step into this new phase; it's a positive move in the development of the Browse LNG resource," Mr Barnett said. "This follows the signing of a Key Principles Agreement with the Browse FLNG proponents last week for the provision of domestic gas and a supply chain in Western Australia - the first time the State's domestic gas policy will be applied to an FLNG project. "I would like to thank the joint venture partners for the professional way they have embarked upon all the negotiations around this project. "I am now looking forward to the development and finalisation of a detailed Development Agreement, prior to the joint venture making its final investment decision, which is expected in late 2016. "News that this project is progressing well is excellent for the resources sector in Western Australia and for WA as a whole. "This decision will lift confidence in resources and in the business community." Under the Key Principles Agreement, the joint venture has committed to reserve gas equivalent to 15 per cent of production from the State's share of the Torosa reservoir, one of three gas fields that make up the Browse project. The integrated supply chain in WA will provide port, marine, aviation, storage and transport services over the life of the project. Fact FileThe State's share of Torosa is estimated to be 65 per cent State royalties are estimated at more than $1 billion over the life of the project Premier's office - 6552 5000
Minor misconduct provisions to PSC from today867775Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements0html1/07/2015 3:17:00 AM2015-07-01T03:10:00Z​Proclamation of remaining provisions of the Corruption, Crime and Misconduct (Amendment) Act 2014 occurs today Premier Colin Barnett has today confirmed that the proclamation of remaining provisions of the Corruption, Crime and Misconduct (Amendment) Act 2014 would occur today. The amendments transfer responsibility for dealing with matters of minor misconduct by public officers and its corruption prevention and education roles from the Corruption and Crime Commission (CCC) to the Public Sector Commission (PSC). "This is a significant step in strengthening the oversight of the WA public sector and enhances the integrity and accountability of public officers by refocusing the Corruption and Crime Commission as the State's pre-eminent corruption-fighting body," Mr Barnett said. "This means the CCC will be able to redirect its powers and resources to dealing with its core responsibilities of overseeing WA police, dealing with more serious misconduct matters and helping to combat corruption." The Premier said the PSC and the CCC had been working together in preparation for the new arrangements and there had been significant consultation with stakeholders. While ongoing refinements will be made over time, Mr Barnett said the State Government was assured that both agencies were working together and would have processes and systems in place along with proper interagency protocols for a smooth transition from today. Attorney General Michael Mischin said the Government was pleased to have a highly skilled and experienced judicial officer and former Director of Public Prosecutions in Commissioner John McKechnie SC at the helm of the CCC. "I would like to thank the two Acting Commissioners for the Corruption and Crime Commission, Neil Douglas and Christopher Shanahan SC, who have ably performed all the functions of the office of Commissioner since the resignation of the previous Commissioner Hon Roger Macknay QC last year," Mr Mischin said. "I acknowledge their considerable efforts to reform the CCC in preparation for Commissioner McKechnie taking up his post." Fact FileA jointly developed information resource setting out a new framework for notification of misconduct allegations will be released soon Premier's office - 6552 5000
EPA chairman stepping down867752Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements0html1/07/2015 2:53:50 AM2015-07-01T02:45:00Z ​ Environment Minister Albert Jacob has thanked Environmental Protection Authority chairman Paul Vogel for his long service with the board, following Dr Vogel's announcement today that he is stepping down from the role on November 4, 2015. Mr Jacob said Dr Vogel had made a significant contribution over the past eight years. The State Government was in the process of selecting a new chairman. "Dr Vogel will continue as chairman for his full term, which will assist greatly during this transition period," he said. "I will announce the nomination of a new chairman following the completion of this selection process." Minister's office - 6552 5800
New era for single conservation agency867751Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements0html1/07/2015 2:00:17 AM2015-07-01T01:45:00ZExtra expertise and resources to boost the State's rivers conservation effortFremantle Prison now managed by State Heritage Office Environment and Heritage Minister Albert Jacob said today's amalgamation of the Swan River Trust and the Department of Parks and Wildlife honoured a pre-election commitment to create a dedicated parks and conservation agency. Parks and Wildlife's new management responsibilities for the Swan Canning Riverpark will complement its ongoing management of nearby conservation areas, including the Swan Estuary Marine Park and Canning River Regional Park. "There is now one agency responsible for managing national parks, reserves, State forests conservation