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Big mental health commitment in State Budget75959Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statementshtml4/05/2016 1:15:19 AM2016-05-04T01:00:00ZState Budget to deliver for WA's most vulnerable Next week's State Budget will deliver a record $865.8 million to the Mental Health Commission, representing an 83.9 per cent increase to the sector since 2008-09. Opening the Western Australian Council of Social Services (WACOSS) State Conference today, Premier Colin Barnett said $14.7 million would be added to the commission's Budget in 2016-17. "This will ensure crucial help such as a State-wide network of alcohol and other drug services, mental health treatment services delivered by Government and not-for-profit agencies and the promotion of a better understanding of mental illness, continues to receive strong Government support," Mr Barnett said. Mental Health and Child Protection Minister Andrea Mitchell said a key commitment was $19.2 million over three years for the North West Drug and Alcohol Support Program, funded through Royalties for Regions. "In the State's north-west, where drug and alcohol-related harm is among the highest in Australia, this program has already resulted in a more than 35 per cent increase in the delivery of community treatment services and an associated reduction in drug and alcohol use," she said. The commission's Budget would also deliver funding for dedicated youth and adolescent mental health beds at Perth Children's Hospital and Fiona Stanley Hospital. "With these beds, the Government has now doubled the number of dedicated youth and adolescent mental health beds in WA to 40 since elected in 2008," Ms Mitchell said. The Premier said the current economic environment meant there was a need to find new ways of working in partnership to support all West Australians to live full and meaningful lives. This included focusing on prevention and early intervention and creating better integrated service systems closer to home, which means people can choose treatment options that allow them to continue with their normal lives while receiving treatment. "Despite the constrained fiscal circumstances, we have prioritised areas of social need," Mr Barnett said. Next week's State Budget would see a 118 per cent increase in funding to the Disability Services Commission since 2008-09 and the Department for Child Protection and Family Support's Budget would increase by 82 per cent in the same time frame. The scale of Government contracting with the not-for-profit sector has increased from $1.43 billion in 2014-15 to $1.65 billion in 2015-16, an increase of about $850 million since 2010-11. Regional Development Minister Terry Redman said Royalties for Regions was continuing to invest in strategic regional health initiatives to enhance regional WA services and infrastructure. "Investment in mental health support infrastructure and services is fundamental to the ongoing viability and development of regional WA, and the State Government will continue to invest Royalties for Regions funds in key community projects that enable regions to grow," Mr Redman said. Fact FileThe 2016-17 Disability Services Commission Budget will be $944.9 million, which includes $231.5 million from the Australian Government and other sourcesThe Department for Child Protection and Family Support's Budget in 2016-17 will be $640.2 millionThe State Government has heavily invested in the relationship between the public and not-for-profit community sectors Premier's office - 6552 5000 Mental Health and Child Protection Minister's office - 6552 5400 Regional Development Minister's office - 6552 6700
On the way to an age-friendly WA75958Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statementshtml4/05/2016 12:56:56 AM2016-05-03T23:00:00ZGrants to help local governments build age-friendly communities Thirteen local governments across Western Australia will share in $113,500 through the latest round of the State Government's Age-Friendly Communities Grants Program to encourage seniors to participate and remain active within their community. Seniors and Volunteering Minister Tony Simpson said the program provided grants of up to $10,000 for local governments to establish policies, services and structures that improved seniors' quality of life. "Ensuring seniors are connected to their communities for as long as possible is vital for their wellbeing," Mr Simpson said. "Planning for the ageing of the community is a priority for the State Government, particularly as the proportion of older people in Western Australia increases." Age-friendly communities are those that are inclusive and accessible for people of all ages. This encompasses spaces and places, as well as programs and initiatives that make a community better for all residents including children, young people, parents and seniors. "Building an age-friendly WA requires input and collaboration across all sectors," the Minister said. "This funding provides local governments with a great opportunity to undertake community engagement projects that will ensure the needs of their older residents are met now and into the future." Mr Simpson said the Liberal National Government had awarded grants totalling more than $500,000 to 57 local governments since the program's introduction in 2008. Fact FileThe Age-Friendly Communities Grants Program is administered by the Department of Local Government and CommunitiesFunded projects align with the Government's Seniors Strategic Planning Framework 2012-2017By 2050, one in four West Australians will be seniorsFor more information, visit http//www.dlgc.wa.gov.au Minister's office - 6552 6600 Recipients - Age-Friendly Communities Grants Program RecipientGrantCity of Joondalup$10,000City of Vincent$10,000City of Stirling$10,000City of Wanneroo$10,000City of Armadale$10,000City of Canning$7,000Shire of Kalamunda$10,000Shire of Collie$10,000Shire of Beverley$6,500Shire of Dalwallinu$10,000Shire of York$10,000Shires of Brookton and Pingelly$10,000
