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State's oldest handicapped road cycle race turns 92900Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements0html18/08/2017 9:33:50 AM2017-08-18T09:35:00Z ​Collie to Donnybrook all-time race record holder and 2016 winner Guy Kalma to head up 2017 field Minister to award presentations at finish of race Western Australia's oldest handicapped cycle road race - the Collie to Donnybrook Cycling Classic - rolls over the start line for the 92nd time this Saturday. The race will welcome back all-time race record holder and 2016 winner Guy Kalma, as well as a host of the State's best road racers. Well respected Australian cyclists Theo Yates, Michael Freiberg and Bunbury's own international competitor Brad Linfield will also compete. Beginning in 1925 as a circular return race between the two towns, the 104 kilometre Collie to Donnybrook has become a sporting institution in the South-West. Sport and Recreation Minister Mick Murray will award presentations at the finish of the race. Comments attributed to Sport and Recreation Minister Mick Murray "The Collie to Donnybrook is one of the most enduring and iconic cycle races in Australia. "The talent we have on offer this Saturday shows just how much this race continues to mean to Western Australian cycling, even after all these years. "Bunbury-based cyclist Brad Linfield will be the local favourite, but having last year's winner and all-time record holder Guy Kalma back in the pack is also exciting. "I encourage all sporting fans to head up the hill to Collie for what will be an exciting day of road racing." Minister's office - 6552 6400
$4 million Lotterywest grant for Bob Blackburn community hub781Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements0html18/08/2017 7:30:59 AM2017-08-18T07:30:00Z ​Funds to help with upgrades to Bob Blackburn community hub Upgrades to provide more spaces to better support disadvantaged young people and families Premier Mark McGowan today presented a Lotterywest grant of more than $4 million to the City of Armadale to help with upgrades to Bob Blackburn community hub. The new facilities will accommodate not-for-profit organisations, community groups and service providers working in partnership to support local disadvantaged families and community members. As part of the community hub redevelopment, the current operation of the Champion Centre as a one-stop shop for a range of services and programs will be significantly enhanced through improved building design. The Seville Grove Library will provide space for community access to a digital hub, aiming to increase training opportunities, improve literacy and encourage employment readiness. The outdoor areas around both facilities will be upgraded with Aboriginal art, a yarning circle, an outdoor classroom, nature play areas and edible gardens. Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan "With a local population that is currently growing at more than double the State average, I have no doubt the revitalisation of this space will serve the Armadale community into the future. "The McGowan Government is committed to providing services to better support disadvantaged young people and families. "I look forward to seeing the complete transformation of the Bob Blackburn community hub. "The State Government, through Lotterywest, is pleased to have contributed to this important community development." Comments attributed to Armadale MLA Tony Buti "This $4 million grant for the Bob Blackburn community hub will provide much-needed support to local families. "The one-stop shop aspect of the hub is very important for people doing it tough. To have support with employment, training, parenting and other services all in the one location will provide a strong sense of community." Premier's office - 6552 5000
Funding locked in for Waroona aged accommodation779Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements0html18/08/2017 5:00:12 AM2017-08-18T05:00:00Z McGowan Government confirms $1.8 million for the Waroona Housing Options Village Project to construct new affordable accommodation units for seniors at Quambie Park The McGowan Government has locked in $1.8 million for the Waroona Housing Options Village at Quambie Park. The project will comprise nine new accommodation units for seniors and a community hub building, offering health and social services. Accommodation units will be specifically designed to ensure health and hospital equipment can be used within the home, delivering a fit-for-purpose affordable accommodation model for seniors who require high levels of support but do not yet require residential aged care or hospitalisation. Quambie Park is one of the largest employees in the Shire of Waroona and this expansion is expected to create 26 new full-time jobs in construction and technical services. The project will be co-funded by a $1.67 million Federal Government grant. Comments attributed to Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan "Quambie Park has been a great provider of aged care in Waroona for many years. "This project is a good example of State Government investment leveraging funding from the Federal Government. Given the State's dire Budget situation, we need to focus on investment opportunities that will attract funding from other sources in order to maximise outcomes for the community. "It is good to see the Commonwealth Government finally stumping up some funds for regional Western Australia, particularly given our abysmal share of GST and other Federal funding sources." Comments attributed to Murray-Wellington MLA Robyn Clarke "These nine new accommodation units will provide an affordable housing option for seniors to stay in Waroona where they can remain close to their friends and family. "This funding shows the commitment that the State Government has to supporting regional WA and to creating local jobs." Minister's office - 6552 6200
