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Western Australian economy gathering pace4073Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statementshtml23/01/2020 9:54:36 AM2020-01-23T09:30:00Z A raft of indicators highlight the WA economy is heading in the right direction WA is set to experience the strongest economic growth in six years Recent downbeat assessment of the economy by CCIWA is inconsistent with data The McGowan Government's responsible financial management and has afforded the opportunity to provide economic stimulus and create more than 50,000 jobs Western Australia is set to benefit from the strongest economic growth in six years with the latest economic data showing more positive signs for the State. The CCIWA Outlook has backed WA Treasury's forecast for the State's economy to grow by three per cent this year, which would be the strongest growth in six years. CCIWA are forecasting unemployment will average 5.8 per cent this year, which aligns with Treasury's forecast of 5.75 per cent, and would be the best result in five years. WA now has the third lowest unemployment rate of all States, a considerable improvement on the 6.4 per cent inherited from the previous Liberal National Government. The figures also show more than 50,000 jobs have been created since the McGowan Government came to office. Importantly, employment is growing not just in mining but across a range of sectors including professional services, retail trade, wholesale, transport and warehousing, and financial and real estate services. The number of employment opportunities continues to rise with internet job vacancies for Western Australian reported by the Department of Employment released this week are at their highest level in five years, also defying a downward trend nationally. This results are in contrast to the period between 2012 and early 2017 under the former Government where no new jobs were created in the Western Australia and the number of people unemployed blew out by some 36,000. Encouragingly WA has also recorded its sixth consecutive month of growth in retail spending, which is the longest stretch of consecutive growth in WA since 2014. Data released by the Real Estate Institute of Western Australia is showing a significant increase in property sales as well as a low rental vacancy rate, which are expected to support property prices. Similarly, the pace of population growth is accelerating, which is expected to support dwelling investment in 2020-21. The McGowan Government has restored the State's finances and undertaken reforms to boost the economy and create jobs including the largest ever increase in the payroll tax exemption threshold, which will result in 1,000 small to medium businesses no longer paying payroll tax and a further 11,000 receiving a payroll tax cut. Significant investments by the McGowan Government as an economic and job stimulus package in the past few months include a $281 million schools and hospitals maintenance package, a 75 per cent rebate on stamp duty for off-the-plan multi-residential dwellings, and the halving of TAFE fees for growth sectors and those with emerging skill shortages. Comments attributed to Treasurer Ben Wyatt "This year we're expecting to see much better results across the economy than what WA has experienced in the past six or so years. "Forecasts for Western Australia include the strongest economic growth in six years, the strongest growth in business investment in seven years and the lowest unemployment rate in five years. "The data is very encouraging and confirms what I've been seeing as Treasurer through the broader raft of economic data. "While some data released by CCIWA suggests that the has economy shrunk by 15 per cent, it's important to note that more than 95 per cent of that fall occurred under the previous Liberal National Government. "The fact is the economy is now growing, not shrinking. "Talking down our local economy, and ignoring some of the obvious green shoots will only weigh down confidence unnecessarily, and postpone Western Australia's return to robust economic growth." Treasurer's office - 6552 5900
Upgraded Cookernup Station open to Australind passengers4071Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statementshtml23/01/2020 7:45:20 AM2020-01-23T07:45:00Z $650,000 upgrade of Cookernup Station now complete More accessible for passengers with mobility issues with installation of raised platform Key McGowan Government commitment to upgrade South-West train stations completed New Australind railcars to be built in WA by WA workers The McGowan Government's upgrades to Cookernup Station are now complete and the station is now open for Australind passengers. Work began last year to upgrade the station's existing low-level platforms to raised platforms, which are now fully compliant with Disability Discrimination Act standards. Two car bays and one ACROD bay, line marking and bollards, new kerbing and bitumen surfaces have also been installed. The new raised platform will improve the experience of Transwa passengers travelling on the Australind, which operates daily between Perth and Bunbury. A key McGowan Government election commitment, a number of other regional station upgrades - including North Dandalup, Yarloop and Carrabin have also been completed in the past 18 months. The station upgrades form part of the McGowan Government's commitment to investing in the regions, and complement the new Australind railcar sets being built locally in Western Australia by Western Australian workers. Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan "The South-West is an important part of our State and it's vital we provide public transport infrastructure for local residents - which is why we have upgraded four local train stations over the past 18 months. "It's great to be back in Cookernup today to officially open the new train station - the last time I was here was to announce the town had won back its postcode after a long campaign with Australia Post. It's great to be back announcing equally positive news today." Comments attributed to Transport Minister Rita Saffioti "The Australind service is a local icon which has operated for more than 70 years. "These small local stations provide a vital transport link for people in more isolated parts of the South-West - but due to their age, the infrastructure hasn't kept pace with standards of accessibility. "Investing in projects like this will help make public transport an even more desirable option for all locals, creating a more comfortable, accessible and practical travel option to access the city or neighbouring communities." Comments attributed to Murray-Wellington MLA Robyn Clarke "Cookernup is a very special place in the South-West and I'm pleased that now even more people will be able to access the town from the Australind. "I am pleased to be a part of a Government that is dedicated to providing much needed services for our regions." Comments attributed to Bunbury MLA Don Punch "The newly upgraded Cookernup station will result in more activity being driven into Bunbury from the Australind train service. "When the new railcars are completed, it will provide an even more comfortable journey for local residents and visitors alike travelling from Perth into the South-West." Premier's office - 6552 5000 Transport Minister's office - 6552 5500