More than 3,000 affordable rentals and counting75956Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statementshtml4/05/2016 12:53:00 AM2016-05-03T22:00:00Z3,262 affordable private rental dwellings for eligible low-to-moderate income households across WA since July 2008Combined effort by State and Australian government agencies, private enterprise and not-for-profit sectorEncouraging investment and innovation in the housing sector More than 3,000 new dwellings have been delivered under the National Rental Affordability Scheme (NRAS) in Western Australia since the Barnett Government came to power. Housing Minister Colin Holt said the scheme had benefited thousands of people who had previously struggled to afford private rental accommodation. "Under the scheme, we've partnered with the Australian Government, private enterprise and the not-for-profit sector to encourage investment and innovation in the delivery of affordable rental housing," Mr Holt said. "This has provided a boost in supply for eligible people on low-to-moderate incomes who now have access to more than 3,000 new rental properties at below-market rates." The scheme is an Australian Government initiative delivered in partnership with the States and Territories. It provides incentives for developers and investors who build new accommodation and agree to rent it at least 20 per cent below the market rate for up to 10 years. The Housing Authority in WA works actively with approved participants and the Australian Government's Department of Social Services to maximise the delivery of NRAS dwellings. The Minister congratulated the authority and its partners on achieving the milestone. "The not-for-profit sector in WA has delivered 410 NRAS dwellings, with the rest delivered by the private sector," he said. "The scheme provides one of the few market-facing initiatives that address both housing supply and affordability and is an example of how levels of government can work together to achieve mutually beneficial outcomes." Affordable private market rentals, such as NRAS dwellings, are an important part of the housing continuum and the Liberal National Government's Affordable Housing Strategy 2010-2020 Aiming Higher, which to date has delivered more than 20,000 affordable housing opportunities. Fact FileThe Australian Government's Department of Social Services is responsible for the administration of NRAS, including compliance and change request applicationsThe 2015-16 NRAS incentive for investors and developers is $10,917 which comprised $8,187 from the Australian Government and $2,729 from the State GovernmentIncentives are indexed annually across the 10 years a dwelling is in the scheme Minister's office - 6552 6100
Grant supports Wheelchair Sports’ expansion10611Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements0html3/05/2016 1:48:45 AM2016-05-03T01:45:00ZWheelchair Sports WA Association receive $209,617 Lotterywest grantFunding supports business development and sustainability An upgraded IT system and business development initiatives funded by a Lotterywest grant of $209,617 will ensure the long-term sustainability of the Wheelchair Sports WA Association, Disability Services Minister Donna Faragher said today. At a presentation event at Mirrabooka's Herb Graham Recreation Centre, Mrs Faragher said the grant would support initiatives to better manage funding streams and expand awareness of the organisation's reach across the community. "Wheelchair Sports WA Association is much more than a sports club," she said. "The organisation now offers its members and the public a very broad range of programs and services. "The business development initiatives reflect the organisation's move into other fields, such as social inclusion; education; recreation and other non-sporting areas, and accounts for about 65 per cent of the work the organisation undertakes. "This Lotterywest grant will enable the organisation to reposition itself to better reflect this important role and direction." Wheelchair Sports WA Association will install a fundraising and customer relations IT system to help better manage funding streams. "This IT upgrade will also support timely, accountable operations for what is one of WA's biggest disability recreation and sporting groups," the Minister said. Established in 1989, Wheelchair Sports WA Association currently has more than 580 members involved in a range of activities and sports including basketball, rugby, athletics and tennis. Fact FileWheelchair Sports WA Association was formally established in 1989For more information, visit https//wheelchairsportswa.org.au In 2014-15, Lotterywest raised $283 million to support the WA communityFor more information, visit http//www.lotterywest.wa.gov.au/grants Minister's office - 6552 5300
Grants to push WA science on to national stage10610Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements0html3/05/2016 1:11:05 AM2016-05-03T01:05:00Z$1.35 million to help make WA research more competitiveEight Fellowship Merit Awards and 13 Project Grant Merit AwardsWide range of health studies supported State Government research funding totalling $1.35 million will help 21 local health and medical researchers improve their chances of securing National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) grants and fellowships. Announcing round three of the Merit Award program, Health Minister John Day congratulated each recipient and said the awards were available only to those who had come close to receiving an NHMRC Project Grant, Early Career Fellowship or Career Development Fellowship in 2015. "These awards will help our researchers showcase the diverse range of Western Australian health science," Mr Day said. "Each recipient is a shining light in their field. It is vital we nurture their talent, not only because their work may lead to valuable medical breakthroughs but also because it builds on WA's growing strength in science." The one-off Merit Award payments are designed to boost the researchers' competitiveness in future NHMRC funding rounds by paying for activities such as pilot data experiments or the development of new laboratory tests. "The grants are part of the FutureHealth WA initiative to boost the State's research capability," the Minister said. "They are an important part of our determination to secure WA's rightful share of national health research funding." Project Grant Merit Awards provide a payment of up to $75,000 to researchers who narrowly missed out on a NHMRC Project Grant, while Fellowship Merit Awards provide up to $50,000 to assist those who came close to getting a NHMRC Early Career Fellowship or Career Development Fellowship. In the latest round of the program, 13 researchers received Project Grant Merit Awards and eight researchers received Fellowship Merit Awards. Fact FileFutureHealth WA is a State Government initiative proving $30 million over four years for health and medical research in WAFor more information, visit http//ww2.health.wa.gov.au/Articles/F_I/FutureHealth-WA/FutureHealth-WA-Merit-Awards Minister's office - 6552 6200 Round 3 Project Merit Award recipientsRecipientProject titleInstitutionA/Prof Gina AmbrosiniIdentifying determinants of dietary intake and eating behaviours in young adults to reduce chronic diseaseThe University of Western AustraliaDr Peter ArthurTaurine supplementation to prevent necrosis and loss of muscle strength in the mdx mouse