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NorthLink WA roadworks progress to Beechboro Road North147322Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements52920html21/01/2019 9:29:21 AM2019-01-21T08:15:00Z Traffic to switch onto new section of Tonkin Highway between Hepburn Avenue and Gnangara Road Beechboro Road North to permanently close to traffic Motorists asked to take care and slow down when travelling through changed conditions Traffic on Beechboro Road North will be transferred onto an isolated five-kilometre section of the new Tonkin Highway (NorthLink WA) between Hepburn Avenue and Gnangara Road from 5am tomorrow (January 22). The portion of Beechboro Road North in Whiteman, north of Jules Steiner Memorial Drive, will permanently close. From now on, motorists will use the parallel section of Tonkin Highway making it the first section of the NorthLink WA project (north of Reid Highway) to open to traffic. Motorists and cyclists will be diverted onto the Tonkin Highway alignment for about five kilometres, where, in the interim, they will connect with Gnangara Road via the existing signalised intersection. This arrangement will remain in place until construction of the new Gnangara Road interchange is complete, towards the middle of 2019. Access to the Cullacabardee community and Whiteman Park hobby clubs will still be available via Hennessy Road. Meanwhile, access to Hepburn Avenue and Tonkin Highway from Hennessy Road will be possible via a designated U-turn facility on Beechboro Road North. Comments attributed to Transport Minister Rita Saffioti "This is another milestone for the NorthLink WA project, which is on track for completion by late 2019. "This new section of Tonkin Highway is not yet complete, so please obey the road signs and drive carefully. "Nearby residents will be kept up-to-date and further information can be found on the website or by joining the NorthLink WA community group on Facebook." Minister's office - 6552 5500
New walk trail open in Wellington National Park147321Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements124650html21/01/2019 3:01:28 AM2019-01-21T03:00:00Z Construction of new 20 kilometre walk trail in Wellington National Park has been completed Wellington National Park is located 150 kilometres south of Perth A new world-class walk trail has been opened in Wellington National Park, near Collie, as part of the McGowan Government's commitment to improve visitor facilities in the Collie-Preston area. The new 20 kilometre Wiilman Bilya Trail stretches from Wellington Dam north to the Coalfields Highway, winding through magnificent blackbutt, open jarrah forest and past granite outcrops. Bushwalkers can expect a full day walk in either direction, with the option to camp overnight at Nyingarn campsite or at Potters Gorge. The name Wiilman Bilya pays tribute to the traditional Noongar group, Wiilman, with Bilya being the Noongar word for river. The Wiilman people have a strong cultural connection to this area. The $320,000 walk trail was funded by the State Government through the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions and Royalties for Regions. Comments attributed to Environment Minister Stephen Dawson "The McGowan Government recognises the value of Western Australia's national parks and reserves, and is committed to making these accessible to visitors for generations to come. "In addition to the Wiilman Bilya Trail, in the past year, we have supported the completion of several trail projects in the South-West, including a nine kilometre mountain bike trail in the nearby Arklow forest block near Collie; an 11.5 kilometre mountain bike trail and a 2.5 kilometre walk trail in Wooditjup National Park near Margaret River; and three 5.5 kilometre mountain bike trails in Lane Poole Reserve near Dwellingup. "The proposed expansion of Wellington National Park is also expected to improve and expand tourism and recreation opportunities, with public consultation currently underway on this proposal." Comments attributed to Sport and Recreation Minister and Collie-Preston MLA Mick Murray "We want to encourage Western Australians to get active and make the most of the great outdoors, and the provision of walk trails is an ideal way for people to immerse themselves in nature. "During the past 10 years visitation to Wellington National Park has increased substantially, reaching more than 315,000 visits in the 2017-18 financial year. "We are confident that the development of the Wiilman Bilya Trail will attract even more people to the park and help stimulate tourism growth in the Collie area." Environment Minister's office - 6552 5800 Sport and Recreation Minister's office - 6552 6400
New Asian Engagement Minister meets Chinese Business Council members147320Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements89380html21/01/2019 1:45:36 AM2019-01-20T04:30:00Z China is WA's largest market for international student enrolments; sixth largest for international visitors About 90 per cent of WA's merchandise exports in 2017-18 were to Asia Newly appointed Asian Engagement Minister Peter Tinley will address Chinese Business Council leaders in Western Australia at the Chung Wah Association offices in Northbridge tomorrow evening (Monday January 21). The speech, Mr Tinley's first official engagement since being appointed as the Minister for Asian Engagement, will acknowledge the importance of WA's relationship with China and emphasise business opportunities. The State's trade with the Asian giant has grown exponentially since 2006-07 - to the point that merchandise exports to China were valued at $61.5 billion in 2017-18. Chinese business councils have a vast range of resources including market intelligence, business networks and cultural knowledge that offer a significant opportunity for WA to boost its economic growth potential. Forecasts predict that within a generation, Asian markets will dominate the global economy. China is expected to be the world's biggest economy by 2030, and the top four will include India and Indonesia. Comments attributed to Asian Engagement Minister Peter Tinley "In order to compete successfully on the world stage, WA must do business in the world's fastest growing and most competitive economic region. "My role as Asian Engagement Minister is to support the State's business sector to leverage economic opportunities and drive our trade relationship with China to greater levels. "Building strong, resilient, sustainable and mutually beneficial networks and relationships with the Chinese diaspora community in WA will play a critical role in helping to ensure our future. "To that end, the McGowan Government is focused on boosting growth in three key areas increasing WA's exports, attracting Asian investment and diversifying the State's economy." Minister's office - 6552 5300