Works begin on new Yanchep primary school4070Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statementshtml23/01/2020 6:02:30 AM2020-01-23T06:00:00Z First sod turned for new Sunningdale Primary School in Yanchep Brand new $17 million school to open for 2021 school year Construction to create an estimated 300 jobsEducation and Training Minister Sue Ellery has turned the first sod at Sunningdale Primary School, with construction of the brand new school in Yanchep officially underway. Sunningdale Primary School will accommodate 430 students from kindergarten to Year 6 in state-of-the-art facilities that will feature a dedicated early childhood teaching block and three general classroom blocks, including a specialised art and craft room. Students and staff will also enjoy a covered assembly area with a canteen and music room, as well as a library resource centre, staff room, conference room and administration building. The new school at 35 Sunningdale Road will officially open for the 2021 school year and will ease pressure on surrounding primary schools in the Yanchep area. An estimated 300 jobs will be created by the school's construction which is being undertaken by WA company EMCO Building. Comments attributed to Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery "This is an exciting moment for the Yanchep community and families who will benefit from the new Sunningdale Primary School. "I am proud that we are building another state-of-the-art school to provide children with a high-quality education and set them up for successful lives. "The school's construction and the employment of teachers and staff creates a range of job opportunities, including for local businesses." Comments attributed to Butler MLA John Quigley "Sunningdale Primary School will give local kids a shorter journey to school. "Youngsters in the area will be learning in new buildings and in the best possible environment. "Parents in the St Andrews and Yanchep Golf estates have been crying out for closer schooling options for years. I'm so proud to be delivering on this much-needed local school." Minister's office - 6552 5700
Australind Action Plan and WA-made railcar design revealed4069Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statementshtml23/01/2020 5:01:25 AM2020-01-23T05:00:00Z New Western Australian made Australind railcar designs unveiled Features include buffet, storage for 16 bikes, toilets, Wi-Fi and USB connection points Australind Action Plan to deliver additional public transport for South-West commuters ahead of completion of new railcars Non-stop road coach service to be trialled between Bunbury and Mandurah for 12 months from May Fare credits to be granted to Australind passengers for delays of more than one hour Premier Mark McGowan and Transport Minister Rita Saffioti visited Bunbury Station today to unveil the designs of the brand new $54 million Australind railcar sets. A key part of the McGowan Government's $1.25 billion railcar program, the two new Australind trains, each consisting of a three-car set, will have a modernised interior, with USB connection points, Wi-Fi, an improved kiosk, upright storage for 16 bicycles, and three toilets. The railcar sets, being built by Western Australian workers in Bellevue, is expected to be delivered in 2022-23. The existing Australind train was originally planned to have an operational life of up to 30 years, however, the previous Liberal National Government failed to plan for or invest in the future of the service. For example, corrosion that built up over time has been a leading cause of cancelled services. While extensive maintenance has been undertaken to keep the rolling stock operating, ageing and obsolescence resulting from this neglect has led to a number of delays and cancelled services. Following passenger feedback, the McGowan Government is implementing the Australind Action Plan to reduce the impact on passengers who rely on the Australind. As part of this, the McGowan Government is introducing a trial non-stop road coach service departing from Bunbury Station at 6am every weekday and returning to Bunbury in the evening, enabling passengers who need to commute the opportunity to travel on a fast-tracked, non-stop luxury road coach service. The road coach will drop passengers at Mandurah Station, where they can continue their journey free of charge on the metropolitan rail system by presenting their Transwa ticket. The McGowan Government has also introduced a credit program for Australind rail passengers - if their train journey is delayed by more than an hour due to maintenance issues or failure of rolling stock, they will be given a credit to take their next journey free of charge. Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan "The two new Australind trains, each consisting of a three-car set, will be built in Western Australia by Western Australians. "The sleek new design will make the journey between Perth and Bunbury more comfortable for residents and tourists alike, encouraging more people to visit our South-West region." Comments attributed to Transport Minister Rita Saffioti "We know many South-West residents rely on the Australind train service to get to and from Perth, which is why it's so important these services run to time. "As we transition from the old Australind to the new Australind railcars, we are committed to ensuring that the current train continues to provide a reliable service. "We have also introduced a raft of measures to provide more certainty for passengers as we await the delivery of the new train. "This includes the introduction of a new non-stop weekday road coach service which will run every morning and evening between Bunbury and Mandurah. "We've also introduced a new credit system where if the train is delayed for more than an hour, passengers will receive a credit for their next trip." Comments attributed to Bunbury MLA Don Punch "As an Australind passenger, I know how frustrating it is if there are difficulties with the train service. "That's why I'm pleased to have worked with the Transport Minister and Transwa to introduce a range of measures to ensure we can enjoy and access the Australind for years to come, including a new non-stop coach service to Mandurah, a credit system when trains are delayed and of course our new Australind railcars." Comments attributed to Murray-Wellington MLA Robyn Clarke "The Australind is vital to our region, travelling from our southern to northern boundaries and servicing stops at major communities along the way. "The Australind service supports extended employment and tourism opportunities, while also enabling access to education options that would normally be out of reach for our young people. "The new Australind is a vital step forward in modernising our transport options for the future." Comments attributed to Collie-Preston MLA Mick Murray "The Australind is an iconic part of the South-West but has passed its operational life of 30 years, which is why the McGowan Government is getting on with the job of replacing it with Western Australian made railcars. "With the new train expected to be in operation in 2022-23, it will be a key part of our $1.25 billion railcar program." Premier's office - 6552 5000 Transport Minister's office - 6552 5500
New program to support Aboriginal staff to become teachers3952Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statementshtml23/01/2020 4:33:06 AM2020-01-23T04:30:00Z $3 million pilot program to support current Aboriginal staff at the Department of Education to become school teachers Partnership with Curtin University to offer Bachelor of Education 33 current staff are first participants of the programAboriginal staff working for the Department of Education now have the opportunity to become school teachers as part of a new program with Curtin University. Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery was at Curtin University today where the current Department of Education staff members - who are the first participants of the pilot program to study a Bachelor of Education - were completing their three-day orientation. The Bachelor of Education course will be delivered primarily online for the 30 women and three men who will study part-time while continuing to work. These staff members are currently employed by the Department as Aboriginal and Islander Education Officers, or in a range of support roles in primary and secondary schools in rural and remote areas and the metropolitan area. Twenty-one participants are from schools in the Kimberley; six are from schools in the Pilbara; four are from schools in the Mid-West; and there is one participant from a school in the Wheatbelt and one from a school in the South Metropolitan region. The participants had to meet relevant criteria to be accepted into the Bachelor of Education and had to provide endorsement from their school principals to take part. Support will be provided by staff from Curtin University and participants will also have teacher mentors from their schools in addition to online support. Participants are expected to complete the pilot course over a minimum period of five years. Comments attributed to Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery "We want our Aboriginal students to be confident and successful learners as well as provide greater opportunities for our Aboriginal school staff. "Therefore, I'm pleased this exciting new program with Curtin University will give staff more options in their education careers. "The 33 participants come from schools all over the State - the Kimberley, Midwest, Pilbara, Wheatbelt and the metropolitan area - and will continue their important work at schools while they study part-time. "Curtin University has a history of supporting Aboriginal students to undertake higher education, and I'm delighted we can work together to increase the number of Aboriginal teachers we have working in our public schools." Comments attributed to Aboriginal Affairs Minister Ben Wyatt "This is an innovative program that will allow Aboriginal Western Australians from across the State to begin their teaching journey. "The majority of these participants are employed as Aboriginal and Islander Education Officers while four are in other important roles - all providing vital support to young Aboriginal students. "They are well placed to undertake further training to become school teachers and this program presents a big opportunity to do so, while maintaining employment as they undertake their study." Education and Training Minister's office - 6552 5700 Aboriginal Affairs Minster's office - 6552 5900
New North Dandalup Station open for Australind passengers3945Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statementshtml23/01/2020 2:32:24 AM2020-01-23T02:30:00Z $750,000 upgrade of North Dandalup Station now complete Station now accessible to passengers with mobility issues Upgrade saw installation of new raised platform with shelterThe new North Dandalup Station is now open for Australind passengers. Work began last year to upgrade the station's existing low-level platforms to raised platforms, which are now fully compliant with Disability Discrimination Act standards. Two car bays and one ACROD bay, line marking and bollards, new kerbing and bitumen surfaces have also been installed, along with better pedestrian paths. The new raised platform will improve the experience of Transwa passengers travelling on the Australind, which operates daily between Perth and Bunbury. A number of other regional station upgrades - including Cookernup, Yarloop, and Carrabin have also been completed in the past 18 months. The station upgrades represent the McGowan Government's commitment to investing in the regions, and complement the new Australind railcar set being delivered as part of the METRONET railcar procurement. For more information on Transwa services, click here. Comments attributed to Transport Minister Rita Saffioti "The Australind service is a local icon which has operated for more than 70 years. "These small local stations provide a vital transport link for people in more isolated parts of the South-West - but due to their age, the infrastructure hasn't kept pace with standards of accessibility. "Investing in projects like this will help make public transport an even more desirable option for all locals, creating a more comfortable, accessible and practical travel option to access the city or neighbouring communities." Comments attributed to Murray-Wellington MLA Robyn Clarke "North Dandalup station has needed an upgrade for many years and I am proud to be a part of the McGowan Government who has delivered on this. "The upgraded station will allow more people to access this beautiful part of our State, supporting tourism and local jobs." Minister's office - 6552 5500
T20 trophy arrives in Perth ahead of Women’s World Cup3944Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statementshtml23/01/2020 2:22:49 AM2020-01-23T02:20:00Z ICC Women's T20 World Cup 2020 Perth trophy tour begins at Kings Park Tour includes Rottnest, City of Perth Skyworks and Scorchers BBL game Perth's T20 Women's matches begin Saturday, February 22 at the WACAThe ultimate prize for the winner of the 2020 International Cricket Council (ICC) Women's T20 World Cup has officially arrived in Western Australia for a highlights tour of Perth. Tourism Minister Paul Papalia showed off the T20 trophy at Kings Park this morning, the first WA location on the national trophy tour, which began at Bondi Beach, Sydney on January 8. The trophy's arrival comes in the lead-up to Perth hosting five group stage matches of the international T20 cricket competition, which are sponsored by the State Government, through Tourism WA. The matches will be played over three days at the iconic WACA Ground, beginning on Saturday, February 22. Joining the Minister in welcoming the trophy to Perth were ICC T20 World Cup Chief Executive Officer Nick Hockley, WACA Chief Executive Officer Christina Matthews and former Australian cricketer Zoe Goss. The trophy tour gives the Perth public an opportunity to see the sporting silverware up-close and to join in the excitement surrounding the major women's sporting event. The trophy's next showing will be tomorrow at the BBL Perth Scorchers game at Optus Stadium before heading to Rottnest Island on Saturday, January 25. January 26 will be the final Perth stop for the trophy, where it will be included as part of celebrations at Langley Park for the City of Perth Australia Day Skyworks. The Australia Day trophy event will include cricket activities for all age groups, a DJ and dance performances in the T20 Kids Zone. Perth is the only Western Australian location and the seventh overall on the trophy tour, which will cover 14,000km around Australia, stopping at more than 40 destinations. Nine of the ten international women's cricket teams will be in Perth to compete in the T20 matches including New Zealand, Sri Lanka, England, South Africa, the West Indies, Thailand, India, Bangladesh as well as hosts and defending champions, Australia. Tickets to the matches are priced from $5 for children and $20 for adults, giving families and communities the chance to watch world-class cricket at an accessible price. Comments attributed to Tourism Minister Paul Papalia "I'm delighted to welcome the Women's T20 World Cup trophy to Perth. "It's not long to go now until our city will proudly host the world's best women cricketers competing for this prize, and the tour gives people a chance to be part of the excitement surrounding this great event. "Seeing the trophy up close will encourage people to get along to the games and inspire a new generation of home-grown women's sports stars." Comments attributed to Sport and Recreation Minister Mick Murray "It's an exciting time for women's sport in Australia, and we've been very proud to support recent blockbuster events such as the Constellation Cup in October and the Fed Cup final in November, where superstar Ash Barty was a big drawcard. "The State Government is a big supporter of women's cricket, and we can't wait to have world's best competing at the iconic WACA Ground in a few weeks' time." Tourism Minister's office - 6552 5600 Sport and Recreation Minister's office - 6552 6400