and marine parks," Mr Jacob said. "The creation of a rivers and estuaries division within this agency will ensure improved protection for the rivers. "The new division, which will work closely with other divisions in Parks and Wildlife, will ensure a focus on the highest priorities in river science, protection, conservation and management. "The merged workforce will bring together scientists, conservation and ecosystems management experts, planners and project managers with experience in delivering significant capital works." The Swan River Trust board will continue as an independent advisory body on river matters to the Minister for Environment and the Parks and Wildlife director general. In another change, management of Fremantle Prison has been transferred from the Department of Finance to the State Heritage Office. The Minister said the State Heritage Office and the Heritage Council of Western Australia were well placed to provide governance that was consistent with the oversight of a World Heritage site. "Fremantle Prison will be able to leverage the State Heritage Office's specialist expertise, best practice and industry connections for the conservation and management of this significant heritage site," Mr Jacob said. Fact FileThe Swan Canning Riverpark includes 72sqkm of public land and adjoining river reserves along the Swan, Canning, Helena and Southern riversFremantle Prison is one of Australia's best preserved convict sitesIn 2014-15, the prison received more than 192,500 visitors - its highest number since it opened to the public in 1992 Minister's office - 6552 5800 ​
New creative edge at West Leederville school867729Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements0html1/07/2015 1:55:24 AM2015-07-01T01:35:00ZNew two-storey building and play areas opened at West Leederville PS $5.4 million upgrade includes new facilities for students and staff A nature playground designed around an iconic Moreton Bay fig tree, and a two-storey classroom building are part of a new look at historic West Leederville Primary School. Education Minister Peter Collier officially opened the $5.4 million upgrade today, which included new classrooms for students in pre-primary and years 1 and 2. "The classrooms provide the very best in early childhood learning for the growing number of students in these years," Mr Collier said. The new building includes three early childhood learning areas, four general learning areas, activity spaces, a staff study and a lift to assist students with disabilities. "A large sandpit, nature playground, outdoor amphitheatre and bike paths are providing stimulating play opportunities for students," the Minister said. The school community designed an artwork to complement the school environment and new facilities. "Close to 500 students drew pictures of native flora that are incorporated into a lace wire fence spanning eight metres along the new playing courts and classroom block," Mr Collier said. "It's a wonderful example of a community coming together and taking great pride in their school." Fact FileWest Leederville Primary School was built in 1898 and currently has 490 students enrolledThe State Government is investing $1.16 billion over the next four years to build new schools and improve and extend existing schoolsFor more information, visit http//biggerpicture.education.wa.edu.au Minister's office - 6552 6300
MercyCare’s new central office officially opens8419Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements0html2/07/2015 12:49:07 AM2015-07-01T01:30:00ZLotterywest grants of $7 million supported the building's purchase and fit-out Central office will improve the delivery of MercyCare's aged care, family, health and community services Premier Colin Barnett has opened community service provider MercyCare's new office in West Perth, a high visibility site supported with $7 million in Lotterywest grants. MercyCare delivers services to those who are most vulnerable, significantly disadvantaged and in need in the Western Australian community delivering services across three main streams - aged care services, family and youth services and health and community services. The Ord Street premises will accommodate about 140 staff and volunteers, improve efficiencies and give clients, including those in youth and aged care, access to quality services in a central location. Mr Barnett said MercyCare, officially constituted in 2002, did very valuable work in the community. "MercyCare employs 700 staff and 150 volunteers who deliver vital community services to improve the lives of disadvantaged West Australians from over 30 locations in WA," he said. MercyCare's former offices in Wembley will remain a key service site in the continued delivery of child care and aged care services. The Premier acknowledged the large scale of MercyCare's work and the wide ranging impact the new office will have. "The benefits stemming from this central office location are significant including the opportunity for greater knowledge sharing amongst staff, improved community access and the opportunity for future expansion," he said. The State Government, through two Lotterywest grants, supported the purchase and fit-out of the central office which comprises 1,580 square meters of office space over two levels. Fact FileThe total cost of MercyCare's central office is $15 million with MercyCare contributing the balanceSince 1998, MercyCare has received an additional 24 Lotterywest grants totalling $2,668,362In 2013-14, Lotterywest raised $271.2 million for beneficiaries including WA's hospitals, arts, and sport and recreational groupsFor a full list of grants recommended by the Lotterywest board and approved by the Premier, visit http//www.lotterywest.wa.gov.au Premier's office - 6552 5000