Award-winning chef Curtis Stone serves up starring role for WA147319Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements124920html21/01/2019 1:30:48 AM2019-01-19T01:00:00Z WA-inspired dishes on menu at Australian chef's Los Angeles restaurant Regional WA locations and produce to feature in Curtis Stone's TV series filmed during Gourmet Escape Supported by the State Government through Tourism WA and through the Gourmet Escape 2018 event Dishes influenced by the fresh flavours and produce of Western Australia are on the menu at Curtis Stone's Los Angeles restaurant Maude, as part of a State Government supported promotion. Western Australian locations, produce and producers will also star in a new television series hosted by the internationally renowned chef. Curtis Stone recently visited WA with key members of the Maude culinary team to film the WA episode of the TV series, and source inspiration for a new menu at his critically acclaimed restaurant. The multi-course menu profiles the unique flavours of WA through food and wine pairings, and was designed especially for the fifth anniversary of the restaurant. Marron, saltbush, wattle seed and macadamia are just some of the WA-inspired ingredients that feature on the current menu, alongside wines from WA vineyards including Leeuwin Estate, Voyager Estate, Happs, Cullen and Moss Wood. Maude's menu changes just four times a year. Each menu runs for three months and currently draws inspiration from an internationally renowned wine region. WA's inclusion places it in the distinguished company of Rioja, Spain; Burgundy, France; and the Central Coast of California. The new promotional initiatives featuring Curtis Stone originated through Margaret River Gourmet Escape event organisers IMG, following his involvement as a headline chef in 2017. Margaret River Gourmet Escape is also supported by the State Government through Tourism Western Australia, and the finale of the WA themed television episode filmed by Stone will feature the event's Gourmet Beach BBQ at Castle Rock Beach, Dunsborough. Curtis Stone has promoted his visit to WA on social media and through his Maude restaurant website, which details his journey through photographs and descriptions of landscapes, produce and producers. Regional WA locations and produce featured on the site include Yarrie Station in the Pilbara (sustainable beef); Kooljaman Cape Leveque, Broome (local seafood cooked according to traditional indigenous methods); Cygnet Bay Pearl Farm on the Dampier Peninsula (pearl meat); Shorthorn Farms at Pinjarra (Poll Shorthorn, Charolais and Angus beef); St John's Brook, near Nannup (Manchego-style cheese); and Gas Bay, Margaret River region (native ingredients, local wines). Maude's WA-inspired menu runs through March this year. Curtis Stone's new television series with episodes featuring Western Australian locations, produce and producers is expected to premiere later in the year. Comments attributed to Tourism Minister Paul Papalia "Curtis Stone's promotion of our State is an excellent opportunity to raise the profile of regional WA and all it has to offer to a global audience. "Food and wine tourism is one of the fastest-growing sectors of the tourism industry worldwide and part of the State Government's strategy to increase WA visitor numbers and spend through tourism. "This year will mark the launch of the exciting Western Australian Gourmet Escape, which will run over 10 days and include the Swan Valley, Perth and the Margaret River wine region." Comments attributed to Curtis Stone "The whole Maude team was inspired by our trip to WA. The State is really biologically diverse so there is a bounty of amazing produce with unique flavours coming out of this part of the world. "The local food producers we met with were incredibly welcoming and totally invested in creating quality product. Plus the landscapes are breathtaking; vineyards, beaches and the rugged beauty of the outback - WA has it all. "The WA-inspired menu draws on our incredible experiences in the State and features indigenous herbs, fruits and nuts and quality beef, with the seafood courses inspired by the team's time spent fishing and foraging with Aboriginal elders; a real privilege and highlight. "The feedback we have received so far is phenomenal. It's exposed Maude's diners to some distinctly WA flavour profiles." Minister's office - 6552 5600
Premier flies to North East Asia to promote direct flights to Perth147318Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements164320html21/01/2019 1:03:59 AM2019-01-18T23:00:00Z Premier to visit Japan and South Korea to strengthen economic ties with long-term trading partners and boost tourism opportunities Latest mission will be the Premier's first visit to South Korea since taking office Japanese visit includes time in Tokyo and WA's Sister State, Hyogo Prefecture Visit follows the McGowan Government securing Tokyo-Perth direct flights Premier Mark McGowan's latest mission to North East Asia will be focused on promoting the new Tokyo-Perth direct flight, and strengthening economic ties with some of Western Australia's key trade and investment partners in Japan and South Korea. Last month, the McGowan Government successfully secured direct flights with All Nippon Airways to start the Tokyo-Perth route from September. The service which will operate seven days a week will bolster visitor numbers, grow the tourism industry and create more jobs for Western Australians. The Premier will meet next week with the President and CEO of All Nippon Airways to personally thank him for the company's co-operation and commitment to the Tokyo-Perth service, the first time a direct service between Japan and Perth has operated in more than eight years. Discussions around broader resources and industry engagement in Western Australia will also be held with senior representatives across a range of businesses, including Mitsubishi Corporation, Mitsui & Co, Tokyo Gas and INPEX Corporation. During the mission, the Premier will meet with government officials including the Australian Ambassador to Japan Hon Richard Court AC and Australian Ambassador to the Republic of Korea HE James Choi. The mission also marks the Premier's first visit to South Korea since taking office. The visit to Seoul includes opportunities to meet with key trade and investment partners to boost and attract further investment in resource and new technology projects in Western Australia. Japan and South Korea have had longstanding relationships with Western Australia, contributing 62 per cent of the total value of WA's petroleum exports in 2017-18. Japan is the second largest customer for iron ore exports, contributing to nine per cent of WA's total value of iron ore exports in 2017-18. Contributing six per cent of Western Australia's total value of iron ore exports in 2017-18, South Korea is WA's third largest customer for both iron ore and petroleum. Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan "Western Australia has a long and successful relationship with Japan and South Korea and as part of nurturing and strengthening these ties, I am also keen on boosting and attracting further investment in resource and technology projects in our State to create more jobs and elevate our economy. "A focus of my 2017 visit to Japan was to secure direct flights to Western Australia, which has now been achieved through the recent deal with All Nippon Airways. "I'm looking forward to partnering with the airline and exploring other initiatives to make sure these direct flights are a success for Western Australia, Japan and ANA. "My priority is to continue to push for more ways we can boost tourism and Western Australia's economy during this visit to Japan and South Korea." Premier's office - 6552 5000