Collie to be home to first-of-its-kind training facility3943Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statementshtml23/01/2020 2:17:48 AM2020-01-23T02:15:00Z Southern hemisphere's first Caterpillar autonomous technology training facility announced in Collie Facility to attract visitors from all over the world, supporting Collie's economy and creating jobs Hundreds of trainees expected to visit Collie each year to use the facility McGowan Government delivered $2.7 million from the $20 million Collie Futures Fund to help establish the facility New facility expected to create local job and upskilling opportunities, while training operators from across Australian and international mine sites Collie will become home to the southern hemisphere's first Caterpillar autonomous technology training facility, with people from all over the world expected to visit the town to use the facility and support the local economy. Premier Mark McGowan, Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan and Collie-Preston MLA Mick Murray today announced the McGowan Government has delivered $2.7 million to WesTrac and Bluewaters Farm Holdings to help get the trailblazing initiative off the ground. The initiative is the latest investment in the McGowan Government's $20 million Collie Futures Fund, aimed at diversifying Collie's economy and creating jobs. The facility, located at Coolangatta Industrial Estate, will deliver training courses to technicians and operators of autonomous equipment. It is expected to train approximately 204 students during the first year of operation and is projected to grow to 320 students in its third year, delivering training courses to technicians and operators of autonomous equipment and to support the growth of this technology in mining. The facility will complement Collie's rich history as an industrial hub, by providing a service that will benefit operations around Australia and the world. International mining industry leaders will travel to the South-West town to sample the new technology, supporting local business and Collie's economy. The project will further contribute to the Collie region through expenditure on staff, locally delivered services and accommodation, and local spending associated with trainees and visitors. Having the facility located in Collie will position the town at the forefront of automated heavy vehicle training and has the potential to create a range of opportunities for Collie residents. It is envisioned the facility will attract complementary like-minded businesses and industries to the region. WesTrac is expecting to extend its service offering to the Asia Pacific region. As such the facility is expected to attract local, national and international students and associated industries which will significantly contribute to jobs and the Collie economy. For more information, visit http//www.swdc.wa.gov.au Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan "I congratulate WesTrac and Bluewaters Farm Holdings for working with the Government to get this groundbreaking facility off the ground. "People will come from all over the world to utilise this facility - the first of its kind in the southern hemisphere and the second worldwide for Caterpillar. Crucially, we expect clients to spend time in the town as they undertake their training, supporting local businesses and local jobs. "It will see Collie placed at the forefront of training workers - including local workers in Collie - in new technological skills for large-scale mining operations across the State. "My Government is focused on ensuring Collie's long-term prosperity, by creating sustainable jobs in a strong, diverse local economy. "This is a new industry for Collie and Western Australia that will result in new jobs and training opportunities for local people, while meeting demand from around Australia and overseas." Comments attributed to Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan "When we launched the Collie Futures Fund, we opened the doors to new industry for the purpose of job creation and broadening the economic base - and it is working. "Collie will provide a leading role in training people in the operation and maintenance of autonomous mining equipment. The facility will be used to train operators from across Australian mining operations and also international mine sites. "It will be a vital facility to assist in meeting growing demand for training in autonomous technology, particularly in the resources sector. "The project will create jobs both during construction and when the facility is operational." Comments attributed to Collie-Preston MLA Mick Murray "Establishing this world-leading training facility here in Collie, will help create another industry in the town and deliver vital support to our economy. "This isn't about changing what mining looks like in Collie, it's about allowing locals, and people from across the State, to have the opportunity to be trained to work in industries in which there will be high demand in the future. "It will see Collie placed at the forefront of training workers in new technical skills in a rapidly emerging part of the resources industry. "We expect this facility will bring hundreds of people to Collie to undertake training, delivering large flow-on effects to small businesses, such as the hospitality sector. "I congratulate WesTrac and Bluewaters Farm Holdings for coming together to develop this internationally significant project - and look forward to seeing it up and running." Premier's office - 6552 5000 Regional Development Minister's office - 6552 6200
Seven local games and interactive studios awarded International Access Pass to grow local industry4072Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statementshtml23/01/2020 8:13:23 AM2020-01-22T23:00:00Z Grants of up to $5,000 a person awarded to local games industry innovators to promote skills and products to the world Part of McGowan Government's $16.7 million New Industries Fund that supports and accelerates new and emerging businesses to create WA jobs Seven local games and interactive industry studios have received State Government grants to promote their products at major tech expos in the United States of America, United Kingdom, China and Melbourne. The International Access Pass program, part of the McGowan Government's $16.7 million New Industries Fund, creates opportunities for Western Australians to connect with key players and build business networks in the $152 billion global games industry. Grants of up to $5,000 a person are awarded for Western Australians working in games and interactive technologies, including virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) and immersive technologies. The first 2020 recipients to travel are David Gribble and Ian Sloan from Maylands-based firm Arility who will attend this month's Bett ExCeL London education technology show to promote their AR platform which delivers interactive safety lessons to children. David McDonnell from Northbridge firm Last Pixel will leave in March for the South by Southwest expo in Austin, Texas to showcase VR storyboarding, an idea he created for 2019 Netflix feature film I am Mother. The 2020 recipients are Superstar Award for people who offer a great product ready for global production and can deliver business results - Natalie Marinho, Morgan White and David McDonnell; Trailblazer Award for women who inspire other women and girls to develop their science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) skills - Amy Doherty; New Horizon Award for people to apply their technologies in other sectors - Natalie Marinho and David McDonnell; and Teamed Up Awards for a team of two who need to travel together to make their mission succeed - Andrew and Erin West, Ryan Gardner and Fiona Bartholomaeus and David Gribble and Ian Sloan. For more details about the awards, visit http//www.newindustries.wa.gov.au Comments attributed to Innovation and ICT Minister Dave Kelly "In 2019 the global games industry was worth $152 billion, to ensure more of that economic opportunity comes to WA, we are supporting our talented local developers. "The International Access Pass program is just one way this Government is delivering on its election commitment to create local jobs and diversify the economy through new and emerging businesses. "It's encouraging to see recipients from the last International Access Pass round making strides in the global interactive industry by engaging with industry heavyweights thanks to this program. "Last year's Teamed Up Award Winners - Nick Lowe and Minh Tran from Perth-based Hungry Sky - received an investment offer to develop their game Nekograms through the connections they made through this program." Minister's office - 6552 6100