Liquor bans introduced in two more communities771Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements0html18/08/2017 3:45:19 AM2017-08-18T03:45:00Z Bungardi and Woolah communities declared alcohol restricted areas Community leaders say changes will reduce the amount of alcohol-related harm to their people The Aboriginal communities of Woolah (Doon Doon) in the Shire of Wyndham-East Kimberley and Bungardi in the Shire of Derby West Kimberley will be declared restricted areas under section 175 of the Liquor Control Act 1988. From tomorrow, it will be an offence to sell/supply, possess or bring liquor into the communities. Community leaders wrote to the Racing and Gaming Minister Paul Papalia asking for the introduction of regulations to prohibit alcohol in these communities. The Minister visited Woolah and Bungardi last month to speak to community representatives who said they considered these restrictions the most effective way of reducing the amount of alcohol-related harm to their people. The restrictions give police the power to seize and dispose of opened or unopened liquor containers found in the communities and any liquor licensees breaching the regulations would be liable to a $5,000 fine. The proposal to make the two communities restricted areas is supported by both WA Police and the shires and the restrictions will be in place for the next three years. Bungardi and Woolah will take the total number of communities with these liquor bans in place to 20. Comments attributed to Racing and Gaming Minister Paul Papalia "The community leaders are taking charge and calling for these bans to protect their people. "It's all about reducing harm, listening to what the communities want and implementing the changes. "The harm alcohol abuse causes is well documented and these communities are ready to stop the cycle. "I commend the community leaders for asking for these bans and the State Government will continue to support them in their efforts to help their people thrive." Minister's office - 6552 5600
Cadet instructors honoured for long service766Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements0html18/08/2017 2:00:11 AM2017-08-18T02:00:00Z Youth Minister presents medals for 10 years of service Four well deserving volunteers have received Cadets WA Long Service Medals in honour of their many years of service to the program that is funded and co-ordinated by the Department of Communities. Captain (AAC) Karen Shirlaw-Byrne, Lieutenant (AAC) Keith Woods, Ben Boekholt and Robert Manderson share more than 40 years of service between them as instructors for the Cadets WA. The State Government recognises volunteers for their service to the Cadets WA program, with a Certificate of Recognition after six years of service, the Cadets WA Long Service Medal after 10 years of service, and Long Service Clasps at five-year intervals thereafter. Cadets take part in a range of activities from adventure training, camping, hiking, sports and conservation. There are currently 9,640 cadets taking part in nearly 200 units across Western Australia. For more information, visit https//www.dlgc.wa.gov.au Comments attributed to Youth Minister Peter Tinley "Involvement in the Cadets WA program offers young people a wide range of benefits including physical fitness, self-confidence, teamwork and decision-making abilities, and leadership skills. "The four volunteers we honour today have had a significant part to play in this process for many young Western Australians. "They have helped WA's youth develop essential life skills that prepare them for adulthood. "I take this opportunity to thank the volunteers, on behalf of the McGowan Government and the many young Western Australians that they have helped, for their service." Minister's office - 6552 5300
Women’s refuge in Mandurah gets funding boost763Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements0html18/08/2017 1:00:35 AM2017-08-18T01:00:00Z One-off grant of $100,000 awarded to Pat Thomas House to ensure women and children seeking refuge are kept safe Grant awarded through Local Projects, Local Jobs program The Pat Thomas House - which provides crisis accommodation, advocacy, support and counselling to women and children escaping domestic violence - has received $100,000 under the Local Projects, Local Jobs program. The program awards grants to community organisations to help with upgrades to facilities and the expansion of programs. The funding will go towards upgrading an outdoor area for children to play and will include repair work, concrete flooring, toilet facilities and general upgrades. Comments attributed to Prevention of Family and Domestic Violence Minister Simone McGurk "Western Australia has the second highest rate of reported physical and sexual violence perpetrated against women in Australia, second only to the Northern Territory. "We know the Pat Thomas House does important and often incredibly confronting work in the Peel region, so therefore it's critical we ensure the facility is in good working condition. "The