model of Duchenne's Muscular DystrophyThe University of Western AustraliaDr Sally BrinkmanLanguage Environment Analysis enhancing research capacityThe University of Western AustraliaDr Fred ChenDeveloping stem cell therapy for macular degenerationThe University of Western AustraliaDr Lyn ColvinDevelopmental outcomes for children exposed to prescription medicines in uteroThe University of Western AustraliaA/Prof Peter HenryEffects of macrolides on airway mucus synthesis and secretion - implications for obstructive lung diseaseThe University of Western AustraliaDr Brendan KennedyIntraoperative micro-elastography for improved assessment of tumour margins in breast cancerThe University of Western AustraliaDr Laurens ManningNew approaches to treatment of malaria in Papua New GuineaThe University of Western AustraliaDr Hannah MooreCharacterising climatic drivers and synergy between common paediatric respiratory viruses in children guiding prevention and managementThe University of Western AustraliaDr Phil StumblesInvestigating the long-term disruption to respiratory immunological homeostasis following early-life Influenza A Virus infectionsMurdoch UniversityDr Ann-Maree VallenceStrengthening functional connectivity in the aging brain to improve voluntary movement.Murdoch UniversityDr Rakesh Naduvile VeeduSplice switching oligonucleotides to enhance treatment of Duchenne muscular dystrophyMurdoch UniversityDr Andrew WooReprogramming aggressive cancer cellsThe University of Western Australia Fellowship Merit Award recipients RecipientProject titleInstitutionDr Chandrakumar BalaratnasingamNovel, non-invasive measurements of early retinal vein occlusionThe University of Western AustraliaDr Elin GrayNovel Blood Based Biomarkers for Treatment Monitoring in MelanomaEdith Cowan UniversityDr Anne-Marie HillHospital Falls Epidemiology ProjectCurtin University of TechnologyDr Rishi KotechaEvaluation of demethylating agents against infant acute lymphoblastic leukaemia models in vitroThe University of Western AustraliaA/Prof Debra PalmerInvestigating early life immune responses that predict egg allergy development in infancyThe University of Western AustraliaA/Prof Gianina RavenscroftGene discovery and pathobiology in muscle diseases.The University of Western AustraliaDr Tara RichmanDisease models of mitochondrial dysfunctionThe University of Western AustraliaDr Guicheng ZhangAnalysing high-throughput molecular profiling data to elucidate pathogenic mechanisms of asthma and allergyCurtin University of Technology
Healthy research outlook at Science on the Swan10606Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements0html3/05/2016 1:00:06 AM2016-05-03T01:00:00ZConference focus on population health research data and disease preventionHackathon targets burns, Body Mass Index and blood testingReview of WA health data linkage system aims to broaden research benefits The role of genetics in cancer diagnosis and the potential for artificial intelligence to help predict and prevent chronic conditions are among the innovations to be explored at Science on the Swan 2016. Premier and Science Minister Colin Barnett said the three-day international conference, starting today and run in parallel with Perth Big Data Week 2016, would focus on how data application and research could improve public health outcomes. "We know that a strong and vibrant health system is one that values and promotes medical research," Mr Barnett said. "Science on the Swan will see international presentations alongside leading Western Australian research, including a tool that should one day enable doctors to diagnose and monitor the treatment of rare diseases simply by taking a 3D photograph of a patient's face. "The conference will also include a two-day 'Health and Well-being Ideation' hackathon, where secondary and tertiary student teams will target solutions to important health challenges through collaborative computer programming." The hackathon will tackle three key issues better burns patient management, especially in regional WA; innovative charting of blood test results to encourage personal preventative healthcare; and improved Body Mass Index systems to target the $253 million annual cost of managing overweight and obese West Australians. The Premier also announced a high-level review of data linkage capabilities. Data linkage is a research technique that connects pieces of information from a variety of sources that relate to the same person or family, a valuable tool for analysing health trends and promoting preventative medicine. "WA has been a leader in population health data linkage for decades, with other jurisdictions taking the State's lead, particularly on systems to protect privacy," Mr Barnett said. "We are looking to replicate our outstanding health data linkage systems across other areas of government, with Chief Scientist Professor Peter Klinken to chair an expert advisory group including Professor Fiona Stanley and Government Chief Information Officer Giles Nunis." The advisory group is due to report to the Premier in August 2016. Fact FileScience on the Swan runs from May 3-5Through the WA Department of Health, the State Government provides about $14m in annual core funding to promote health and medical researchFor information on Perth Big Data Week 2016 events, visit http//bdwperth.com For more information on WA data linkage, visit http//www.datalinkage-wa.org.auFor more information on the review, visit http//www.dpc.wa.gov.au/consultation Premier and Science Minister's office - 6552 5000
Gold still shining and generating long-term jobs10604Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements0html3/05/2016 12:08:52 AM2016-05-03T00:00:00ZGold holds up as critical to Western Australian economy The importance of gold to Western Australia's economy has been highlighted by Mines and Petroleum Minister Sean L'Estrange on a visit to the State's most significant recent greenfields gold discovery, Gold Road Resources' Gruyere project north-east of Laverton. "The gold sector provides more than 20,000 jobs in Western Australia and was valued at a record $9.5 billion in 2015," Mr L'Estrange said. "It is incredible to think that more than 130 years after gold was first discovered in the State, significant deposits such as Gruyere are still being found in the region. It also highlights the vast mineral potential that exists, even after more than a century of mining." The Minister said the State Government's Exploration Incentive Scheme supported the Gruyere discovery. The scheme's co-funded drilling program supports innovative drilling projects that drive the discovery of new mineral deposits. Every $1 million invested in the scheme stimulates exploration activity