New chairperson appointed to lead heritage matters3842Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements7680html22/01/2020 7:02:46 AM2020-01-22T07:00:00Z Hon John Cowdell AM appointed Heritage Council of Western Australia chairperson New member, Professor Erika Techera completes Council appointments Board expertise set to complement new Act and support State's commitment to heritage Former President of the Legislative Council of Western Australia and the National Trust of WA, Hon John Cowdell AM has been appointed Chairperson of the Heritage Council of Western Australia. An existing member of the Heritage Council, Mr Cowdell will lead the Council for the next three years, drawing from a long and successful career in State Parliament and his former roles as president and vice president of the National Trust of WA, and director and deputy chairperson of the Australian Council of National Trusts. Professor Erika Techera, an experienced academic specialising in heritage and environmental law, has also been appointed as a new member, further strengthening the gender balance of the board and continuing the significant contribution of the outgoing chairperson, Anne Arnold. With a specialised mix of knowledge, experience and skills in heritage and board disciplines, the Heritage Council advises the State Government on the conservation, protection and promotion of heritage and the hundreds of places listed on the State Register of Heritage Places. Comments attributed to Heritage Minister David Templeman "John brings a wealth of experience and insight into the role of chairperson. He is a long-term ambassador of heritage conservation and an advocate for the importance of heritage to the Western Australian community, as well as having substantial experience in providing leadership of high level government bodies. "I am also pleased to welcome Erika Techera to the Council, and I look forward to working closely with both John and Erika as we continue to preserve our State's past and ensuring our heritage lives on to be celebrated and enjoyed by future generations. "I thank Anne Arnold for her tireless work over 11 years of service on the Heritage Council. Anne has played a key role in achieving great outcomes for our State's varied places of heritage significance and Western Australia is a better place because of her work." Minister's office - 6552 5400
Bushfire recovery plan for western ground parrots3841Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements5050html22/01/2020 3:15:23 AM2020-01-22T03:15:00Z Western ground parrots are critically endangered, with less than 150 in the wild Urgent recovery actions planned in response to recent bushfires Emergency recovery efforts are underway to assist Western Australia's rarest bird following recent bushfires. The last remaining wild population of western ground parrots is known to occur in Cape Arid National Park and the adjacent Nuytsland Nature Reserve on the south coast. A bushfire started in Nuytsland Nature Reserve on December 20, 2019 and was contained on January 1, 2020. It burnt through an estimated 49,000 hectares of the reserve and Cape Arid National Park, including approximately 6,000 hectares of known western ground parrot habitat. Priority actions are being undertaken by the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA), in collaboration with the Friends of the Western Ground Parrot, to protect birds in the remaining habitat from introduced predators, such as foxes and feral cats, and further fire. Immediate actions include additional feral cat baiting under the department's Western Shield wildlife recovery program around core habitat areas to relieve pressure on the species from introduced predators. Additional recovery actions have been identified to secure the ground parrot population and will be planned and implemented in collaboration with partners. These include protection of remaining unburnt habitat, replacement of permanent audio recording units to determine the occupancy and abundance of the parrots, and development of a translocation strategy. Comments attributed to Environment Minister Stephen Dawson "Despite bushfires burning through key western ground parrot habitat, the extent to which these birds were impacted was reduced thanks to the exemplary efforts of career and volunteer firefighters. "DBCA identified early that an immediate response to the fire would be critical to protect the remaining habitat from introduced predators and further fire to ensure the recovery of the species. "Although it is a complex task, DBCA is working closely with volunteers and partners, including the Friends of the Western Ground Parrot and BirdLife Australia, to conserve the small wild population." Minister's office - 6552 5800
Aboriginal Ranger Program Round 3 applications open3840Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements6250html22/01/2020 3:02:33 AM2020-01-22T03:00:00Z $4 million available for Aboriginal organisations to train and employ rangersThe McGowan Government is providing $4 million in the latest round of funding for the $20million Aboriginal Ranger Program that is creating jobs and training opportunities across Western Australia. Expressions of interest for the third round of the Aboriginal Ranger Program are now open. Almost $16 million has already been invested in 25 projects across the State over the first two rounds of funding. Under the program, new and existing Aboriginal organisations can employ and train rangers to carry out land and sea management and tourism activities across a range of tenures in remote and regional WA. Funded projects are creating pathways for Aboriginal people to develop careers in land and sea management while also providing long-term cultural and conservation outcomes. The existing 25 projects have included biodiversity monitoring and research, traditional knowledge transfer, fire management, cultural site management, feral animal and weed management. Other examples of the projects have involved cultural awareness and immersion experiences for visitors, guided welcome to country tours for visitors, management of visitors or tourists and tourism assets, and education programs and mentoring. Details on existing programs can be found at https//www.dbca.wa.gov.au/sites/default/files/2019-09/Map%20of%20round%20two%20recipients.pdf Expressions of interest can be submitted to the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions, and are open until March 27, 2020. An expression of interest application form and the Aboriginal Ranger Program guidelines are available at http//www.dbca.wa.gov.au/aboriginalrangerprogram Comments attributed to Environment Minister Stephen Dawson "The McGowan Government has already invested almost $16 million under the first two rounds of the Aboriginal Ranger Program. This has resulted in the employment of 189 rangers, more than half of whom are women. "Valuable work has already been undertaken by successful applicants under the previous two rounds, with rangers being trained in fire management, cultural site management and biodiversity monitoring and research." Comments attributed to Aboriginal Affairs Minister Ben Wyatt "Through this significant investment, we are delivering on our promise to create jobs for Aboriginal people, helping to increase resilience, improve community wellbeing and build leadership. "The funding delivered under the program is already having positive social, cultural, economic and environmental outcomes. I encourage more groups to apply for funding in Round 3 so they can build on the growing number of Aboriginal groups and rangers managing country." Environment Minister's office - 6552 5800Aboriginal Affairs Minister's office - 6552 5900