refuge is more than 30 years old and needed some repairs and structural work - so that is what the money will go towards. "The McGowan Government is investing $21.7 million over four years of new and existing Budget allocations to maximise every opportunity to deliver services and support for victims of family and domestic violence." Comments attributed to Mandurah MLA David Templeman "The rate of family and domestic violence is unacceptable. The Pat Thomas House is the only women's refuge in the Peel region and this financial commitment is part of Labor's bigger plan to help victims of family and domestic violence in Mandurah. "We took a robust policy on the issue to the election, and now we are delivering. "The Local Projects, Local Jobs program is critical for community services such as this one, which gives women and children a safe place to go if they're experiencing family and domestic violence." Minister's office - 6552 6600
Vietnam veterans remembered on anniversary of Long Tan761Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements40html18/08/2017 12:00:26 AM2017-08-18T00:00:00Z Minister encourages community to remember those who served in Vietnam War Veterans Minister Peter Tinley has urged Western Australians to remember and honour those who served in the Vietnam War on the 51st anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan. Vietnam Veterans Day is commemorated annually on August 18 and honours all who served in the Vietnam War - a conflict that claimed 521 Australian lives; 61 of them Western Australians. More than 3,000 Australians were also wounded, injured or became ill as a result of the conflict. One of the fiercest battles fought by Australian soldiers in the Vietnam War was the Battle of Long Tan which involved 105 Australians and three New Zealanders from D Company 6RAR, a small ANZAC force. Troops were attacked from three sides during a tropical downpour in the Long Tan rubber plantation in Phuoc Tuy Province, South Vietnam. Numerous services will take place across WA today to honour those who served. Comments attributed to Veterans Issues Minister Peter Tinley "The Battle of Long Tan, which was fought 51 years ago today, was one of the first major battles for Australian troops against the North Vietnamese Army and the local Viet Cong forces. "Vietnam Veterans Day is a day to acknowledge all those who lost their lives during this battle and in the years that followed. "There are many Australians who still carry the physical and emotional scars of their service in Vietnam and today we also recognise them and the families that have supported them." Minister's office - 6552 5300
Federal Government snubs WA taxpayers yet again752Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements470html17/08/2017 11:44:09 PM2017-08-17T23:00:00Z WA misses out on Federal funding for two important regional projects The Myalup-Wellington and the Southern Forests Irrigation Scheme projects would have created more than 1,500 long-term jobs More than 1,500 Western Australians will miss out on long-term jobs after the Federal Coalition Government declined the State's funding application for two important irrigation projects from the National Water Infrastructure Development Fund. The two projects were the Myalup-Wellington project and the Southern Forests Irrigation Scheme. In June 2017, the State Government wrote to Federal Agriculture and Water Resources Minister Barnaby Joyce to confirm it would commit $56 million for the two projects to secure a sustainable water supply for growers and support agricultural jobs in WA's South-West. Each project had committed funding from the private sector and the State Government's commitment was subject to the Federal Government funding. The State Government's financial commitment to the projects remains the same and the State continues to be committed to securing funding from the Federal Government. Comments attributed to Water Minister Dave Kelly "This is yet another snub to Western Australian taxpayers from the Federal Coalition Government. "Yesterday's decision by the Federal Government means more than 1,500 Western Australians have missed out on long-term jobs. "I am incredibly disappointed by the Federal Government's decision. After all, it was the previous Western Australian Liberal National government that made a pitch for Federal funding in the first place. "Given yesterday's decision, I urge the Western Australian Nationals and Liberals to stand up to their Federal colleagues to fight for this funding and a fairer share for WA." Comments attributed to Agriculture and Food Minister Alannah MacTiernan "This is extremely disappointing for growers in the South-West we prioritised these projects in our review of Royalties for Regions because they were job creators for the region. "WA has received almost nothing from Federal water initiatives - overwhelmingly money is poured into the Murray-Darling at the expense of WA. "We have a realistic goal to double the value of our horticultural output in WA but we need real investment from the Federal Government to be able to reach that potential and create new jobs across regional WA." Water Minister's office - 6552 6100 Agriculture and Food Minister's office - 6552 6200