generating $10.3 million in direct benefits for WA with a long-term benefit of $23.7 million. "The scheme has been instrumental to increasing the geological knowledge of our State and the scheme's co-funded drilling program has supported 20 major discoveries, including the Gruyere deposit," Mr L'Estrange said. "The mines of tomorrow are built on such discoveries, as are the jobs, royalties and other economic benefits vital for Western Australia's continued prosperity." The Minister said Gold Road Resources' Gruyere project was the perfect example of the importance of creating an environment that encouraged investment in exploration and development in the State's resources industry. "As Mines and Petroleum Minister, I am determined to continue to create opportunities in Western Australia's resources sector," he said. "It is a sector that is critical to WA's economic prosperity and the continued prosperity of local communities." Fact FileThe State Government has invested $130 million in the Exploration Incentive Scheme generating a direct benefit to the State of more than $1.3 billionThe Gruyere project will produce an estimated 265,000 ounces of gold annually and has an initial mine life of 12 yearsWA has $117 million in gold projects under construction and a further $3.3 billion identified as planned or possible Minister's office - 6552 6900
Big Data Week highlights State’s science future25542Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements6210html2/05/2016 6:01:00 AM2016-05-02T06:00:00ZOne dozen events to promote data-based research, job and career opportunitiesEncouraging academic, business and government co-operation From deep-sea imaging of shipwreck sites to interpreting radio signals from outer space, Perth Big Data Week 2016 (BDW) will showcase how Western Australian data science is helping lead world research and promises exciting career opportunities. With Big Data Week starting today, Premier and Science Minister Colin Barnett said there was an inspiring range of data applications featured across a dozen events running from May 2-6. "The ability to interpret data and apply this to make a positive difference is critical for a modern WA that is safe, healthy and competitive," the Premier said. "For example, real-time traffic data powers the apps and websites which tell Perth commuters how to take the easiest and quickest route to work each day, and population health data can help us predict and prevent the development of chronic diseases." Big Data Crunch is the opening event, bringing students and data professionals together at Scitech to explore careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) fields. Other events will show how data analytics apply in business, town planning, climate change research, cloud computing, radio astronomy, regional development and education. Running concurrently with Perth BDW 2016 is Science on the Swan, an international conference exploring how health data drives precision medicine, medical imaging and research. "Data science is a key area where the State has an opportunity to build its competitive advantage and be a world leader," Mr Barnett said. "Big Data Week is a unique opportunity for students, business operators, scientists and the public sector to share an understanding of how data analytics will help drive WA's progress." The State's data processing capabilities are led by the $80 million Pawsey Supercomputing Centre, which houses Magnus, the most powerful public research computer in the southern hemisphere. "Magnus will be critical in analysing vast quantities of deep space information from the giant Square Kilometre Array radio telescope being co-hosted by WA," the Premier said. "The groundbreaking WA Biodiversity Science Institute will also benefit from the State's commitment to data, as it creates a comprehensive database of WA's unique flora and fauna." Fact FilePerth BDW 2016 is led by the Pawsey Supercomputing Centre, with partners including Woodside, Think Bottom Up, the WA Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Landgate, the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research and Curtin UniversityThe State Government supports Perth BDW 2016 through the Office of Science, Pawsey, Scitech and the International Centre for Radio Astronomy ResearchFor more information on Perth BDW 2016 events, visit http//bdwperth.com Premier and Science Minister's office - 6552 5000
Search is on for WA’s top innovator25539Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements3830html2/05/2016 4:55:32 AM2016-05-02T04:50:00ZEntrepreneurs encouraged to apply for the WA Innovator of the Year program Program has provided more than $2m over 10 years Western Australian entrepreneurs, companies and research teams are eligible for a share of $140,000 as part of the 2016 WA Innovator of the Year program. Commerce Minister Michael Mischin said the program provided a range of support to Western Australian innovators navigating the commercialisation process. "Now in its 10th year, the program has provided more than $2 million in financial and professional support to individuals and businesses to help develop their breakthrough ideas," Mr Mischin said. "During this time, the program has uncovered local innovations that have gone on to be very successful and made a real difference to the industry sector they support. "For example, last year's winner Kashif Saleem is now in discussions with Woodside regarding his equipment location technology, Track'em, and very recently announced his intention to list on the ASX by the end of the year." Successful applicants will receive financial support as well as a mix of business capability training, one-on-one mentoring sessions, marketing and networking opportunities and invaluable public exposure for their innovation. The Minister said in addition to prize money and coaching, the overall winner would also have access to three PhD candidates to assist with further research and development through the iPREP WA program. "This is an invaluable opportunity for both parties," he said. "Our successful WA Innovator of the Year will have a team of dedicated researchers over six weeks at no cost, and the participating candidates develop vital skills that can be applied to their future employment." Fact FileApplications close at 3pm, Wednesday June 1, 2016 The program features two categories emerging innovation (pre-revenue, $25,000 prize money) and growth (post-revenue, $25,000 prize money)The Mitsubishi Corporation WA Innovator the Year overall winner ($75,000 prize money) is chosen from these two categoriesThe principal sponsor is Mitsubishi Corporation with additional support from encouragement award sponsor, Woodside; gold sponsors - Business News, iPREP WA, South32; and silver sponsors - Murfett Legal, Perth Convention Bureau, VentureCast, Watermark and WraysFor more information, visit http//www.commerce.wa.gov.au/innovator Minister's office - 6552 5600