Joint media statement - Construction begins for Fremantle High St upgrade3839Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements9700html22/01/2020 1:30:29 AM2020-01-22T01:30:00Z Construction has begun on the $118 million High Street and Stirling Highway intersection upgrade in Fremantle with the first sod turned today. The joint Australian and WA government project will bust congestion and dramatically improve safety along a 1.5km section of High Street between Carrington Street and Stirling Highway, with construction and design works being undertaken by outstanding WA builder Georgiou. WA Premier Mark McGowan said the upgrade was only one example of a suite of projects to be delivered this year. "2020 is shaping up to be a huge year for public infrastructure construction across Western Australia," Mr McGowan said. "The start of the High Street upgrade will complement the huge array of projects that are part of our job-creating transport plan for WA, including METRONET. "The High Street upgrade will deliver a more efficient route for locals and visitors travelling to and from Fremantle. "We welcome the input of the City of Fremantle and the local community, who have helped shape the concept design and ensured that the project will move forward with strong support." Federal Minister for Population, Cities and Urban Infrastructure Alan Tudge said the upgrade would be a boost for the local economy with hundreds of new jobs created during construction. "We also know that this intersection has become notorious for truck rollovers and the upgrade will mean a safer journey for locals and truck drivers," Mr Tudge said. "The Morrison Government promised to get the people of Perth home sooner and safer, and that's what we will deliver." The upgrade is part of the Morrison Government's strategy to bust congestion in Western Australia which includes $13.6 billion committed since coming to office in 2013. WA Transport Minister Rita Saffioti said the upgrade would reduce travel times. "This upgrade will reduce travel times along High Street by improving traffic flow through the busy High Street and Stirling Highway intersection," Ms Saffioti said. "It joins an extensive list of southern suburb road projects that are currently under construction and will deliver major time savings once completed. "Thanks to positive community consultation, we have also expanded the project scope to include two new pedestrian underpasses and improved parking and safety at the Fremantle Netball Centre. "We will continue to alleviate pressure on roads by boosting freight on rail from 15 per cent to over 20 per cent, developing intermodals, and planning for the new Fremantle traffic and rail corridor solution to replace the current Fremantle Traffic Bridge." About 700 jobs will be created during construction, which will include A new roundabout at the intersection of High Street and Stirling Highway Widened median on High Street to separate traffic lanes and maximise mature tree preservation Single-lane one-way service road for residents on the northern side of High Street New underpass at the junction of Forrest Street and Stirling Highway New underpass at the junction of Montreal Street and High Street In the five years to 2018, there were 282 crashes along this section of High Street, including some truck rollovers at the High Street and Stirling Highway intersection. The new roundabout has been designed to include bypass lanes that will separate local traffic from traffic going to and from Fremantle Port, or locations north of the river. These intersection changes will improve efficiency and address safety concerns with the current intersection, including reducing the risk of truck rollovers. Residents living in properties on the northern side of High Street will now have a dedicated single-lane service road, affording them safer access and separation from the main road. Meanwhile, the two new underpasses will improve pedestrian and cyclist connectivity across the intersection. The project will also provide new formal parking bays adjacent to the Fremantle Netball Association to improve safety on game days. Through carefully considered design features, the project will retain more than 70 per cent of the established trees in the area. These design features include a wide, tree-lined median on High Street, which will separate the eastbound and westbound traffic lanes, providing an attractive gateway into Fremantle. Main Roads is also finalising an extensive landscaping and revegetation strategy for the project, which covers revegetation and landscaping of the road reserve to improve local amenity on High Street and Stirling Highway. Additionally, following feedback from the local community, the strategy has been expanded to include a significant tuart tree planting initiative across local sites. The High Street upgrade is just one of the projects being delivered by the Australian and WA governments aimed at 'boosting jobs and busting congestion'. The Australian Government is providing $73.6 million and the WA Government $44.4 million for the upgrade. In this area, the Australian and WA governments have also committed $230 million to build a replacement corridor solution to the Fremantle Traffic Bridge. Premier's office - 6552 5000 Transport Minister's office - 6552 5500
New dive trail for Marmion Marine Park3093Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements5590html22/01/2020 12:03:45 AM2020-01-22T00:00:00Z New Marmion Angling and Aquatic Club Dive and Snorkel Trail provides another drawcard for the Marmion Marine Park Marmion Marine Park's latest underwater experience, the Marmion Angling and Aquatic Club Dive and Snorkel Trail, has officially opened. The 400 metre trail takes scuba divers and snorkellers on an interactive journey through the clear waters of the marine park, which are often inhabited by a colourful array of fish and marine species. Suitable for all levels, the trail varies in depth between two to six metres, with 20 underwater plinths installed to guide divers and snorkellers, printed with fun activities, facts and directions. The plaques were illustrated by Kellee Merritt and feature a range of sea creatures likely to be encountered in the marine park. Accompanying the trail is a mural painted on the outside of the Marmion Angling and Aquatic Club (MAAC) by local artist Brenton See, featuring land-based information and safety signage. The MAAC Dive and Snorkel Trail is a collaboration between the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions and the Marmion Angling and Aquatic Club. Situated offshore from Perth's northern suburbs between Trigg Island and Burns Beach, Marmion Marine Park features lagoons, reefs and small islands that provide habitats for seabirds, marine mammals and other remarkably diverse marine life. For more information about the trail, visit https//parks.dpaw.wa.gov.au/site/maac-dive-and-snorkel-trail Comments attributed to Environment Minister Stephen Dawson "Marmion Marine Park remains Perth's primary recreational water activity spot, attracting as many as 1.75 million visits each year. "The lagoons and reefs in the park are a diver's paradise, filled with the most spectacular array of fish species such as western blue devils, banded sweep and crested morwong. "The new MAAC Dive and Snorkel Trail is sure to be a drawcard for underwater enthusiasts, both local and national, as they learn more about the spectacular marine life of Western Australia." Minister's office - 6552 5800