McGowan Government rejects Eastern States push for sport control751Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements790html17/08/2017 11:38:41 PM2017-08-17T22:00:00Z Federal Government seeks centralised control of Australian sport McGowan Government rules out changes which would leave WA worse off The McGowan Government will today oppose plans to centralise funding and control of Australian sport in the Eastern States at the annual Meeting of Sport and Recreation Ministers in Sydney. Sweeping changes to how high performance sport, including the Western Australian Institute of Sport (WAIS), is governed and funded will be presented at the meeting by the Federal Government. The proposed system would impose a centralised, 'top-down' power structure based overwhelmingly in the Eastern States, where the Australian Institute of Sport, the Australian Sports Commission and most national sporting organisations are headquartered. Sport and Recreation Minister Mick Murray will attend the meeting and has ruled out accepting any deal which would leave Western Australian sport funding or governance worse off. The meeting will consider changes to how the lotteries system funds sport at all levels - including grassroots and juniors - through the introduction of a National Lottery, as well as a proposed National Sports Plan. Comments attributed to Sport and Recreation Minister Mick Murray "Any proposal that takes decision-making and funding control out of WA is not something the State Government will support. "Funding and sport decision-making needs to start at a local community club level, then through State-based associations and institutes such as WAIS and finally at a national level. "The GST situation tells us everything we need to know about what Eastern States control would mean for Western Australian sport funding. "WA sport clubs want government support, not government control. They certainly don't want to take instructions from a bureaucrat in Sydney or Canberra who has no understanding of the unique characteristics of their sport in this State. "We will support Federally led initiatives to align national strategies and strengthen our sporting partnerships, but not when they isolate and alienate grassroots community sporting clubs and local sporting associations." Minister's office - 6552 6400
Greenwood Station platform shelter extended738Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements3800html17/08/2017 7:25:25 AM2017-08-17T07:15:00Z ​$1.8 million Greenwood Station project now complete Extra CCTV cameras and better lighting to improve passenger safety Project involved lifting roof panels with a crane Passengers using Greenwood Station now have significantly better protection from the elements after the station's platform shelter was extended. A $1.8 million project, in which local company LKS Construction extended the platform shelter by 50 metres to 60 per cent coverage, is now complete. The project also involved installing extra CCTV cameras and better lighting to improve passenger safety. The roof panels were installed using a crane in a series of lifts which took place in the early mornings between June 29 and July 3. One lane was closed on each side of the Mitchell Freeway while the panels were lifted into position. Where possible, assembly work was carried out off-site, or completed after-hours to minimise passenger and traffic impacts. Greenwood Station, which was opened in January 2005, attracts about 2,200 boardings on an average week day. To view a time-lapse video of the station shelters being lifted into place, click here. Comments attributed to Transport Minister Rita Saffioti "The upgrade to Greenwood Station brings its facilities into line with others along the Joondalup Line, and will have a significant impact on passenger comfort and safety. "Passengers will be better protected in wet or hot weather. The upgrade also improves safety by reducing crowding near the covered stairs. "Improving passenger comfort when using the train network is just one way Transperth is working to make public transport a first-rate travel option for residents of the northern suburbs." Comments attributed to Kingsley MLA Jessica Stojkovski "This is a fantastic improvement to Greenwood Station. Passengers will no longer have to crowd at one end of the platform to shelter from the hot sun in summer or the rain in winter. "This improvement, along with the increases to the CCTV and better lighting at the station, make travelling on public transport a safer and comfortable alternative to driving." Minister's office - 6552 5500
Countdown is on until Spartan championships hit Perth736Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements4640html17/08/2017 5:15:37 AM2017-08-17T05:15:00Z ​First ever Spartan Asia Pacific Championships start in 100 days About 2,000 visitors expected to come to WA for the event Will generate $1.46 million in visitor spend Some of the fittest people on the planet will touchdown in Perth in 100 days to take part in the inaugural Spartan Asia Pacific Championships. Supported by the State Government, through Tourism WA, the event is described as the toughest and most competitive obstacle course race series in the world. Organisers anticipate up to 4,000 people will take part, with about 2,000 participants, friends and family to visit Western Australia specifically for the event. The series has attracted participants from some of WA's key international visitor markets including Singapore, Malaysia, Japan and the United States. The Spartan Asia Pacific Championships, which will be held in the city and in Bolinda Vale, Keysbrook from November 23-26, 2017, will generate $1.46 million in visitor spend. Comments attributed to Tourism