Martin Clunes explores WA’s treasured islands25538Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements4010html2/05/2016 4:00:21 AM2016-05-02T04:00:00ZScreenWest supports production of Martin Clunes - Islands of OzRenowned British actor hosts three-part seriesShooting at Rottnest, Carnac, the Abrolhos and Ningaloo Some of Western Australia's most fascinating and historic islands and coastlines will be showcased to national and international audiences, in a new television series supported by the State Government through ScreenWest. Culture and the Arts Minister John Day this week toured Rottnest Island with the WA production team and met internationally acclaimed British actor Martin Clunes, who will host the series, titled Martin Clunes - Islands of Oz. "I am delighted that Perth-based Prospero Productions has been able to secure Martin to explore these places and share the stories of the people who live there," Mr Day said. "Islands of Oz will see some of our most spectacular natural assets and intriguing history broadcast to audiences around the world. "While Rottnest is a popular local institution, many West Australians may not have explored Carnac Island and the Abrolhos Islands. Now all of these will have international exposure." Martin Clunes' hosting role in the three-show production follows his successful Islands of Britain television series. Prospero Productions received $800,000 from ScreenWest's SuperDoc scheme in 2015-16. "Through ScreenWest, the State Government is proud to be promoting our captivating and often extraordinary places in ways which not only entertain audiences but also have tourist appeal," Mr Day said. "After spending some time with Martin, I am sure his legendary sense of humour and easygoing style will bring out the best in our WA stories and images." Shooting of Martin Clunes - Islands of Oz is scheduled for completion in May. Prospero has created popular television productions including Outback Truckers (Channel 7), Railroad Australia (Discovery Channel), Wild Survivor (National Geographic Channel), The Real Jaws (Channel 9) and Australia Life on the Edge (National Geographic Channel). Fact FileThe Islands of Oz series will feature 12 islands from around AustraliaMartin Clunes' television successes have included Men Behaving Badly, Doc Martin and Islands of BritainThe SuperDoc fund supports WA documentary producers with proven high turnover production outcomes in the StateFor more information, visit http//www.screenwest.wa.gov.au Minister's office - 6552 6200
Body worn video cameras for WA Police13985Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements4740html1/05/2016 3:30:18 AM2016-05-01T03:30:00ZWA Police to use body worn video cameras in a first for WATrial will be conducted in Perth and Bunbury For the first time in Western Australia, the State Government has equipped police with body worn video cameras in a trial to help reduce assaults on officers and increase early guilty pleas. Deputy Premier and Police Minister Liza Harvey said it was anticipated the camera footage would protect both the public and police officers as they went about their daily duties. "Our police officers do an exceptional and challenging job and we will be examining if the body worn video contributes to early guilty pleas and helps to reduce assaults on officers. We will also look at whether the cameras reduce complaints against police," Mrs Harvey said. The trial will be conducted in the Perth metropolitan area and Bunbury. The Minister said the cameras would play an important role in the fight against crime and could be used to conduct interviews on the frontline, potentially freeing up courts with early guilty pleas. "Body worn video can also provide greater credibility for police and result in calmer interactions between police and offenders as they both know they are being filmed," she said. Mrs Harvey said the Liberal National Government was committed to making communities safer through tough laws and providing police with the resources they needed to combat crime and anti-social behaviour. "This Government has done more than any other to protect the public and our police officers, including adding 1,050 police and auxiliary officers to the ranks between 2008 and 2017," she said. "We have introduced minimum mandatory jail terms for anyone who assaults a police officer, as well as enacting mandatory blood testing of offenders who bite or spit at officers to ensure officers know as soon as possible if they have been exposed to a disease. This was something officers have long campaigned for, but it was this Government that implemented the law." Fact File300 cameras will be deployed to officers during the trialEvidence captured by cameras will continue to be part of the disclosure process in accordance with current practice and legislative requirementsOther States have conducted similar trials and some have started agency-wide rollouts Deputy Premier and Police Minister's office - 6552 5900
Paying tribute to our fallen firefighters13984Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements1860html1/05/2016 3:16:47 AM2016-05-01T03:15:00ZMemorial service honours firefighters killed while on dutyInternational Firefighters' Day commemoration Western Australian firefighters killed during firefighting duties have been honoured today at a special service at the Firefighters' Memorial Grove in Kings Park. Emergency Services Minister Joe Francis said the International Firefighters' Day commemoration was an opportunity for loved ones, friends and colleagues to pay their respects to firefighters who gave their lives while serving their community. "This event is a chance for all of us to honour and remember the courageous individuals who paid the ultimate price while protecting others," Mr Francis said. Since 1908, 49 Western Australian career and volunteer firefighters have died while on duty. The Minister said the memorial service was also recognition of the ongoing dedication of serving firefighters. "It's important we acknowledge those men and women who put themselves in harm's way to protect our communities every hour of the day, every day of the year," he said. Mr Francis said the State Government was committed to supporting WA's volunteer and career firefighters to ensure they were as safe as possible while serving their community. "That commitment has seen the delivery of new crew protection systems and new fire stations and equipment," he said. "The Government will continue to invest in the resources needed by firefighters who face danger every time they go to work." Fact FileWA currently has about 1,100 career firefighters and 27,000 volunteer firefightersInternational Firefighters' Day was instituted after the deaths of five firefighters during bushfires in Victoria in December 1999It is observed each year on St Florian's Day, which honours the patron saint of all firefighters and the first known chief of a firefighting squad in the Roman EmpireRed and blue ribbons pinned together are the symbol of the day Minister's office - 6552 6500