New grants to help drive economic growth in Collie147297Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements260250html18/01/2019 5:01:51 AM2019-01-18T05:00:00Z Second tranche of the Collie Futures Small Grants Program delivers a share of $220,000 to three projects Part of $20 million Collie Futures Fund The McGowan Government continues to invest in Collie's future, announcing today a further $220,000 towards three projects aimed at growing the local economy and creating jobs. Funding through the second tranche of the Collie Futures Small Grants Program will back projects that support efforts to drive long-term economic growth and stimulate job creation. A demonstration marron farm, a tourism feasibility study for Black Diamond Lake and a Noongar landcare employment program are the latest projects to receive funding. The three new small grants recipients are in addition to a further eight that were announced in September, bringing the total funding delivered so far through the program to $898,000. The Collie Futures Small Grants Program is a $2 million fund available over four years, which supports new opportunities for enterprise and industry that will provide long-term benefits for the Collie region. The Collie Futures Small Grants Program is part of the $20 million Collie Future Fund, which will provide financial support and investment while Collie's economy undergoes transition. There will be further opportunities to apply for funding through the small grants program. Organisations with projects that will help unlock economic growth in Collie and that are looking for financial support are encouraged to register their interest with the South West Development Commission at http//www.swdc.wa.gov.au Comments attributed to Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan "This funding program is serving as a catalyst for economic growth and jobs creation. "Investing in these projects, alongside the ongoing work to develop an economic development plan, will lead to a stronger future for Collie." Comments attributed to Collie-Preston MLA Mick Murray "There is no bigger believer in Collie's potential than me, and through this program we are working with organisations to tap into growth opportunities. "By backing projects that will diversify and strengthen the economy, we aim to create a broader range of jobs for local people. "I congratulate the recipients on their exciting initiatives and look forward to seeing these projects develop and ultimately diversify Collie's economy." Minister's office - 6552 6200 Collie Futures Small Grants Program recipients - Second tranche Collie River Valley Marketing - $70,000 towards Black Diamond Tourism Feasibility; Leschenault Catchment Council - $75,000 towards Danju-Jobs Together; and Dam Fish - $75,000 towards CRV Demonstration Marron Farm.
Industry encouraged to tap into new Collie funding program supporting job-creating projects147296Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements336410html18/01/2019 4:49:23 AM2019-01-18T04:45:00Z McGowan Government delivering on its commitment to stimulate the diversification of the Collie economy and grow local jobs Collie Futures Industry Development Fund to support industry-led projects that will grow and diversify the economy Up to $2 million available per project to support new and existing industries The McGowan Government has announced a new program that will provide grants of up to $2 million towards industry-led projects capable of growing and diversifying the Collie economy. Applications are now open for the Collie Futures Industry Development Fund, designed to develop new industries and expand existing industries in the Collie region to create more job opportunities for local people. Initiatives from a wide range of sectors that can demonstrate the capacity to make a significant and sustainable impact on the local economy, will be eligible for consideration under the program. Successful applicants will need to match the State Government's funding contribution. The Collie Futures Industry Development Fund is the second funding program delivered through the McGowan Government's $20 million Collie Futures Fund. The Collie Futures Small Grants Program was launched last year, with successful applicants already receiving support to kickstart economy-boosting, job-creating initiatives through the program. For more information and to apply for grants, visit http//www.swdc.wa.gov.au Comments attributed to Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan "This is an exciting opportunity to drive economic advancement and create jobs in Collie - we're providing financial support to companies looking to establish or expand operations to help smooth the transition for Collie. "This significant investment will be the key to further unlocking Collie's economic potential, with the funding set to capture new opportunities for the region. "The McGowan Government is working to identify new industry, employment, upskilling and training opportunities through the creation of an economic development plan for Collie and Bunbury." Comments attributed to Collie-Preston MLA Mick Murray "If you are a business looking to establish a new base or expand operations, Collie is well worth considering. "I encourage companies and organisations to take up the opportunity to tap into the millions of dollars in funding on offer through this program and to utilise Collie's strengths to support your endeavours. "No doubt we will see some exciting proposals come through the application process, and I look forward to seeing the transformation that will take place as projects are funded and progressed. "Jobs creation for local residents is a top priority. The program will contribute to securing a strong economic future for the town of Collie and the surrounding region." Minister's office - 6552 6200
Keystart continues to open doors and support WA’s housing sector147295Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements400850html18/01/2019 2:00:22 AM2019-01-18T02:00:00Z Scheme supported 1,700 jobs; generated $670 million in economic activity in 2017-18 First home owners make up 85 per cent of Keystart applicants in 2018-19 Keystart has helped more than 102,000 people into their own homes since 1989 Official figures show the State Government's blue ribbon Keystart scheme, which dramatically reduces barriers to home ownership for lower income earners, approved 1,152 loans worth almost $400 million in the six months to December 2018. The figures also reveal that 85 per cent of those applying for Keystart loans in the current financial year were first home owners. Celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, Keystart has approved more than 66,700 loans since it was established as a Labor Government initiative in 1989 and along the way has helped more than 102,000 Western Australians into a home of their own. In 2017-18, Keystart approved 2,789 loans