Minister Paul Papalia "Mass participation events such as the Spartan Asia Pacific Championships help WA's economy by attracting visitors, who stay in our hotels, eat in our restaurants and support other tourism-related businesses such as car hire companies and attractions. "In 2016-17, mass participation supported by Tourism WA attracted nearly 18,000 visitors from outside of WA, generated 151,320 room nights and contributed more than $34 million to the State's economy in visitor spend. "These visitors not only explore our transformed capital city but often travel to other areas of the State before and after competition. "Participants also bring in valuable tourism dollars and are potential unofficial ambassadors for the State by spreading the word about extraordinary WA to their family and friends back home." Minister's office - 6552 5600
Domestic Violence Bill to protect victims is closer to becoming law731Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements3970html17/08/2017 4:13:12 AM2017-08-17T04:05:00Z ​Domestic Violence Orders (National Recognition) Bill 2017 passes Legislative Assembly Legislation will enable WA to participate in the National Domestic Violence Order Scheme The McGowan Government is one step closer to giving victims of family and domestic violence better protection with legislation that improves victim safety and perpetrator accountability. The Domestic Violence Orders (National Recognition) Bill 2017 this morning passed the Legislative Assembly and will now go to the Legislative Council next week for debate. This Bill will enable Western Australia to participate in the National Domestic Violence Order Scheme which is a cross-recognition scheme for those who have domestic violence restraining orders. The national scheme is due to start on November 25, 2017. Once the scheme is established, an order made in one State or Territory will automatically operate across all jurisdictions. Comments attributed to Prevention of Family and Domestic Violence Minister Simone McGurk "It is time for us to be able to provide consistent, instantaneous legal protection across State and Territory boundaries to enhance victim safety and perpetrator accountability. "Due to the previous Liberal National government's inaction, WA was lagging behind other jurisdictions and remains the only State that is yet to enact enabling legislation to join the national scheme. "This important step will ensure victims coming to or leaving WA to escape violence will have their domestic violence order, in effect, automatically recognised wherever they go under the scheme. "There will be no need to go to the court to get their existing orders registered or fill out more paperwork or tell their story to another court registrar or officer of the court. "They can get on with establishing their new home, secure in the knowledge that their domestic violence order will be upheld by police and courts in any State or Territory. "The introduction of the Bill is symbolic of the priority that the McGowan Government is giving to addressing family and domestic violence in WA." Minister's office - 6552 6600
New average speed safety cameras to be switched on724Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements7370html17/08/2017 2:15:09 AM2017-08-17T02:15:00Z Mass media campaign warns Forrest Highway enforcement begins September 6, 2017 Two 27km zones (northbound and southbound) run between Lake Clifton and Binningup Police and Road Safety Minister Michelle Roberts has launched an education campaign informing drivers that Western Australia's first Average Speed Safety Camera Zone (ASSCZ) begins enforcement next month. From Sunday, television, digital, radio and billboard advertisements will warn Western Australian drivers that they will be penalised if caught speeding within the Forrest Highway zone from September 6, 2017. The Average Speed Safety Camera system captures the registration number and the time when a vehicle passes through the entry and exit points of the zone, then calculates the average speed which is compared to the posted speed limit. Speeding drivers can also be detected speeding at the entry and exit points of the zone. A six-month test period of the technology at the Forrest Highway site found a statistically significant decrease in the mean and high-level speeds, as well as a 14 per cent improved compliance of the posted speed limit within the zone. Comments attributed to Police and Road Safety Minister Michelle Roberts "The McGowan Government is committed to reducing road trauma on Western Australian roads, and speed is a significant factor in fatal and serious injury crashes in this State. "The Average Speed Safety Camera Zone on Forrest Highway is an effective way to slow drivers down and ultimately save lives. "This education campaign, which will include TV, radio, digital ads and billboards, begins two weeks prior to enforcement, and gives drivers plenty of notice if they speed on the Forrest Highway, they will be caught. "The Forrest Highway was chosen as the site for WA's first Average Speed Safety Camera Zone after analysis of crash data within the zone. "The cameras will be ready to begin enforcing when the ASSCZ legislation comes into effect on September 6." Minister's office - 6552 6900