Community support for expanded insurance13982Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements5420html1/05/2016 2:16:05 AM2016-05-01T02:00:00ZExpanded motor vehicle injury insurance covers WA's 1.8 million motorists The State Government today launched Western Australia's expanded motor vehicle injury insurance cover for people catastrophically injured in accidents, announcing Matt Cook as a community supporter. The Motor Vehicle (Catastrophic Injuries) Bill 2016 has received Royal Assent, ensuring all WA motorists catastrophically injured in motor vehicle crashes from July 1, 2016 will receive treatment, care and support for the rest of their lives. In the coming weeks, WA motorists will start to receive their vehicle registration renewal notices, which will include the maximum cost of $99 for lifetime care and support. Treasurer Mike Nahan said Mr Cook, who received tetraplegic injuries when he was catastrophically injured in a motor vehicle crash at the age of 25, would help explain how the changes impact WA's 1.8 million motorists. "Matt and others have pledged support for the expansion of motor vehicle injury insurance to ensure people in their situation in the future receive lifetime care and support," Dr Nahan said. "The feedback from extensive public consultation was that we needed to explain to motorists that they will be covered from July 1, 2016 if they are catastrophically injured in a crash in WA. Currently, many people don't realise that if, for example, your vehicle hits a kangaroo and you are catastrophically injured, you may not be covered if you were either at fault or unable to identify another driver at fault." Disability Services Minister Donna Faragher said extensive consultation had been undertaken with the health and disability sector, motorists and the wider community. "The Insurance Commission of Western Australia and National Disability Services of Western Australia will host another consultation forum on June 2, 2016 to provide the health and disability sector with further detail about the delivery of care and support services," Mrs Faragher said. "I encourage health and disability service providers to attend this session and continue to work collaboratively with the Insurance Commission as they deliver this life-changing initiative for people catastrophically injured in crashes and their families after July 1." The cost of the expanded insurance cover will be a maximum of $99 in the first year for each vehicle and motorcycle, with smaller increases for tractors, mopeds, vintage cars and farm firefighting vehicles. There will be no increases for caravans and trailers. Fact FileCatastrophic injuries are spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, multiple amputations, severe burns and permanent traumatic blindnessWA's motor injury insurance ($409) remains cheaper than similar insurance covers in South Australia ($488), Victoria ($494), the Northern Territory ($544), the Australian Capital Territory ($585) and New South Wales ($638)For more information, visit http//www.icwa.wa.gov.au Treasurer's office - 6552 5700 Disability Services Minister's office - 6552 5300
New centre the active heart of Narembeen118721Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements3440html29/04/2016 9:00:19 AM2016-04-29T09:00:00Z​$5.2 million regional sport and recreation hub opens in Narembeen Premier Colin Barnett and Sport and Recreation Minister Mia Davies have officially opened the $5.2 million upgraded Narembeen Recreation Centre. "The total cost of this development project was about $5.2 million, and for a small shire like Narembeen to raise almost $3.8 million of that cost is an outstanding achievement and shows their understanding of the need for sport and recreation in their district," the Premier said. "This is a fantastic facility and I'm sure it will be heavily used by the Narembeen community." The State Government provided more than $1.4 million towards the project - $550,000 through the Department of Sport and Recreation, $571,766 through Lotterywest and a further $291,503 from Royalties for Regions. Funding has gone towards new change rooms, storage areas, toilets and community spaces, plus the construction of two new seven-rink synthetic bowling greens. Ms Davies said she was pleased to open the centre which was at the heart of her electorate. "Being active has many benefits including improving your physical and mental well-being and that's why the Government supports projects like this one. The State Government's latest research has also confirmed that for young people being active on the playground, on the court and on the field helps learning in the classroom," she said. Regional Development Minister Terry Redman said Royalties for Regions was committed to funding community projects that provide long-term benefits for regional communities. "Facilities like the Narembeen Sport and Recreation Centre provide the community with opportunities to engage and interact, critical factors for sustainable regional communities," Mr Redman said. Fact FileSince 2008, through the Community Sporting and Recreation Facilities Fund, the Government has invested about $145 million in sport and recreation facilities around the State in projects totalling about $909 millionThe Community Sporting and Recreation Facilities Fund exemplifies the WA Government's commitment to the development of sustainable infrastructure for sport and recreation across the State Sport and Recreation Minister's office - 6552 5500