of which 2,169 were for new builds or newly constructed homes. The associated building activity stimulated WA's economy by supporting an estimated 1,700 jobs and generating up to $670 million in economic activity. Access to Keystart is not limited to people on a low income and first home buyers. Eligible singles living in the metropolitan area can earn up to $90,000 a year, couples $115,000 and families up to $135,000. The earning limits are even higher in regional WA and maximum property purchase price limits range from $480,000 to $650,000. In December 2018, the McGowan Government boosted the value of Keystart's loan book to $4.8 billion by extending its lending capacity by almost $421 million - equating to an extra 1,100 home loans. Comments attributed to Housing Minister Peter Tinley "Keystart is the most successful scheme of its kind in Australia. It allows people to stop renting and take that important step towards home ownership. "At a time when the housing construction sector is flat and banks are tightening their lending criteria - partly as a result of the Royal Commission - Keystart has a crucial role in creating jobs and stimulating the economy. "Property is currently the most affordable it has been in six years, making WA the cheapest in the nation to buy property. "Unlike most major lenders, Keystart reduces the barriers to get a home loan, with deposits starting from as low as two per cent and no requirement for Lenders' Mortgage Insurance. This can save clients between $8,000 and $10,000." Minister's office - 6552 5300
Review finds better Local Lobster Program needed for WA147293Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements665490html18/01/2019 12:36:11 AM2019-01-17T22:30:00Z Review finds previous government's Local Lobster Program is too small and too inaccessible McGowan Government proposing to allow Western Australians to have greater access to this iconic seafood A review conducted by the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development into the Local Lobster Program has found it is not delivering this iconic seafood to Western Australians as envisaged. The Local Lobster Program was started by the previous Liberal National Government in 2016, with an aim of providing more lobster for Western Australians. About 95 per cent of Western Australian lobsters are exported, with nearly all of it going to China. This means a very small amount of lobster is available for Western Australian families and tourists to enjoy. The review, which was undertaken in 2018, found that Significant amounts of the lobster were used by fishers themselves rather than sold to the public. In the first two phases of the program, more than a quarter of the seafood was kept by the fishers themselves; Restaurants advised that continuity of supply and purchases from multiple suppliers were problematic; Most sales were from fishers' homes or by off a fishing boat - raising issues of public accessibility; and Facebook pages established to make the lobster available to the public were ineffectual. In early December last year, after weeks of negotiations with the Western Rock Lobster Council, the McGowan Government announced an innovative plan to sustainably increase the annual lobster catch. The plan provides more lobsters for Western Australians to enjoy, creates hundreds of local jobs, supports small businesses and boosts our tourism and hospitality sectors. The plan is currently open for industry consultation until Thursday January 31, 2019. Comments attributed to Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly "More rock lobster for WA means more jobs and opportunities for locals, especially in our tourism and hospitality sectors. "The previous government's Local Lobster Program has not achieved its objectives. "This is because at the time the program was introduced in 2016, no rules were set to ensure everyday Western Australians had the opportunity to access the lobster. "A review found that in the first two years of the program, more than one quarter of the lobsters that were reserved for Western Australians were actually kept by the fishers themselves. "At about 15 tonnes per year, the review found the Local Lobster Program is too small and too inaccessible to the local public or local restaurants. "While the McGowan Government has introduced a number of new rules to ensure the Local Lobster Program was more effective in providing lobsters to Western Australians, we believe more can be done." Minister's office - 6552 6100
WA set to strengthen sporting ties with Asia147294Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements376080html18/01/2019 12:08:29 AM2019-01-17T22:00:00Z $500,000 Asian Sport Strategy to develop closer ties and boost jobs, local events, tourism and international education Swimming WA kicks off program this week, welcoming Japanese swim team to Perth A new $500,000 fund to promote Western Australia as a sports event and training hub for Asia is set to forge stronger tourism and trade ties between the State and our northern neighbours. The Asian Sport Strategy will fund Western Australia's State Sporting Associations to better engage with overseas teams and encourage their use of WA as an offshore base for training and competitions. The program will encourage local sporting associations to forge closer links for the benefit of local athletes and their Asian counterparts. Swimming WA is the program's first successful applicant - this week welcoming the Japanese swim team to Perth - as it kicks off a two-year plan to utilise the State's excellence in the sport to build greater partnerships with Japan, China, Indonesia and India. The Swimming WA program will involve training and development opportunities with the WA Institute of Sport, swimming scholarships for international students, a swimming instructor exchange program and continued delivery of the Indian Ocean All Stars Meet. The funding program will also help strengthen broader ties between WA and Asia by encouraging increased local visitation, stronger engagement in international education and better trade links within the region. Comments attributed to Sport and Recreation Minister Mick Murray "Sport is in WA's DNA and we already have some tremendous relationships within the Asian region. "This program enables us to take that situation one step further by encouraging our Asian neighbours to bring their training camps to WA and participate in local competitions, while sharing our sporting expertise." Comments attributed to Asian Engagement Minister Peter Tinley "WA shares the same time zone as much of Asia and is ideally placed to offer important economic, social and cultural opportunities to many of our most important trading partners. "The Asian Sport Strategy seeks to leverage global interest in sports to boost local jobs, generate increased international tourism and attendance at WA events, and strengthen existing trade ties." Comments attributed to Swimming WA chief executive Darren Beazley "Swimming WA is delighted to be the first sport selected to support the State Government in this wonderful initiative. Western Australians set a very high standard when it comes to swimming and continue to do so. "Our involvement in this program will play a significant role in strengthening the sport here in the West, whilst building a reputation for excellence and building mutually bilateral relationships with swimming federations in the region. We look forward to working with the State Government over the next two years." Sport and Recreation Minister's office - 6552 6400 Asian Engagement Minister's office - 6552 5300