Curtin University to offer Agribusiness degree at Muresk712Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements7430html17/08/2017 12:31:28 AM2017-08-17T00:30:00Z Curtin University to offer an Associate Degree in Agribusiness from 2019 Course will offer flexible delivery modes, including on-site teaching at Muresk Institute The agricultural industry is an opportunity to diversify the economy and create jobs Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery today announced Curtin University will offer an Associate Degree in Agribusiness at Muresk Institute from 2019. The new course will provide flexible delivery modes including face to face teaching at Muresk and Curtin's Bentley campus, augmented with relevant hands-on and practical experience. Block teaching will also be considered as a means of addressing students' seasonal work commitments associated with the farming sector. Currently, 45 students are undertaking the Bachelor of Agricultural Business Management course (BABM) delivered by Charles Sturt University with nine students enrolled in the course at the beginning of 2017. Current students in the BABM will have no change to their course. In 2016, the previous government commissioned an independent evaluation of the BABM degree because it identified consistent risks with the financial viability of the course from the onset because of the over estimation of student numbers in its modelling and therefore unrealistic revenue targets. Despite advice that those risks continued, even after an initial review, the previous government continued to fund a program that was not meeting targets and was financially unviable. The Associate Degree in Agribusiness at Curtin University will be a two-year program and will be a pathway into the full Curtin University Bachelor of Agribusiness. Comments attributed to Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery "Today's announcement of an Associate Degree in Agribusiness at Muresk shows this Government's commitment to growing the agricultural skills of our students. The agricultural industry offers the State an opportunity to diversify the economy to create more jobs. "There will be no change to the Bachelor of Agricultural Business Management course for current students and they will be fully supported to complete their course." Comments attributed to Curtin University Vice Chancellor Deborah Terry "Curtin has a strong history and commitment to teaching and research in agriculture in Western Australia and is focused on growing our agriculture research base, developing skills for the agriculture and food sectors and supporting growth within the sector. We see the delivery of the Associate Degree in Agribusiness as part of this commitment. "To ensure this course meets contemporary industry needs, it is imperative it is developed in close consultation with industry. "Agriculture has evolved into agribusiness and has become a vast and complex system that reaches far beyond the farm, to include all those who are involved in bringing food and fibre to consumers." Comments attributed to Cronus Australia chief executive officer Peter Burgess "I have been an executive in the agriculture industry for more than three decades, and there has never been a more dynamic time for the sector. "WA's cattle and agricultural industry is on the road to double production in the State's north in order to service the ever developing markets in Indonesia, China and Malaysia. Growth in this market is likely to produce more than 1,000 agricultural industry jobs and WA needs to be ready. "Having job-ready graduates will be essential to our success and a Curtin University Associate Degree run out of Muresk will ensure we are well placed to meet industry demand." Minister's office - 6552 5700
Funds to be distributed to potato growers19572Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements6660html16/08/2017 7:00:50 AM2017-08-16T07:00:00Z ​McGowan Government to return more than $650,000 to potato growers Funds a combination of recovered Potato Marketing Corporation legal funds and court costs paid to the State Government by Galati Nominees Pty Ltd The McGowan Government has this week written to 74 Western Australian potato growers offering to return their share of more than $650,000 now available from settled legal actions. All Potato Marketing Corporation (PMC) funds, including those in a legal fund levied to pursue action against the Galati companies, were vested to the State Government when the PMC was abolished on December 31, 2016. Agriculture and Food Minister Alannah MacTiernan announced $484,316 recovered from the legal trust fund would be distributed back to growers, along with the $200,000 of costs paid by Galati Nominees Pty Ltd. An allocation calculation established by the Potato Marketing Corporation prior to its abolition has been used to ensure fair distribution of funds, based on market entitlements and levels of damages claimed. Comments attributed to Agriculture and Food Minister Alannah MacTiernan "The distribution of these funds brings to an end the saga of the Potato Marketing Corporation, ensuring a fair distribution of remaining levies and cost payments. "The McGowan Government has drawn a line under the era of regulation of the potato industry and at the same time ensured a fair distribution to growers, many of whom continue to suffer losses as a result of tomato potato psyllid market access issues." Minister's office - 6552 6200