Award-winning arts centre opens in Newman118720Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements2330html29/04/2016 7:00:05 AM2016-04-29T07:00:00ZEast Pilbara Arts Centre opens in NewmanMade possible by State Government's Royalties for Regions program The East Pilbara Arts Centre was officially opened today, proudly showcasing Aboriginal culture from the Martu people. Regional Development Minister Terry Redman said the State Government's Royalties for Regions program provided $3.5 million towards the centre, which will foster meaningful cultural exchanges between indigenous and non-indigenous communities. Mr Redman said to mark the opening the new gallery space would feature the We don't need a map a Martu experience of the Western Desert project, a nationally-acclaimed exhibition presenting the work of more than 30 local artists. "The East Pilbara Arts Centre will help bring the colour and technique of the Martumili Artists to the wider Pilbara community," he said. "This facility is more than bricks and mortar. It will be transformative for Newman as a shared space that brings indigenous and non-indigenous people together to connect, learn and share cultural experiences." The Minister said even before the centre had opened its doors, it had been recognised for its innovative design, engagement practices and partnerships as a finalist in last year's WA Premier's awards. "The progressive approach to the project's development has resulted in a culturally and environmentally innovative centre that sets a new benchmark for arts and community infrastructure," he said. "This project will help support economic development and continued community growth in the East Pilbara, and it is a valuable Royalties for Regions investment." The East Pilbara Arts Centre was made possible by BHP Billiton Iron Ore, Lotterywest, the Shire of East Pilbara and the State Government's Royalties for Regions program. Fact FileThe $1.7 billion Pilbara Cities initiative is being delivered by the Pilbara Development CommissionFor more information about Pilbara Cities, visit https//www.pdc.wa.gov.au For more information on Royalties for Regions projects, visit Bigger Picture - Regions Minister's office - 6552 6700
Funding boost for regional visitor centres118718Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements6200html29/04/2016 4:51:01 AM2016-04-29T04:45:00ZSecond round of Regional Visitor Centre Sustainability Grant Program open$4.2 million investment over three years including $1.05 million in 2016-17 Regional visitor centres are invited to apply for State Government funding towards initiatives that will help them stay viable and adaptable in the changing tourism landscape. Centres can apply to share in more than $1 million in the latest round of the Regional Visitor Centre Sustainability Grant Program made possible by Tourism WA and Royalties for Regions. Premier and Tourism Minister Colin Barnett said the program, worth $4.2 million over three years, recognised the vital role of visitor centres in boosting regional tourism and employment. "Tourism is a $4 billion industry for regional Western Australia. Research shows that people spend more time and money in an area when they use a visitor centre," Mr Barnett said. "As more travellers go online for information and bookings, visitor centres are looking to adapt their traditional business models to stay relevant and viable." The first funding round, in 2015-16, supported 39 visitor centres from places as diverse as Carnarvon, Chittering, Esperance, Roebourne and Nannup. Projects included website development, improved signage, accreditation and a mobile visitor centre in Geraldton. "A range of innovative projects have already enhanced the services on offer at visitor centres throughout the State," the Premier said. "I now urge regional visitor centres to apply for the second round of funding to kick-start or progress their initiatives." Regional Development Minister Terry Redman said the Royalties for Regions investment would help strengthen regional tourism, employment and skills development. "Visitor centres have a wealth of local knowledge that enhance the tourism experience and help visitors discover the best of what the regions have to offer," Mr Redman said. "Improving visitor experiences is key to creating opportunities and jobs for local communities, and contributing to stronger regional economies in this way is an important Royalties for Regions investment." Fact FileAccredited visitor centres or local government authorities can apply for grants between $40,000 and $100,000; non-accredited centres can apply for grants between $5,000 and $40,000Applications close 5pm, Friday June 17, 2016. For more information, visit Tourism WA Premier and Tourism Minister's office - 6552 5000 Regional Development Minister's office - 6552 6700
Long-term frigate maintenance contract to WA118717Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements5040html29/04/2016 4:11:37 AM2016-04-29T04:10:00Z Premier Colin Barnett said a new long-term contract for the maintenance of the ANZAC Class Frigates to be centred in Western Australia, further cemented the State's role in the sustainment of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) fleet. "The open-ended sustainment contract has a value of more than $2 billion for the first eight years," Mr Barnett said. "This is excellent news and is likely to generate hundreds of jobs for West Australians. "Companies at the Australian Marine Complex have consistently proven their ability to win and deliver maintenance and upgrade projects for the Navy. Henderson is one of only two shipbuilding precincts in Australia." The Premier said the contract ensured the ANZAC Class Frigates remained a potent capability for the RAN until the Future Frigates, which begin construction in Adelaide in 2020, entered service. The majority of the work will be undertaken in Henderson at the Australian Marine Complex (AMC), with additional work at Fleet Base East. Today's announcement comes after it was revealed earlier this week that WA contractors were expected to benefit from the awarding to a French company, the contract to design 12 new submarines for the Navy. And last week, the Australian Government announced WA would share the construction of 12 Offshore Patrol Vessels with South Australia and that Henderson-based Austal Ships Pty Ltd was the preferred tenderer to construct and maintain up to 21 replacement steel-hulled Pacific Patrol Boats. In 2013-14 alone, defence contracts managed at the AMC totalled an estimated $624 million, creating up to 3,000 jobs. Western Australia is home to about 180 companies with direct defence contracts, of which the majority are small to medium enterprises. Premier's office - 6552 5000