New app to help record learner driver logbook hours147289Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements507740html16/01/2019 11:37:31 PM2019-01-16T23:30:00Z Novice driver licensing process improved with release of new logbook app for learners Electronic medical assessments now also available online, saving time and money Latest improvements follow introduction of strengthened driver testing processes in October 2017 A new app to digitally record learner driver logbook hours and trips has been developed to simplify the process of getting a driver's licence in Western Australia. The latest change follows the State Government's introduction of strengthened driver testing processes in October 2017, and is part of ongoing improvements to how Western Australians attain a licence. The new improvements include the development of a Learner Log Book application - Learn&Log - and the continued delivery of an integrated electronic medical assessment tool to streamline the assessment process for drivers with medical conditions. The launch of Learn&Log will enable learner drivers to transition from paper to digital and provides a faster, more convenient way to record and submit supervised driving hours. Designed with safety in mind, the app lets you 'set and forget' - there is no reason for learner drivers or their supervisors to interact with their mobile phone while driving. Learn&Log's public release is planned for early 2019, following the successful completion of a trial with selected learner drivers. Meanwhile, the Department of Transport (DoT) is also addressing practical driving assessment (PDA) wait times by Recruiting an additional six assessors, starting in February; Trialling the use of SMS reminders to combat PDA no-shows (10 per cent of bookings go to waste due to no-shows or attempts to use unregistered/unsafe vehicles); Changing session times to increase the number of assessments conducted; and Trialling extended hours at the new Kelmscott appointment-only centre during the week and on Saturdays. Keeping with the paperless theme, DoT continues to work closely with selected GP clinics in both metropolitan and regional locations to raise their awareness of the electronic medical assessment tool and to encourage doctors to go paperless. The technology improves the speed and quality of information required to confirm fitness to drive which is exchanged between the Department of Transport, health practitioners and drivers - saving all parties time and money. Comments attributed to Transport Minister Rita Saffioti "We encourage novice drivers to get as much driving experience in as many conditions as possible before attempting a practical driving assessment. "This trial is a result of DoT listening to the community regarding the novice driver process and will ensure applicants have greater access and flexibility when learning to drive. "We will continue to enhance and expand digital services in 2018-19 with a focus on introducing e-billing, enhancing fleet management functionality and developing an online vehicle licence fee calculator." Minister's office - 6552 5500
METRONET receives $185m boost from PEXA share sale147288Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements762080html16/01/2019 11:28:33 PM2019-01-16T22:00:00Z WA Government has received $185m from the sale of its shares in PEXA Transaction represents a positive outcome for the State and is a result of prudent, responsible investment by Landgate Money raised will go towards METRONET projects under development The McGowan Government has received $185 million from the sale of its 11.8 per cent shareholding in Property Exchange Australia (PEXA), with the transaction finalised this week. PEXA was formed in 2010 to fulfil the Council of Australian Governments' (COAG) initiative to deliver a single, national electronic conveyancing solution to the Australian property industry. The State of Western Australia, through Landgate, invested in this initiative, along with other State Governments, helping to establish the company and, in doing so, building a market for electronic conveyancing in Western Australia and nationally. The electronic conveyancing market has now matured to a point where new entrants are being established, and other property exchange operators are emerging. With this, it was the view of the Government that the objective of helping to establish the market had been achieved and it was the right time for the State to exit. As foreshadowed in the Mid-Year Review, the money raised will go towards METRONET projects under development such as the Morley-Ellenbrook line. Comments attributed to Treasurer and Lands Minister Ben Wyatt "The completion of this transaction represents a positive outcome for the State and a tremendous boost for our flagship METRONET project. "Given Landgate and the State's investment totals approximately $38.9 million, this is an exceptional outcome for Western Australia. "This decision to invest in METRONET also ensures that the financial discipline and responsibility which has been the hallmark of the McGowan Labor Government continues." Treasurer's office - 6552 5900
Minister extends consultation for plans to grow WA lobster industry147279Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements573360html16/01/2019 4:31:38 AM2019-01-16T04:20:00Z Proposal aimed at growing the iconic WA lobster industry to make more lobster available in Western Australia 95 per cent of WA lobster is exported, with an overwhelming majority going to China Strong support for plan from tourism and hospitality sectors Submission period for the lobster plan extended to January 31 Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly has today extended consultation on the future management and growth of the Western Rock Lobster Fishery to enable more time for industry to have its say. The Minister was today joined by representatives from the hospitality industry who support the push for more lobster to be available in Western Australia. Currently, nearly all of our WA lobster is exported to China, with WA's own unique premium seafood not readily available in the vast majority of local restaurants. In early December last year, after weeks of negotiations with the Western Rock Lobster Council, the McGowan Government announced an innovative plan to sustainably increase the annual lobster catch. The plan provides more lobsters for Western Australians to enjoy, creates hundreds of local jobs, supports small businesses and boosts our tourism and hospitality sectors. The plan is supported by the Australian Hotels Association, Tourism Council and local government leaders from WA coastal communities. The consultation period closes on Thursday January 31, 2019. For more information, visit http//www.fish.wa.gov.au Comments attributed to Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly "With nearly all of our local lobster going to China, the McGowan Government wants to see more Western Australian lobster made available for Western Australians. "WA's unique lobster should be a staple item on the menu of restaurants across our State. "Western Australians should be able to enjoy our lobster, but we also want to make sure visitors to our State can experience eating our lobster right here in WA. "By growing this industry, we have the opportunity to boost our tourism and hospitality sectors. "We understand there has been a lot of discussion about this plan and that is why we are extending the consultation period until the end of January. "We look forward to hearing what the industry has to say, so we can work together to deliver more lobster for the benefit of all Western Australians." Minister's office - 6552 6100