Life imprisonment laws for meth traffickers pass Parliament19569Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements2690html16/08/2017 7:56:08 AM2017-08-16T06:40:00Z ​State Government delivers on election commitment In a major milestone for the McGowan Government, tough new penalties which will see methamphetamine traffickers face life in prison have now passed through both houses of State Parliament. The Misuse of Drugs Amendment (Methamphetamine Offences) Bill 2017 increases the maximum sentence for trafficking 28 grams or more of meth from 25 years to life imprisonment. It also allows the judiciary to impose unlimited fines - an increase from the previous $100,000 maximum fine. The legislation passed through the Legislative Council overnight. It is the first legislative fulfilment of an election commitment by the McGowan Government and means Western Australia will now have some of the toughest penalties in the country. Those who manufacture, deal or traffic in meth will now face the prospect of life in prison. The laws are part of the McGowan Government's broader strategy and implementation of the Methamphetamine Action Plan. Comments attributed to Police Minister Michelle Roberts "This is a win for the community and is a clear indication of our priorities. "The community has been demanding action against those who deal in meth and we have moved swiftly to bring in laws which are among some of the toughest in Australia. "Dealers, traffickers and others in the drug chain who spread harm in our community need to know they will now face life in jail if they are caught." Minister's office - 6552 6900
New recycling centre walking the walk19568Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements8230html16/08/2017 6:18:41 AM2017-08-16T06:15:00Z ​New facility to encourage recycling and reduce unwanted junk going to landfill Helps reduce the impacts of illegal dumping in the Bullsbrook area The City of Swan's recycling centre is practising what it preaches - not only promoting re-use and recycling, but using recycled products in the construction of its new facility. Opening the Bullsbrook Recycling Centre today, Environment Minister Stephen Dawson praised the city for its innovative facility - designed with the environment in mind. All the roads and hardstands within the recycling centre were built using recycled road base materials and the on-site sheds have been re-used from the previous property owners. The recycling centre, located between the Bullsbrook and Ellenbrook town centres, will provide the community with a year-round facility to sort, recycle and re-use unwanted bulk items and waste materials. It will be free for all City of Swan residents. It forms the first stage of what will become a sustainable hub for the area including a tip shop, community workshops, community gardens and education centre. Comments attributed to Environment Minister Stephen Dawson "Waste is an important issue for the McGowan Labor Government. We are committed to working with local governments and regional councils to reduce the volume of waste disposed of to landfill and increase recycling through initiatives such as this recycling centre here at Bullsbrook. "This new facility will help reduce the amount of material picked up in verge bulk collections and reduce the amount of waste going to landfill. "This facility is a great example of collaboration between the State and local governments, providing fit-for-purpose infrastructure to the community." Minister's office - 6552 5800
WA supercomputer employed in water response to climate change19565Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements8310html16/08/2017 2:44:33 AM2017-08-16T02:40:00Z Responding to a changing climate with world-class groundwater science Using WA's supercomputing technology to manage water resources Water Minister Dave Kelly said Western Australia was continuing its reputation for using cutting-edge science to tackle climate impacts on water resources by employing the Magnus supercomputer in a program to protect Perth's vast network of valuable aquifers. The Department of Water and Environmental Regulation has spent the last four years conducting high-tech geophysical and drilling investigations into the Gnangara groundwater system, Perth's biggest water resource. The work is looking into the structure and connections of Perth's underground aquifers, the impacts of the drying climate and the use of the aquifers for water supply. Information gathered by water experts and the data 'crunched' with the help of Curtin University at the Pawsey Supercomputing Centre has led to advanced and detailed models of the groundwater systems under Perth. These models enable the department to explore detailed water planning and use scenarios with high levels of resolution and accuracy, to support long-term water management. This science advances the State's ability to calculate the best sites for new and innovative water infrastructure, such as managed aquifer recharge, where highly treated storm and wastewater can be captured in underground systems for later use. Comments attributed to Water Minister Dave Kelly "This is another great example, during National Science Week, of how Western Australia is using world-class science to benefit the community and support our environment. "This work is leading our response to managing the health of our aquifers and helping secure our water resources in the face of the increasing impact of climate change on our State's south-west. "By understanding how different parts of the groundwater systems are connected, and where and how water moves through the systems, we can identify locations and rates for taking groundwater or putting water back into the aquifers. "This science helps identify the best options for managing our groundwater to support the environment and benefit the community." Minister's office - 6552 6100