South-West blueprint sets strategy for growth8418Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements0html1/07/2015 1:40:54 AM2015-07-01T01:05:00Z A strategy designed to guide growth and development of the South-West region over the coming decades was launched in Bunbury today by Regional Development Minister Terry Redman. At the South West Focus conference this morning, Mr Redman officially unveiled the South West Regional Blueprint and said transformational projects identified in the blueprint were already making the leap from paper to reality. "The South-West blueprint - the second of the State Government's Regional Investment Blueprints - will facilitate economic development and job creation to support the region's growth and lead to developing modern, vibrant places to live," he said. "The recently announced $59.7 million expansion of the Busselton Regional Airport, which is identified as a priority project in the South-West blueprint, is a priority project for the region to open up new tourism and business opportunities, create jobs and drive economic growth. "I congratulate the South West Development Commission and Regional Development Australia - South West for coming together to produce this economic and social strategy that will position the region well for a bright future. "Projects highlighted in the document are aimed at helping to grow jobs, services and facilities so they keep pace with population growth and ensure that residents continue to enjoy prosperity and quality of life." Each of the nine regional development commissions across Western Australia have been tasked with putting together a Regional Investment Blueprint based on their development aspirations and forecast population growth. The Regional Investment Blueprint initiative is supported by $362 million of Royalties for Regions funding. For more information about the South West Regional Blueprint or to download a copy, visit http//www.swdc.wa.gov.au The South West Focus conference is taking place over July 1 and 2 and is aimed at giving attendees an idea of what might be in the South-West's future and what opportunities people may be able to tap in to. For more information, visit http//www.southwestfocus.com.au Minister's office - 6552 6700
Confidence vote for industry-led biosecurity8417Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements0html1/07/2015 1:28:07 AM2015-07-01T01:00:00ZWA's agriculture sector protected through continuation of industry-led funding schemes Agriculture industries in Western Australia have supported the continuation of three industry funding schemes that allow them to raise funds and target biosecurity threats. Agriculture and Food Minister Ken Baston declared continuation of the schemes after receiving across-the-board agreement from stakeholders. The schemes covercattlegrains, seeds and haysheep and goat industry. Cattle producers fund surveillance programs for bovine tuberculosis, bovine Johne's disease and enzootic bovine leucosis, while sheep and goat producers fund virulent footrot control. Grain, seed and hay producers have programs to control skeleton weed and eradicate three-horned bedstraw. "Feedback from stakeholders was overwhelmingly positive on the biosecurity benefits of the schemes," Mr Baston said. "They appreciate the schemes are industry-led, driven and controlled and believe they reduce red tape, improve collaboration and provide a clear demonstration of industry taking responsibility for biosecurity. "Funding schemes enable co-ordinated, whole-of-industry biosecurity programs and improve risk mitigation by facilitating timely responses to issues that threaten agricultural industries. "Industry-led and funded biosecurity schemes are in addition to the programs already provided by the Department of Agriculture and Food. "Biosecurity is everyone's responsibility - we all need to work together to protect the State's $7 billion agriculture industry." Fact FileBiosecurity is vital in protecting the State's economy, environment and community The schemes were established in 2010 and an extension will apply from July 1, 2015For more information, visit http//www.agric.wa.gov.au Minister's office - 6552 5400
Defence joins fight for more affordable housing8416Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements0html1/07/2015 1:17:56 AM2015-07-01T00:00:00ZUp to 55 new affordable homes to be delivered across Claremont and InnalooProviding a mix of affordable, social and Defence housing as well as full-market sales An innovative partnership between the State Government and Defence Housing Australia (DHA) will deliver up to 55 new affordable homes on two vacant sites in Perth. Housing Minister Colin Holt said the Department of Housing signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with DHA for development of the sites in Claremont and Innaloo, close to transport and employment. "In line with the Affordable Housing Strategy 2020 and Directions 2031 and Beyond, the Government is actively seeking strategic partnerships to finance, develop and deliver quality and appropriate affordable housing solutions for West Australians," Mr Holt