Selfless service as PMH helper celebrates 100th118713Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements4850html29/04/2016 3:00:33 AM2016-04-29T03:00:00ZBlind centenarian assembles up to 500 kids care packs per monthHighlights important role of volunteering across the community Health Minister John Day has congratulated Gerry Leeuwangh on his years of dedicated service, as the Princess Margaret Hospital helper celebrates his 100th birthday today. "Gerry is an inspiration and personifies the spirit of giving," Mr Day said. "Though he is legally blind and lives with chronic lung disease, he volunteers his time from his Morley home putting together the hospital's private patient packs for the benefit of young patients." Mr Leeuwangh has volunteered in this way for the past six years, using his sense of touch to assemble up to 500 of the care packs each month, which contain toiletries and information for private patients. During recent years, his sight has succumbed to progressive macular degeneration, rendering him unable to focus. "Gerry's volunteer work with PMH is a continuation of his proud record of service," the Minister said. "He has volunteered with many charity and church groups throughout his life. "Not only is his work much appreciated by children at PMH, he is also highly regarded in his home community as a local government stalwart and a former deputy mayor whose legacy is still benefiting the residents of the City of Bayswater." Mr Day said Mr Leeuwangh's work highlighted the important role of volunteering across the WA health system and throughout the community. "There are more than 200 volunteers who give their time to make life easier for sick and recovering children and their families at PMH seven days a week," he said. "Despite the increasing use of technology and the looming move to the state-of-the-art Perth Children's Hospital, volunteers will continue to provide a wide range of support services that are such a vital part of the healing process." Fact FileGerry Leeuwangh was born in Rotterdam on April 29, 1916He trained as an accountant and worked as a shipping clerk, migrating to WA in 1950He and wife Audrey have been married more than 60 years and have eight children, 20 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildrenFor information on PMH volunteering, visit http//www.pmh.health.wa.gov.au/help_us/volunteers_pmh.htm Minister's office - 6552 6200
Website puts spotlight on council performance118712Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements16770html29/04/2016 2:08:44 AM2016-04-29T02:00:00Z​MyCouncil website to focus on local government accountability and performanceRatepayers can view and compare council revenue, expenditure and financial health Western Australian ratepayers will be able to scrutinise their council's financial health and performance via a new dedicated website providing unprecedented access to local government data. The MyCouncil website provides a snapshot of every local government in WA, allowing the public to make comparisons of data over time and between councils. Launching the website today, Local Government Minister Tony Simpson said MyCouncil would reveal how local governments were raising, spending and managing their money. "For the first time, ratepayers and residents will be able to access detailed information on the way their council operates with the click of a button," Mr Simpson said. "This website builds on the State Government's commitment to strengthen accountability throughout the sector and ensure all West Australians benefit from high-performing councils. "We want local governments to be open and transparent when it comes to spending ratepayers' money." MyCouncil allows the public to determine if they are receiving value for money by comparing the performance of councils across a range of services and financial indicators. "The website presents financial data visually, making it easier to interpret and make assessments about council performance and improve awareness of each local government's financial health," the Minister said. "Comparisons with other councils will enable local governments to identify areas for continuous improvement." Fact FileMyCouncil is hosted by the Department of Local Government and Communities (DLGC) and consolidates data currently available in annual reports and other reporting documentsDLGC will continue to work with local governments, State Government agencies and other stakeholders to expand the capabilities of the websiteMyCouncil website can be viewed at http//www.mycouncil.wa.gov.au Minister's office - 6552 6600
Airport rail line negotiations completed118692Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements19660html28/04/2016 5:30:09 AM2016-04-28T05:30:00ZState Government finalises negotiations to design, construct and maintain the Forrestfield-Airport Link$1.176 billion contract signed to deliver the main package of works on the project Will connect Perth's growing eastern foothills to the CBD via the airport The Forrestfield-Airport Link has reached a major milestone with a joint venture between Italian company Salini Impregilo and local company NRW Pty Ltd (SINRW) awarded a contract to design, construct and maintain the Forrestfield-Airport Link. The joint venture entered into negotiations with the Public Transport Authority in February. Premier Colin Barnett said the $1.176 billion contract had now been signed to deliver the main package of works on the rail line to Perth's eastern foothills. Mr Barnett confirmed a recent $490 million payment from the Australian Government to the State would go towards the project. "SINRW are contracted to build the eight kilometres of rail tunnels and three stations for the Forrestfield Line, as well as maintenance of the tunnel and civil structures for 10 years after completion," the Premier said. "This is a huge milestone on the path to delivering this project, which will change the face of Perth's eastern corridor and give people direct access to the airport by public transport. "It's the biggest expansion of the city's rail system since the Mandurah rail line was completed." Transport Minister Dean Nalder said early work, worth $370 million, was already underway for the construction of the Forrestfield Airport Line, including geotechnical work, contract management and land purchases. "Various forward works have been underway at Forrestfield since November 2015 and I expect the joint venture to mobilise on site in the coming months. The project's direct employment is expected to peak at about 600 workers," Mr Nalder said. Two of the stations on the Forrestfield-Airport Link have been renamed - Belmont (formerly Airport West) and Airport Central (formerly Consolidated Airport) - to more accurately reflect their purpose and locations. The rail line will be tunnelled underground from a junction near Bayswater Station, under the Swan River and the airport, and out to Forrestfield. It is due to open in 2020. Fact FileTrains are expected to begin operating on the line in 2020, linking the city to the airport and to ForrestfieldIn November 2015, Transperth introduced Route 380 - a direct bus link between Perth's CBD and T1 and T2 at Perth Airport as an interim serviceFor more information, visit the Forrestfield-Airport Link website Premier's office - 6552 5000 Transport Minister's office - 6552 6400