Fairer pest rates for Carnarvon147278Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements408910html16/01/2019 1:00:51 AM2019-01-16T01:00:00Z Industry comment invited on revised declared pest rates for 2018-19 following local consultation Government reduces cost to growers The State Government has proposed a revised declared pest rate for Carnarvon that is fairer for growers while continuing the fight to eradicate Mediterranean fruit fly (Medfly) from the horticultural district. Agriculture and Food Minister Alannah MacTiernan held a growers' forum last month amid concerns that contributions had increased and were not equitably spread across all horticultural businesses. As a result, a new rate has been proposed for 2018-19. Under the new rating model for 2018-19, the State Government would reduce the total industry contribution by $75,000. A rate will apply to all properties currently engaged in commercial horticultural activities, based on the size of each property rather than the value of the property. The rate will also be extended to the 13 growers whose properties are not zoned rural freehold and who were not previously rated. This will broaden the base and see rates reduced for most growers. The State will cover the additional costs for the handful of growers with increased rates under the proposed model. In total, the State Government would provide $310,000 to fund local Medfly activities in 2018-19, while growers' contribution would be $160,000. Officers from the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development will meet with affected growers over the next month to ensure all growers have the opportunity to provide feedback or seek further information. Comment on the proposed rate is open until February 18, 2019 and submissions can be sent to dpr@dpird.wa.gov.au Comments attributed to Agriculture and Food Minister Alannah MacTiernan "From my discussions, it was evident we needed a fairer way of applying the declared pest rate - which this new proposed model provides. "Like the majority of growers, we remain strongly committed to the eradication of Medfly from Carnarvon and to the funding for this important work being shared by industry and the State Government. "The collective effort of growers and the community over the past three years is working. Medfly numbers are currently at a very low level in the production area, and we are well on the way to getting rid of this destructive pest. "Achieving Medfly-free status will increase the value of horticultural properties right across the district." Minister's office - 6552 6200
Restoration of historic Roebourne landmark complete147254Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements489980html15/01/2019 7:30:28 AM2019-01-15T07:30:00Z Victoria Hotel redevelopment complete Construction delivered major boost for local jobs and training Project partners, local businesses and contractors gathered in Roebourne today to celebrate the completion of the Victoria Hotel redevelopment. The $6 million project restored the heritage building to its former 1900s architectural form, delivering a new asset for the North-West's oldest town that will drive tourism, training and business opportunities in the Pilbara region. An Aboriginal Employment and Training Model was developed for the project to maximise employment opportunities for Aboriginal people and local businesses. That resulted in local business spend making up 70 per cent of construction expenditure and a total of 30 Aboriginal people engaged in employment and training during the project, including two apprentices and eight high school-based trainees. Inmates from Roebourne Regional Prison and students from Roebourne Senior High School were among those to work on the project. Known in the early 1900s as a popular watering hole for gold prospectors, pearlers and local pastoralists, the new Victoria Hotel boasts a contemporary interior featuring office space, a café, community library, and a visitor information and cultural centre. Fit out of the facility will now commence in preparation for the official opening in the first quarter of 2019. The Victoria Hotel redevelopment project was made possible with an equal investment of $2 million from the State Government, the Australian Government's National Stronger Regions Fund, and the Yindjibarndi Capital Trust. Comments attributed to Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan "When we came to government, we immediately switched the project's focus to driving opportunities for the local Aboriginal community - and we have seen real results. "Before opening its doors, the Victoria Hotel has already created a new legacy by providing meaningful employment and training prospects for local Aboriginal people and businesses in Roebourne. "The redevelopment of the Victoria Hotel adds to Roebourne's unique identity as a cultural and heritage hub in the North-West and will be a major drawcard, particularly for self-drive tourists. "The Victoria Hotel is a great example of a powerful partnership between government and community to create real benefits for Aboriginal people and local business." Minister's office - 6552 6200
Local firm wins Albany student accommodation tender147253Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements555970html15/01/2019 2:00:28 AM2019-01-15T02:00:00Z Local Albany business wins tender for $16 million Stage 2 Affordable Student Housing Accommodation project Stage two of Albany's affordable student accommodation development is set to kick-off, providing a much-needed boost to the local construction industry. Albany-based Wauters Enterprises has won the tender to build the 40-bed accommodation facility following a tender process led by project proponents Advance Housing. In preparation for the new student accommodation, the Albany headmaster's house and the former school buildings have been refurbished. The new accommodation will be built in the parking areas behind the existing buildings, preserving the heritage elements of the site. Stage 2 follows the completion and commissioning of Stage 1 near the UWA Albany Centre in Stirling Terrace, including self-contained units providing accommodation for up to 20 undergraduate and post-graduate tertiary