said. "This MOU is a prime example of such a partnership." The partnership means the State-Government-owned land, zoned for medium density residential development, will be used to provide a mix of affordable, social and Defence personnel housing as well as some full-market sales. DHA managing director Peter Howman described the MOU as a great opportunity for both the State Government and DHA to advance their objectives. "The Government has suitable land and DHA needs housing close to its bases," Mr Howman said. He said the DHA would work in partnership with the Government to determine the best design for the two vacant sites and seek planning approvals. Fact FileThe Government's Affordable Housing Strategy has delivered more than 19,000 opportunities to date against a target of 20,000 by 2020Through the 2015-16 State Budget, the Government will invest $560 million to deliver an additional 1,500 housing opportunities, including 1,000 social housing dwellings during 2015-16 and 2016-17 Minister's office - 6552 6100
Western Australia's pastoral leases renewed8415Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements0html1/07/2015 1:11:45 AM2015-06-30T23:30:00ZJuly 1, 2015 marks historic renewal of State's pastoral leasesAll but two of 437 eligible stations have been renewed Today marks the historic renewal of Western Australia's pastoral leases, bringing security to hundreds of pastoralists across the State, Lands Minister Terry Redman announced. Mr Redman said all but two of the State's 437 eligible stations would have their pastoral lease renewed, bringing to an end two years of intensive consultation to ensure as many lessees as possible met compliance requirements. "Today is an historic moment in the State's history and is the first time in Western Australia every eligible pastoral lease has been renewed on the same date. This will likely never happen again," he said. "The State Government embarked on the huge task of renewing the leases of every single eligible pastoral station 20 years ago and I'm pleased that 99.5 per cent of eligible stations have had their leases renewed today. "This success reflects the high level of compliance among pastoral lessees, with nearly all lessees eligible for renewal meeting the renewal conditions." The Minister praised the hard work of those involved in the State Government's lease renewal process. "It has been a collaborative effort and I thank all those who have been a part of the renewal process including lessees, the Department of Lands and Landgate, Pastoralists and Graziers Association, Pastoral Lands Board, representatives from the banking and insurance sectors, other government agencies and many other pastoral stakeholders," Mr Redman said. "For the small number of lessees who were not renewed, decisions will be made regarding their future on an individual basis." The former Land Act required that the State Government begin the lease renewal process 20 years before the leases expired and all stations were notified in 1995 of this requirement. Fact FileAll of Western Australia's pastoral leases expired on June 30, 2015Of the 507 pastoral leases across 437 pastoral stations, 435 stations had their leases renewedLeases not renewed become unallocated Crown land, administered by the Department of LandsBefore July 1, 2015, 37 per cent of Western Australia was unallocated Crown land Minister's office - 6552 6700
Gas regulations support community confidence337Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements0html1/07/2015 12:55:00 AM2015-06-30T23:05:00ZNew rules to safeguard environmentMandatory well plans and water monitoring New regulations for the petroleum and geothermal industries come into effect today, giving Western Australia one of the most stringent well integrity and resource management regimes in the nation. Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Marmion said the changes would ensure strong oversight for the emerging shale and tight gas industry. "While production of natural gas from shale and tight rocks is still in the early stages, with significant commercial projects likely to be five to 10 years away, it is important that the legislative framework is place," Mr Marmion said. "The State Government wants to reassure all West Australians there is strong regulation to ensure best practices are implemented." The regulations stipulate mandatory well and field management plans, including baseline water quality monitoring before drilling and continued monitoring during and after completion. "These comprehensive regulations will minimise any risk of aquifer contamination and should help maximise community confidence in the responsible development of the gas industry," the Minister said. Before drilling programs are approved, the Department of Mines and Petroleum (DMP) assesses applications to ensure they comply with State laws protecting public health, the environment and water resources. Any application which is likely to have a significant impact on the environment must be referred to the Environmental Protection Authority for further assessment. All companies proposing to conduct hydraulic fracturing must submit a complete list of chemicals to be used, for publication on the DMP website. "The department will assess all projects on a site-by-site, project-by-project basis with safety and environment auditors conducting inspections to check compliance," Mr Marmion said. "I am confident West Australians will benefit from the shale gas industry, with jobs and local community opportunities flowing from the production of this lower-carbon energy source." Fact FileThe new regulations follow a review of WA gas industry regulation by Bond University petroleum specialist Dr Tina HunterA multi-agency framework including the departments of Water, Health, Environment Regulation, Agriculture and Food, Parks and Wildlife and State Development is being developed to assist industry with the legislative changesFor more information and regulation details, visit http//www.dmp.wa.gov.au Minister's office - 6552 6800 ​