Local jobs created for METRONET tunnel segments19564Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements13170html16/08/2017 2:00:15 AM2017-08-16T02:00:00Z Production under way to create components for Forrestfield-Airport Link Pre-cast concrete plant created 60 local jobs and more through the supply chain Facility to produce more than 50,000 segments for the rail tunnels Local workers are ramping up production of the concrete segments that will form the walls of the eight-kilometre Forrestfield-Airport Link tunnels. A warehouse near the tunnelling site was transformed into the pre-cast facility so the concrete tunnel components could be made locally, creating jobs across the supply chain in Western Australia. The Forrestfield-Airport Link's pre-cast concrete facility opened in June, and 60 workers will soon be producing up to 132 concrete segments a day. There will be six unique segments produced at the plant, which fit together to form a single, waterproof ring. About 9,000 of the rings will be needed to build the twin rail tunnels that will eventually link the eastern foothills with the Perth central business district. Concrete is produced at the facility, cast into segments, set and then taken about two kilometres down the road to the site of the future Forrestfield Station. The concrete segments are fed into the tunnel boring machines, which use hydraulic lifters to fit the pieces in to place as it bores through the earth. TBM Grace, named after a local schoolgirl, was launched to much fanfare last month, while TBM Sandy will start its underground journey in September. Meanwhile, construction of the Airport Central and Belmont train stations along the new rail route is well under way. The Forrestfield-Airport Link project is jointly funded by the State ($1.37 billion) and Federal ($490 million) Governments. More information is available at http//www.forrestfieldairportlink.wa.gov.au Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan "I'm very happy we've been able to create these local jobs - part of the 2,000 which will be generated over the life of the project - for the benefit of WA workers. "The Forrestfield-Airport Link is part of this Government's METRONET plan which will transform this city." Comments attributed to Transport Minister Rita Saffioti "These 4.5-tonne concrete segments are the very bones of Perth's longest rail tunnel. "Once they are demoulded, these tunnel segments are loaded on to specialised multi-service vehicles at the Forrestfield site, driven into the excavated tunnel and slotted in to place by the high-tech tunnel boring machines. "Creating the individually cast segments is a highly precise process of cleaning the moulds, placing the segment reinforcement, concreting, curing, demoulding, waterproofing and testing. "This ensures the segments are durable and strong enough to enable trains to run through them for many decades to come." Premier's office - 6552 5000 Transport Minister's office - 6552 5500
Rare convict Ticket of Leave donated19561Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements6020html16/08/2017 12:24:50 AM2017-08-15T23:00:00Z Rare 1881 Ticket of Leave donated to Fremantle Prison Document to be part of 150th commemorations of the last convict ship to Australia Convict history part of WA's rich heritage A chance find has resulted in a rare 1881 convict Ticket of Leave being donated to Fremantle Prison after it was found tucked inside an old magazine. The Ticket of Leave belonged to William Bartlett, who was transported to Fremantle on the Hougoumont in 1868, the last convict ship to arrive in Australia. A Ticket of Leave allowed convicts to work for themselves and live in a given district of the colony before their sentence expired or they were pardoned. The Buckinghamshire horse dealer had been convicted of rape and sentenced to 15 years' transportation. Bartlett was forced to leave his wife and daughter behind in England. Bartlett worked in the Geraldton-Greenough area, and is believed to have given his Ticket of Leave to a priest in Geraldton for safekeeping. The document was passed down through the priest's family and was later found tucked inside a magazine by Julie Bateman from Murdoch, who had been clearing out her deceased aunt's house. WA police records show Bartlett was caught stealing a pig and was later charged with vagrancy after receiving his Ticket of Leave. He was remanded in the Mt Eliza Poor House before being sent to the Colonial Hospital where he died of a brain embolism in 1894. Bartlett's daughter died in England at the age of 14 and he left no other dependents. Comments attributed to Heritage Minister David Templeman "It is not often that a significant historical document is found in Western Australia in such good condition, particularly one relating to the World Heritage-listed Fremantle Prison and the convict system. "The Ticket of Leave will form part of a new exhibition at Fremantle Prison about the history of convict transportation to Australia. The exhibition, called Transportation, will open on January 9, 2018 to mark the anniversary of the last convict ship to Australia. "Bartlett's story reminds us that, while many convicts did go on to redeem themselves and prosper, the convict system was a harsh and brutal regime that some did not survive." Minister's office - 6552 5400