students. Comments attributed to Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan "This construction project will significantly boost the building industry in the region, supported by a $10.997 million investment by the State Government. "Advance Housing has aligned their tender processes with the McGowan Government's commitment to driving local jobs and local procurement on government projects." Comments attributed to Advance Housing chairperson Peter Adams "This $16 million development in the old Albany Primary School precinct in Serpentine Road will complement Advance Housing's first stage project in Stirling Terrace. "Our stage one project has proved popular with students. Stage two will further boost the options for affordable accommodation and contribute to the increasing vibrancy of life in the Albany city centre." Comments attributed to Albany MLA Peter Watson "This is a fantastic boost for local jobs in the building industry in Albany as they are doing it tough at the moment. "Local tradies and suppliers will directly benefit from the project that will also deliver more affordable student housing in the CBD." Minister's office - 6552 6200
$1.2 million airline agreement to increase interstate visitor numbers147252Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements868800html15/01/2019 12:31:32 AM2019-01-15T00:30:00Z Commitment of $600,000 each from Tourism Western Australia and Virgin Australia Joint advertising to promote WA to East Coast markets Two-year agreement expected to deliver significant economic impact The State Government has secured a marketing partnership with Virgin Australia to attract more tourists from the East Coast to Western Australia. The two-year co-operative marketing agreement is the first extended agreement between the airline and Tourism Western Australia, with each party committing $600,000 to the deal. It follows previous successful short-term joint advertising arrangements between the two parties. The current agreement will see Virgin Australia use its substantial marketing assets to increase awareness of WA as a holiday destination. Campaigns will educate consumers about Perth's revitalisation, including the increased choice and availability of affordable and quality accommodation and the extraordinary events calendar. Sale fares and holiday packages promoted through the agreement will also encourage holiday-makers to use Virgin Australia's network to travel to regional areas of the State, including Broome and Kununurra. Co-operative marketing agreements to convert core target audiences to visit WA are a key component of Tourism WA's Two-Year Action Plan, developed to attract more visitors to the State. During 2017-18, co-operative marketing agreements helped deliver 310,000 additional domestic and international visitors to the State and about $446 million in economic impact. Comments attributed to Tourism Minister Paul Papalia "Encouraging travel companies and airlines to partner with the State Government in tourism marketing activities achieves better leverage of Government funding and better outcomes for the tourism industry. "This agreement with Virgin Australia will help us intensify our promotional activity in key target markets on the East Coast. "The total number of interstate visits increased 8.8 per cent to 1.52 million in the year ending September 2018, with 76,000 more interstate holiday-makers compared to September 2017 - an increase of 21.4 per cent. "Co-operative agreements such as this one will only help in furthering this growth in future. "Previous campaigns with Virgin have delivered a strong return on investment. We look forward to this longer term arrangement also proving successful." Comments attributed to Virgin Australia's General Manager Brand & Marketing, Michael Nearhos "The beauty of Western Australia and range of activities on offer make it a very compelling destination for tourists to visit and we're making it easier for Australians to travel to here with more flights, new seasonal services and direct flights from eight cities. "Our partnership with Tourism Western Australia will help us promote the wonders of the West and encourage more visitors to this magnificent part of the world." Minister's office - 6552 5600
New fishing mecca off Esperance in place to attract anglers147238Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements549560html14/01/2019 12:00:46 AM2019-01-14T00:00:00Z More than 120 modules have now been deployed for Esperance artificial reef Reef is designed to provide locals and tourists access to safe fishing experiences The project is the result of community effort and McGowan Government support Local anglers and recfishing tourists will soon benefit from a new safe fishing experience off Esperance, with the State Government's latest artificial reef now fully installed. The 150 tonne reef, made up of 128 concrete modules, has been deployed over an area twice the size of the Ports Football Oval in Esperance. Community volunteers helped construct the modules which are now positioned across more than 11,000 square metres of seabed. Located about five kilometres south-east of Bandy Creek in an area with good access for small craft, it will provide a convenient and safe location for fishers. The artificial reef will create a new ecosystem and marine food web for nearshore, demersal and pelagic finfish species. The project received $595,000 of funding from the State Government through the Recreational Fishing Initiatives Fund and Regional Grants Scheme. Comments attributed to Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly "Like other artificial reef projects around WA, it won't be long before fishers are hooking into the benefits the new Esperance artificial reef are expected to provide. "This will be another chance for Recfishwest's successful 'Reef Vision' citizen science program to monitor how various fish species are using the artificial reef. "Through the program, the community will be armed with Baited Remote Underwater Video cameras, similar to what volunteers in the South-West, Mandurah and Exmouth are already using to keep an eye on their artificial reefs. "This project, funded from recreational fishing licence money, will also provide a boost to recfishing tourism in the Esperance region - which will in turn support the local economy." Comments attributed to Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan "This project has helped the Esperance economy, with all construction materials and labour procured locally, and we applaud the spirit of the local volunteers who rolled up their sleeves to pour the concrete to build the reef modules. "The innovative design will attract fish within hours, and by 12 months will also be home to algae and sponges that will colonise the specially designed modules. "Recfishwest and the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development have supported the reef and it's been funded through fishing licence fees and WA's Regional Grants Scheme, with benefits that will not only help the local community but also Esperance tourism." Fisheries Minister's office - 6552 6100 Regional Development Minister's office - 6552 6200