Agency to tackle drug issues and mental health336Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements0html1/07/2015 12:49:08 AM2015-06-30T23:00:00ZBetter integration of the State's mental health, drug and alcohol services Improved delivery of holistic care for people with co-occurring problems The merger today of the Mental Health Commission and the Drug and Alcohol Office aims to improve services for West Australians with mental health, drug and alcohol or co-occurring problems. Mental Health Minister Helen Morton said the amalgamation was driven by the fact that in up to half of cases, drug and alcohol problems co-existed with mental health issues. "Combining the functions of both agencies will provide a more holistic approach to care for people experiencing challenges with their mental health, alcohol or drug use, or both," Mrs Morton said. "The new Mental Health Commission will steer transformation and growth across both sectors consistent with the directions outlined in the Mental Health, Alcohol and Other Drug Services Plan 2015-2025." The Minister said the amalgamation would improve the State-wide delivery of prevention and treatment services and professional education, research and training activities across the drug and alcohol and mental health sectors. "This is a major step forward in the provision of better government services and will streamline processes," she said. The formation of the new agency was finalised today following the formal commencement of the Alcohol and Drug Authority Amendment Act 2015. The Act dissolves the Drug and Alcohol Office and gives responsibility for its functions to the Mental Health Commissioner. Mrs Morton acknowledged outgoing Drug and Alcohol Office executive director Neil Guard. She said Mr Guard had made a significant contribution not only to Western Australia, but also on a national level, to the prevention and awareness of drug and alcohol use and its associated harm. The Minister said the important role of the alcohol and drug sector would be recognised by the establishment of a new statutory advisory board. The Alcohol and Other Drugs Advisory Board will provide expert advice to the Mental Health Commissioner and work in collaboration with the existing Mental Health Advisory Council to assist the Mental Health Commission in achieving a co-ordinated focus on alcohol and other drug use and mental illness. Fact FileStudies estimate that at least 30 to 50 per cent of people with mental health or alcohol or other drug problems, have problems with both This is a change endorsed by State Cabinet in April 2013 Minister's office - 6552 6900 ​
Water grants build resilience in regional WA5Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements0html1/07/2015 12:43:37 AM2015-06-30T22:30:00ZGrants to build water supplies in areas with less than 600mm average rainfallBoosting regional water capacity through strategic supply developmentWorking with local governments to drought proof communities Eleven local governments across the Mid-West, Wheatbelt and the Great Southern will receive $888,097 in State Government funding to improve emergency water supplies and reduce use of scheme water for non-potable needs, Water Minister Mia Davies said today. Announcing the Department of Water 2015 Community Water Supply Program grants, Ms Davies said the projects were jointly funded with the shires of Beverley, Coorow, Goomalling, Jerramungup, Kulin, Lake Grace, Merredin, Mount Marshall, Plantagenet, Wagin and Woodanilling. "With funding contributions from the shires, this will see more than $1.7 million invested in projects that will harvest and store additional sources of water such as stormwater," she said. "This water will supplement emergency water supplies, help drought proof communities and save local government ratepayers tens of thousands of dollars in annual expenditure on scheme water." The Minister said the 11 shires - like many others in Western Australia - faced challenges as a result of the drying climate in the south-west of the State and years of low rainfall. "Secure water supplies are vitally important for regional communities, and these projects demonstrate innovation in water efficiency, storage and harvesting, reducing pressure on scheme water supplies with non-potable sources wherever possible," she said. "All of these initiatives help reduce the reliance on costly scheme water and provide water supplies for emergency stock watering, firefighting and irrigation of ovals and streetscapes." Ms Davies said the projects were good examples of how the rural water planning program delivered by the Department of Water was working in partnership with local governments and dryland communities. Fact FileSince 1996 more than $4.7 million has been allocated to 99 projects through the Community Water Supply Program Minister's office - 6552 5500