Grants open to help farmers grow WA’s pine resource790Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements3800html21/01/2020 11:56:49 PM2020-01-21T23:00:00Z Farm Forestry Assist grants now open to farmers wanting to plant pine trees Grant recipients to receive free pine seedlings from the Forest Products Commission The program has already enabled seven farmers to contribute to the sustainable future of WA forestry Forestry Minister Dave Kelly today opened up grants for farmers and land owners interested in increasing Western Australia's softwood resource by establishing pine plantations on their properties. The Farm Forestry Assist grants program, run through the Forest Products Commission, was launched by the McGowan Government in 2018. The program has so far enabled seven farmers from Augusta to Waroona plant 412,000 seedlings to help contribute to the State's expanding softwood estate. Farmers and landowners interested in establishing 20 to 50 hectare pine plantations on their properties are invited to apply for the third round of the grants program. Successful applicants will receive free high-quality radiata pine seedlings from the Forest Products Commission nursery. Criteria addressing the location, scale, soil, access and management of the plantations are in place to ensure that any resulting plantings have the capacity to help support WA's vibrant softwood industry. Applications close at 5pm on Friday, March 27, 2020. For more information, visit http//www.fpc.wa.gov.au/farm-forestry-assist Comments attributed to Forestry Minister Dave Kelly "The McGowan Government supports a strong sustainable forestry industry and is focused on growing Western Australia's softwood supply to support WA forestry jobs. "Planting trees on farms provides a range of environmental and on-farm benefits, and supports regional communities and the agriculture and forestry industries that underpin them. "The McGowan Government has invested more than $22 million in new softwood plantations since being elected in 2017 to ensure the local forestry sector is a vibrant industry into the future." Minister's office - 6552 6100
Margaret River Hockey Club set to benefit from funding boost5303Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements3570html21/01/2020 4:50:10 AM2020-01-21T04:50:00Z Margaret River Hockey Club getting new synthetic turf half-pitch with lighting More than $334,000 to be provided under State Government's Community Sporting and Recreation Facilities Fund The new half-pitch will save local players the 90-minute round trip to train in Busselton The Margaret River Hockey Club will soon install a new synthetic turf half-pitch with lighting, thanks to a $334,289 contribution from the State Government. The half-pitch is to be located at Gloucester Park, the premier sporting precinct in Margaret River, adjacent to the town's bowling club. The total cost of the project is $1,002,869. The State Government is to provide a third of the funding through the Community Sporting and Recreation Facilities Fund (CSRFF). The balance of funding for the half-pitch will be provided by the Shire of Augusta Margaret River ($293,500), the Margaret River Hockey Club ($175,000) and the Federal Government ($200,000). The Margaret River Hockey Club has more than 150 members who currently have to train and play in Busselton, which is a 90-minute round trip. The club will continue to play all games in Busselton. The Shire and club have also committed to creating a sinking fund to enable the replacement of the synthetic turf in the future. This year, the State Government will provide a total of $12 million in CSRFF funding to community groups and local governments across Western Australia to help develop better sport and recreation facilities. Comments attributed to Sport and Recreation Minister Mick Murray "This is a much-needed facility for the Augusta-Margaret River area, and I expect it will be well used and appreciated. "This new training half-pitch will give players a modern facility, much easier access and more time to develop their skills, as well as being able to practise after hours. "Both the Shire and club are also to be commended for committing to a sinking fund for future works at the facility." Minister's office - 6552 6400
Road safety boost for towns along South Western Highway5302Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements7900html21/01/2020 3:15:10 AM2020-01-21T03:15:00Z Reduced speed limit to be trialled in four towns along the South Western Highway 40kmh trial will run from January to May 2020 Part of wider plan to reduce regional road trauma across WA McGowan Government allocated $2 billion towards regional roads in last Budget The main streets of four South-West towns are to be converted to 40kmh under a McGowan Government trial to improve driver and pedestrian safety. From the end of January, the speed limit on the South Western Highway will be lowered to 40kmh through Boyanup, Donnybrook, Balingup and Bridgetown. The initiative follows meetings held last year by the Minister for Road Safety and local MP Mick Murray with local councils, to discuss the conflict between pedestrians and vehicles in these town centres. The introduction of the lower speed zone along these sections of main street will help manage this risk. The trial has been designed to help Main Roads develop an effective speed signing plan, using conventional speed signs, that will achieve the best driver compliance with a 40kmh speed limit in a town main street environment. The trial will be overseen by a technical working group, chaired by Collie-Preston MLA Mick Murray. The group will include representatives from local governments, Main Roads Western Australia and the Road Safety Commission. The trial will commence by the end of January 2020 and be completed in May. Comments attributed to Transport Minister Rita Saffioti "These regional towns are accessed by an average of 6,000 vehicles per day. I'm pleased that pedestrian and road user safety will be improved with the introduction of this trial. "We have allowed about three months to monitor road user reaction to the new speed limit and evaluate results of the trial." Comments attributed to Road Safety Minister Michelle Roberts "This is an initiative the Member for Collie-Preston has championed and I've been very happy to support it. "When Mick Murray and I visited these towns last year to discuss the proposal, the message was loud and clear. "Nobody wants traffic travelling through these towns at speed. "We want pedestrians, cyclists, children and the elderly to be safe in these beautiful towns. "We know that dropping 10kmh off a speed limit makes a big difference to the stopping distance of a vehicle. "This will not just add to road safety, but it will also improve community amenity." Comments attributed to Collie-Preston MLA Mick Murray "I'm very pleased to have reached the stage where we can announce this trial of lower speed limits through Boyanup, Donnybrook, Balingup and Bridgetown. "Members of the community have contacted me countless times in recent years to raise concerns about the increased truck movements through their towns and to ask for the speed limit to be lowered. "This is a great result which will make these South-West towns safer and has come about through different communities and councils presenting a unified front to reach a common goal." Transport Minister's office - 6552 5500 Road Safety Minister's office - 6552 6900