Free late-night Fringe CAT buses revved up for arts festival147237Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements555920html13/01/2019 11:35:45 PM2019-01-13T23:30:00Z State Government to run special late red Fringe CAT buses from January 22 to March 3 Free evening service will operate every 15 minutes from about 7pm to midnight Will provide transport to Girls School venue for A Midnight Visit, and other FRINGE WORLD Festival hubs Special event service part of wider public consultation on CAT services in Perth A special event late-night Fringe CAT will be running between festival venues from January 22 to March 3 to help passengers get to and from FRINGE WORLD Festival entertainment hubs. Transport Minister Rita Saffioti announced the special services today at the Girls School venue in East Perth, where acclaimed performance A Midnight Visit will be staged. The free Fringe Red CAT will run a special route on a 15-minute frequency between Perth Busport and various Fringe Festival venues, including at Girls School. Services will operate from around 7pm to 9.45pm during the week, with extended Fringe CATs running to about midnight on Friday and Saturday nights. Passengers who use the Fringe CAT will be urged to provide their feedback on the extended service as part of a wider ongoing consultation into the Central Area Transit (CAT) bus services. The consultation will help guide the future of the highly popular free CAT services, including any potential future time or route extensions. So far more than 500 people have provided feedback on the CAT services via the My Say Transport website, with eight in 10 passengers saying they were satisfied or very satisfied with the existing services. The survey is open until January 31. For more information on Transperth services or to plan your journey, visit the Transperth website or call the Transperth InfoLine on 13 62 13. Comments attributed to Transport Minister Rita Saffioti "Getting around during FRINGE WORLD Festival will be even easier with the special late-night Fringe CAT services. "Fringe World Festival brings such vibrancy to the city, so providing easy, frequent and late-night access to public transport through the Fringe CAT is a great initiative. "The major Fringe event hubs in Yagan Square, Perth Cultural Centre, Ice Cream Factory and The Woodside Pleasure Garden are all easily accessible by Transperth services, and I'd encourage all attendees to consider making public transport part of their event plan." Comments attributed to Perth MLA John Carey "One of the most popular ideas to come out of the Perth City Summit and other community meetings has been to extend the CAT bus service into the evenings. "This is all about supporting more vibrancy, activity and nightlife in the Perth CBD - and this partnership with Fringe is a fantastic example of that. "We know the CAT bus services are a much-loved part of Perth's transport system, and I'm looking forward to finding out what passengers think we can do to make them even better through our review of the CAT bus system." Comments attributed to Fringe Festival director Amber Hasler "Part of the magic of Fringe Festival is opening up unique parts of the city for people to explore and enjoy. "Special services like the Fringe CAT - along with regular public transport services - are a great way to get to both the major Fringe hubs, and the venues like Girls School which are on the fringes of the festival." Minister's office - 6552 5500
Joint media statement - Construction starts on Perth's first Smart Freeway147236Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements916870html13/01/2019 11:26:37 PM2019-01-13T03:30:00Z Work is now underway to build Western Australia's first Smart Freeway and deliver faster and more reliable commuting times between Perth CBD and the southern suburbs. Federal Minister for Cities, Urban Infrastructure and Population Alan Tudge said the upgrade on the Kwinana Freeway would create an additional traffic lane and use technology such as variable speed limits, coordinated ramp signals, CCTV and lane use management to optimise traffic flow. "The project covers 13km of the Kwinana Freeway northbound between Farrington Road and the Narrows Bridge, which includes the additional traffic lane from Canning Highway to the Narrows Bridge to boost jobs and bust congestion," Mr Tudge said. "A lane use management system, similar to that used for the Northbridge Tunnel, creates an additional lane between Canning Highway and Narrows Bridge by safely opening the emergency stopping lane on the freeway to all traffic. "There will be increased signage to display open and closed traffic lanes, as well as the provision of new emergency stopping bays in case of crashes and breakdowns." The upgrade was one of 17 major road projects being undertaken as part of the Australian and Western Australian governments' $2.3 billion infrastructure package, which is boosting jobs and busting congestion. Western Australian Transport and Planning Minister Rita Saffioti said the project was the latest in a series of upgrades to both the Kwinana Freeway and the Mitchell Freeway. "Through technology, we can ensure we get the most out of Perth's existing infrastructure and road space to save time for commuters," Ms Saffioti said. "This technology can apply variable speed limits, inform of traffic conditions ahead and adjust on-ramp flow so we can have far greater control over the productivity of the freeway. "Seven major road projects are in the works in Perth's southern suburbs - together these will add more than 22km of new freeway capacity between Russell Road and the Narrows Bridge, as well as adding capacity to arterial roads." Federal Member for Swan Steve Irons said the technology would ensure commuters get the most out of Perth's existing infrastructure, leading to travel time-savings. "The Smart Freeway technology has proven effective in other states and overseas, and will make a big difference to the daily lives of commuters in the southern suburbs," Mr Irons said. "This is a smart way of adding capacity to our freeway." The project is being jointly funded by the Australian ($37.6 million) and Western Australian ($9.4 million) governments. The new Smart Freeway is earmarked for operation by early 2020. From this week, road users will notice changes to Kwinana Freeway between Farrington Road and the Narrows Bridge, which will include on-ramp and lane closures, and speed limit reductions. Most of the disruptive works will be undertaken at night. Temporary barriers will also be installed in stages along the edge line of the left lane between Canning Highway and the Narrows Bridge to facilitate closure of the northbound emergency lane through this section. In addition, a temporary closure of the shared path between Cale Street and the Narrows Bridge will come into effect from February. BMD Constructions Pty Limited, Ventia Pty Limited and Arup Pty Ltd will work with Main Roads, under the SmartWays Alliance, to create an additional lane from Canning Highway to the Narrows Bridge, using smart technology to safely implement an 'All Lane Running' environment. Transport and Planning Minister's office - 6552 5500