Calling all waste champions - Infinity Awards return in 20205301Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements5130html21/01/2020 3:05:57 AM2020-01-21T03:00:00Z Nominations are now open for the 2020 Infinity Awards Organisations and individuals encouraged to share waste reduction success stories New awards category introduced to recognise WA's regional waste leaders Nominations are now being sought for the 2020 Infinity Awards which celebrate Western Australia's waste champions and recognise innovative solutions to reduce waste and meet the reuse and recycling targets in Western Australia's Waste Strategy. Open to individuals, business and industry, government, schools, community organisations, not-for-profits and media outlets, the categories for the 2020 Infinity Awards include Avoid Recover Protect - Community Waste Award; Avoid Recover Protect - Commercial and Industrial Waste Award; Avoid Recover Protect - Waste Management Award; Avoid Recover Protect - WA Regional Waste Award (new category in 2020); 2020 Waste Champion; 2020 Young Waste Achiever; Waste Team of the Year; Waste Innovation of the Year; Waste Wise School of the Year; and Media Award. A further two awards - the 2020 WA Waste Award and the 2020 Waste Initiative of the Year - will be awarded at the judges' discretion. Nominations for the Infinity Awards will close at 5pm on March 10, 2020. Winners will be announced at an awards ceremony on May 6, 2020. Full details, including criteria and entry forms, can be found at http//www.wasteauthority.wa.gov.au/submissions/view/infinity-awards Comments attributed to Environment Minister Stephen Dawson "Across Western Australia we have countless individuals and organisations going the extra mile to achieve a reduction in waste and an increase in resource recovery. "These individuals and organisations all play an important role in contributing to the McGowan Government's target for at least 75 per cent of waste generated in this State to be reused or recycled by 2030. "The 2020 Infinity Awards are a celebration of the remarkable work being achieved in waste reduction in Western Australia. This year, we're pleased to introduce a new category to extend the opportunities for regional waste champions to be recognised for their achievements." Minister's office - 6552 5800
Joint media statement - New era for Rottnest Island’s West End as $33 million infrastructure program gets underway5268Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements12840html21/01/2020 1:21:27 AM2020-01-21T01:15:00Z Installation of important tourism infrastructure to boost visitor experiences at island's more remote West End $1.92 million project one of nine tourism infrastructure projects funded by the Federal Government's $17.2 million allocation from the Tourism Icons program State Government committing $16.2 million towards a new Fuel Jetty and a new barge landing Rottnest's spectacular West End will receive a tourism infrastructure boost in the first of a suite of Federal and State Government projects to support growing visitor interest in the island. The rugged and remote West End - which boasts a seal colony and a host of other natural and marine wildlife attractions - will soon have new shelters, seating, access pathways, viewing platforms and an ablution building. The $1.92 million project is one of nine funded by the Federal Government's Tourism Icons program and is set to feature public artwork and interactive features by Noongar artists. Work is expected to be completed by the end of the year. Assistant Minister for Regional Tourism Jonno Duniam said the project would upgrade amenities and tourism infrastructure on the more remote West End, ensuring better visitor experiences in the increasingly popular area. "Rottnest is a jewel in Australia's crown of stunning tourism locations and the Commonwealth is investing to ensure it can keep up with demand," Assistant Minister Duniam said. "The West End project is part of a $33 million suite of Federal and State Government projects to revitalise and build new infrastructure on Rottnest - supporting the island's ongoing growth in visitor numbers. "It is vital we continue to invest in stunning natural experiences like Rottnest Island, and that's exactly what we are doing. "A total of $17.2 million in Commonwealth funding will be spent over the next three years as part of the Tourism Icons program, including $700,000 for new infrastructure at the island's premier swimming spot The Basin, including a new shaded seating area, refurbished toilets, new beach showers and landscaping. $2 million for the revitalisation of the Wadjemup Hill lighthouse vicinity, including a transport hub. The work will include a new shaded seating area and accommodation, including the upgrade of the Lighthouse Keepers' House. $600,000 for new wayfinding signage to help visitors navigate their way around the island." The State Government has also allocated $16.2 million towards the redevelopment of Rottnest's Fuel Jetty and the construction of a new barge landing to ease the pressure on the Main Jetty precinct. The new Fuel Jetty will offer improved facilities and accessibility to the island, including power and water, new finger jetties, improved refuelling/berthing for smaller vessels and an extended end platform. WA Tourism Minister Paul Papalia said the the $3 million fuel jetty project has been finalised and tenders have been sought for its demolition and reconstruction, scheduled to begin in April. "As the number of visitors to Rottnest continues to increase, the State and Commonwealth governments are investing in infrastructure to support this growth," Minister Papalia said. "The State Government has committed critical infrastructure funding for the jetty and barge landing to ensure services are maintained and the visitor experience is enhanced. "The boating fraternity are an important part of the Rottnest community, with thousands of private boats making the trip to Rottnest every month, and this funding ensures better experiences for all." WA Tourism Minister's office - 6552 5600
Government moves to ensure swift payment of suppliers5300Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements13570html21/01/2020 1:22:40 AM2020-01-20T22:00:00Z GTEs to be required to ensure suppliers are paid within 30 days Some GTEs have different policies when it comes to paying suppliers Department of Treasury to liaise with GTEs to ensure alignment with State Government's policy State Government Ministers will require Government Trading Enterprises (GTEs) within their portfolios to align with the State Government's policy that ensures suppliers of government goods and services are paid within 30 days. This follows reports last week that some GTEs, including the Water Corporation, had different policies when it comes to paying suppliers and that in some cases contractors were being offered early payments, in exchange for discounts on their invoices. The State Government requires all commercial payments to be paid within 30 days of the receipt of the creditor's claim, or within 30 days of provision of the goods or services (whichever is later), except where the terms or conditions of a contract relating to a claim for payment provide for alternate payment arrangements or where a discount is offered by a supplier for early payment. Treasurer Ben Wyatt wrote to Ministers this week, requesting them to ensure GTEs within their portfolios align with this policy. The Department of Treasury will be liaising directly with GTEs to confirm alignment with the 30-day policy. Comments attributed to Treasurer Ben Wyatt "The State Government's view is that all government agencies and Government Trading Enterprises must abide by the 30-day Government policy for the payment of invoices. "Governments should lead by example and if suppliers do the work, they should expect to be paid in a timely manner. "The issues raised last week by Water Corporation suppliers were rightly deemed unacceptable by the Premier. "As the Premier made clear last week, we don't believe this is acceptable and have moved swiftly to ensure suppliers are paid within 30 days or sooner when possible." Treasurer's office - 6552 5900